Last updated: 19 Sep 2021

Chile

About

The first thing that strikes potential visitors to Chile is the country's extraordinary, elongated shape, and this South American nation has a remarkable geography to match. It stretches thousands of miles from one end to the other, from arid, rain-starved desert in the north to the icy glaciers of the south. The beautiful Andes mountain range is rarely far from sight, defining the country's easterly border.

The country's capital Santiago is a vast, often smoggy sprawl set between the Andes and a coastal mountain range. It has several museums and attractions that are well worth a visit, and a reasonable choice of accommodation and restaurants.

Chile's beautiful Lake District is made up of national parks that offer staggeringly lovely views of ancient monkey puzzle trees, pristine alpine lakes and perfectly shaped volcanoes.

One of the world's most active volcanoes, Volcán Villarrica near Pucón, is safer than it sounds - it is also one of the world's most monitored, so you should have plenty of warning of any imminent eruption.
Capital:  Santiago (SCL)
Currency:  Chilean Peso (CLP)
Language:  Spanish.
Dialling code from SA:  + 56
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa).
Easter Island: UTC / GMT -6 (8 hours behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From first Sunday September to last Sunday April: UTC / GMT -3 (5 hours behind South Africa). Easter Island: UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1; Apr 2, 3, 11; May 1, 21; Jun 28; Jul 4, 16; Aug 15; Sep 18, 19; Oct 11, 31; Nov 1, 21; Dec 8, 19, 25

Side of the Road:  Right.
Best time to go:  March – May & September – November
Best for:  Natural Attractions – lakes, mountains; Easter Island.
Plugs:  220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two circular metal pins are used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated. Bottled water is available.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you are bringing medication on your travels it should be in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Bargaining is not practiced in street markets.
Travel Tips / Warnings:  Landmines are still active in some areas around the borders – visitors should stick to marked roads.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Chile without incurring customs duty: • 400 cigarettes and 500g of tobacco and 50 cigars
• 2.5L of alcoholic drinks
• Gifts to the value of US$300
• Items bought on arrival in the duty-free shop to the value of US$500
Prohibited Imports: Used cars and motorbikes, asbestos and pornography. Restricted imports requiring authorisation include firearms and ammunition, food, drugs and pharmaceutical products.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 14/09/2021

Most foreign passengers are not permitted to enter Chile unless they have a safe-conduct pass.

Entry restrictions

  • Passengers are not permitted to enter Chile.
  • This does not apply to:
    • Nationals and residents of Chile;
    • Parents and children of Chilean nationals and residents;
    • Spouses and civil partners of Chilean nationals and residents living in Chile, provided holding proof they were married in Chile;
    • Passengers holding a safe-conduct issued by a Chilean consulate;
    • Passengers with a confirmation letter from the Chilean Immigration Department confirming their permanent stay has been admitted for processing;
    • Passengers who were already residents in Chile before the border was closed, provided they have a residence visa stamped in their passports;
    • Transit passengers with the sole purpose of travelling to a third country;
    • Staff of diplomatic missions or international organisations accredited to Chile;
    • Foreign companions of people with disabilities, with reduced mobility, or who are severely ill;
    • Passengers holding a diplomatic or official visa with an official identification issued by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Relations;
    • Crew members;
    • Humanitarian and State flights;
    • Flights with prior authorisation obtained by emailing to aro.covid@dgac.gob.cl;
    • Flights for medical services and essential operations.

Form requirements

  • Passengers must complete the mandatory Affidavit for Travellers to Prevent Coronavirus Diseases online here and upload their health insurance certificate (covering minimum $30,000 USD for Covid-19 expenses) and a negative PCR test within 48 hours prior to departure. Paper copies are not accepted. A follow-up form must be completed within 14 days of entering Chile.
    • The requirement to hold and upload insurance does not apply to nationals and residents of Chile.
  • Seamen must also complete the Affidavit for Travellers to Prevent Coronavirus Diseases. However, they are exempted from uploading their health insurance certificate provided holding proof that they are travelling to Chile to board a ship.

Test and vaccine requirements

  • Passengers aged 2 years and older must hold a negative PCR test certificate obtained 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Nationals and residents of Chile who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 with an approved vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen (Johnson/Johnson), Oxford/AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, CanSino, and Generium (Sputnik-V)) may validate their vaccine certificate online and receive a Mobility Pass (Pase de Movilidad).

Quarantine requirements

  • Passengers must quarantine for 7 days on arrival or until the passenger leaves the country if their stay is less than 7 days.

Exit requirements 

  • Nationals and residents of Chile are not permitted to depart Chile unless they are holding a Mobility Pass and an Exceptional Permit to Leave the Country (Solicitud Extraordinaria de Viaje al Extranjero). Passengers who are departing from Arturo Merino Benítez Airport (SCL) do not need an Exceptional Permit to Leave the Country, provided they hold a Mobility Pass.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

The Consulate of Chile
333 Main Street, Waterkloof, Pretoria
PO Box 2449, Brooklyn Square, 0075
Tel: (012) 460-1662 Fax: (012) 460-8093
E-mail: pretoria@consulado.gob.cl

IF VISITING THE EMBASSY, A PRIOR APPOINTMENT IS TO BE MADE.

Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 APPOINTMENT ONLY
Mon-Fri 0900-1700 GENERAL ENQUIRIES 

Visa Requirements

No visas are required by South African passport holders for a stay of 90 days for tourism, business or to attend a conference. They are required however to have a valid passport (with 4 blank pages) and return air ticket and be in possession of a Yellow fever vaccination card. A letter of invitation is also required. Please ensure the passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months.

SA Representative

South African Embassy
Territotia el Bosque
Piso4, 27-28
Avenida Apoquindo
las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Tel: +56 2 2820 0300
Fax: +56 2 2233 5491
E-mail: consular.chile@dirco.gov.za
Web: www.embajada-sudafrica.cl

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus, Polio