General Information

Arrival Procedure

  • When the transport arrives on Paranal, all passengers must go to the guard building where they will receive their ID card.
  • After this process, everyone returns to the vehicle and proceeds to the Residence.
  • Once parked in front of the Residence, passengers take their luggage and proceed to the lobby/Reception.

Camp and Residencia

  • Accommodations consist of the Paranal Residencia  and refurbished containers.
  • The Logistics office, located in the Residencia lobby, will give you the key to your room upon arrival.  Please return it upon departure.
  • Due to limited availability of rooms on Paranal, you may be requested to change rooms during your stay. If you need to store your suitcases between changes of rooms, please leave them at the Logistics office for custody.
  • Check out time is 13:00.
  • Avoid light pollution—please close the blinds in the rooms and offices after sunset. Staff may enter your room for the purpose of ensuring that the blinds are closed after sunset.
  • You may be using a room that contains the personal items of one of our staff members. Please do not use or remove these items.
  • If necessary, you can request the installation of a portable closet for your items. This request should go through Logistics.
  • Smoking is not permitted in any building on Paranal. This includes your room.
  • For your convenience, a refrigerator containing bottled water and beverages is located in every room - underneath the desk inside a wooden cabinet. It is refilled daily.
  • Although Paranal provides guests with towels and liquid soap, we do not provide shampoo, conditioner, shower caps or other personal items.
  • A small store is located in the base camp. Basic supplies are available. Please consult with Logistics to confirm location and when it is open.
  • Water is not a natural resource on Paranal—please report any leaks or running water to the Logistics office (ext. 5150) or ext. 5134 after hours.
  • Remember that there are both day and night shifts on Paranal. Keep this in mind when circulating around the rooms, listening to music, or watching TV. Respect others!
  • There are smoke detectors installed in the rooms – tampering with these devices is considered a serious safety violation.

Money and Valuables

  • Lockers (located in the Residencia and Control Building) and a safe are available at no charge to store your money and/or valuables. Please contact the Logistics office for this service.
  • ESO will not be held responsible for any lost or stolen items.

ESO I.D. Card

  • The ID card given to you upon arrival is required for access to Paranal Buildings and for meals. 
  • If you have any problems with the card, please report to your ESO contact, the Logistics office or the contact area Administrative Assistant.

Telephone use

  • A PIN code will be assigned to you by the Logistics office for local and/or long distance calls. You will be billed for personal calls at the end of your stay. 
  • A copy of the Paranal Phone List can be found in your room. A copy can also be obtained from the Logistics office.

Video Conference / Meeting room reservations

  • Video conferences and room reservations can be made directly through Santiago Receptionist. You can also coordinate with Logistics.
  • You must provide all of the following:
    • Name of meeting/vidcon
    • Start and end time
    • At least one participant from each site (as a contact)


  • Use the ID card given to you upon arrival at Paranal.
  • Breakfast is served from 7:00 to 10:30
    Lunch is served from 12:00 to 14:30
    Dinner is served from 17:00 to 24:00
  • Night meals are available for night workers, (i.e., sandwiches, hot meals from the daily menu). If you wish to use this service, please complete the corresponding form (located in your room and/or from the Logistics office). Please give the form the Logistics office before 19:00.
  • Night meals are delivered to the Control Building dining room at 22:00.
  • If you have not ordered a night meal – DO NOT eat the food that others have ordered.
  • If you have special dietary needs (lactose intolerant, gluton-free, etc.), please inform Logistics prior to your arrival to plan accordingly.