South America Covid Regulations

We know that the (sometimes changing) Covid regulations are a lot to take in, but the Knowmad Adventures team is here to help you navigate them and keep you informed. This site was last updated on 05.05.22 and although we strive to keep it as current as possible, links to the U.S. Embassy’s official information can be found here:

Your Trip and Operations Specialist will be sending you reminders to schedule your tests and guides to help fill out forms along the way, but ultimately it is your responsibility to know the regulations and complete all the requirements.

Knowmad Adventures

General Questions

Do I have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to South America?

Currently most of countries we operate are requiring full vaccination against Covid-19. There are some exceptions, especially for minors, and additionally some destinations are requiring boosters as well; please see each country’s requirements for specifics.

Ultimately, as requirements can change frequently and shortly before your trip, we recommend anyone planning to travel internationally be vaccinated and boosted to be best prepared for any potential travel requirements.

What are the travel insurance requirements?

See each country’s sections below on their own specific travel insurance requirements. Knowmad Adventures requires each traveler to have travel related medical insurance. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and will send a pre-built quote for a comprehensive AIG Travel Guard plan. This quote is built to cover your entire land costs and a rough estimate of your air costs.

Not only are there country-specific covid requirements which may apply, more importantly if prior to your travels you test positive and are not able to travel, insurance is the only way to protect your investment. If purchased within 15 days of booking, you’ll also receive the extra incentive coverages (additional benefits covering cancellation based on ‘pre-existing’ medical conditions for you or immediate family).

This Coronavirus FAQs link on Travel Guard’s website has provided help for frequently asked questions regarding what is, and is not, covered as it relates to Covid.

If you choose not to purchase comprehensive travel insurance you are assuming this and other risks associated with cancellation, trip interruption, etc.

Which countries are easiest to travel to regarding Covid regulations?

Peru and Ecuador are requiring the least amount of pre-departure forms and in-country testing currently.

Who can travel Argentina?

Argentina recommends all travelers 12 years of age or older to be vaccinated, however it is no longer a requirement.

Before Departure

Insurance Travel insurance that includes in-country medical coverage for Covid & Covid-related isolation expenses is required for travel to Argentina. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and if not purchased you are assuming all risks associated with cancellation, trip interruption, etc. due to Covid and otherwise.

TRAVELER TO DO: Obtain Proof of Coverage from your insurance carrier clearly stating the in-country Covid related medical coverage required for travel. If you purchased the Travel Guard policy that Knowmad sent you, your Operations Specialist will provide you with a letter prior to departure.

Affidavit form Each traveler, regardless of vaccination status or age.

TRAVELER TO DO: Mark your calendar to fill out the affidavit form after you’ve received your negative PCR test results and within 48 hours before departure at this website: https://ddjj.migraciones.gob.ar/app/home.php

See our Tips on How to Complete your Argentina Affidavit Online Form to help guide you.

Africa Travel Currently, travelers who have been in Africa in the last 15 days will be required to undergo a 10-day isolation period. Please do not travel to Africa within 15 days of your trip.

Document Checklist for Boarding

Airlines will be checking that you have the correct documents for entry into Argentina when you check-in for the first leg of your journey. We recommend having photos of these documents or digital versions accessible to you on your phone, as well as the originals in your carry-on travel bag.

• Passport
• Original vaccination card, if vaccinated
• Proof of Insurance coverage
• Affidavit form

 

During Your Trip

Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces, as well as on flights, and on vehicle transfers. In Buenos Aires, face masks are widely used outdoors as well, though they are not mandatory. In the rest of the country, face masks are generally not worn during outdoor activities.

Download the Cuidar App You may be requested in-country to show information logged in this App while traveling.

TRAVELER TO DO: Within 48 hours of arrival each traveler should download the App Cuidar from COVID-19 Ministerio de Salud | Argentina.gob.ar. onto your personal smartphone device. Our local guides in Buenos Aires can assist you in doing this, filling in the information, and explaining how to use it.

