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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 fewer (if traveling on a tourist passport). Upon arrival, you will receive a Tourist Card valid for up to 90 days, which you can extend for another 90-day period by paying $100 US 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 departing Chile must submit to Chilean airport officials an original notarized authorization from any non-traveling parent(s), a notarized photocopy of the authorization, and an original apostilled birth certificate at the time of departure. For non-traveling parent(s) in Chile, the notarization can be done by a local Chilean notary public. For non-traveling parent(s) in the United States, the notarization can be done at the Chilean Embassy or a Chilean Consulate If a U.S. notary executes the authorization, it must be apostilled to be valid in Chile. This is a lengthy process and should be commenced well in advance of travel.
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 throughout Santiago, such as ATMs, metro stations, and government facilities. Remain vigilant and avoid suspicious or unattended packages.
Araucanía Conflict: Some individuals or groups 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, Viña del Mar, 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. Small bags and purses have been stolen from hotel lobbies, crowded tourist locations, Santiago’s subway, taxis, and the backs of chairs and floors at bars, restaurants, and cafés. Vehicle thefts are a serious problem in Valparaiso and northern Chile (from Iquique to Arica). Thieves have punctured rental car tires in order to distract foreigners and steal their belongings from the vehicle. In particular:
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.
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.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance or call local police at 149.
For further 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 and Chile's Oficina Nacional de Emergencia 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 Chile’s Dirección Nacional de Fronteras y Limites del Estado, 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. You should only undertake organized adventure activities with a well-established and insured company. If you intend to hike, never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company. Inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be return. Register with park officials, when available, or the nearest police station when pursuing outdoor activities in remote areas. Obtain detailed information on hiking trails before setting out and do not venture off marked trails. 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.
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 or MapCity.com
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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.
Please note the following health concerns:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
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:
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.
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”).