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South America Update

Updated March 1st, 2024

Our latest update on Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil regarding travel to/from our destinations.

Select your country below

PERU

IMPORTANT

  • With the number of dengue cases surpassing 17,000 and over 30 fatalities, Peruvian authorities have declared a state of emergency in 20 regions of Peru for a duration of 90 days (May 2024).
  • Particularly impacted are tourist regions such as Ica and Piura (e.g Mancora).
  • This declaration facilitates accelerated resource mobilization between the central government and the affected regions, enabling swift and effective support actions to mitigate the crisis.
  • It's worth highlighting that the affected areas in Lima are situated on the outskirts, considerably distant from the neighborhoods favored by travelers for accommodation.
  • We recommend discussing with your general practitioner whether a Dengue vaccination should be considered if you plan to travel to Peru in the coming months.
  • On December 30th, 2023, the Ministry of Culture released a resolution with new regulations for Machu Picchu. Details in our Machu Picchu 2024 New Rules article.

FLIGHTS

  • Aerodiana is exclusively operating from Pisco (20-minute drive from Paracas). Flights over the Nasca Lines from Ica/Nasca will no longer be available due to the low demand.
  • Lima is set to unveil a state-of-the-art airport, slated for launch in January 2025, boasting triple the capacity of its current counterpart.
  • Starting January 2024, Sky is offering direct flights from Lima to Montevideo, Uruguay (3x weekly). Additionally, the same flight seamlessly extends its journey to Florianopolis, Brazil
  • Latam's direct flights Lima - London, which began on December 1st 2023, will be halted from February 2nd until March 30, 2024
  • Direct flights Cusco - La Paz (Bolivia) are being operated 4x weekly by Avianca
  • Latam has resumed direct flights between Cusco and Santiago de Chile (3 times weekly)
  • Latam has increased frequencies Lima and Mendoza from 3 to 5 flights beginning in January 2024 Check out our '7 Insider Tips To Explore Mendoza wine region'.

HOTELS

  • Refugio Amazonas Lodge will be closed for maintenance from January to March 2024. The sister lodges Posada Amazons and Tambopata Research Center will remain open.

SITES/ACTIVITIES

  • Access to Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain via Cusipata community is suspended since November 2023. You can find a map with the alternative route via Pitumarca in our Vinicunca blog article.
  • The luxury Belmond Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu is resuming its daily round-trip journeys in 2024 (except for the last Sunday of every month).
  • Four Lima restaurants made the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2023: Central at No. 1, Maido at No. 6, Kjolle at No. 28 and Mayta at No. 47.

SPECIAL DATES

The following corporate events to be held in Peru will have an impact on hotel availability/rates:

  • CADE in the Sacred Valley (Cusco) from November 14 to 16, 2024
  • APEC 2024 will convene in Lima as the primary venue from November 10 to 16, along with supplementary sessions scheduled throughout the year:
MonthDates & Cities
February21-24 (Arequipa)
February 24 - March 8 (Lima)
May 4-18 (Arequipa)
27-30 (Cusco)
June5-9 (Urubamba)
August12-18 (Trujillo)
12-25 (Lima)
September9-13 (Pucallpa)
October1-4 (Lima)
November 10-16 (Lima)

ECUADOR

IMPORTANT

Since January 8, after armed gunmen seized journalists during a live television broadcast in Guayaquil, the president promptly declared a state of emergency. Swift measures were taken to free the hostages and address the security crisis fueled by narco-terrorist groups.

  • We are monitoring local media and recommend staying away from Quito and Guayaquil areas.
  • Since January 9, the police and armed forces have been successfully conducting operations against organized criminal groups.
  • There is a daily curfew from 11pm to 5am.
  • Exceptions to the curfew include tourists traveling to/from airports who will need to show their passports and boarding pass.
  • Connectivity to all air destinations is enabled. Maritime ports, and airports are operating normally.
  • Consider extra time to travel to the airport, as extra security checks will be conducted on arrival.
  • Galapagos cruises remain unaffected by the current security situation. The islands are located 973 km (605 miles) from the Ecuadorian coast.
  • We recommend double checking the details of your travel insurance and your country’s specific advice from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

SITES/ACTIVITIES

  • The entrance fee to Galapagos Islands for foreign visitors will double from USD 100 to USD 200 starting in August 2024.

CHILE

IMPORTANT

Tragically, catastrophic fires have ravaged the 5th region of Chile, affecting Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Firefighters suspect that the fires were intentionally started by individuals, resulting in a devastating toll of over a hundred casualties, numerous missing persons, and the destruction of 15,000 homes, including the Botanical Garden in Vina del Mar.

  • In response to this crisis, the President has declared a state of catastrophe, and a curfew is in place to facilitate the movement of emergency responders and firefighters.
  • If you have plans to visit the area in the upcoming days, we strongly advise reconsidering your travel arrangements due to the ongoing emergency.
  • The situation demands utmost caution and empathy for the affected communities.

FLIGHTS

  • Condé Nast Traveler named San Pedro de Atacama among 'The Best Places to Go in South America' for 2024, highlighting must-visit spots like Chaxa Lagoon and ALMA Observatory. Check out our San Pedro blog for insider tips.
  • Direct flights between Cusco and Santiago de Chile are offered 3 times weekly by Latam
  • Latam has resumed flights between Santiago de Chile and Easter Island (4 a week). Flight schedule and our tips for a 3-day visit in our latest blog article.
  • Latam resumed direct flights between Santiago de Chile and Sydney, with a convenient frequency of 4x a week.

