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Chile

If you’re travelling to Chile, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

Normal Precautions

Latest Travel Alert

Citizens planning travel abroad should take into account the ongoing risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad and are advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover. Before departure and during travel, citizens are advised to monitor our Travel Advice, follow us on Twitter, and register with their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.

Travel to Chile

Chile’s international border is open to non-resident foreign citizens who comply with a number of requirements under the Chilean Government’s current COVID-19 management plan – “#SeguimosCuidándonos Paso A Paso”.  

Under the current alert level, visitors to Chile must meet the following requirements:

  • To enter Chile, passengers that are not resident in Chile must submit vaccination certificates from the country where they were vaccinated and an identity document. Those who are over 18 years old and not vaccinated must submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure to Chile. 
  • A negative PCR test prior to travel is not required for vaccinated passengers.
  • All children under 18 years old may enter Chile, regardless of vaccination status.
  • It is not mandatory to travel with health insurance, however it is recommended to travel with insurance that covers COVID related medical expenses.
  • On arrival in Chile, visitors may be required to take a random PCR or antigen test.

COVID-19 restrictions in Chile

  • Chile continues to experience community transmission of COVID-19 but the seriousness of the pandemic has reduced over time thanks to high vaccination levels and acquired immunity in the population.
  • In April 2022, the Chilean government restructured their “Step-by-Step” Plan to manage the pandemic. The full plan is available here: “#SeguimosCuidándonos Paso A Paso”
  • If you travel to Chile, it is important to ensure that you comply with all public health restrictions.

Masks

Travellers must wear a mask in all medical facilities such as clinics, hospitals and laboratories.

The wearing of a mask on public transport is recommended.

If you are in Chile, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below:

Paso a Paso (Step by Step) Plan (in Spanish)

Chilean Ministry of Health on Twitter (in Spanish)

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. More information is available on the safety and security tab.

You can contact the emergency services in Chile by dialling (133).

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Demonstrations and Civil Unrest

In October and November 2019 there were 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 cannon 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.

Reporting crime

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.

Landmines

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.

Driving

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

Illegal drugs

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

Earthquake

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.

Volcano

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

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

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.

Additional Information

Additional information

Passports

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.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling (8 weeks) to see if you need any vaccinations for Chile.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

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
Apoquindo 2929
Piso 18
Las Condes
Santiago
Chile

Tel: Tel: +56 2 3304 6600
Monday to Friday 9.00-13.00

(Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Embassy is not currently open to the public – visits on an appointment-only basis)

Contact us