Picture yourself looking up in awe as the Moon casts its looming shadow over the Earth, and the world as you know it is submerged in darkness…

Given their rarity, observing a total solar eclipse is a sight not easily forgotten. In 2019 and 2020, there will be few places better to witness this unique natural phenomenon than in the dramatic surrounds of Chile’s remote Elqui Valley or Argentina’s peaceful Piedra del Aguila.

We’ve been leading trips around the world for close to 30 years, meaning our astronomy team have had decades of experience to draw upon when planning and executing our eclipse tours. Over the coming years, we’re offering exciting trips to experience the magic of totality from a range of fascinating locations, accompanied by astronomy expert and veteran eclipse chaser Dr John Mason, and are not to be missed.

Our astronomy tours

Meet the expert

Dr John Mason

Highly respected astronomer, Dr John Mason, has won an international reputation for his tremendous enthusiasm and enthralling lecturing style. The Principal Lecturer at the UK’s South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre, he is one of the most experienced followers of eclipses, meteor showers and the Northern Lights.

A couple of facts you might be interested to learn about John are that he was made an MBE in 2009 for his services to science education. And, in September 2000, the asteroid 1990 MN was named 6092 Johnmason by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his many contributions to astronomy.

For more than 30 years now John has led overseas expeditions to observe and record natural phenomena such as annular and total solar eclipses, the polar aurora and major meteor showers. His ‘living planetarium’ shows use the real night sky as an outdoor star theatre and have been enjoyed by audiences in the deserts of the Middle East, African safari parks, islands of the Pacific and beyond.

Dr John Mason

A handful of highlights

Now, we know you're coming on an astronomy tour with us to see the solar eclipse, but there's a whole host of other amazing activities awaiting you on your adventure.

Starry skies over the Elqui Valley

Stargazing in the Elqui Valley

Located in the middle of the remote Elqui Valley, the El Pangue Observatory is a truly unique place. With its Cerro Tololo and Gemini observatories being the only buildings for miles around there’s virtually no light pollution, making it the perfect spot for some serious stargazing.

Gauchos outside Buenos Aires

Getting a taste of the Gaucho life

Escape the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires and head off to meet the gauchos, as you spend the day with them on their Argentinian ranch. Hop on a horse or take a colonial carriage ride before sitting down to a delicious traditional barbecue with your local hosts.

Shot of the eclipse

Enjoying a pre-eclipse lecture

On our eclipse tours you have the option of attending an exclusive pre-eclipse lecture from the fascinating, Dr John Mason. His captivating lecturing style and impressive insights are certain to help you to get the most out of this unforgettable experience.

Views over Nahuel Huapi Lake

Sailing on the Nahuel Huapi Lake

Marvel at the beauty of your surroundings as you board the Gran Victoria catamaran on the Nahuel Huapi Lake. From the emerald green forests and crystalline waters, to the diverse local birdlife and sweeping mountain vistas – it’s a truly stunning spot.

Photo gallery

Frequently asked questions

Our eclipse tours are totally unique events that allow us to witness one of nature’s greatest spectacles. Because this phenomenon can draw lots of attention we run these exclusive trips with different considerations, meaning there is some variation between them and our regular holidays.

  • Maximum group sizes for our eclipse tours tend to be larger (up to 50 travellers) than our other small group adventures.
  • Our departures are accompanied by expert Dr John Mason as well as an Intrepid tour leader.
  • As the eclipse is the main event, our pre-eclipse day accommodation is selected for its proximity to the site as well as its amenities. Getting to our chosen post in good time and as easily as possible is vital!

Despite all this, we assure you that this is still an Intrepid tour and you can look forward to experienced local guides, authentic local experiences, balanced itineraries and classic highlights.

Yes, they will be! As well as refreshments on the day and members of our local team there to help you.

Watching the eclipse is the reason you’re travelling with us and lots of time and attention goes into making sure we choose the best location for that to happen. However, there are certain things that are out of our control and they can throw up challenges! We will always prioritise seeing the eclipse, so if bad weather is an issue and we have to move, we will move. There will be a contingency plan in place for this and our expert Dr John Mason will cover this during your welcome meeting.

As a company, we strive to act responsibly wherever we are, and this doesn’t stop on our eclipse tours. Our aim is to ensure the eclipse viewing is as eco-friendly as possible amongst other things throughout your trip. Your guide will talk you through this at our welcome meeting and will be happy to answer any questions you have about responsible travel. If you scroll down, you’ll also find several ways in which make our astronomy trips eco-friendly.

How to watch the eclipse responsibly

We’re totally committed to exploring the world in a way that is respectful of the local environments and communities we visit, and we encourage our travellers to do the same.

Here are 5 ways we make our astronomy trips eco-friendly:

  • Giving you a canvas bag to use for the duration of your trip and to take home with you.
  • Avoiding single-use plastics such as straws, cups and bottles.
  • Adopting a “take in, take back out” system for waste in fragile environments, remote areas and national parks.
  • Providing you with refillable water bottles.
  • Making sure our private transport is fuel-efficient and the right size for the group.

Easy ways to extend your stay

Decided that a week or so in South America just isn’t enough? Our short breaks make the perfect bookends to your trip. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something longer we also have a whole host of holidays across Chile and Argentina to choose from.

Short breaks

Up to 4 days

3 Days From 155

Get straight to the fiery heart of Argentina with this Buenos Aires Stopover. Tour this...

4 Days From 450

Visit South America and travel to Easter Island to discover the history of one of the...

3 Days From 243

From Santiago's historical centre to a celebrated nearby winery, this captivating...

Longer escapes

8 days or more

15 Days From 4145

Trek through South America's Patagonia region on an overland trip to Chile and...

10 Days From 3275

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia to experience the 'W' Trek in Torres del...

8 Days From 2109

Embark on an unforgettable journey through the amazing landscapes and captivating...

8 Days From 2000

Discover the natural beauty of Chile on a round trip from Santiago. Visit the...

21 Days From 5139

Travel through South America by way of jungle, waterfalls and ancient ruins. In 3 weeks...

14 Days From 4295

Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Brazil on a tour from...

Stories from fellow stargazers