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Exercise a high degree of caution in Chile due to potential demonstrations, civil unrest and violence.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Chile due to potential demonstrations, civil unrest and violence.
Health advice due to COVID-19 is continually changing. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Following the national plebiscite on constitutional reform that took place on 4 September, there remains the potential for further demonstrations, protests and violent clashes, including in the cities of Santiago, Valparaíso, Viña de Mar, Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Concepción and Antofagasta.
Local authorities may use tear gas and water cannons. Curfews and states of emergency may be declared in regions affected by civil unrest. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media about possible new safety or security risks. Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Expect transport disruptions. Public transport will be running limited services at this time. Contact your airline or tour operator to find out if the situation will disrupt your travel plans. There are reduced operating hours for shopping malls, banks and supermarkets in most affected areas.
In the Araucanía region, people claiming to represent the Mapuche community are fighting over land and indigenous rights, with a significant increase in violent incidents (the Mapuche are Chile's largest indigenous group). A state of emergency has been declared in the ‘Macro Zona Sur' (provinces of Biobío, Arauco, Cautín and Malleco) until further notice. The military has been deployed to assist regional police during this period.
In recent years, attacks have targeted multinational forestry corporations and private Chilean landowners.
Australians and other foreigners have not been targeted in the past. However, you may be affected by politically motivated violence during your visit. You should exercise caution when travelling within the ‘Macro Zona Sur’.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Muggings and robberies are common in urban areas.
Hotspots for thieves include:
People walking alone are often targets, especially at night.
Muggings, including with weapons, occur in Santiago around:
Pickpocketing and bag snatching is common. Be aware in crowded areas, such as:
Keep your belongings close in the tourist areas of Santiago including:
There have also been a number of armed holdups of stores.
Robberies, assaults and threats with weapons happen mainly at night. Take particular care:
Carjackings can occur as residents leave their vehicles to open or close gates.
Tourists have been robbed on inter-city buses, particularly:
Criminal groups often use distraction to rob tourists. Common scams are where:
Food and drink spiking occurs.
To reduce your risk of violent crime:
Anarchist groups stage occasional acts of terrorism, mostly in Santiago. They may use small explosive devices or bombs.
In October, an explosive device was placed outside an office building in Santiago's business district.
In January 2019, an explosion at a bus stop in Santiago injured five people.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
To protect yourself during a natural disaster:
Large forest fires occur in Chile, particularly in summer.
If there's a fire, obey the evacuation orders of local authorities.
Chile is in an active earthquake zone. Earthquakes and volcanic activity may occur.
The Chilean Government uses a 3-tier system to classify volcanoes. The alerts are:
Volcanoes in Chile and current alert levels are listed on National Geology and Mining Service (Spanish).
If there's an earthquake or volcanic eruption, contact your travel provider about disruptions.
Chile is at risk of tsunamis.
Be alert to warnings, as a tsunami can arrive very soon after a nearby tremor or earthquake.
Move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities, or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.
During autumn and winter, flooding can occur with little warning.
Flooding may affect services and transport.
The requirement to have travel insurance covering COVID-19 to enter Chile has been removed, but changes could occur depending on circumstances. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that you have insurance anytime you travel internationally.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Chile. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
For instructions on Chile’s requirements for those with COVID-19, visit the Tengo Covid (I have Covid) website.
You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
You’re at risk of altitude sickness if you travel above 2500m.
Altitude sickness can be life-threatening and can affect anyone, even if you're fit and healthy.
You're at greater risk of altitude sickness if you:
If you'll be travelling above 2,500m:
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Outbreaks of waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases occur sometimes. These include:
To protect yourself from illness:
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
High levels of smog and air pollution occur in Santiago from April to October.
High levels of dust often occur from December to March.
The Chilean Government regularly issues pre-emergency alerts for air contamination.
If you have breathing problems, take extra care when there's a pre-emergency alert for air contamination.
