FAQs

COVID-19 PROTOCOL

As per government advice, our staff are all currently working from home. You can leave a detailed message on AUS 1300 857 805 or NZ 0800 453 614 and a team member will get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can contact us by emailing reservations@sthamerica.com or by filling out our inquiry form on our web page.

COVID -19 PROTOCOL IN SOUTH AMERICA

For SATO, safety is paramount. For that reason, we have implemented safety protocols against Covid -19 that will keep our guests safe. We have also assured that our suppliers implement the strictest of safety protocols, regarding hygiene, cleaning, and maintenance so that they meet world standards.

Airports in South America have important safety protocols that align with other major airports around the world.

Latam have announced 3 flights ex SYDNEY from 01 March 2022 and Qantas will recommence their services to Santiago from April 2022.

 

Most countries in South America are open now to receiving tourists, under the following conditions.

 

PERU – Update 02 Nov 2021

The alert level in Peru has been lowered at main tourism destinations, including Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, now considered as moderate. Accordingly, restrictions continue to ease:

  • reduced curfew hours (only 1am to 4am).
  • Capacities at attractions are risen.
  • Beaches are re-opened, respecting local biosafety protocols.

Borders:

  • Restricted for passengers arriving from or that have had stop overs in South Africa in the last 14 days until October 31.
  • Open for any other destination (see requirements).

Entry requirements: All travellers (vaccinated or not vaccinated) over 12 years of age can enter the country presenting:

  1. NOT VACCINATED: NEGATIVE PCR TEST (MAX. 72 HOURS BEFORE TRAVELING).
  2. VACCINATED: CREDIT COMPLETE VACCINATION AGAINST COVID-19 (NO NEED TO PRESENT PCR TEST).
  3. AN AFFIDAVIT AVAILABLE AT https://djsaludviajero.minsa.gob.pe/dj-salud/
  • Children under 12 only need to be asymptomatic to board.

 

BRAZIL – Update 29 Oct 2021

CURRENT STATE OF THE COUNTRY: Brazil maintain protocols on arrival to travellers and keeps its borders open, no curfews. Universal Health System reports very low occupation by COVID cases currently and Covid numbers in general have been steadily declining 20% daily for over 60 days.

VACCINES: We have reached the mark of 95% of the adult Brazilian population (72% of the total) vaccinated with the first dose and 66% of the adult population (50% of the total) with the complete scheme. In the main capitals, we reach about 100% of the adult population vaccinated!

BORDERS: the borders are open for international flights except from UK, India and South Africa. Land borders are closed to all border countries

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Negative PCR Test taken 72 hours before plane boarding and Health Insurance (+USD 30k). Additionally, all travelers must complete the online traveler’s health declaration form, available on the ANVISA website (link) up to 24 hours before arrival in Brazil.

TOURISTIC SERVICES AND ATTRACTIONS: All touristic services are operational under safety protocols and with reduced capacity. The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, in Brazil, will require proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to enter their main tourist attractions, including museums, the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain.

DOMESTIC AIR SERVICE: All domestic Airlines are working normally with biosecurity protocols.

 

 

ARGENTINA – Update 26 Sep 2021

  • CURRENT SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY: Medium/low Risk. Very few imported cases of Delta Variant.
  • VACCINES: To date there are over 56,000,000 doses in Argentina. More than 29 million people have received their first dose and 24 million people have already received both.
  • BORDERS: As of October 01, Argentina will receive tourists who permanently reside in neighbouring countries (Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Chile) and as of November 01, tourists from any country will be able to enter.
  • ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

+ Enter with negative PCR performed no more than 72 hours before.

+ Be fully vaccinated against sars-cov-2. (This exempts them from mandatory quarantine)

+ Carry out a new PCR test between 5 and 7 days after arrival in the country.

  • TOURIST SERVICES: Are operating with their respective protocols.
  • TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Are operating with their respective protocols.

