south america reopening to tourism

South American Countries Opening for Tourism – Complete List

A number of countries in South America are currently open to international travelers.

Some of them have recently enforced a few restrictions but the others are fully open and welcoming tourists from everywhere.

Travelers should be aware that local governments are still taking social distancing precautions very seriously and require wearing a mask in public areas.

Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Read also: Countries open for vaccinated tourists

Which South American countries are open for tourism?

  • Argentina is currently closed for tourism.
  • Bolivia is open to most countries. There is a ban on flights from Europe.
  • Brazil is open to most countries. There is a travel ban on flights from the U.K.
  • Chile is open to all countries. There is a travel ban on flights from the U.K. A 10-day quarantine is mandatory for all arrivals.
  • Colombia is open to all countries. Flights with Brazil and the U.K. have been suspended.
  • Ecuador is open to all countries
  • French Guiana is currently closed for tourism.
  • Paraguay is open to all countries. 
  • Peru is open to most countries. There is a travel ban to flights coming from Europe, South Africa and Brazil. 
  • Suriname is currently closed for tourism.
  • Uruguay is currently closed for tourism.
  • Venezuela is only open for Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Turkey and Bolivia.

All countries open to international tourism require travelers to show a negative PCR COVID-19 test result before boarding. A few of them require health insurance.

Given the spread of new and more infectious strains of the virus in Europe, Africa and Brazil, some countries have enacted travel bans or strengthen their restrictions for travelers from these territories.

Argentina Reopening

Argentina

March 24 – Update

Argentina has extended its ban on international tourism until April 19.

Only the following visitors are allowed at the moment:

  • Nationals and resident permit holders.
  • Foreigners who have a close Argentinian family member. But in this case, this should be proven by providing authorities with a birth certificate, marriage, or cohabitation certificate. 

March 2 – Update

Argentinian borders will remain closed for non-residents until March 12, 2021. According to local media, the government has not shown intentions of reopening or spoken about any reopening plans yet. 

February 9 – Update

Argentina has closed all borders and currently only returning citizens/residents or their families, and essential travelers are allowed entry to the country. 

This travel ban, that has been extended until March 12, looks to prevent the highly infectious COVID-19 strains circulating in Europe, Brazil and Africa from entering the country. (Source in Spanish)

Entry requirements

Check out full post:

Bolivia Reopening

Bolivia

March 24 – Update

Bolivia has finally started its vaccination rollout this week. The government has created an ambitious program called “Vaccines for Hope.” With the help of the COVAX mechanism and the vaccinates acquired from the Chinese company Sinopharm, the Bolivian President Luis Arce hopes to finally contain the pandemic in his country. 

March 2 – Update

The Bolivian government has extended its ban on fights and travelers visiting from Europe until March 15, in order to avoid the spread of the new strains of covid-19.

February 9 – Update

All flights coming from Europe, or travelers who have been to Europe in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Bolivia, are banned until February 15. 

Mandatory visas have been reinstated for US and Israel citizens. (Source in Spanish)

Entry requirements

  • COVID-19 negative test results obtained in the 3 days prior (and, in some cases, certified by a Bolivian consulate). Travelers who fail to comply with this requirement will have to agree to quarantine or leave the country.
  • There may be a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from European countries.

Brazil Reopening

Brazil

March 24 – Update 

Brazil is one of the few countries in the world that does not require visitors to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 and remains open to most tourists world-wide. As of today, the country has only banned visitors coming from the UK. Ironically, Brazilian citizens or people who have been to Brazil over the past 2 week are currently banned in 116 countries.

So travelers may be in trouble to return home after visiting Brazil. (Source)

March 2 – Update

Brazil is currently experiencing a worrying spike in coronavirus cases. The ICU’s occupancy rates are the worst since the pandemic hit according to a Brazilian health research institution.

Eighteen of Brazil’s 26 states and one federal district have ICU’s at over 80% capacity. Nine of those are at over 90% capacity already. 

