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Chile
Official Name:

Republic of Chile

Last Updated: July 25, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Santiago

Av. Andrés Bello 2800, Las Condes
Santiago, Chile

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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For the duration of stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Not required for stays of 90 days or less (tourist passports only)

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Santiago

Avenida Andres Bello 2800, Las Condes
Santiago, Chile

Telephone: +(56-2) 2330-3000

Emergency Working-Hours Telephone: +(56-2) 2330-3716

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(56-2) 2330-3000

Fax: +(56)(2) 2330-3710

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Chile for information on U.S.-Chile relations.

Your passport must be in good condition and valid for the period of your stay. You do not need a visa for a tourist or business stay of 90 days or less (tourist passports only). Upon arrival, you will receive a Tourist Card for up to 90 days, which you can extend for another 90-day period by paying $100 USD at the Chilean Immigration Office and which you must return upon departure. Failure to return this card may delay your departure from Chile. If lost or stolen, you must replace the card at an International Police Office or at the airport before leaving. You will face a fine if you remain longer than allowed, and you will not be able to leave Chile until the fine is paid. If applicable, pay the fine before your departure by going to the Chilean Immigration Office or you may face significant delays. 

Travel on Diplomatic or Official Passports: U.S. citizens traveling to or through Chile on diplomatic or official passports are required to obtain a visa before travel.

Entry / Exit Requirements for Dual Nationals: Dual nationals must enter and exit Chile using their Chilean passports, and they must enter and exit the United States using their U.S. passports.

Entry / Exit Requirements for Minors (under 18): Parents traveling with a minor must show evidence of their relationship to the child when entering or departing the country. Carry an original apostilled birth certificate.

Minors in Chile must submit a notarized authorization from any non-traveling parent(s), a notarized photocopy of the authorization, and an apostilled birth certificate at the time of departure.  The notarization can be done by a local notary public or at the Chilean Embassy or a Chilean Consulate.  If a U.S. notary executes the authorization, it will have to be apostilled to be valid in Chile.  This is a lengthy process and should be commenced well in advance of travel.

The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides more information on entry and exit requirements for children. 

Visit the Embassy of Chile website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Chile.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Demonstrations occur frequently, especially on March 29, May 1 and 21, and September 11. Although most are peaceful, they can become violent. Avoid demonstrations if possible. Strikes are also common and can cause significant travel delays, especially if you are traveling to remote areas, such as Easter Island, Punta Arenas, and Chiloe.

Anarchist groups have placed explosive and incendiary devices in public spaces, such as ATMs, metro stations, and government facilities, throughout Santiago. Remain vigilant and avoid suspicious or unattended packages.

Araucanía Conflict: Some elements of and parties claiming affiliation with the Mapuche indigenous community have sought redress for grievances by burning churches, homes, and pastures, and attacking trucks, buses, and farming/logging equipment, causing property destruction, injuries, and deaths. While they have mainly targeted forestry corporations and landowners, you should exercise caution in the Araucanía region.

Crime: While the security environment is generally safe, street crime, carjackings, telephone scams, and residential break-ins are common, especially in Santiago, Valparaiso, Antofagasta, Calama, and Iquique. Exercise caution when touring Cerro Santa Lucia, Cerro San Cristobal, Mercado Central, Plaza de Armas, Bellavista, and Barrio Lastarria in Santiago, or other popular tourist sites as pick-pocketing and muggings occur frequently. Vehicle thefts are a serious problem in Valparaiso and northern Chile (from Iquique to Arica). In particular:

  • Keep all valuables on you when taking buses, especially to or from Calama and San Pedro de Atacama.  Thefts are common and are often done by people posing as bus employees. 
  • Credit card fraud is a concern.  Never allow your credit card to be charged outside of your view.
  • Do not accept assistance if your clothes are splashed with a wet, sticky substance - keep moving and do not let go of your bags.
  • ATMs have been blown up in the late evenings or early mornings.

Counterfeit and pirated goods are generally illegal in Chile. Bringing them to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. See the intellectual property section of the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 133 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (56) 2 2330-3716. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance or call local police at 149.