Medical facilities at private hospitals in Santiago and other major cities are good but very limited elsewhere.
Treatment at private clinics and hospitals is expensive.
Most large hospitals may accept credit cards.
You may need to pay cash before doctors and hospitals will treat you, even in an emergency.
Fundación Honra offers an English-speaking service to victims of domestic violence and can be contacted on + 56 2 2835 6044.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison sentences in local jails.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Chile doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual national, this limits the consular services the Australian Government can provide if you're arrested or detained.
If you're of Chilean origin, you may be deemed a Chilean national under Chilean law. This may apply even if you've taken steps to renounce Chilean citizenship.
If you're considered a Chilean national under Chilean law, you may need to enter and exit Chile using a Chilean passport or ‘cédula de identidad’.
Different rules may apply to a child aged under 18 years who was born overseas to Chilean parents.
Confirm your citizenship status and entry and exit requirements with an embassy or consulate of Chile before you travel.
Chilean entry and exit requirements for dual nationals may change without notice. (see 'Travel - COVID-19 - Departing Chile').
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
To enter Chile, you must obtain a valid visa before arrival.
With a visa, you can enter Chile for up to 90 days for recreational, sports, health, study, business, family or other similar purposes.
You can't stay on Easter Island (Isla de Pascua/Rapa Nui) for more than 30 consecutive days.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Embassy or Consulate of Chile for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Applying for a visa
See E-visa para Australia (in Spanish) for visa requirements and the link to the application form.
Visa applications can be lodged online directly on the Chilean Ministry of External Affairs website (Spanish). You can choose between English and Spanish. Once you've submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Chilean Consulate you selected in the application.
The validity period of your tourist visa is likely to be the number of calendar days you defined in your application form. Make sure you consider this when selecting from the visa options.
Your visa must be approved before your flight to Chile. If you arrive without a valid visa, you won't be able to pass the migration barrier and will be sent back to your last port of departure. You won't be able to obtain a visa at the airport.
During the processing of the visa, you may need to submit additional information, including a face-to-face interview at the selected Chilean Consulate.
The process could take a few weeks, so factor this in when applying for a visa and booking flights.
If the visa is granted, it'll be sent to the email registered during the application. Print the visa, as Immigration may request a hard copy.
When travelling to Chile, you'll get a tourist card (paper) on arrival. You must keep the card and present it to immigration officials when departing Chile. You can request a new copy online if your tourist card is lost or stolen. For specific information, visit the closest International Police (PDI) Office.
As outlined in the E-visa para Australia (in Spanish), the English translation of the requirements are as follows:
Take note to always refer to the online information, as visa requirements can change at short notice.
You can apply for a one-off visa extension for up to 90 additional days if required.
If you overstay your visa beyond the date indicated on your tourist card (or approved visa extension), you may have to pay a fine and encounter difficulties when leaving the country.
The APEC Business Travel Card provides streamlined entry to several regional countries if you regularly travel for business.
Travel via New Zealand
If you're travelling via New Zealand, you should consider their entry requirements, depending on whether you're transiting or entering the country. See New Zealand travel advice for the most up-to-date information.
Travel via the United States
If you're travelling through the US, you must meet strict US entry and transit requirements. This includes transit through Hawaii or another US point of entry.
Check your visa requirements with a US embassy or consulate well in advance of your travel.
Entry into Chile
COVID-19 entry requirements to Chile can change quickly and depend on Chile's current "Alerta Nivel" (Alert Level). Chile is currently on "Alerta Nivel 1". For more information, refer to the 'Fronteras' section of the 'Paso a Paso' website.
To enter Chile, non-resident travellers require one of the following:
If you're a dual-national (Australian-Chilean), or a resident of Chile, you may be:
Departure from Chile
Chile has no health restrictions to depart the country. You can verify the latest official information from the Chilean Government under 'Fronteras' at Plan Paso a Paso and at the FAQ 'Viajes y estado de fronteras.'
