The Top 5 Easiest Countries To Visit In South America Right Now

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Last Updated 9 months ago

As the current Omicron wave wanes, a number of countries in the Americas have been relaxing once strict entry regimes that kept most visitors out throughout the pandemic. The trend has been particularly prominent in South America, in which a majority of countries have remained receptive to international tourists, even after the likes of Europe and Asia shut down again.

While there is still a long way to go, as Covid cases are yet to become negligible, and vaccination campaigns remain underway, certain destinations in the continent have more relaxed entry rules compared to others. Here, you will find the top five easiest countries to visit in South America right now, ranked from the strictest to the least restrictive:

5. Chile

Santiago Metropolitan Park Cable Car And Aerial View Of Santiago Chile

Ever since Covid was first declared a pandemic, Chile was one of the first in South America to enact entry bans and potent curbs on social life. Even though it has shifted towards accepting limited categories of foreign travelers, its complex set of travel rules still befuddles travelers to this day. Currently, there are different rules based on vaccination status.

While the vaccinated must still observe certain requirements, the unvaccinated face an outright ban on travel to Chile except in specific circumstances. Essentially, visitors must be in possession of several documents before landing in Chile, including a Mobility Pass (also called ‘pase de movilidad‘), which can be obtained through the MeVacuno website.

Aerial View Of Valparaiso With Lutheran Church From Cerro Carcel Hill In Chile

During the application, travelers will be expected to submit their vaccination certificates. Travelers are advised to apply at least 30 days in advance, as each application is processed individually. If the application is successful, they will received a QR code to present at the border. Those who do not hold a pre-approved Mobility Pass will be denied entry.

In addition to the pass, vaccinated visitors also have to undergo testing at most 72 hours before boarding their flight. Only PCR tests are accepted. Upon arrival to Chile, they are again subject to further PCR or rapid antigen testing, and sent to quarantine until a negative result is obtained. Unvaccinated visitors allowed to enter must remain isolated for seven days irrespective of negative test results.

Lone Traveler Photographer In A Mountainous Region Of Chile

On top of that, all arrivals must also complete a health form, or Declaración Jurada, not earlier than 48 hours before traveling. Once the form is completed, travelers will receive a second QR code, other than the Mobility Pass, to present at the border. Then, they are required to complete daily self-reports for the first seven days of their stay through another online form.

Lastly, Chile requires all arrivals to be insured for Covid, with a minimum coverage of USD 30,000. On this link, you will find a list of reliable insurance providers that also cover cancelation costs and other eventualities, besides Covid. With all these stringent rules still in place, Chile is by far the strictest country in South America right now.

4. Argentina

La Casa Rosada In Buenos Aires, Argentina With Argentinian Flag Flying In Front

Although it is far from having reached a complete state of normality, Argentina has comparatively easier entry requirements than the likes of Chile in the Latin American world. Those who are fully vaccinated can enter Argentina without quarantine, though they are still must still carry a negative Covid test prior to entering. Both PCR tests taken within 72 hours, and rapid antigen tests not older than 48 hours are accepted.

Those who have had an infection in the previous 90 days and have spent at least 14 days in a neighboring country, such as Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay are exempt from the testing mandate. Conversely, all who seek entry into Argentina must present travel insurance covering Covid, as well as costs of self-isolation and “medical transport services”.

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Aerial View Of The Capital City Of Buenos Aires In Argentina

An online form must also be filled out in advance, available here. Unvaccinated Americans and any foreign non-residents who are not immunized are not allowed to enter for tourism purposes. Those who fall under an exception must observe quarantine for seven days. For further information on entry requirements for Argentina, please refer to our dedicated page on the topic.

3. Brazil

Aerial View Of Colonial City Of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Even though it still bars entry to some travelers based on vaccination, Brazil has somewhat simpler entry requirements than the first two on this list. For now, only vaccinated individuals are allowed to board a flight to the country. In addition to a vaccine pass, all arrivals, irrespective of nationality, must also present a negative PCR test within 72 hours of flying (or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours).

All travelers are also required to complete a Travelers Health Declaration in the 24 hours preceding their trip. If unvaccinated, a traveler will only be admitted into national territory upon satisfying exemption requirements and may be issued a 14-day quarantine order. Unvaccinated foreigners are advised to contact Brazilian consular representation in their respective countries.

