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Roque de los Muchachos – La Palma

The Boys roque It is located in the northern part of the National Park of the Caldera de Taburiente, in the municipality of Garafia. With their 2,426 meters of altitude, it is the highest point of the island of The Palm, Above the clouds.

This unique place for its atmospheric conditions, was chosen to house the Canary Astrophysical Institute, one of the largest in the world. There are investigations that allow to know the universe, with a battery of 15 telescopes among which is the Gran TeCan (GTC, Gran Telescopio Canarias) a reflector telescope with a primary mirror of 10.4 meters in diameter, the largest in the world.

The Observatory enclosure closes at night, in summer at 9 pm and in winter at 6 pm. It is important that you keep it in mind and that before going up, go through the National Park information booth, in the Roque. Many people want to spend the night in the car, to admire the night sky, keep in mind that you must take many blankets to shelter you since the cold is present in the winter and summer nights.

If what interests you is to visit the facilities of the observatory, you must arrange the visit beforehand at: http://www.iac.es/info.php?op1=24&op2=124. There is a plan of Open House Days during the summer season.

The island of La Palma, very committed to the research carried out by the observatory, one day a year turns off its lights to allow special studies. It also has a heaven protection law which regulates public lighting to avoid light pollution. On clear days, which are a majority, you can see from above the neighboring islands and the Teide, in Tenerife.

You can access from Santa Cruz de La Palma, touring some 40 kilometers on a somewhat difficult mountain road, the route lasts approximately 2 hours. This winter road becomes somewhat dangerous because it is usually snowy, so it is essential to get the weather forecast before traveling.

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