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Santiago & Elqui Valley stargazing

My husband and I are traveling to Chile late Dec - early January. We are taking our nephew, a collage student who would like to see the stars.
We are looking at an apartment for our time in Santiago that is near La Universidad de Chile and would love feedback on that neighborhood. If people do not think it is a good neighborhood are their other locations you would recommend. We will be going to museums and a day trip to a vineyard (red wine) while in Santiago, so near public transportation is valuable.

We are also heading north for seeing stars, to the Elqui Valley and are thinking about the Hotel Equi Domos and wonder if anyone has experience with that or other hotels in the Elqui Valley / La Serena area? AND if anyone knows about people that have telescopes in the area that take people out for stargazing?

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