Returning to the States

.• Negative antigen or PCR test All travelers departing to the U.S. from a foreign country must present negative results to the air desk from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day prior to travel (ie. if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday).

Your Operations Specialist will schedule at test to fulfill this requirement in-country. More info and details will be found in your final travel documents delivered before departure.

TRAVELER TO DO: With most tests, you will receive your results via email; make sure you have these results accessible on your smartphone to show to the air desk before boarding.

Who can travel to Chile?

All travelers arriving in Chile must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 regardless of age.

Before Departure

Complete vaccination (this means 2 doses for Pfizer or Moderna, or 1 dose for Johnson & Johnson) administered at least 14 days before departure.

Mobility Pass This is essentially documentation that proves you’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 and is required for each traveler older than 12. Once it is approved, you’ll download a document with a QR code before your departure that will be used to board flights, and enter restaurants, museums, etc. in Chile.

TRAVELER TO DO: Around 45 days prior to arriving in Chile (pass may take up to 3 weeks to receive), go to https://mevacuno.gob.cl/ to apply for the pass.

See our How to Obtain Your Mobility Pass document to help guide you.

When obtained, please send the pdf download with your QR code + a screenshot of your vaccine page with green checkmarks next to them to your Trip or Operations Specialist.

Insurance Proof of Medical Insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 USD, which covers any expenses caused by Covid-19, is required to travel to Chile. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and if not purchased you are assuming all risks associated with cancellation, trip interruption, etc. due to Covid and otherwise.

TRAVELER TO DO: Obtain Proof of Coverage from your insurance carrier and please bring both your policy card and the letter from your insurance provider stating you have this coverage. If you purchased the Travel Guard policy that Knowmad sent you, your Operations Specialist will provide you with a letter prior to departure.

At-home Covid test kit for return to the U.S. All travelers departing to the U.S. from a foreign country must present negative results to the air desk from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day prior to travel (ie. if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday).

Chile doesn’t accept antigen tests for travel to or within Chile and therefore labs are generally set up only for PCR testing, which can take longer to get results. Therefore, we recommend purchasing an at-home test kit to fulfill this requirement.

TRAVELER TO DO: Around 45 days before departure purchase at least a two-pack per traveler just in case there is an issue with one of the tests, check the expiration date is later than your trip, and pack them in your carry-ons (air pressure can affect the tests if sent under the plane).

This BinaxNOW test is approved for use – purchase here.

Please note that you don’t have to purchase our recommended test kit, but it cannot be just any test kit. It must include a telehealth visit to be valid for re-entry into the States.

Affidavit form Each traveler, regardless of age.

TRAVELER TO DO: Mark your calendar to fill out the affidavit form after you’ve received your negative PCR test results and within 48 hours before you arrival to Chile at this website: https://www.c19.cl/

See our How to Obtain the Chile Health Passport to help guide you.

Africa Travel The entry of non-resident foreigners who have been during the last 14 days in some of the following African countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botsuan, Lesotho, Eswatini and Mozambique is suspended. Please do not travel to Africa within 14 days prior to your trip.

Document Checklist for Boarding

Airlines will be checking that you have the correct documents for entry into Chile when you check-in for the first leg of your journey. We recommend having photos of these documents or digital versions accessible to you on your phone, as well as the originals in your carry-on travel bag.

• Passport
• Original vaccination card
• Proof of Insurance coverage
• Mobility Pass, if 12 or older
• At-home Covid test kit
• Affidavit form

During Your Trip

• Airport Arrival Upon your international arrival to Santiago, you will be independently responsible for making your way through customs & immigration, where a Covid test may be administered at random. After exiting the airport, meet your Knowmad Adventures guide & driver who will transfer you to your hotel.

