There are no visas necessary for travel in Argentina and Chile.
Upon arrival in Santiago, Chile, there is a reciprocity tax for USA passport
carriers at customs in the airport. Each year this tax rises. Because
they only accept exact change, it is best to carry US currency in small
denominations. In 2003, the tax amounted to US$100. There is also an airport
tax of US$18 upon leaving Santiago, Chile. For those who travel to Argentina,
there is an airport departure tax that is currently US$23.50, though it
is likely to fluctuate due to Argentina's current economy. Most likely
you will be charged for skis as luggage on the airplane. Expect to spend
$100 and if it is less, smile.
Months before you travel, make sure your passport is up-to-date and will
not expire while you are traveling. Allow for a minimum of two months
for a passport renewal prior to your trip, though it is possible (and
expensive) to renew it at the last minute. Keep at least one copy of your
airplane tickets, passport, and driver's license in a separate place while
Though water quality in both Chile and Argentina is generally safe, it
is recommended that you drink bottled water. Check with your doctor to
see which vaccinations you might want before traveling. There is no risk
of malaria in Chile or Argentina. On previous trips, we encountered no
adverse health issues. For more health information check the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/
The currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso and the currency of Argentina
is the Argentine Peso. In Chile, there are automatic bank tellers (ATMs)
in almost every city and they provide a good exchange rate. Along the
Carretera Austral of Southern Chile, it is unlikely to find an ATM. ATMs
are available in Argentina, but with the current economic situation it
is easier to travel with dollars and exchange them at exchange houses.
If you don't exchange money in either country and choose to pay for something
in dollars, you typically get an unfavorable deal in a transaction. If
you travel with Travelers Checks, you can lose up to 15% while exchanging
them for the local currency. A debit card used at an ATM avoids the interest
payments of a credit card used at an ATM. A credit card can be used at
most stores, restaurants and hotels in well populated or tourist places
in both Chile and Argentina.
We recommend traveling with a money pouch hidden under your clothing.
Pack as lightly as possible. If in doubt, leave it out. Remember that
clothing is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased en route and space
might be needed for purchases that you bring back. Avoid hardback books
- paperback is always more convenient.
We will need your air itineraries as soon as possible so that you can
be met at the airport. Look for a sign either saying, "ATAC"
or your last name. If for some reason you are not met at the airport call
Diego at 54-9-2944-610287 or 54-2944-461352 in Argentina.
Make sure to notify us if there is any change on your flights.
Every town has a centro de llamados, or place where you can easily make
international calls. Typically expect to spend US$ 1.00 per minute at
phone offices or roughly $.30 if you buy a Chilean or Argentine calling