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Did anyone visit Very Large Telescope in Chile? If so, what was your experience contacting VLT staff? I've tried to contact them through the form on their website, through email, fFacebook and even tried to call them - but with no luck.

They don't respond for more than a week. Any help appreciated.

Also how long in advance did you get the permission to visit VLT?

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A group of us went to Chile back in 2010, and one of my friends split off from us to visit it for a few days. It's only open one weekend a month, from memory, but he thought it was brilliant, and if I return to Chile I'd be very keen to try and get there.

At the time, he had tried written/online contacts, but eventually called them from when we were in an internet cafe in Calama, Chile, and got hold of them then. So yes, then at least, the best way was to call them - they spoke English, and were very helpful on the phone.

EDIT - you asked how far in advance, the open day was on the weekend (Sat or Sun, I forget) and he called then on the Wednesday afternoon beforehand, from memory.

EDIT:The relevant post from my blog

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Thanks for sharing. I hope that something changed since then. Their website, at least, says that they're opened to public offered on every Saturday eso.org/public/about-eso/visitors/paranal.html Is there any chance I can get phone number your friend used to reach them? The one I've used was from their website: +56-55-716931 and there is some answering machine speaking in Spanish on the other side... –  Pavel Podlipensky Jun 30 '13 at 4:03
    
@PavelPodlipensky we were just in an internet cafe in Calama, so any phone number we used would have likely come from the website. All I can suggest is to keep trying :/ –  Mark Mayo Jun 30 '13 at 6:09
    
Alternatively, when you reach South America, at the hostel/hotel you're at, get a staff member who is bi-lingual to try and at least tell you what the answer phone says. –  Mark Mayo Jun 30 '13 at 6:09

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