A Travellerspoint blog

Best Time to Visit South America


Green-Best Weather (Usually dry season, or when the weather is a little cooler)
Dotted Line-High Tourist Season

Most info taken from Lonely Planet

Posted by Purplechic 04:30 Tagged weather tourism south_america Comments (0)



The Vaccinations!

Joy of joys, the fun part. With all the talk of Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates in the visa post, I remembered that we're probably going to have a fair few needles in us before we go. I also want to note down all the other medical advice I can find, regarding a good basic first aid kit to take, and any other pills or medication we might need.

So, for the vaccinations, we need:

Cholera Two doses are needed and the protection lasts two years. Taken orally between one and six weeks apart, at least a week before travel.
Diptheria May already be covered for this, or may need a booster dose. (Usually combined with tetanus and polio). 4-6 weeks before travel.
Hepatitus A A single injection two weeks before leaving lasts for about a year. Can be combined with Hep B or typhoid
Hepatitus B Three doses and then you are protected for life. The second a month after the first and then a third five months after the second.
Rabies Three doses a week and then a month apart. Has to be completed before travel. Lasts for two to three years.
Tetanus A booster dose, before travel, usually combined with diptheria and polio.
Tuberculosis Need the Mantaux test which, after 2-10 days will show whether you are immune. If not you will be vaccinated. Only 70-80% protection.
Typhoid Not 100% effective. Lasts for about 3 years. One month before travel.
Yellow Fever Need to have a minimum of 10 days before travel and then the certificate is valid for 10 years. Only available from designated centres.

We will definitely need a course of anti-malaria tablets too. Will have to refer to the GP for this, there are several regimens and don't know which one is the most suitable. Would have to start the regimen a maximum of two and a half weeks before travel.

Our First Aid Kit

1. Iodine drops or water sterilisation equipment,
2. Painkillers (Tylenol/paracetamol also reduce fevers, ibuprofen does this and is an anti-inflammatory)
3. Indigestion tablets
4. Fluid replacement powders
5. Anti-diarrhoea tablets
6. Gauze squares
7. Non-adherent dressings
8. Bandages
9. Fabric plasters
10. Adhesive tape
11. Scissors
12. Tweezers
13. Safety pins
14. Insect repellant
15. Antihistamine cream
16. Selected antibiotics
17. Sterile pack
18. First aid book
19. Antiseptic wipes
20. Antiseptic cream
21. Burn gel
22. Wound closure strips
23. Foil blanket
24. Vinyl gloves

Posted by Purplechic 03:59 Tagged medical preparation south_america vaccinations first_aid_kit Comments (0)


Yes I know. We are considering buying a 4x4 in Chile and DRIVING all this way. I know.

We need to apply for an International Driving Permit from the Post Office in the UK. They're valid for a year, and can be issued up to 3 months from the date of travel. We need to apply for both the 1926 and the 1949 versions. For Brazil, a certified translation is needed from the Consulate.

To buy a car in Chile, we will need to:

Once in Chile, go to the nearest tax office (servicio de impuestos internos or sii) with your passport. If you do not speak Spanish, find someone who can help translate.

Fill out the form titled 'inicio de actividades' to request a RUT (pronounced 'root'), a Chilean tax ID number. You will be given an unimportant looking paper that is your temporary RUT. You need this to buy real property.

You can now look for a car. Dealerships, used car lots, the internet and the Sunday classifieds are a good place to look for a car.

When you find a car you like, go to the 'registro civil' to run a check on the plate number. Specifically you need to ask for a 'certificado de anotaciones'. If it says 'sin anotaciones' it has never been wrecked or stolen.

Buy the car. The dealer will help you through all the details. The steps are the same for buying from a private individual, but must be done at a notary.

You will need to:
1) sign a purchase agreement on a set price (compraventa)
2) transfer the title to your name and RUT number
3) pay a 5% tax on the total cost of the vehicle.
4) get a temporary ownership document from the Registro Civil. Your new title 'padron' will be mailed to whatever address you list.
5) get the old title 'padron', obligatory insurance 'SOAP', and 'revision tecnica' from the previous owner.
6)Play it safe by getting third party full coverage insurance at any large insurance agency in Chile.
7)If you are in Santiago you need a TAG to pay the local tolls. The only one that gives a TAG to foriegners that don't have a residence visa is Vespucio Norte.
8)As soon as you get your permament title, 'padron', you can take your car out of Chile. You only need to buy an inexpensive international liability insurance that is sold at all big stores (Falabella, Paris, etc).

The Ideal car:
About 4 million pesos which is about £5000 at the moment. We wouldn't want to go much higher than that. 4WD. Not too old. Hopefully extras like a CD player, aircon, maybe a sunroof! A boot that's big enough to sleep in-we could fold down the seats and have a fairly large space hopefully. That's all I got-apart from reliable and good mpg. Oh and not too flash looking. Don't actually want to look like we have oodles of cash.

Posted by Purplechic 13:08 Archived in Chile Tagged driving preparation south_america Comments (0)

Visa Requirements

So, we're planning on visiting every country on the main South American continent (excluding Central America, we're not going further north than Columbia and Venezuela). At the moment I am immersing myself in the absolute headache of the preparations. My god there's a lot of stuff to know. I already know ten times more about everything South American, and I haven't even scratched the surface.

This blog is going to be an excellent place for me to gather my thoughts, have everything searchable and enjoy the process.

So, first things first: what visas are we going to need, and when and how do we obtain them?

Chile: No visa for visits under 90 days. If when we are there we decide to stay longer than 90 days, we approach the Chilean Immigration Department.

Argentina: No visa, permission to stay for 90 days. May need proof of onward travel. (Hotel reservation?)

Paraguay: No visa required for stays under 90 days. Must make sure on arrival that passport is stamped by an immigration official, dated, signed and sealed otherwise there is a fine on leaving.

Bolivia: No visa is required. Can stay for a maximum of 30 days, or 90 at no extra charge as long as an application is made before the initial 30 days is up at a Department of Immigration office.

Peru: No visa required for a period up to a maximum of 180 days, this maximum needs to be checked as it can change. Also familiarise with complex rules before entering

Ecuador: No visa required, 90 day maximum stay. Definitely need a stamp upon entry otherwise can run into trouble.

Columbia: British nationals may enter Colombia for up to 90 days as a visitor without a visa (at the discretion of Colombian Immigration Officers), however there is no unconditional right to do so. The decision on whether to permit entry and length of stay rests with the Immigration Officer on arrival. Before any travel to Colombia contact the Colombian Embassy in London. You may need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate upon entering or leaving Columbia. No more than $10000 in cash can be carried.

Venezuela: A visa needs to be obtained from the nearest Venezuelan Consulate before entering the country. This will be valid for 90 days. Look into getting a tourist card (DEX-2) from embassy before leaving for SA. To get a visa, there are Venezuelan consulates in Bogota and Medellin in Columbia. May need to provide proof of UK employment or bank letters.

Guyana: No visa required, 30 days leave to remain.

Suriname: A visa is required. There is an honorary consulate in the UK, or a consulate in Holland to go to for details. A yellow fever vaccine certificate is required. A leaving tax of around $70 must be paid in dollars or euros.

French Guiana: No visa is required, but a Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificate is.

Brazil: No visa is usually required, but proof of funding the length of stay, and proof of onward travel are. Also a Yellow Fever Vaccine Certificate.

Uruguay: No visa required. Maximum stay 3 months.

Posted by Purplechic 11:52 Tagged visa preparation journey south_america Comments (0)

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