February 9 – Update

Brazil has banned all U.K.-outbound flights and any traveler who has been to the U.K. 14 before their trip to Brazil. It has also closed all land borders.

The country is now demanding all arrivals bring negative COVID-19 test results. Proof of health insurance is no longer required to enter the country. (Source)

Entry requirements

Chile Reopening

Chile

March 24 – Update

Starting last week, travelers visiting from Brazil will get retested upon arrival in Chile. Then, they will be moved to a government-approved facility at their own expense until they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result.

Flights to and from the U.K. continue to be banned until further notice. 

March 2 – Update

Chile started its vaccination rollout on February 3, and by February 25 the country had already vaccinated 16% of the country’s population.

The percentage of vaccines administered is one of the highest in the continent. For instance, Argentina has vaccinated (1.65%), Brazil (3.43%) and Mexico (1.4%) of its population. 

February 9 – Update

Almost all countries are allowed entry to Chile, however all travelers (including citizens and residents) are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine on arrival. 

Flights coming from the U.K. and foreign travelers who have been to the U.K. in the last 14 days are barred from entering Chile.

Entry requirements

  • Negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
  • Agree to a 10-day quarantine.
  • Declaration statement completed within 48 hours before arrival.
  • Health insurance that covers COVID-19

Colombia Reopening

Colombia

March 24 – Update

Colombia continues to be closed to flights coming from the United Kingdom and Brazil. The country has been lifting most of its COVID-19 related restrictions. As of today, tourists can attend theaters, concert halls, art galleries and music halls.

In big tourist cities such as Medellin and Cartagena life has almost gotten back to pre-pandemic times. Restaurants, bars and all types of amenities are currently open for business. 

March 9 – Update

Due to the spread of the UK, Brazilian and South African highly contagious variants, Colombian Ministry of Health has enforced new sanitary measures for air travel, as follows,

– People aged 5 years and older must wear a face mask, at the airport, during the trip and at the port of arrival, regardless of the duration of the trip.

– People aged 60 years and older should wear N95 masks.

February 9 – Update

Colombia has suspended flights with the U.K. and Brazil given the spread of new strains of COVID-19 in their territories. (Source in Spanish). 

All other visitors are welcomed, they just need to bring a negative COVID-19 test result no older than 96 hours. Quarantine is not required unless the traveler is awaiting for a second test or a test on arrival. (Source)

Ecuador Reopening

Ecuador

March 24 – Update

Ecuador has reportedly secured 2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine. The government expects to be able to start a mass vaccination program in the coming weeks.

The country started a pilot vaccination program back in January with the Pfizer vaccine for medical personnel and elderly people in nursing homes, but it had to be put off due to delays in acquiring more doses and corruption scandals.

February 9 – Update

Ecuador is currently open to all visitors traveling by air with no quarantine. Land and sea ports remain closed. The U.S. Department of State has recently changed the travel advisory for Ecuador from level 4 to level 3.

Entry requirements

  • PCR test taken within 3 days before arrival.
  • Travelers who show symptoms during airport health screenings are compelled to take a second PCR test on site (at their own expense) and self-isolate in a government-approved hotel until the results are made available.
  • Travelers to Galapagos need to present a negative PCR test taken 96 hours before their arrival in Galapagos, they also need to present an official permit to visit the islands (more info here)

Previous update

Ecuador reopened its borders to foreigners as of June 1.Commercial flights are now allowed. Travelers are required to provide negative COVID-19 test results within 10 days before entering the country, and self-quarantines will not be enforced unless visitors are showing symptoms.

Though airports have reopened, U.S. officials still urge citizens not to travel to this South American country in the midst of this pandemic.

For more information check:

French Guiana Reopening

French Guiana

March 24 – Update

The government has not announced a reopening date yet and the country only accepts visitors for essential travel. 

