Chile travel guide

About Chile

A narrow slither of land wedged between the Pacific and the Andes, Chile stands as a nation apart in South America – both literally and figuratively. The mountains cut the country off from Argentina and Bolivia to the east, while the expansive Atacama Desert separates it from Peru to the north. And to the south, beyond the country’s infamous Cape Horn headland, lies nothing but ocean and Antarctica. But far from being a curse, this isolation has created a very special destination indeed.

Whether you fancy road-tripping the endless Carretera Austral, climbing the peaks of Torres del Paine National Park or surfing the brutal waves of Punta de Lobos in Pichilemu, Chile is deserving of its reputation as one of the world’s best destinations for adventure tourism. It’s not just for thrill-seekers, though. From its incredible night skies and Mapuche Indian heritage to its vibrant arts scene and vertiginous vineyards, this is a country that caters for travellers of all hues. The Chileans themselves, meanwhile, tend to be warm and open, so absorbing what the country has to offer is generally a joy.

The country hasn’t always had it easy, of course, and the tribulations of the Pinochet era can be explored in the dynamic capital, Santiago. The city’s buzzing boulevards and arty neighbourhoods feel a million miles away from Chile’s more famous attractions, and this in itself tells you how broad the country’s offering is – this is a land that not only includes vast swathes of Patagonian wilderness and the glacier-threaded waterways of Tierra del Fuego, but also incorporates the remote, statue-studded landmass of Easter Island.

Whether you’re seeking solitude as a leisurely backpacker or taking on the big sights in unbridled luxury, consider yourself warned – once you’ve experienced the myriad attractions Chile has to offer, you may find other destinations fall somewhat short.

Key facts

Area:

756,102 sq km (291,932 sq miles).

Population:

18,131,850 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

24 per sq km.

Capital:

Santiago.

Government:

Republic.

Head of state:

President Sebastián Piñera since 2018.

Head of government:

President Sebastián Piñera since 2018.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Chile on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

All non-resident foreign nationals - who have been in the United Kingdom during the last 14 days – are not currently permitted to enter Chile. Direct UK-Chile flights have been suspended until further notice.

Since 5 April, all non-resident foreign nationals are not permitted to enter Chile. This measure has been extended until 30 June. Additionally, since 5 April, all Chilean borders (including Santiago Airport) are closed. Chilean authorities prohibit all non-essential overseas travel to Chileans and resident foreign nationals. There will be some exceptions that can be requested via the Comisaria Virtual website.

From 31 March, all travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) must complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival in Chile. This cannot be avoided under any circumstances, such as with a proof of C19 vaccine. You will not be able to leave quarantine early with a negative PCR. See Entry requirements

All travellers will be transferred to a ‘transitory’ hotel, and will need to take a PCR test. They must remain there for five days. After staying at the ‘transitory’ hotel for five days and having obtained a negative PCR test result, passengers are allowed to leave the ‘transitory’ hotel to continue to their final destination where they will have to complete the remaining five-day of quarantine. If the PCR test result is positive, the passenger will have to remain in a ‘Residencia Sanitaria (quarantine hotel). All costs related to transfer, ‘transitory’ hotel, quarantine hotel and PCR test may be charged to the passenger prior to boarding the flight to Chile when filling in the ‘Pasaporte Sanitario’ or on arrival in Chile. Check the Santiago Airport official website (in English) for further information.

Furthermore, any traveller at an arrival point in Chile who presents one or two COVID symptoms will have to enter a ‘Residencia Sanitaria’ (quarantine hotel) until local health authorities give the all clear.

From 7 January 2021, all travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) require a negative PCR test (rapid PCR tests will not be accepted) taken within 72-hours of boarding the flight to enter Chile. The mandatory 10 day quarantine will remain in place.

From 11 March 2021, all passengers arriving from Brazil, or who have visited Brazil during the last 14 days, will be transferred to a ‘transitory’ hotel, and will have to take a PCR test. They must remain there for at least 72 hours, even if the PCR test result is negative. After staying at the ‘transitory’ hotel for 72 hours and having obtained a negative PCR test result, passengers are allowed to leave the hotel to continue to their final destination where they will have to complete a 10-day mandatory quarantine. If the PCR test result is positive, the passenger will have to remain in a quarantine hotel. All costs related to transfer, transitory hotel and PCR test must be paid by the passenger prior to boarding the flight to Chile when filling in the ‘Pasaporte Sanitario’.

