Important information for your health and safety

General Health Recommendations

  • The Base Camp is located at an altitude of 2,456 mts. The telescopes are at 2,635 mts.
  • Paranal is located 130 kilometers south of Antofagasta, approximately 2.5 hours from emergency medical services in Antofagasta—any medication should be brought with you.
  • We have a small paramedic clinic on-site equipped for work related accidents and emergency situations with doctors from the Chilean Safety Association of Antofagasta providing coordination and communication.
  • At your service is a fully equipped ambulance for transfers to a medical center, if an emergency so warrants; monitors and basic implements to stabilize and maintain the patient until they arrive at a medical center; telephone and radio communications and a coordinated emergency system; a Safety Officer and Paramedical Coverage 24 hours a day - 7 days a week.
  • The average humidity on Paranal can be as low as 10%. Please, drink plenty liquid.
  • Use protection sunglasses.
  • Let the Paramedic know if you suffer from any respiratory, cardiac, digestive, etc.  diseases.
  • If during your time on Paranal you experience any of the following, please inform the Paramedic immediately: acute headache, dizziness, nausea, breathing problems, ringing or blocking of ears, chest pains, acute muscular pains, seeing “stars”.


  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is mandatory in telescopes and other areas. 
  • Due to Paranal´s isolated location, off-site walks are not recommended. The only authorized exit from the site is the entrance gate.

Safety Zones

  • The following are the designated meeting places in cases of emergency. They are located in key areas throughout Paranal.
    • Camp Parking Lot
    • Stairs between MMB and containers
    • Control Building Parking lot
    • Platform between UT3 & UT4
    • Residencia – east side exit