Tourist in Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil

Recently, Brazil has made the decision to welcome back cruise ships. The news have been particularly welcomed by the Brazilian Minister of Tourism, who called it a “very important segment for employment generation and activation of the economy”. The nation has also launched a new Digital Nomad Visa, in a bid to welcome more long term visitors following two years of restrictions.

2. Colombia

Aerial View Of El Penon De Guatape, In Antioquia, Near Medellin, Colombia

Unlike their Mercosur and Mercosur-associated partners on this list, Colombia is granting entry to both fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated tourists, albeit with varying degrees of restrictions. While those who present a full vaccination card can bypass both pre-departure testing and quarantine rules, those who do not can still enter if undergoing a PCR test up to 72 hours in advance.

That is the case for those who have started their vaccination scheme, but have not yet completed it, or who received their final dose less than two weeks before the date of travel. It is worth noting that, when arriving in cruise ships to popular destinations in the Colombian Caribbean, such as Cartagena, visitors must be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of docking.

Clock Tower Gate At The Ciudad Amurallada In Cartagena, Colombia

Other than vaccination, the only other requirement for entry to Colombia is filling out the Check-Mig form. There may be additional rules set out by Caribbean archipelagos belonging to the country, such as San Andres, Providencia or Santa Catalina, including the need to purchase a tourist card before flying.

1. Ecuador

Basilica Of The National Vow In Quito, Ecuador

After getting acquainted with the entry requirements set out by Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia you may be surprised with how extremely easy it is to visit Ecuador right now. Although it is not nearly as popular as the rest, this underrated South American country permits all categories of foreigners to enter, fully vaccinated or not.

Vaccinated Americans, Canadians, and Brits can enter Ecuador restriction-free so long as at least 14 days have passed since the second dose of a WHO-approved scheme. This means no pre-departure testing, on-arrival testing, or self-isolation. If vaccinated, all you will need is to print out and fill out this form before flying.

Old Colonial Style Street In Ecuador, South America

Those who are not vaccinated can also visit Ecuador, but are required to present a negative PCR test up to 72 hours prior to embarking. Unlike many in the Americas, Ecuador also accepts evidence of recovery as proof of entry, as long as a positive Covid laboratory test dates to more than 14 days ago, and it is not older than a year.

In Summary

Silhouette Of A Female Traveler Carrying A Backpack At The Airport

When flying to the continent, travelers are advised to keep up to date with the ever-changing regulations for specific countries in South America, and purchase travel insurance in advance in order to minimize health and disruption risks, even when it is not an official requirement for visiting their intended destination.

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Travel to Central and South America: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

Jamie Ditaranto is a freelance journalist, photographer, and full-time traveler. Before writing for TripSavvy, Jamie was the Editor of Video and Content for SmarterTravel.com, where she sought to share unique travel experiences like barge cruising in France and sleeping in centuries-old Japanese inns.

Crowds Line Up at Caixa Economica Federal to Receive the Second Installment of the Urgent Government Benefit Due to the Coronavirus (COVID - 19) Pandemic

COVID-19 surged in many parts of South and Central America, where borders were closed and most commercial flights to the region were halted. While some countries remain closed, many others have reopened for international tourism. American travelers are welcome in most countries, so long as they can meet the testing and quarantine requirements for entry.

Read on for a country-by-country listing of border status, quarantine restrictions, and more information on travel throughout Central and South America.

Argentina

U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Argentina as long as they can show proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Another PCR test will be required for all travelers on their fifth day in Argentina. Before flying, travelers must also complete a sworn statement online. Any unvaccinated traveler, including minor children, entering Argentina must quarantine for seven days. All travelers arriving from any African country will also be required to take an antigen test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days.

Belize

U.S. citizens and all other foreign tourists are allowed to enter Belize with different entry requirements for each kind of traveler. Everyone traveling to Belize must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours. Tourists will only have the option of using approved Gold Standard hotels and tour operators and transportation will be pre-organized. After February 15, all visitors will be required to purchase health insurance.

Bolivia

Bolivia’s quarantine and travel restrictions vary from city to city. All travelers will need to have proof of medical insurance and a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before their flight, depending on the traveler’s origin. Regardless of vaccination status, a minimum 10-day home quarantine is required. All travelers will need to disclose the location of their quarantine in a sworn statement and take a PCR test on the seventh day of the quarantine period.