Read the requirements and restrictions of the destination you're travelling to.
You may encounter difficulties if you attempt to leave Chile while you don't hold a valid visa.
If you're a dual-national (Australian-Chilean), you may be required to depart using your valid Chilean passport or Chilean ‘cédula de identidad’. If you did not have one upon entry, you can apply for one through Registro Civil while in Chile to facilitate your departure.
If you're travelling with children aged younger than 18, you may need to show the original, and provide a copy, of the child's birth certificate, particularly if the parent and child don't share a family name.
A child aged under 18 years who isn't accompanied by 1 or both parents must carry 3 copies of:
You also need a Spanish translation of the documents notarised no more than 3 months before travelling at either:
You can use the same document for entry and exit.
A child aged under 18 years born overseas to Chilean parents can enter Chile on an Australian passport and remain for up to 90 days as a tourist.
For stays longer than 90 days, the child must obtain a Chilean passport.
See Local law
As outlined in the requirements for temporary admission for Australian passport holders, your Australian passport must be valid for at least 270 days from the date of arrival in Chile.
Some agencies and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. You may receive conflicting advice from different sources.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Always carry a clear copy of your Australian passport as proof of ID.
Keep your passport in a safe location when not being used.
You'll need to show your Australian passport when:
The local currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP).
Amounts higher than $US10,000 must be declared on arrival and departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
US dollars can be readily exchanged throughout Chile.
Check your change as vendors, including taxi drivers, sometimes swap denominations to short-change travellers.
ATMs are widely available. Contact your bank to find out whether your cards will work in Chile. Credit cards are widely accepted.
You may be asked to present your international COVID-19 vaccine certificate to enter some locations, including restaurants, cinemas and gyms (equivalent to the Chilean 'Pase de Movilidad').
Mask mandates, social gathering limitations and some border restrictions are in place.
If you're planning scientific, technical or mountaineering activities in areas classified as 'frontier areas', you need approval from the Chilean Government 90 days before travelling.
Anti-tank mines and landmines are a danger in national reserves and parks near northern borders, including:
Be aware of unexploded weapons outside of military zones in the desert areas bordering Chile and Peru.
Take note of clearly marked landmine fields in the Magallanes region of southern Chile:
To avoid unexploded mines:
To drive in Chile, you need both:
You need to get your IDP before leaving Australia.
Driving in Chile can be dangerous.
Hazards for drivers include:
It's illegal to drive with any blood alcohol content in Chile. Penalties can include jail.
If you intend to drive in Chile:
Your travel insurance policy may not cover you when riding a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet. Make sure your passenger does too.
Prepaid official taxis are available at the airport.
To protect yourself from crime and overcharging:
Rideshare apps are also available.
Chile has a well-developed metro and bus network, however it is running limited services due to unrest.
Santiago and Valparaiso are served by commuter rail. Opportunities for long-distance travel by rail are limited.
Tourists on inter-city buses, particularly from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama, have been robbed while sleeping.
If you take public transport:
Some international cruise liners visit Chile.
DFAT doesn’t provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Chile's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, you should contact your:
Fire and rescue services
Call 131 or go to the hospital.
Call 133 or contact the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Chile has 2 main police agencies.
For police reports in English:
Carabineros de Chile (Primera Comisaria)
Santo Domingo 714
If you lose your passport and need a police report for insurance, ask for a 'Proof of Loss of Documents' (Spanish: Constancia de Perdida de Documentos) from:
Policia de Investigaciones (PDI)
Eleuterio Ramirez 830
Contact your provider with
For any complaints about tourist services or products, either:
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can’t do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy in Santiago de Chile.
Isidora Goyenechea 3621
13th Floor, Las Condes
Santiago de Chile
Phone: (+56 2) 2550 3500
Fax: (+56 2) 2550 3560
Facebook: Embajada de Australia en Chile y Ecuador
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.