HOTELS

  • Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa will be closed for renovations from March 30, 2024, until February 28, 2025. Reopening date is planned for March 1, 2025
  • Cabo de Hornos Hotel one of our preferred options in Punta Arenas is expanding with the construction of a new building of 70 rooms expected to open in November 2024.

SITES/ACTIVITIES

  • South America's fastest train made its debut on January 19th, covering the Santiago to Curico route in 2 hours (at a speed of 160 km/h). The next stops on its agenda include Talca in March and Chillan in Q2/2024
  • The Death Valley and the Pacana Monks in San Pedro de Atacama are currently closed to tourist visits.
  • In the 'World's Best Vineyard 2023' awards, 2 outstanding Chilean vineyards made it to the top 10, Vik Chile secured the third position, with Montes ranking at number 7. For valuable insights into exploring the wine regions near Santiago de Chile, delve into our comprehensive guide: 'Discovering the Main Wine Regions Near Santiago de Chile'.
  • Virgilio Martinez, the Peruvian owner of 'Central' ( World's Best Restaurant 2023), has designed a gastronomic proposal exclusively for Explora Atacama.

ARGENTINA

IMPORTANT

  • Due to the inflation prices of goods in Pesos can change even during the day.
  • Keep in mind that it will be impossible to withdraw US dollars from your account while in Argentina. Therefore, we strongly advise securing US dollars in physical cash before your trip to Argentina, which you can then exchange locally upon arrival. Find out more on the section 'Currency' of our 'Travel Advice for Argentina'
  • The reconstruction of the Argentine side's highlight, the Devil's Throat in Iguazu, began on January 22. Severe damage occurred last October due to heavy rains, causing a 17-fold increase in river water levels. Authorities aim to complete the restoration by July 2024.

FLIGHTS

  • Bariloche Airport is scheduled to undergo temporary closure from April 9th to April 12th, 2024.
  • LATAM has resumed direct flights Lima - Salta 3x weekly. The city of Salta in Northwest Argentina has been chosen as part of 'The Top Global Destinations for Architecture Lovers' compiled by the British site Buildworld.
  • Latam has increased its frequencies between Lima and Mendoza with 4 flights weekly (daily Thursdays to Sundays). Check out our '7 Insider Tips To Explore Mendoza wine region'

HOTELS

  • Casa Lucía, considered one of the sexiest new hotels for 2024, welcomed guests on January 15th. Formerly Sofitel Arroyo, it is now part of the prestigious 5-star Unico brand, offering 142 rooms in a building inspired by the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. With a priviledged location in Recoleta, Casa Lucía is poised to elevate the 5-star experience in the Argentine capital.
  • The former Serena Hotel in Buenos Aires has reopened under the new name Libertad Recoleta.
  • Recoleta Grand Hotel in Buenos Aires is currently undergoing an extension project to add 60 more rooms and will be closed from February 15 until the end of June 2024.

SITES/ACTIVITIES

  • Catena Zapata has claimed the top spot in the 'World's Best Vineyards 2023', followed by Bodega Salentein at #9, and El Enemigo Wines at #10. Head over to our post 7 Insider Tips To Explore Mendoza Wine Region for more valuable insights into navigating the Mendoza wine region.
  • The prestigious Michelin guide is broadening its reach in Latin America by introducing a new edition in Argentina, focusing on Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Find Michelin's first selection here.
  • Puerto Iguazu has a new gourmet market/hall aiming to highlight local flavors and products. At Yabuticaba Mercadito de la Selva visitors can also sample wines and craft beers in a natural setting, reminicent of the local jungle.

BRAZIL

SITE / ACTIVITIES

  • Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Salta (Argentina) in South America were chosen as part of 'The Top Global Destinations for Architecture Lovers' compiled by the British site Buildworld
  • For Iguazu visits: please check Argentina update about the temporarily closure of Devil's Throat.

VISA FOR US, CANADA & AUSTRALIA

  • The government has postponed the reinstatement of visa requirements for citizens of the US, Australia, and Canada (originally planned for October 2023). Therefore, the current visa exemption will remain valid until April 09, 2024, for entries for tourist purposes. For entries from April 10, 2024, or later, the visa can be applied for online. The go-live date of the e-visa platform is planned for min. 30 days before visa requirements will be effective. On an exceptional basis Australian citizen may be granted physical visas before the official reinstatement of the visa conditions. Visit visa — Ministério das Relações Exteriores (www.gov.br)

BOLIVIA

FLIGHTS

  • Avianca has resumeed direct flight connection between La Paz and Cusco 4 times weekly (on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) in both directions.
  • Boliviana de Aviación (BOA) and Ecojet are serving the route La Paz - Uyuni with 6 flights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from April 2023, the full schedule and other insider tips to enhance your journey to Uyuni can be found in our 6 Tips For An Enhanced Travel Experience in Uyuni blog article.

SITES/ACTIVITIES

  • La Paz's restaurants 'Gustu' and 'Ancestral' have made it to the top 100 restaurants in Latin America, ranking 45 and 62 respectively. Check out the complete list here.

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