- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Natural Disasters and Climate
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
COVID-19 Entry Requirements
While Covid-19 entry requirements have been removed for the rest of Chile, special entry requirements remain in place for travel to Easter Island (Rapa Nui). All travellers will have to comply with the following requirements:
- Complete a Single Entry Form (FUI) ahead of travel.
- Book a return ticket ahead of entry to Rapa Nui.
- Reserve a tourist service that is registered in SERNATUR (Chile’s national tourism service).
In addition, all travellers will be subject to health monitoring for 5 days after entering the island.
General Travel Advice
There remains a risk of violent protest in Santiago and you should expect a heightened security presence. Further demonstrations could occur with little or no notice, with a risk of violence, in Santiago, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Concepcion, Antofogasta & in other major cities.
We recommend that you remain vigilant and avoid all demonstrations and protests and follow the instructions of local authorities. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media for additional updates.
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter Chile for stays up to 90 days.
A valid passport is required for travel to Chile. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of 6 months. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on visas and passports, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to Chile are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
Citizens can also follow the Embassy on Twitter to ensure access to relevant updates and alerts.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Chile by dialling 133. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 133
- Fire brigade: 132
- Ambulance: 131
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Demonstrations and Civil Unrest
In recent years, there have been large-scale protests and demonstrations leading to civil unrest across Chile and you should expect a heightened security presence. Even peaceful protests can become violent at any time. You should avoid all demonstrations. Monitor local media for additional updates and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Police can use tear gas and water cannons against protesters. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations.
The largest protests usually take place in Santiago and Valparaíso and occasionally elsewhere in the country.
Nationwide protests usually take place on:
• 29th March (The Day of the Young Combatant);
• 1st May (Worker’s Day);
• 11th September (anniversary of the 1973 military coup).
Crime & Petty theft
Pickpocketing, other thefts and muggings are increasingly common throughout Chile, particularly around well-known tourist sites and bus stations. There have been reports of violent muggings in areas popular with tourists in Santiago and Valparaiso. You shouldn’t leave luggage unattended and be particularly attentive at bus terminals, restaurants and other areas frequented by tourists. We advise you to take great care with your belongings and avoid obvious displays of wealth. Avoid using your mobile phone in the street. Keep in groups and don’t walk alone late at night.
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 a number of incidents in major cities where those driving rental cars have been a victim of crime. Thieves have punctured tires in order to distract foreigners and steal their belongings from the vehicle. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. Do not leave bags, luggage or other valuable items in the car, and never in plain view. Cars that are parked on the street and left unattended are often broken into, even in affluent areas.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Chile, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Santiago if you need help.
Lost or stolen passports
If your passport is lost or stolen, it can take up to three weeks to get a replacement, due to time and distance factors. So please take extreme care with your passport and other personal documentation. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.
Chile has a small but significant landmine problem. Landmine accidents mainly affect livestock and small numbers of local people crossing the borders at unauthorised crossing points. Minefields are located primarily in border areas adjacent to Peru and Bolivia in the extreme north of Chile Regions I and II, and Argentina in the south in Region XII.
Although most minefields are clearly marked, some signs and fences have been damaged by weather or vandalism and may be hard to recognise, particularly in the north of the country. Minefields are, in some cases, laid right up to the edge of highways.
You should also be aware that there are mined areas in six government-protected wilderness areas in Regions I, II and XII. Although neither park rangers nor visitors have ever been injured or killed by landmines, we advise you to check with local authorities before travelling to border areas of Regions I, II and XII, stick to clearly marked roads and observe all warnings signs.
If you’re planning to drive in Chile, be prepared and take some basic precautions:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught.
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. You’re advised not to become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even very small quantities can lead to significant prison sentences.
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural Disasters and Climate
Natural disasters and climate
Chile is in a high-risk zone for earthquakes. 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 local authorities. If you’re travelling to or living in Chile, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.
Because Chile is in an active seismic zone, volcanic eruptions can occur. If you’re travelling to or living in Chile, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake or volcanic explosion.
Flooding is frequent during autumn and winter throughout the country, mainly as a result of heavy rains and overloaded sewage systems. Transportation and services are often affected.
Forest fires often occur during the summer months. Even though they can happen anywhere, forest fires usually occur between Santiago and Valparaíso and in the Magallanes. In the event of a major fire, you should follow the instructions of local emergency services, particularly with regard to evacuation procedures.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Irish citizens can travel to Chile without a visa if their stay does not exceed 90 days.
Passports should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Chile and have at least 1 completely blank page.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Chile has strict requirements for the entry and exit of minors (under the age of 18). All minors departing Chile must provide airport officials with a notarised authorisation from non-travelling parents and an original apostilled birth certificate. For non-travelling parents based in Chile, this notarisation can be done by a Chilean notary public.
NOTE: Any children who were born in Chile will require a Chilean passport to exit Chile.
The Embassy operates an out of hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance outside of hours, on weekends and on public holidays. If you are in need of emergency assistance during these times, you should leave a message on the emergency message system by calling +56 2 3304 6600. The emergency message system is checked regularly outside of office hours and a member of the Embassy staff will contact you. as soon as possible.
When you leave a message, remember to state your name, the nature of the problem, where you are now, and the details of how the Duty Officer can contact you (e.g. leave your mobile phone number, or the phone number of the hotel/hostel where you are staying).
Alternatively, you may contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.
Embassy of Ireland
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.