Up to date information on the vaccination plan: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/coronavirus/vacuna/aplicadas

 

ECUADOR:  Update 21 Oct 2021

CURRENT STATE OF THE COUNTRY: Ongoing vaccination campaign for population. 85% of Galapagos Islands population have been fully vaccinated. Full doses Ecuador 55.93%.

BORDERS International flights resumed operations since June 15th 2020. Land and sea borders remain closed.

COUNTRY ACCESS REQUIREMENTS TO ACCESS QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL:

Update of the guideline to enter the country July 9th, 2021: (This provision will enter into force as of July 15, 2021)

  • Children under two years of age and crew members are exempt from presenting the negative result of an RT-PCR test, (nasopharyngeal swab) or the vaccination card, upon arrival in continental and insular Ecuador, regardless of your immigration category with the complete schedule of at least 14 days of validity.
  • Any person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who after a month continues to obtain a positive result in the RT-PCR test, must present a medical certificate issued in the country of origin that guarantees their health status for admission to the Ecuador, as long as it has an absence of symptoms.
  • For national tourists: all tests for detection of COVID-19 must be carried out in authorized laboratories such as RT-PCR processors, sampling and rapid COVID-19 tests by the Agency for Quality Assurance of Health Services and Prepaid Medicine – ACESS. (http://www.calidadsalud.gob.ec/laboratorios-autorizados/)

 

  • For foreign tourists: the tests for detection of COVID-19 must be carried out in the certified laboratories of each country of origin.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

  • Any person entering mainland Ecuador by international air must present the negative result of an RT PCR test (nasopharyngeal swab), carried out up to 72 hours before arrival or, present the card of vaccination against COVID-19 or its equivalent, with the complete schedule and valid for at least 14 days prior to the flight.
  • Any person entering mainland Ecuador by international air must present the Traveller’s Health Declaration, said document will be delivered by the airline and presented to the personnel of the Ministry of Public Health at the point of entry to the country. Health Record
  • Travelers from India: All passengers whose origin, stopover or transit is India, must present a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours prior to boarding their flight, regardless of whether they are already vaccinated. This applies to residents, Ecuadorian citizens or tourists, who must also carry out preventive isolation for 10 days at their homes or at any place of accommodation at the traveller’s free choice and expense.
  • Update for passengers from Brazil: The Mandatory Preventive Isolation requirement is eliminated, since October 9, 2021, quarantine is not required.

REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER TO GALAPAGOS

(This provision will enter into force as of October 23th, 2021 at 00h00)

  • All passengers, older than 2 years old, regardless of their residence, must present a negative result of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test, taken within a maximum up to 72 hours prior to boarding their flight, or a fully vaccination record card against COVID19.
  • In case of presenting symptoms related to COVID-19, the traveller will NOT be able to enter, it will be considered as a suspicious case, therefore, it must be handled based on the protocols established by the National Health Authority and must return to continental Ecuador.
  • Additionally, for the entry of national or foreign tourists, the traffic control card issued by the Government Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos will be requested, eliminating the safe pass (salvoconducto) managed by a tour operator or by an accommodation regulated by the Ministry of Tourism (except the safe conduct for tour leader established in article 12 of the Tourist Guidance Regulations for the Special Regime of the Province of Galapagos).

FOR LOCAL FLIGHTS THAT ARRIVE TO GUAYAQUIL Municipality will ask to fill out epidemiological file

04 COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS there is no restriction in air transportation.

05 TOURISTIC ATTRACTIONS: As of July 1st, National Parks are open to the public, including Galapagos Islands. Also, Protected Areas, Archaeological Sites and Zoos. To access the Galapagos National Park and the Yanusi National Park, a Negative PCR test result is required.

 

CHILE – Update 15 Oct 2021.