You should be aware that Chilean health authorities at Santiago Airport are selecting passengers on arrival for random PCR testing, even when passengers have complied with the requirement to hold a negative PCR test on arrival.

Airlines may require all passengers to have filled-in a “Pasaporte Sanitario” to be allowed to board their flights. This government form requests information on recent countries visited and coronavirus-related health. Once submitted, you will receive a PDF of the completed form that you can store on your phone or print.

If you plan to return to the UK make sure you have not overstayed on your Chilean visa – this could affect your departure. If you have any concerns about visa renewal, visit the Chilean Immigration Office website for further information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Chile.

Travel in Chile

Travellers arriving in Santiago should be aware that local authorities are frequently moving municipalities (comunas) back and forward through the quarantine Stages Plan (Paso a Paso). You should check on the Chilean Government Paso a Paso website.

You should be aware that from 12 June quarantine restrictions will be in place in the entire Metropolitan Region including Santiago centre and Santiago airport. Please see below ‘Stage 1: Quarantine’. You should check for further details on the Chilean Government Paso a Paso website

If you are travelling from or to the airport to catch a flight from or to one of the areas under quarantine or curfew, presenting your passport and boarding pass will permit you to cross any checkpoints. Use a recognised taxi service or airport transfer whose driver should have the requisite permissions. Chilean authorities require the use of face masks in all public spaces / public transport, including the airport. You risk a significant fine for not wearing a mask in public.

Chilean authorities require the use of face masks in all public spaces / public transport, including the airport. You risk a significant fine for not wearing a mask in public.

Quarantine orders and sanitary cordons are in place in Santiago and in other parts of the country. There is currently a nationwide curfew between 10pm and 5am, seven days a week. If you have a medical emergency or funeral during curfew times, you must request a permit (Salvoconducto) online.

Be aware that if you wish to travel to Magallanes Region, you might be required to provide proof of a negative PCR-test result given within 72 hours prior to travel. You should get in contact with your transport operator.

Chile is deploying a flexible approach to bringing municipal areas (called comunas) in and out of quarantine/sanitary cordons. New measures can be announced by the government at any time and come into force shortly after.

On 28 July, local areas (“comunas”) in Chile that were under lockdown, as part of the Chilean government’s 5stage plan, began to move from quarantine (Stage 1) into less restrictive stages. The rules on mobility in each stage are as follows:

Stage 1: Quarantine. Restricted mobility; permits required for essential activity; a maximum of two a week including one only at weekends; Evening curfew between 10pm to 5am social distancing and cordon sanitaire in place; obligatory quarantine for those over 75, except on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 9am to 11am for 60 minutes or between 4pm to 6pm; prohibition of movement to secondary home. Outdoor exercise activities are allowed from Monday to Friday between 5am to 9am and on weekends and bank holidays between 5am to 10am.

Stage 2: Transition. Quarantine remains in place at weekends and bank holidays social gatherings of no more than five people allowed inside; Evening curfew between 10pm to 5am, social distancing and cordon sanitaire in place and a prohibition on movement to other regions. Outdoor exercise activities are allowed from Monday to Friday at any time (except on curfew). On weekends and bank holidays between 5am to 10am.

Stage 3: Preparation. Under this stage there are no mobility restrictions within the comuna; social gatherings capped at 15 people; Evening curfew between 10pm to 5am social distancing and cordon sanitaire in place; and interregional travel is only allowed to regions in Stage 3, 4 and 5. In/Outdoor activities are allowed.

Stage 4:Initial opening. Significant step that aims to re-open certain low risk activities and to avoid crowds and physical contact. Establishment of a new way of living: COVID MODE. Social gatherings with no more than 30 people permitted; cinemas, theatres, restaurants and cafes allowed to function at 25% capacity; restaurants and cafés allowed to open to the public at 25% capacity; Evening curfew between 10pm to 5am (from 5 April), social distancing still required; pubs and clubs remain closed; over 75’s allowed to leave their homes for 60 minutes per day; Interregional travel is only allowed to regions in Stage 3, 4 and 5.

