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A Guide for Travel to South America during COVID-19
With 20 years’ experience, our own local offices, and specializing only in South America, we’re best placed to guide you healthily through South America. We’ll ensure you have an enjoyable and safe trip whether you’re looking to travel soon or are planning well ahead.
Much of South America is open for travel again. We’re operating trips in several countries right now, with more following soon.
If a Covid-19 test is required for you to return from South America to your home country, we’ll plan your itinerary to ensure that you have time to get a test. Antigen and PCR tests are widely available in South America. Following the announcement that the US will require Covid-19 tests to re-enter the country, we’re now arranging antigen tests before your flight home at no extra cost.
Current travel status
(Click below for more info)
|Open without quarantine?||Covid-19 test required before travel?|
|Ecuador & Galapagos||Yes||Travelers who can prove they’ve been vaccinated do not need a test to enter mainland Ecuador. Otherwise, an antigen or PCR test is required.
Galapagos Islands require a PCR test, regardless of vaccination status.
|Paraguay||Yes||Yes (PCR or LAMP)|
|Peru & Machu Picchu||Yes||Yes (PCR or antigen before travel plus antigen on arrival)|
|Updated Mar 22, 2021
See IATA Travel Centre for more detail
Planning your trip
The beauty of a customized trip to South America is that you can decide what style of travel will give you the most enjoyment and peace of mind in these changing times. For example, you might prefer private tours and transport throughout your trip, or a combination of private and small group excursions, or maybe you’d like to include some self-drive in your tour. Let us know your preferences, and we’ll fit the trip to your requirements. Perhaps you’d like to focus on the landscapes and nature of South America or explore cities in a way that avoids crowds.
When you fly
This video from IATA gives a good overview of what to expect when flying.
Planes have HEPA air filtration systems – similar to those used in hospital operating theaters. Wearing a mask is required by most airlines and is recommended by IATA for the entire journey – from entering your departure airport, on the plane, through to leaving the airport at your destination. Online check-in is recommended (required in some cases). Regular hand washing is recommended too, and avoid traveling if unwell.
While some airlines will leave middle seats empty if they are not very full, if you’d like to be sure of more space on board the plane, consider flying in a premium cabin. Within South America, Latam (who fly within and between most countries) offer premium economy on most flights and this is often reasonably priced at about 25 to 35% above economy class. If you’re interested, ask your travel consultant about premium economy when planning your flights. Choosing a flexible ticket is a good idea too, rather than simply booking the very cheapest fare.
On arrival in South America
Some countries have specific entry requirements in relation to Covid-19. For example, you may need to show a negative test result taken shortly before travel, complete a health questionnaire, or give proof of health insurance. These requirements are subject to change. IATA has a summary of the current requirements for each country here. Travel insurance including medical cover is essential, regardless of coronavirus, so be sure to take out a policy whether your destination requires proof or not.
During your time in South America
We’ll be carefully following all local coronavirus regulations – which vary a little from country to country and region to region. They can include having your temperature taken, mandatory wearing of masks and health questionnaires. In all destinations, we’ll follow best practice including extra hygiene measures on tours, the wearing of masks where needed and social distancing.
We have our own offices in South America and long-standing relationships with local guides. We provide 24/7 support and have the knowledge and contacts to assist in the event of an emergency.
What if I need to change my plans?
We currently have a flexible booking policy in place which applies to many of our trips. Ask your travel consultant if you have any questions.
Our Flexible Booking Policy
If there’s one silver lining in all that’s happening right now, it’s that travel will be more appreciated than ever when things get back to normal. While it is hard to travel right now, we’d like to inspire wanderlust and help our travelers plan their future dream vacations. When you’re ready to start dreaming up your next adventure, we’re ready to listen, advise, and make the best recommendations.
Of course, we can’t predict what’s going to happen with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, but we’ve got more than 20 years of experience, and we’re well-practiced to dealing with global issues. So you know you’re in safe hands with specialists who are experts in their destinations and remain your single point of contact.
Changing Your Destination
If you cannot travel to a particular destination due to government-imposed Covid-19 travel restrictions and you do not wish to postpone, you can change to another destination in South America. In most cases, there will be no penalty if the change is made at least 45 days before travel. In all cases, we’ll do what we can to facilitate this change with as little penalty as possible. Click here for more information.
Personal Assistance 24/7.
Contact an Expert Travel Consultant anytime via phone or chat. We will take care of all the moving parts and logistics, so you can keep peace of mind and travel when the time’s right for you.
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