CURRENT SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY:

The government of Chile has announced that as of October 1, 2021, Chile opens its borders (The entry of non-resident foreigners may be made exclusively by air through the Arturo Merino Benítez airport in Santiago de Chile, in addition to the airports of Iquique and Antofagasta) Other land, sea and air border crossings remain closed. Travelers may enter the country under 5 requirements:

  • 5 days of mandatory isolation. (Until October 31st, 2021)
  • Complete vaccination scheme, which must be validated prior to entering Chile at mevacuno.gob.cl, the approval process can take up to a month so it is recommended to do it in advance of planning a trip and it is necessary to remember that You must wait for the validation of the vaccine approval, it is not enough just to make the request. This includes teenagers and minors.
  • Affidavit of travellers at www.c19.cl, at least 48 hours before boarding.
  • Negative PCR test with a sample collection of no more than 72 hours before shipment. On flights with a stopover, it is considered from the last boarding.

As of November 1st, 2021:

  • All travellers who have their complete vaccination scheme can enter the country and may finish the mandatory quarantine at the time of receiving the negative result of a PCR test taken in Chile. Results can take between 12 and 24 hours, during which time you will need to be isolated. The additional entry requirements are the same as those mentioned above.
  • Condor Travel will not schedule activities during the mandatory quarantine period. Passengers will be able to carry out activities only after receiving the PCR results, which we estimate may take 24 hours after arrival.

CURFEW

End of the State of Exception. The curfew is eliminated from 00:00 on October 1, 2021; however, the Health Alert Status is maintained. These changes allow giving greater freedom to citizens, considering the epidemiological situation of the country.

There will be no more quarantines, and the levels of restrictions will be in 5 steps: Restriction, Transition, Preparation, Initial Opening and Advanced Opening.

VACCINATION

87,20% of the vaccinated population in Chile. Percentage corresponds to people vaccinated with the first and second doses.

Source: Ministry of Health.

In the case of non-resident foreigners who fail to present a negative result of a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon entry to Chile, the health authority may deny entry to the country.

TOURIST SERVICES: Can operate with their respective protocols.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: Can operate with their respective protocols.

 

 

BOLIVIA – Update 28 Oct 2021

CURRENT STATE OF THE COUNTRY: High risk

VACCINES: Vaccination opened for persons 18 and older, percentage of population fully vaccinated is increasing rapidly. A third dose is being applied.

BORDERS: land and air borders are open, people are allowed to enter Bolivia complying with legal requirements.

  • International flights to and from Madrid, Miami, Panama, Bogota, Lima, Santiago, Iquique, Sao Paulo, Asuncion and connections.
  • Local flights are operating normally within main cities, frequencies to Uyuni have now restarted.
  • Authorities have announced that in the three main International Airports (La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz) there will be a vaccination point for anyone who wishes to receive it.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:

  1. a) For travellers fully vaccinated: Certified negative RT-PCR test for people over 5 years of age, up to 72 hours before boarding in the country of origin, for nationals or foreigners coming from outside the country by air or land.
  2. b) For travellers who are not fully vaccinated: Certified negative RT-PCR test for people over 5 years of age, up to 72 hours before boarding in the country of origin. RT-PCR test after 72 hours after entering the country. Isolation during the first 72 hours until receiving a negative result on the test.
  3. c) Presentation of an affidavit of the place of stay in Bolivian territory.
  4. d) Before entering Bolivian territory, foreign passengers who do not have permanent residence in Bolivia must have a health insurance with coverage for COVID-19, for the expenses for their treatment.

Quarantine is no longer required.

  • TOURISTIC SERVICES: All touristic services are operating under strict bio safety protocols. Safe destinations Uyuni and Lake Titicaca are operating normally.
  • TOURISTIC ATTRACTIONS: All attractions are open to the public are operating under strict bio safety protocols. Domestic tourism has also been active in the main destinations in the country, such as Uyuni and Lake Titicaca, where we haven’t had any inconveniences with the operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it safe to travel to South America?

To put it simply, yes. While it is true that some places and situations are dangerous in South America, these are easily avoidable and can be minimised by diligently planning your trip and practising safety precautions. Checking websites such as smartraveller.com.au and talking with our friendly professional team can help guide you to having a safe and fun experience in South America.

Who will meet me upon arrival into each city?