Stage 5: Advanced opening. This step relies on the population becoming accustomed to activities in COVID MODE. Social gatherings with no more than 150 people permitted; cinemas, theatres, restaurants and cafes allowed to function at 75% capacity; gyms, pubs and clubs can function at 50% capacity; gradual return to physical classes in education establishments. Social distancing of 1 metre; free movement for those over 75 and movement to secondary homes allowed.

The Government’s ‘Paso a Paso’ website outlines which phase-out stage each comuna of Chile is under the heading (‘Situación Comunal’).

In those areas under Stage 1 ‘quarantine’ you are only allowed to leave your residence under certain circumstances, including for medical reasons, basic services, and public services. If you need to leave your residence for food or medical supplies, you must get a permit from the Comisaria Virtual. Foreigners may use their passport number to access the system. The pages are only in Spanish.

From Wednesday 26 May, the government has introduced a special mobility pass (‘Pase de Movilidad’) for residents in comunas in ‘Cuarentena’ (Stage 1) and ‘Transition’ (Stage 2). You can request the ‘Pase de Movilidad’ on the ‘MeVacuno’ website. This will generate a QR-code after entering your personal information. This permit can only be requested 14-days after completing a full COVID-19 vaccination course (ie after the second dose for a two-dose course COVID-19 vaccine such as AstraZenica, Pfizer, etc).

You should be aware that the ‘Pase de Movilidad’ may allow you to move freely among ‘comunas’ in Stage 1 and 2 and interregional travel between ‘comunas’ in Stage 2, 3 and 4. This permit will not allow you to travel abroad.

Individuals that wish to pass the sanitary cordons must obtain a “Salvoconducto” permit and a “Health Passport” (“pasaporte sanitario”) (under “viajeros regionales” for residents or “viajeros regionales” for foreign visitors), at least 24 hours before.

Information on the areas of Chile that have sanitary cordons is available on the Government’s ‘Plan de Acción’.

Checkpoints for health inspections are in force at various points around Santiago and elsewhere. In addition to checking the health of persons passing through, these checkpoints will be used to confirm that specific individuals who have been ordered to quarantine by medical authorities are not violating their quarantine. You will need to get a “Health Passport” prior to travel and present it at any checkpoint.

Public places and services

Chilean authorities require the use of face masks in all public spaces, irrespective of what stage of the quarantine phase-out a comuna is in.

Healthcare in Chile

Further advice and information (in Spanish) is available on the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) website.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 hotline on 6003607777.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Chile.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Chile

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated. Sign up to get email notifications.

The Vaccination programme in Chile has already begun. It includes resident foreign nationals but not tourists. Further information is available on the Chilean Government website (in Spanish). Resident Foreign Nationals can apply for their vaccine according to the schedule on the Chilean Government website (key workers, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions have been prioritised). Vaccination in Chile is voluntary and free of charge. Resident foreign nationals must present proof of their resident status.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.

British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organisation COVID-19 vaccines page.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities (in Spanish, under the ‘Laboratories PCR SARS-CoV-2’ tab).

From 8 June, direct flights can arrive in England from Chile, but they must arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports. Different requirements may apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Further information

If you need urgent consular assistance, you can contact the British Embassy on +56223704100, pressing 1 for English and then follow the instructions.

Crime

There have been reports of people being robbed by bogus and unlicensed taxi drivers, including airport taxis. We advise to only use official and/or pre-booked taxis and to ask taxi drivers for proof of reservation.

There have been incidents involving people being followed from Santiago International Airport to their destinations and then robbed, sometimes at gunpoint. The British Embassy has noted an increase in ‘car-jacking’ in and around Santiago. Be aware of your surroundings in and around the airport, when driving away and on arrival at your destination. In case of an incident, do not offer resistance.

There have been a number of incidents in major cities where those driving rental cars have been victims of crime. The perpetrators puncture the car’s tyres surreptitiously (often while at traffic lights) and then target the vehicle when the occupants notice the flat tyre. Often the victims do not notice the theft is taking place as an accomplice will distract while another steals valuables from the vehicle. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure in this event. Other incidents include the interception of locking cars when drivers remotely activate the lock. Always double check that the car is locked.

