Observatorio Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile
Observatorio Cerro Tololo, Región de Coquimbo, Chile

Safety conditions

Recommendations when entering Chile

To enter into Chile as a tourist you must bear in mind certain information.

Coming from countries with diplomatic relations with Chile:

  • All passengers, as tourists, must go through International Police, produce their identity documents (identity card or passport) and the stamped visa (depending on the country of origin).
  • Tourists coming from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru may enter with their identity cards or equivalents documents.
  • Upon entering Chile, the International Police Office provides a form in duplicate named ‘Tourist Card’. This card is personal and untransferable and it is valid for up to 90 days and extendable for another 90 days. Tourists must retain the copy throughout their stay and must produce it to International Police before departing Chile. The card’s validity period may be extended and requested at the Regional Intendancies, Immigration Office.
  • Economic solvency shall be accredited.

Coming from countries with no diplomatic relations with Chile

  • Visitors coming from countries not maintaining diplomatic relations with Chile must enter into the country with a Tourist Approval, with the previous and compulsory authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its issuing.
  • When requesting this authorization, you must inform the purpose of travel, length of stay, date of travel and prove you have onward tickets to your country of origin or other. In the latter case, you must also prove to have the authorization to enter the third country, producing the corresponding passport, visa or entry permit.
  • Economic solvency shall be accredited.

Note: All passengers holding passports from Albania, Australia, Canada, the United States and Mexico must pay a Reciprocity Fee before going through International Police.

Motor vehicles temporary admission

Foreign Tourists entering the country through customs at border crossings between Chile and Argentina must fill in a form for ‘Temporary Exit and Admission of Motor Vehicles’ (Chile-Argentina Agreement)

For those tourists entering the country through border crossings between Peru and Bolivia, the Customs Office provides a document called Temporary Import Certificate, requirement for the entry of a motor vehicle into the country.

In both cases, your status as tourist must be accredited at International Police producing updated documents of the motor vehicle and if the driver were not the owner, an authorized Power of Attorney, endorsed by the Chilean Consul at the country of origin.

The temporary import of motor vehicles is valid for up to 90 days, even if the tourist extends its permanency in the country. In case the vehicle continues in national territory shall be presumed to have stayed illegally, pursuant to regulations issued by the National Customs Service of Chile.

In Chile, we drive on the right and wearing a seat belt is mandatory.

For Argentine tourists the Driver’s License issued in their country is valid. The rest of the foreigners must produce and International Driver’s License issued by the country of origin.

For further information, please visit: www.aduana.cl

Customs formalities

Passengers are entitled to carry – upon entry – free of customs duties and taxes, travel items (suitcase, bags, personal effects), clothes, electric toiletry items (shaving machine, hair cutter, hair dryer), personal use items (alarm clock, camera,   typewriter and calculator).

Items that are exclusively used in exercising their profession or occupation, provided they are used, portable, manual, of simple manufacture, not requiring any installation for their regular use, and corresponding to the traveler’s profession or occupation.

An adult may enter into the country, a maximum of 400 individual cigarettes, 50 individual cigars, 500 grams of pipe tobacco and 2, 5 liters of alcoholic beverages.

Tourists entering the country with personal effects such as film cameras, VCRs, fur or the like, must fill in a temporary import application form, which must be submitted to International Police. This way, you will avoid having to pay customs duty.

The National Customs Service of Chile carries out random inspections aimed at verifying that baggage contains only the aforementioned goods. If other kinds of goods are detected, the offender is brought before the Customs Court, which may order to retain the goods, apply monetary fines and custodial sentences, inclusive.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED FROM THE TRAVEL BAGGAGE CONCEPT

  • Household furnishings
  • Household goods, crockery, household textiles and paintings.
  • Musical instruments
  • Appliances, parts, and electric and electronic devices
  • Office fixtures.

For further information, please visit: www.aduana.cl

Sanitary formalities

Chile applies a comprehensive sanitary legislation through its Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) enforcing the prohibition to carry plant or animal products and by-products in tourists’ bags and suitcases.

You must declare all products of plant or animal origin you are carrying upon entering Chile.

Non-compliance with the above obligation shall be fined with 3 to 300 UTM (monthly tax unit).

The steps in the proceeding are:

  • Fill in Customs/SAG (Agricultural and Livestock Service) Affidavit Form, which will be provided to you to at your means of transportation or when   entering the country. This form will be submitted to SAG.
  • Declare ALL products plant or animal products you are carrying.
  • Your baggage will be inspected by SAG (by hand, visually, x-rayed and by the canine brigade (detector dogs).
  • All, products will be inspected by a SAG inspector who will determine if these may enter into the country.

Noteworthy is to bear in mind that a sworn statement failing to tell the truth constitutes a crime and may be prosecuted by law.

Tourists may enter domestic animals such as cats or dogs, the latter require a Vaccination Certificate against canine distemper and rabies that must be endorsed by the respective Chilean consulate.

For further information, please visit: www.sag.cl

Vaccination

Currently no vaccinations or medical exams are requested to enter Chile.

Water is drinkable, but you must get used to it gradually. We recommend drinking mineral water available in the market.

Safety

Santiago is much safer that most Latin American cities, however, as in other large cites you may be the victim of theft and/or mugging. We recommend you not to take unnecessary risks and to be precautious.

In case of emergency call the police (Carabineros) to 133 or appear at the nearer police station. Carabineros personnel wear an olive green uniform, while the army personnel’s is grey. Carabineros take great pride in their honesty and we recommend you to ask them for help if facing any problem or simply to ask for information on location of streets.

It is very important to mention bribery (called “coima” in Chile) is not customary, so we recommend you to never even suggest Carabineros a bribe since it may bring you serious consequences.

Addresses and useful phone numbers

Website on immigration information at: www.extranjeria.gov.cl

580 San Antonio Street, (Downtown).Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

International Police

1052 General Borgoño, Telephone:  737 1292

Opening hours: 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., and 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

  • Carabineros 133
  • Police information 139
  • Fire Department Ambulance 132
  • Emergency Room 131
  • Directory Enquiries103

For further information on phone numbers and schedules of on-duty and emergency pharmacies, weather forecast, arrivals and departures of domestic and international flights, air quality standard, etc., check the newspaper or please visit: www.sitios.cl