For all emergencies, including fire and rescue services
Police- Call 133
Medical - Call 131
Fire and Rescue - Call 132
Exercise a high degree of caution in Chile due to the risk of civil unrest and the threat of violent crime.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Chile due to the risk of civil unrest and the threat of violent crime.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Demonstrations and protests
Large-scale demonstrations and protests might occur in Santiago and other cities. They may take place with little or no notice and may turn violent.
Local authorities have used tear gas and water cannons. 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.
Demonstrations and protests can result in public transport disruptions. Public transport may be limited. Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans.
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. You should be cautious when travelling within the ‘Macro Zona Sur’.
In recent years, attacks have targeted multinational forestry corporations and private Chilean landowners.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Muggings and robberies are common in urban areas.
Hotspots for thieves include:
Foreigners are targeted for their personal belongings, and people walking alone at night are more vulnerable.
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:
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Anarchist groups stage occasional acts of terrorism, mostly in Santiago. They may use small explosive devices or bombs.
In October 2022, 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 often occur in Chile, particularly in summer.
On 3 February, Chile declared a state of emergency in the Valparaíso region due to several active forest fires. There's local road closures and evacuations for several provinces and municipalities.
If there's a fire close to your location, obey the evacuation orders of local authorities and monitor the situation.
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:
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.
Heavy rainfall and flash flooding can occur with little warning and may affect services and transport, including land border crossings into neighbouring countries.
In June 2023, heavy rainfall resulted in widespread flooding in the centre of Chile. Two people died and almost 10,000 people were isolated.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
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 thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
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:
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 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.
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, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
To enter Chile, Australian citizens must obtain a visa before arrival: SAC Sistema Atención Consular - Ciudadanos.
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.
Important information about the visa
You must obtain your visa before you arrive in Chile. The application process can be lengthy, so allow yourself enough time before your planned travel.
If you arrive in Chile without a valid visa, you won't be able to pass the immigration point, and you'll be sent back to your last port of departure. You won't be able to obtain a visa at the airport or border entry point.
If you applied for a single-entry visa, and you enter Chile to then travel to another country, you won't be able to use that visa to enter Chile again.
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.
Entry into Chile
Besides having the e-visa described above, there are other requirements/technicalities at the airport:
When entering Chile, all travellers must complete the Customs (Aduanas) and Agro-sanitary (SAG) declarations and checks by following this link: https://djsimple.sag.gob.cl
If you're a dual-national (Australian-Chilean) or a resident of Chile, you may be required to enter using your Chilean ID documents (Chilean passport, or Chilean 'cédula de identidad').
Transit through Chile
If your travel includes transiting through Chile, you should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Chile to confirm if you'll need a visa.
If you transit in Chile without a visa and miss your connecting flight, you won’t be able to pass the immigration point. You'll be required to remain airside and not leave the airport until a new onward flight has been arranged. Australians have previously been required to remain airside for several days due to missed flight connections.
Departure from Chile
You may encounter serious difficulties if you try to leave Chile without the slip of paper given by Immigration upon entry. It will be requested when you go through their booths at departure.
If you are a dual-national (Australian-Chilean), you may be required to depart using your valid Chilean passport or Chilean 'cédula de identidad'. Chile's Migration Police (PDI) has denied the departure of dual nationals with expired Chilean passports. If you don't have a Chilean travel document upon entry, you can apply for one through Registro Civil while in Chile to facilitate your departure.
Read the requirements and restrictions of the destination you're travelling to.
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.
The article 'E-visa para Australia' outlines the requirements for minors under 18 years of age to enter Chile:
A child aged under 18 years who isn't accompanied by one or both parents must carry 3 copies of the following:
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 (see 'Visas').
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 6 months 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:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
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.
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 either:
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.
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
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:
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