POTENTIAL TRAVELER TO DO: If chosen at random to take a Covid test, you may have to take the following next steps depending on the type of test administered:
– PCR:  You are free to continue traveling, but please see our How to Check Your Santiago Airport PCR Test Results document to help guide you in downloading your test results within 6 to 24 hours after taking the test.
– Rapid antigen: Wait 15 minutes for your results at the airport.

If either test results are positive, reach out to the Knowmad emergency contact in your Buen Viaje document.

Masks In Chile, masks must be worn in all public spaces, on flights, on vehicle transfers and in national parks. It is not necessary to wear your mask when outdoors hiking or biking, but it will be required on the transfers, so please remember to bring it with you. Domestic airlines require KN95 or tri-fold face masks.

Returning to the States

Negative antigen or PCR test All travelers departing to the U.S. from a foreign country must present negative results to the air desk from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day prior to travel (ie. if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday). Since turning around a test result that quickly in most of Chile is difficult, you should have previously purchased an at-home test kit to fulfil this requirement.

TRAVELER TO DO:
1. One day prior to departure, take the test (about 20-25 minutes with telehealth service). Visit eMed.com/app/start-testing to create a Navica Account and begin your virtual visit.

2. Test results will be sent to your email, along with a secure digital certificate to show the air desk before boarding.

 

Who can travel to Ecuador?

Ecuador requires all travelers 3 years of age or older to be vaccinated against Covid-19 OR provide proof of a negative Covid RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight to Ecuador, in lieu of a vaccination card.

Before Departure

Complete Covid-19 Vaccination: (this means 2 doses for Pfizer or Moderna, or 1 dose for Johnson & Johnson) for anyone 3 years or older administered at least 14 days before departure.

• Potential Negative RT-PCR Covid-19 Test Results: If unvaccinated you must provide a negative Covid-19 test in lieu of vaccination.

Additionally, although Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands has now waived the requirement of a negative Covid test result to enter the country for vaccinated travelers, some lodges and cruises are requiring them. Your Operations Specialist will reach out to you if your itinerary requires one with additional information.

TRAVELER TO DO – IF APPLICABLE: Schedule a RT-PCR test (antigen tests and other types of PCR are not accepted) so that it is administered less than 72 hours prior to your international flight to Ecuador’s departure time, and ensure you will receive the results in time for travel. Please also double-confirm that it is an RT-PCR test; Walgreens has had these readily available.

Insurance: Currently there are no specific travel insurance requirements for just mainland Ecuador; however, for travel to Galapagos Islands you must have Proof of Insurance with international medical coverage. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and if not purchased you are assuming all risks associated with cancellation, trip interruption, etc. due to Covid and otherwise.

TRAVELER TO DO – IF TRAVELING TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Obtain Proof of Coverage from your insurance carrier.

Traveler Health Declaration Form: On the plane, you will be asked to fill out a Traveler Health Declaration form (one per family).

• Africa Travel: Currently, anyone who has traveled from or through South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, and Namibia will not be allowed to enter the country.

Document Checklist for Boarding

Airlines will be checking that you have the correct documents for entry into Ecuador when you check-in for the first leg of your journey. We recommend having photos of these documents or digital versions accessible to you on your phone, as well as the originals in your carry-on travel bag.

• Passport
• Original vaccination card if you’re 3 or older & vaccinated
• If applicable, negative RT-PCR test results

Additionally for Onward Travel to the Galapagos Islands
• If applicable, negative RT-PCR test results
• Proof of Insurance coverage
• Proof of your round trip Galapagos flight ticket (if not part of your Buen Viaje packet, this document will be provided to you by Knowmad while in-country)

During Your Trip

Masks must be worn in many indoor public spaces, as well as on flights, and on vehicle transfers. Requirements may vary based on the region and establishment and can change frequently, so please follow the local guidelines.

Potential additional testing If you are unvaccinated and traveling onward to the Galapagos Islands, a negative RT-PCR test administered within 72 hours of your flight to the islands is required.