You will be met by one of our English-speaking and friendly local representative in each city you arrive in as long as transfers are listed on your itinerary.

What language do they speak in South America?

Spanish and Portuguese are the main languages spoken in South America, with some exceptions to Suriname (Dutch), French Guyana (French) and Guyana and Falkland Islands (English). Rest assured many of our local representatives are either English speaking or bilingual speakers to ensure smooth communication throughout your trip.

What money is used in South America?

Each of the countries in South America has their own currency. Here are some of currencies, for a full list of currencies please visit websites such as www.xe.com

Argentina – Argentine Peso
Bolivia – Bolivian Boliviano
Brazil – Brazilian Real
Chile – Chilean Peso
Colombia – Colombian Peso
Ecuador – US Dollar
Peru – Peruvian Sol

What are the most popular attractions that I can visit in South America?

South America has some of the world’s most spectacular sceneries and exciting attractions suited for all travellers. Of course there are world famous sites such as Machu Picchu, the Iguazu Falls, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, the Amazon – it is truly rich in culture and landscapes. Many of our itineraries encompass some of these natural as well as extensions options which you could add to our escorted tours.

How fit do I need to be to travel?

We offer a variety of experiences all of which require different fitness levels from relaxing on the beach to trekking the jungles of the Amazon. As a standard, we advise that you be in good physical condition to get the most out of your tour. Get in touch with us if you any questions and we can talk through the physical expectations of your trip.

The tour or experience that I want is not listed in your website or brochure, can I still book a tour with you?

Absolutely, if there is a specific experience or destination in South or Central America you’d like to visit, get in touch with us and we will work on a tailored itinerary based on your interests and needs.

Is it possible to customise my tour?

Absolutely, we specialise tailor made itineraries. Bring us your South America wish list and let our expertise and first hand experiences create the perfect itinerary. Our friendly team is here to help you every step of the way.

Who can help me if I lose my passport or if I need assistance?

We understand that for a first time traveller into Latin America it can sometimes be daunting, that’s why we have a strong network of local representatives throughout South America. Our local guides are on hand to ensure you have a safe and fun experience and are the first direct contact should you any questions or need assistance during your trip.

Which flights do I need, how do I get there?

South America is closer than ever with many flights departing from many major Australian/NZ cities. Where you land in South America depends on your chosen itinerary. Typically speaking, the main city you land in is Santiago in Chile. We also have access to internal flights so if you need to go between countries in South America we can easily organise those flights for you.

Can you help with internal flights between each of the countries in South America?

Absolutely, as a wholesaler we have access to a large range of discounted internal flights that will get you into the nooks and crannies of South America.

What vaccinations do I need to have prior to arriving in South America?

We strongly recommend that you consult with your medical practitioner and specialist travel doctor for information regarding:
• vaccinations
• travelling to high altitudes areas
• any pre-existing conditions that may impact you during your travel

For general advice please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and your doctor for specific advice.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness occurs when your body hasn’t adjusted to the sudden increase in altitude and changes in air pressure. Altitude sickness can affect people differently so it is strongly recommended that you see your doctor before travelling with us.

Where will I get altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness can happen to anyone of all fitness levels and are more likely to affect you in certain countries than others of South America. Generally speaking you are likely to experience altitude sickness in the following areas:

• Atacama Desert, Chile
• Ecuador – not Galapagos
• Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca, Peru
• La Paz, Lake Titicaca and Uyuni, Bolivia

How do I avoid getting altitude sickness?

The best way to avoid getting altitude sickness is to gradually increase altitude during your travels. Here at the South America Tourism Office, we expertly create itineraries that follow this golden rule. For example, in our ‘Essence of South America’ tour, we have our clients stay in the lower altitudes of Sacred Valley for a couple of days before continuing to the higher altitudes in Cuzco.

What kind of power adaptor do I need to bring?

A majority of countries in South America use the European style outlet. For information on the specific country you’re travelling to please visit www.electricaloutlet.info/latin-america-the-caribbean.html