Pick pocketing and muggings are common in many cities throughout Chile, particularly around well-known tourist sites including airports, bus stations, ports and popular areas visited by foreigners. Pay particular attention to your belongings in popular foreign cafes and restaurants where there has been an increase in bag theft. There have been reports of violent muggings in areas popular with tourists in Santiago and Valparaiso. The British Embassy is aware of an increase in the use of weapons, such as pistols and knives. These muggings can take place during the day and in plain sight of others. Be vigilant, particularly if you are in public places popular among tourists or near official buildings. Avoid carrying large amounts of money, passport (a photocopy is sufficient if needed), wearing valuable watches or jewellery or using your mobile phone while walking on the streets. Local authorities recommend not to resist muggers.

Avoid puting any valuables in the storage compartments of buses and coaches - keep them with you at all times.

Book a taxi in advance rather than hailing one from the street, especially late at night. Keep in groups and avoid walking alone late at night.

There have been a few reports of people being given ‘spiked’ drinks in nightclubs and bars, particularly in the Suecia and Bellavista areas of Santiago. These can leave the victim open to theft or assault.

Leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place and carry a photocopy of the details page of your passport with you at all times.

Local travel

Landmine accidents mainly affect livestock and local people crossing borders at unauthorised points. Most minefields are near the borders with Peru and Bolivia in the extreme north of Chile (regions XV, I and II) and Argentina in the south (region XII). Although most minefields are clearly marked, some signs and fences are old and damaged, and may be hard to spot. In some cases, minefields are laid right up to the edge of highways. Check with local authorities before travelling to more rural areas, stick to clearly marked roads and observe all warning signs.

If travelling to national parks in Chile you are advised that open fires (outside permitted camping areas) are strictly forbidden. Local authorities may revoke tourist permits from anyone caught starting a fire within a Chilean National Park and ask them to leave Chile voluntarily within 72 hours or face deportation. Additionally, if the open fire results in a larger forest fire, there may also be criminal penalties and fines.

If you plan to go exploring or mountaineering, notify the local authorities before you set off. For further information on mountaineering, contact the Federación de Andinismo de Chile, Almirante Simpson 77, Santiago, Chile, Telephone: (56 2) 2220888.  For any other type of exploring, contact the Chilean Embassy in London, to see if permits are required. There are good rescue facilities in Chile.  You may be charged for the service they provide.

Road travel

You can use your UK driving licence while in Chile if you’re visiting as a tourist. You must have your passport and entrance card with you while driving. If you hire a car, take out adequate insurance including for windscreen damage, which can be expensive.

If you’re resident in Chile you must get a Chilean driving licence from the nearest ‘municipalidad’. You can find further information about the process on the Chilean Transport Ministry website.

There is no car insurance available on Easter Island. In case of accidents or any damage to your vehicle, you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.

Main roads in Chile are surfaced, but you may need a four-wheel drive vehicle in the countryside. Be prepared for a range of driving conditions, from snow and ice to hot sandy deserts. Road tolls are increasingly common. Between June and September, winter weather sometimes temporarily closes the Chile-Argentina border crossing high up in the Andes, including the main Los Libertadores crossing between Santiago and Mendoza.

Air travel

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines, but the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.

A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

Political situation

There remains a risk of violent protest in Santiago and other Chilean cities. Particularly on Friday afternoons/evenings.

Nationwide protests often take place on 11 September (anniversary of the military coup), 29 March (‘day of the young combatant’) and 1 May (Workers’ Day). Even peaceful protests can become violent. The largest protests usually take place in central Santiago. Police can use tear gas and water cannon against protesters. Other public demonstrations, often led by students or indigenous rights defenders, can occur around Chile. You should avoid all demonstrations.

The following Santiago districts have in the past been the focus of strong protests: the boroughs of:

  • Providencia
  • Santiago Central
  • Huechuraba
  • Estacion Central
  • Ñuñoa
  • San Joaquin
  • Renca
  • La Pintana
  • Macul

Downtown university neighbourhoods can also be the location of large demonstrations which may become violent after dark. Please be particularly aware of possible disturbances in those areas.

In the Araucanía Region, especially in Temuco, there remains civil unrest including attacks against security forces, property, people, vehicles and industrial equipment by groups of demonstrators. You should exercise caution while travelling in the Araucanía Region.