Additionally, although the Galapagos Islands has now waived the requirement of a negative Covid test result to enter the country for vaccinated travelers, some lodges and cruises are requiring them.

Depending on your itinerary, the RT-PCR test taken before your departure in the U.S. might fulfill this requirement, otherwise your Operations Specialist will arrange one for you in-country.

TRAVELER TO DO – IF APPLICABLE: With most tests, you will receive your results via email; make sure you have these results accessible on your smartphone & have your hotel’s front desk print the results to show to the air desk before boarding.

For your information, additional rapid antigen testing may also be conducted at random at the airport by the Ministry of Health and if the results are positive, travelers will be required to isolate.

Returning to the States

• Negative antigen or PCR test All travelers departing to the U.S. from a foreign country must present negative results to the air desk from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day prior to travel (ie. if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday).

Your Operations Specialist will schedule at test to fulfill this requirement in-country. More info and details will be found in your final travel documents delivered before departure.

TRAVELER TO DO: With most tests, you will receive your results via email; make sure you have these results accessible on your smartphone to show to the air desk before boarding.

Peru

Who can travel to Peru?

Peru essentially requires all travelers 12 years of age or older to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Although you can technically enter the country with a negative RT-PCR test in lieu of a vaccination card, anyone 12 and older is required to be vaccinated to enter many public outdoor areas and any enclosed spaces; this includes flights, trains, restaurants, museums, etc.

For anyone younger than 12, vaccination is not required but they must be asymptomatic.

Before Departure

Complete vaccination (this means 2 doses for Pfizer or Moderna, or 1 dose for Johnson & Johnson) for anyone 12 years or older administered at least 14 days before departure.

For anyone unvaccinated 11 and under, they only must be asymptomatic.

Insurance Peru currently does not have any travel insurance requirements. However, we strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance and if not purchased you are assuming all risks associated with cancellation, trip interruption, etc. due to Covid and otherwise.

Affidavit of Health and Geolocation Authorization form All travelers, regardless of vaccination status or age.

TRAVELER TO DO: Mark your calendar to fill out the affidavit form within 72 hours before departure at this website: https://e-notificacion.migraciones.gob.pe/dj-salud/. See our Peru Health Affidavit Instructions to help guide you.

Africa Travel Currently, travelers who have been in or transited through South Africa during the 14 days previous to their travel are not allowed to enter Peru.

 

 

Document Checklist for Travel

Airlines will be checking that you have the correct documents for entry into Peru when you check-in for the first leg of your journey. We recommend having photos of these documents or digital versions accessible to you on your phone, as well as the originals in your carry-on travel bag.

• Passport
• Original vaccination card
• If applicable, a Medical Certificate of Good Health
• Affidavit of Health and Geolocation Authorization form

During Your Trip

Masks In most regions, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces, as well as on flights, and on vehicle transfers. Additionally, many establishments including airports require either KN-95 masks or double-masking. Note that mask requirements can fluctuate, so please follow your guide’s instructions.

Vaccination card If you are 12 or older you must show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter closed spaces, including flights and trains.

TRAVELER TO DO: Pack KN-95 masks and carry your Covid-19 vaccination card with you at all times.

Returning to the States

• Negative antigen or PCR test All travelers departing to the U.S. from a foreign country must present negative results to the air desk from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 1 day prior to travel (ie. if your flight is at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday).

Your Operations Specialist will schedule at test to fulfill this requirement in-country. More info and details will be found in your final travel documents delivered before departure.

TRAVELER TO DO: With most tests, you will receive your results via email; make sure you have these results accessible on your smartphone to show to the air desk before boarding.

Have a question that you can’t find an answer to on our site? Or if you’d simply like to ask a real, live person your questions instead of browsing through these FAQ sections, we are more than happy to help. Just give us a call at 612-315-2894 or email travel@knowmadadventures.com.