Brazil

Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, are allowed to fly to Brazil. All travelers will be required to show a negative PCR test, however, unvaccinated travelers will be required to quarantine for five days and must be tested again at the end of the five days. All travelers must also complete the Traveler Health Declaration before checking into their flight.

Chile

Chile reopened to foreign tourists in October. All travelers will need to show proof of vaccination, complete the Affidavit of Travelers, and apply for a Mobility Pass, which could take up to four weeks to process. All travelers will be PCR tested on arrival and must quarantine at a hotel or private residence until they get a negative result back.

Non-resident foreigners arriving from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, or Mozambique will not be allowed to enter Chile.

Colombia

All travelers above the age of 18 will need to be fully vaccinated to enter Colombia in addition to completing the online health form within 48 hours of boarding. Travelers who are not yet fully vaccinated, but have had at least one dose, can show a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours, as an alternative.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has opened up to all U.S. citizens and it is no longer necessary to show a negative test or quarantine. Only unvaccinated travelers are required to show proof of medical insurance and complete an online epidemiological form. Costa Rica’s immigration officials have the authority to determine the length of any visitor’s stay as it corresponds to the coverage dates of their insurance policy.

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Ecuador Continues On Alert For Coronavirus

Ecuador

Ecuador is open for all foreign tourists, but travelers will need to provide a vaccination card and a negative PCR test taken within three days before their arrival, or proof of recovery from COVID-19. Travelers presenting symptoms will be tested on arrival. If a traveler tests positive, they must isolate for 10 days. To visit the Galapagos, tourists will need either proof of vaccination or a negative test was taken within 72 hours of departure in addition to their transit control card. As of December 1, any traveler arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, or Namibia will not be allowed to enter Ecuador.

Guatemala

All foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, will be allowed to enter Guatemala as long as they can show proof of vaccination and a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival. There is no quarantine requirement. Guatemala has restricted travel from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Egypt, and Eswatini.

Honduras

U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Honduras but if they are not vaccinated, they will need to show a negative test taken within 72 hours. Only travelers showing symptoms will be required to quarantine. All travelers must also complete the immigration pre-check form and should print out their confirmation before departing for Honduras.

Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan government does not have any travel bans in place and most airlines have resumed service. U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Nicaragua if they can show a negative test result and do not need to quarantine if they are not showing symptoms.

Panama

Vaccinated travelers only need to show proof of vaccination to enter Panama. However, unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. must submit a negative PCR test before flying or they will be tested at the airport and required to quarantine for at least 72 hours, even if the results return negative. All travelers must sign an online affidavit before checking into their flight.

Panama has suspended entry from the following countries: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Malawi.

Peruvian airports have reopened for international travel between Peru and the U.S. Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers over the age of 12 will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of their flight and sign an affidavit of health. U.S. citizens are not required to quarantine.

Uruguay

U.S. citizens may now enter Uruguay with proof of vaccination and a negative test taken within 72 hours. Unvaccinated travelers may enter, but they will be required to self-quarantine for at least seven days. On arrival, travelers will undergo a health screening and must present proof of health insurance in addition to completing the Online Health Declaration Form.

Venezuela

Americans with a visa are allowed to enter without quarantining but will need a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

U.S. Embassy in Argentina. “COVID-19 Information.” January 12, 2022.

U.S. Embassy in Belize. “COVID-19 Information.” December 7, 2021.

Belize Tourism Board. “Belize COVID-19 Travel Updates.” August 9, 2021.

U.S. Embassy in Bolivia. “COVID-19 Information.” December 28, 2021.

U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Brazil. “COVID-19 Information.” January 13, 2022.

U.S. Embassy in Chile. “COVID-19 Information.” January 13, 2022.

U.S. Embassy in Colombia. “COVID-19 Information.” January 7, 2022.

U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. “COVID-19 Information.” January 11, 2022.

U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Ecuador. “COVID-19 and Travel Information.” December 27, 2021.

Source https://www.traveloffpath.com/the-top-5-easiest-countries-to-visit-in-south-america-right-now/

Source https://www.tripsavvy.com/central-south-america-border-reopenings-4845678

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