Terrorist attacks in Chile can’t be ruled out. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There are occasional acts of domestic terrorism by anarchist groups, mostly in Santiago, including the use of small explosive devices. Groups mainly target banks (ATMs) and public transport. Keep bags with you at all times, and report any suspicious behaviour or unattended packages to local authorities. Since early April 2020, there has been an increase in attacks against security forces in the Araucania region, particularly around Ruta 5. You should exercise caution and follow the instructions of local authorities.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for any involvement or promotion of violent acts that could disturb local social order or the system of government. You should avoid all protests and demonstrations.

Consumption and possession of drugs is illegal and can lead to prison sentences.

Homosexuality is legal in Chile and is increasingly widely accepted socially, although much of Chilean society is conservative. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Chile on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Chile.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page.

Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Local medical care

The Chilean authorities have confirmed some cases of Dengue fever in Easter Island. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

There are good health facilities in Santiago and other major cities, but private clinics and hospitals are expensive. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. 

Air pollution in Santiago during winter (June-September) is a major problem. You may suffer from eye irritation and respiratory problems.

There have been a number of confirmed cases of children contracting meningitis W135.

Only one hospital offers treatment on Easter Island and its facilities are limited.  Those suffering from serious illnesses or injuries are often flown by air ambulance to mainland Chile for treatment. Make sure your insurance covers this.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 131 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus

Since 5 April, all non-resident foreign nationals are not permitted to enter Chile. The only exception is for non-resident foreign nationals with specific permits or visas issued by a Chilean Consulate allowing you to enter during this specific period. See Coronavirus. Additionally, since 5 April, all Chilean borders (including Santiago Airport) are closed and Chilean authorities are currently prohibiting all non-essential overseas travel to Chileans and resident foreign nationals. There will be some exceptions that must be requested via the Comisaria Virtual website.

All non-resident foreign nationals - who have been in the United Kingdom during the last 14 days – are not currently permitted to enter Chile. Direct UK-Chile flights have been suspended until further notice. See Coronavirus.

From 31 March, all travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) must complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival in Chile. This cannot be avoided under any circumstances, such as with a proof of C19 vaccine. You will not be able to leave quarantine early with a negative PCR.

All travellers will be transferred to a ‘transitory’ hotel, and will have to take a PCR test. They must remain there for five days. After staying at the ‘transitory’ hotel for five days and having obtained a negative PCR test result, passengers are allowed to leave the ‘transitory’ hotel to continue to their final destination where they will have to complete the remaining five-day of quarantine. If the PCR test result is positive, the passenger will have to remain in a ‘Residencia Sanitaria’ (quarantine hotel). All costs related to transfer, transitory hotel, quarantine hotel and PCR test may be charged to the passenger prior to boarding the flight to Chile when filling in the ‘Pasaporte Sanitario’ or on arrival in Chile. Check the Santiago Airport official website (in English) for further information.

Additionally, any traveller who tests positive for COVID within the first 14 days from arrival must complete a further period of 11 days in a quarantine hotel.

Furthermore, any traveller at an arrival point in Chile who presents one or two COVID symptoms will have to enter a quarantine hotel until local health authorities give the all clear.

From 7 January 2021, all travellers (including Chileans, resident and non-resident foreign nationals) require a negative PCR test (rapid PCR tests will not be accepted) taken within 72-hours of boarding the flight to enter Chile. The mandatory 10-day quarantine will remain in place.

From 11 March 2021, all passengers arriving from Brazil, or who have visited Brazil during the last 14 days, will be transferred to a ‘transitory’ hotel, and will have to take a PCR test. They must remain there for at least 72 hours, even if the PCR test result is negative. After staying at the ‘transitory’ hotel for 72 hours and having obtained a negative PCR test result, passengers may leave the hotel to continue to their final destination where a 10-day mandatory quarantine must be completed. If the PCR test result is positive, the passenger will have to remain in a quarantine hotel. All costs related to transfer, transitory hotel and PCR test must be paid by the passenger prior to boarding the flight to Chile when filling in the ‘Pasaporte Sanitario’. You should be aware that Chilean health authorities at Santiago Airport are selecting passengers on arrival for random PCR testing, even when passengers have complied with the requirement to hold a negative PCR test on arrival.

