Lonely Planet Writer

Didn't get to see the last total solar eclipse? Book now to see the next one in South America

Did procrastination lead you to miss out on this year’s total solar eclipse? You can start planning for the next one already, as one tour company has announced its upcoming trips to see the 2019 and 2020 eclipses in South America.

Incredible coloured rock formations in Chile.
See the next solar eclipse from Chile’s Elqui valley. Image by João Carlos Ebone/Getty Images

Southern Explorations, a guided tour company specialising in travel in Latin America, has launched new trips that will run in 2019 and 2020, when solar eclipses are visible in Chile and Argentina. This year’s total solar eclipse on 21 August, visible over large stretches of the US and Canada, was a huge sensation and spurred a rush of travel – and surging accommodation prices – as eager sky-watchers flocked to get a glimpse.

What made this year’s eclipse special was that it was visible right across the US for the first time in decades, with the path of totality stretching from the Pacific coast in Oregon, all the way to the Atlantic in South Carolina. The next eclipse that can be seen in North America will happen in 2024, and it will only be seen along a much smaller path, passing over Mexico and then on a path between Texas and heading north towards Maine and the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

Observatory Cerro Tololo, Chile.
The Observatory Cerro Tololo is found near Chile’s Elqui Valley. Image by ©mikola/Shutterstock

The Southern Explorations tours are created specifically to entice travellers for North America to not wait until 2024 and see their next eclipse in South America. “Travelers were really inspired by the August eclipse and our team has already been fielding a lot of inquiries for eclipse trips in the aftermath,” said Justin Laycob, founder and president of Southern Explorations, in a statement. “We’ve been working closely with our guides and team members on the ground across Chile and Argentina to carefully craft trips that will provide our guests with revelatory adventure experiences that put them in the perfect place to take in the next two total solar eclipses.”

The next eclipse will be on 2 July, 2019 and the tour company will take travellers to see the eclipse from the world’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in Chile. There, they will also get to take in the vineyard-filled slopes of Chile’s Elqui Valley. On 14 December, 2020, people in Chile and Argentina will both be able to view an eclipse, with prime viewing spots found in the Chilean Lakes District, where travellers can take in snow-capped volcanoes, ancient forests, and much more as they await the latest eclipse.