Chile - Travel and visas


Visas
Getting there and away
Getting around

Visas

Almost no-one requires a visa to visit Chile, with most foreign visitors routinely receiving on entry a tourist card valid for a 90-day stay. However, citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and Mexico have to pay a ‘reciprocity fee’ of up to US$160 on arrival at Santiago or Easter Island airports. This might be described as a ‘retaliation fee’, because Chileans have to pay equivalent fees to apply for visas to those nations, with no refund if it’s not granted. The fee is valid for the lifetime of each passport, and is not charged at other airports or at land borders; there’s a counter before immigration where those concerned have to pay in US dollars, with cash or a credit card.

Getting there and away

By air

LAN (www.lan.com), Chile’s flag-carrier airline (though privately owned since 1989), is consistently rated the best airline in Latin America. It’s a member of the oneworld airline alliance with American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and half-a-dozen others. You’re most likely to arrive in Chile by flying into Santiago. In Europe, LAN flies daily to Madrid (either direct or via Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo) and on to Paris or Frankfurt; LAN and Iberia each fly nightly from Madrid to Santiago, with shared codes so that each seems to have two flights. Connections from Barcelona, Rome, Zurich, Amsterdam, Dublin and London are operated by Iberia; British Airways serves London, Birmingham and Manchester. From London you can fly via Sao Paolo with TAM. All these options take at least 17 hours.

In the USA, the main LAN routes are from Miami and New York followed by Los Angeles; there are onward connections with American Airlines (also providing service to Asia); code-shared flights operated by American are available from Santiago to Dallas. LAN also have flights from San Francisco to Lima (Peru), connecting to Santiago.

 

Chile articles

View all

The world’s remotest islands

Want to get really off grid? Check out our favourite remarkable remote islands from around the world. 

Read more...

On the road in Patagonia – the Carretera Austral

Join MD Adrian Phillips on South America's most challenging road.

Read more...

Douglas Tompkins – the original ecopioneer

Ecobaron, billionaire, trailblazer, destroyer – Douglas Tompkins was called many things in his lifetime, but he was undoubtedly one of the world's most pioneering conservationists. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all