South America Tourism Update: Guide To International Travel Restrictions

International travel for Australians has been strictly off-limits since March 2020. As vaccinations surge across Australia, the Australian government has signalled its intention to lift international travel restrictions and Australians are once again looking forward to spreading their wings and exploring our beautiful planet once again.

UPDATED 18 MAY 2022

COVID-19 cases across South America have been steadily dropping since mid-2021 as vaccines rolled out across the continent. Across South America, locals have now enjoyed several months of low case numbers and tourism has returned. Most countries have now reopened their borders to international travellers – without being negatively impacted by COVID – whilst others are in the final stages of reopening.

As every nation has faced its difficulties throughout the pandemic, navigating the complexities of COVID travel restrictions across the globe can be daunting. As South America travel specialists, we have had teams on the ground throughout the past few years reporting on each destination in which we travel. Below is a summary of the government travel restrictions currently in place across South America.

Note- All travel requirements are subject to change.

Argentina

As of April 2022, Argentina’s has officially dropped previous requirements of COVID vaccinations and arrival testing. International travellers to Argentina can enter the country without needing to quarantine.

Current requirements to travel to Argentina:

  • Affidavit of Migration (available via the Argentina travel website).
  • Insurance with COVID coverage, including hospitalisation, isolation, and medical transfers.

Visit the Argentina travel website for more information.

Chile

Chile boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Chile recently announced international travellers can return from November 1 and will be able to travel freely throughout the country. Proof of complete vaccination is required, and a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Read our recent Chile Tourism Update for a more detailed analysis.

Current requirements to travel to Chile:

  • Travellers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – proof of complete vaccination to be provided prior to entering the country.
  • PCR tests aren’t required, but arrivals might be subjected to random testing at the airport.
  • Submit a “Traveller’s Affidavit” form online before you travel.
  • Have appropriate levels of health insurance as outlined on the Travel Chile website.

Travellers who do not have their vaccines validated will be required to quarantine for 7 days, even if the result of the PCR on arrival is negative.

Visit the Chile travel website for more information.

Peru

Peru opened its international borders in March 2021. International travellers can enter the country, providing they complete an electronic health statement and present either a negative PCR test – taken within 72 hours of departure from the country of origin or evidence of a completed vaccination schedule.

Current requirements to travel to Peru:

  • Complete an electronic health sworn statement prior to arrival.
  • Present either a negative PCR COVID test with a result date no more than 48 hours before boarding at your point of origin or present a vaccination card with the required doses completed up to 14 days before the flight.

Masks are mandatory in Peru and proof of vaccination is required to enter public places. Visit the Peru tourism website for further information and updates.

The tourism industry in Peru is rebounding, and traveller numbers are increasing. Peru’s borders have been open for some months now, and COVID cases (and deaths) have continued to fall – currently at the lowest levels since the pandemic began.

Chimu Adventures has its own operations on the ground in Peru. For a detailed discussion on the rebound of tourism in Peru, please read our recent Peru Tourism Update.

Ecuador

Ecuador’s borders are open and international travellers are being welcomed back into the country. Travellers must submit a traveller’s health declaration and present a negative result of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test, performed up to 72 hours before boarding the flight, or a complete COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

All travellers to the Galapagos Islands are also required to complete a traffic control card issued by the Galapagos Government Council. You can pick this card up from the Galapagos Government Council counter located in Quito or Guayaquil airports.

Current requirements to travel to Ecuador:

  • Present evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 – a complete COVID-19 vaccination certificate completed at least 14 days before arrival, or a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test – taken within 72 hours before departure.
  • Submit a traveller’s Health Declaration Form.

Visit the Ecuador tourism website for further information and updates.

Read our recent Ecuador Tourism Update for a more detailed analysis.

Bolivia

Travel to Bolivia is open again, as long as travellers meet all requirements.

Current requirements to travel to Bolivia:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to show a negative PCR test to enter.
  • Unvaccinated travellers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test. If this test is positive, the traveller will be required to quarantine until they receive a negative COVID test result.
  • Proof of medical insurance that will cover the cost of COVID treatment.

In Bolivia, proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours is required to enter public places or to take public transportation.

Brazil

International travellers can enter Brazil, providing they present a negative COVID-19 test, performed within 72 hours before departure, are vaccinated, and complete an online Traveller’s Health Declaration form.

Brazil has been one of the countries hit hardest by COVID-19. However, the situation has improved significantly in recent months. Read our recent Brazil Tourism Update for a more detailed analysis from our team on the ground in Brazil.

Current requirements to travel to Brazil:

  • Proof of vaccination – completed at least 14 days prior to travel date).
  • All passengers must complete an online Traveller’s Health Declaration.

Colombia

Colombia’s borders are open, with travel into the country via land, sea, or air permitted. Travellers are required to present evidence of a completed vaccination schedule to enter the country. It is possible to enter Colombia with an incomplete vaccination schedule (1 dose), providing you also present a negative PCR test for Covid-19.

Current requirements to travel to Colombia:

  • Complete a Check-Mig registration 24 hours before departure.
  • Vaccinated travellers are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test.
  • Travellers over 18 years old must present a vaccination card with a complete vaccination schedule. If you are only partially vaccinated (1 dose), you must also present a negative PCR test for Covid-19. 
  • Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for some regions.

For more information, head to the Colombia Travel Website.

We are incredibly excited to get back out there and explore the spectacular destinations South America has to offer. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about planning your South America adventure. Australian travellers are also encouraged to visit the Australian Government travel advice website, Smart Traveller, for up-to-date international travel information.

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