For further information:

Medical care in Chile is generally good, though it may not meet U.S. standards in remote areas. Major hospitals accept credit cards. Santiago has two private hospitals accredited by The American Hospital Association:  Clinica Alemana and Clinica Las Condes.  

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Chile to ensure the medication is legal in Chile. Always carry a sufficient supply of your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.

 The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Dengue Fever (endemic to Easter Island but not found on continental Chile).
  • Air pollution is a concern in many parts of Chile including Santiago, Rancagua, Talca, Chillan, Los Angeles, Temuco, Osorno, and Coyhaique (and is most severe in winter (May-August)).
  • The ozone layer is especially thin over parts of Chile -protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances: Chile is prone to major earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, tsunamis, floods, and volcanic eruptions. Prepare for a natural disaster by consulting the websites of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Chile's Oficina Nacional de Emergencia (ONEMI) as well as these recommendations on what to do during a tsunami warning.

There are minefields on Chile's border with Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina in Patagonia. Follow clearly identified roads and trails when in minefield areas. Consult with national park or other local officials concerning minefields.

For outdoor and adventure sports along the border with Argentina, Bolivia or Peru, register with DIFROL, which can provide a permit allowing travelers to temporarily cross borders to engage in outdoor activities. Despite the best efforts of local authorities, assisting persons lost or injured in isolated and wilderness areas is difficult. Distances between centers for outdoor sports and top-notch hospital care can be extreme. You should consider getting medical evacuation insurance. 

Before you go, consult:

Under Chilean law, you can be expelled from the country for damaging national heritage objects or places. Travelers should learn and adhere to all the rules of visiting national parks.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on adult same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Chile. There have been cases of discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity, including cases involving violence or death. Laws also prevent transgender persons from changing gender markers on government-issued identity documents.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Many public places and transportation are not adapted to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. For information on handicap accessible locations in Santiago and other locations, visit the Chilean National Disability Agency (SENADIS) or MapCity.com.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Driving in Chile is relatively safe, road conditions are very good, and roadside assistance is widely available with local insurance. Yellow reflective vests are required in all cars in case of a roadside emergency. Vehicular inspections are required yearly in order to renew your mandatory car insurance. In the more remote parts of Chile, gas stations and roadside assistance may be limited so it is advisable to travel with at least one spare tire and extra fuel.

Traffic Laws: Driving under the influence of alcohol in Chile is severely punished and can result in incarceration. While in Chile, you may encounter road conditions and traffic laws that differ significantly from those in the United States:

  • Right-hand turns are prohibited at red lights unless otherwise posted.
  • Major highways in and around Santiago collect tolls through the use of an electronic transmitter (available at http://www.concesiones.cl/).
  • Secondary and mountain roads may be poorly maintained, poorly lit, and may lack guardrails.
  • Some primary roads to remote tourist attractions are not paved, but are well maintained, with graded gravel.
  • Many drivers do not signal lane changes and rarely yield to merging traffic.
  • Many drivers exceed posted speed limits, do not maintain safe distances, and do not observe posted road signs.
  • Major arteries in Santiago may switch directions during morning and evening rush hours.
  • Drivers must carry sufficient Chilean pesos to pay frequent highway tolls.

Visitors can drive with a valid U.S. license for the duration of their tourist permit (usually 90 days). Renting a car is also possible although insurance may not be available in some forms for drivers without a Chilean or international driver’s license. Dual nationals and U.S. citizens residing in Chile should have a Chilean driver’s license.

Public Transportation: Taxis and public transportation are generally safe, plentiful, and relatively inexpensive. Avoid using unmetered taxis. To use the public bus system in Santiago, you need to obtain the prepaid “Bip” card, which can also be used on the Santiago subway.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Chile’s National Tourist Office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Chile’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Chile’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Chile should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts on the Maritime Administration website. Information may also be posted to the websites of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Geospace Intelligence Agency (select “broadcast warnings”).

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