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South America Update

Updated May 15, 2024

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

Peru, Argentina, and Brazil are currently grappling with a notable surge in dengue cases. These outbreaks predominantly affect underprivileged areas and are exacerbated by moderate temperatures. If you intend to travel to any of these destinations in the near future, we strongly advise consulting with your general practitioner whether a Dengue vaccination should be considered.

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On May 12th, Peru’s Ministry of Culture announced new routes for Machu Picchu. For more information, please refer to our Machu Picchu New Rules 2024. Furthermore, we highly recommend purchasing your Machu Picchu tickets at least 45 days before your planned visit. With the recent launch of our online ticketing system, demand has surged, making it essential to secure your tickets well in advance.


  • 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.
  • Huaraz Airport is currently being renovated. Commercial flights between Lima and Huaraz should start in July 2024.
  • 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
  • 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. Check out our '7 Insider Tips To Explore Mendoza wine region'.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • The check-in for the Belmond Andean Explorer train journeys starting in Cusco will take place at the Hotel Monasterio. Starting from June 4th, live music and welcome drinks will be offered during check-in in the colonial chapel of the Monasterio. The subsequent transfer to the Wanchaq train station will also be organized by Belmond in small vehicles.
  • Due to the high demand for Machu Picchu tickets and the limited daily visitor capacity, the Belmond Hiram Bingham Train can ensure the purchase of Machu Picchu tickets for its passengers only if their personal data have been submitted well in advance. The latest deadline for submitting this information is 45 days prior to the travel date.


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

  • CADE in the Arequipa from November 26 to 28, 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
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)


  • Two new Costa del Sol hotels are planned for Lima's forthcoming International Airport, scheduled to open in Q1 2025. Construction has already begun on the first hotel, a luxurious 5-star property under the Wyndham brand, with completion targeted for the same time, boasting 249 rooms.



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.


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



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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'


  • Sofitel Buenos Aires will be closed on the following dates
November: 29 and 30
December: 14 and 17
January: 1, 2, 20,21,22, 26, 27 and 31
February: 6 and 7
March: 1, 3, 7 and 11
  • Mercure Iguazu, our top choice in the 4-star category, will be enhancing its exterior features—including the pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, and pool bar—with renovation works scheduled from May 13th to June 20th.
  • Casa Lucia, 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.
  • 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.


  • Starting May 13, 2024, the entrance fees to the Iguazu National Park on the Argentine side will nearly double.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • In the Leloir Palace, a building from 1903 that houses the Italian Circle, a new gastronomic proposal has emerged. The Bravo restaurant combines flavors of Italy cradled in Argentine DNA with Beaux-Arts architecture. It is complemented by a secret cellar and a garden surrounded by greenery in the heart of the Recoleta district. Its spaces can also be rented for private events.
  • 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.



  • 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.


  • Latam, along with the two low-cost carriers Azul and Gol, collectively holding 99% of the Brazilian air travel market, may merge pending approval from authorities. This potential merger could stave off Gol's bankruptcy and the subsequent need for financial assistance from the Brazilian government. Gol is currently assessing the possibility of filing for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy in the US.


  • The government has decided to postpone the reinstatement of visa requirements for citizens of the US, Australia, and Canada, which was initially scheduled for April 2024. As a result, the current visa exemption will remain valid for tourist purposes until April 9th 2025. For entries beyond this date, visa applications will only be accepted through the official website, without the involvement of intermediaries.



  • 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.


  • 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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