Non-resident foreign nationals

Since 5 April, all non-resident foreign nationals are not permitted to enter Chile. This measure remains in place at least until 30 June. You may be allowed to enter Chile if you have a special permit or visa issued by a Chilean Consulate. Only non-resident foreigners with specific permits or visas may be allowed entry at the air border at Santiago Airport. In addition, those travellers must comply with the following sanitary measures:

  • negative PCR test (rapid tests are not acceptable), taken not more than 72 hours before boarding the final flight into Santiago
  • a declaration form Pasaporte Sanitario, completed before entry. This will generate a QR-code by separate email, which must be shown at entry. Health authorities at Santiago Airport may require completion of a follow-up email form for 14 days from the arrival date
  • health or travel insurance that covers COVID-related medical care up to a minimum of US $30,000 for the duration of your visit
  • since 31 December, a mandatory 10-day quarantine from arrival date. See Coronavirus.

Chileans and resident foreign nationals

  • since 31 December, an obligatory 10-day quarantine from arrival date. You should be aware that an obligatory 14-day quarantine from arrival is currently required, if you have been in the UK for the last 14 days. See Coronavirus.
  • from 7 January 2021 a negative PCR test (rapid tests are not acceptable), taken no more than 72 hours before boarding the final flight into Santiago)
  • a declaration form ‘Pasaporte Sanitario’, completed before entry. This will generate a QR-code by separate email, which must be shown at entry. Health authorities at Santiago Airport may require completion of a follow-up email form for 14 days from the arrival date.

Please confirm additional requirements with your airline. A declaration form Pasaporte Sanitario, must be completed before entry. This will generate a QR-code by separate email, which must be shown at entry. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

All passengers will be required to have their temperature taken on arrival.

For more details please contact the Chilean COVID Health-line 6003607777 option 0.

The Chilean authorities have closed all ports to cruise liners.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

If you are a British passport holder visiting Chile for less than 90 days, you do not need a visa. If you wish to stay longer, you should consult the nearest Chilean Embassy

On arrival in Chile the immigration authorities will issue you with a ‘Tarjeta de Turismo - Tourist Card’, an A5 sized white form. You must retain this document and present it to immigration when you leave. If you lose it, you should request a copy of the Tourist card on the PDI website, at the nearest PDI office or the one at Santiago airport.

Once in Chile, if you decide to stay for 90 days or more, you can apply for an extension choosing the “Prorroga de Turismo’ option on the Chilean Immigration Department (Extranjeria) website. You can also visit the ‘Extranjeria’ office located in San Antonio 580, Santiago. Telephone: 600 626 4222.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Dual nationality

British-Chilean dual nationals must enter and leave Chile using their Chilean passport. Chilean entry and exit requirements for dual nationals may change without notice. For further information check with the nearest Chilean Embassy.

Travelling with children   

Chile has strict requirements for the entry and exit of minors under the age of 18.

Children born in Chile require a Chilean passport to leave.

Children under 18 years old who are leaving Chile alone, with only one parent/guardian, with friends or relatives, or with a group must get authorisation to travel from the Chilean authorities before travel. You can get this authorisation from any ‘notaria’ in Chile.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Chile. Your ETD must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

Dual British/Chilean nationals must have a Chilean travel document (passport) to be allowed to depart - UK ETDs cannot substitute this requirement.

Tourist card (Tarjeta de Turismo) issued by Border authorities on your arrival in Chile must be presented to immigration when you leave. If you lose it, you should request a copy of the Tourist card on the PDI website, at the nearest PDI office or the one at Santiago airport.

Earthquakes

Serious earthquakes are always a possibility in Chile. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake or tsunami, and take note of instructions in hotel rooms. Building regulations require new structures to take account of seismic risks. Safety measures are widely known and put into practice by national organisations and the local authorities. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, see the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Volcanoes

A chain of volcanoes erupted in the Puyehue and Los Lagos region (500 miles south of Santiago) in June 2011 and are still active. There is a continuing risk of eruptions in Chaiten in southern Chile, Llaima in the Conguillo National Park and Lascar in northern Chile.  The Copahue Volcano on the Argentina/Chile border also erupts periodically, causing local residents to be evacuated. If you’re travelling to these areas, monitor local media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.

ATMs are widely available.

Credit cards are accepted in most large shops and hotels. Dollar travellers’ cheques are more widely accepted than travellers’ cheques in other currencies. It is possible to transfer money from the UK to Chile through Western Union.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Book a Hotel