Travel to ELT Armazones

Media visitors are requested to consult also this page for specific requirements and the application procedure.

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is part of the Paranal Observatory and is located on Cerro Armazones, only 20 km from Paranal. For information on weather, clothing, travel, food and accommodation please consult the Paranal Travel Page.

Health & Safety

Weather and Clothing

The Armazones area is a construction site and the following equipment is mandatory:

  • Helmet
  • Safety vest  (to be distinguished visually by vehicles if walking around in the dusty conditions)
  • Safety shoes (or at least shoes that are suitable for the environment, such as hiking boots)

For general weather and clothing advice, please consult the Paranal Travel Page.

Special Health and Safety advisory

A visit to Cerro Armazones at 3000 metres altitude, has some safety, security and health constraints.

  • Due to the ongoing construction, visits to Cerro Armazones (3046 metres) — the site of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) — are allowed only with special authorisation from the ELT Site Manager and access will depend on the actual construction activities. The ESO Cerro Armazones Access Policy describes the different steps needed for different types of visitors.
  • The ELT Construction Safety Manual is the authoritative text and must be consulted for full details.
    • People visiting as part of a job assignment may wish to consult with their supervisor or Human Resources department before signing.
    • The High Altitude Medical Examination (HAME, see p.98) is a medical examination that certifies that the individual is fit to perform work above 3000 metres. The relevant explanation to show to the occupational physician is on p. 93 of the ALMA Safety Manual. A certificate is valid for one year from the date of release, unless a specific lesser term is indicated by the evaluating doctor.
    • It is recommended to sleep at least one night at around 2000 m to 3000 m altitude for acclimatisation before going up to the top of Armazones.

All Armazones visitors are required to meet the requirements given in the ELT Construction Safety Manual and follow any specific instructions from the on-site contractor.

In particular:
  1. External Visitors (defined as any person not in a contractual or working relationship with ESO) staying at Armazones: need to sign a waiver form before every visit.
  2. All Contractors (defined as any person in a contractual or working relationship with ESO, including freelancers) need to present either:
    1. A statement is required from their Human Resources department which asserts that the person in question is covered by their work accident insurance to work at 3000 metres, or
      High Altitude Medical Examination (HAME)
      In the special case of freelancers without work accident insurance, you may sign a waiver form although it is recommended that you also consult your physician.
  3. ESO Members of staff: please consult the Human Resources department for full details, but a High Altitude Medical Examination (HAME) is required.

View Larger Map

ELT Armazones
Cerro Armazones
Near Paranal Observatory
II Region