As of today, the country is under a regional curfew from 11:59 pm to 5 am in Apatou, Cayenne, Iracoubo, Kourou, Macouria, Mana, Matoury, Montsinéry-Tonnegrande, Régina, Rémire-Montjoly, Saint-Georges de l’Oyapock, Saint-Laurent du Maroni and Sinnamary.

March 2 – Update

This overseas French territory continues to restrict entry to most foreign visitors. Only travelers with truly compelling reasons are allowed entry. 

Entry requirements

  • Obtain a Travel Certificate.
  • Present a PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival.
  • Declaration stating good health and no recent contact with the virus.

Previous update

French Guiana opened its border and international flights but only for essential family and work travel purposes.

Paraguay Reopening

Paraguay

March 24 . Update

Paraguay is facing a massive spike in coronavirus cases that have filled all ICU beds in public hospitals. Until last week, the country had only received 4,000 vaccine doses for a population of 7 million people.

Multiple protests continue blocking the streets since doctors state they do not have either proper equipment to protect themselves nor enough medicine to treat their patients. 

March 2 – Update

Paraguay’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign picked up on Feb. 22, with the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. The government plans to vaccinate at least 30 percent of Paraguay’s 7.3 million inhabitants by mid-year.

February 9 – Update

Paraguay remains open to all countries. Travelers are no longer compelled to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Entry requirements

  • Complete a Travelers Health Form.
  • Negative COVID-19 test results obtained 72 hours before arrival.
  • Proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 (Nationals from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay are exempt).
  • Travelers without a valid PCR test result will have to quarantine for 14 days.

December 8 – Update

Paraguay remains open for international tourism, but travelers need to quarantine for 7-14 days. Land borders with Brazil continue to be strictly regulated.

November – Update

Paraguay started reopening its borders to tourism on October 21. Visitors from all countries are welcome but they need to either go through testing or stay in quarantine for at least 7 days.

Peru Reopening

Peru

March 24 – Update

The health emergency has been extended in Peru for 180 more days, until September 2, 2021.

In order to contain the spread of the virus the country has been divided into high, very high, or extreme risk areas. Thus, until March 28, the less affected areas are Piura, Huánuco and Yarowilca.

To learn more about the restrictions of each area click here

March 2

Peru has extended its travel ban on passenger flights from Europe and Brazil until March 14 due to a surge in coronavirus cases, according to local media.

Additionally, Colombia has extended its land border closure with Peru until June 1 as part of the new COVID-19 restrictions. 

February 9 – Update

Peru has reopened its air borders to international tourists. Flights and travelers coming from Europe, Brazil and South Africa are still banned.

Entry requirements

Suriname Reopening

Suriname

March 23 

The ferry service between Moleson Creek, Corentyne and South Drain, Suriname has reopened. So far 1178 passengers have been allowed to use it. Only Guyanese and Surinamese people can utilize this service because the country continues to be closed for tourism. 

March 2 – Update

Suriname is closed for all travelers, with the exception of residents, their family members (they must have a truly compelling reason for traveling), and essential workers.

Entry requirements

  • PCR negative test no older than 72.
  • Booking at an approved hotel (check SHATA list of hotels) for a minimum of 10 days.
  • Proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 (residents are exempt).
  • Quarantine for 7 days.

Every visitor will need to pay for costs related to quarantine, testing and medical assistance.

Uruguay Reopening

Uruguay

March 24 – Update

The Uruguayan government has announced stricter measures to try to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases. These new restrictions are supposed to be enforced only until April 12.

Then, all types of clubs, gyms, public shows, parties and social events are officially banned. Restaurants and bars will have to close at midnight. “Free shops” on the border with Brazil will be closed as well as public offices and schools. 

March 2

Uruguay started its vaccination rollout yesterday. The first phase will focus on teachers, soldiers, police and firefighters. On Thursday, the country received 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine and another 1.5 million are expected to arrive from March 15.

February 9 – Update

Uruguay partially reopened its borders in mid-January to allow the return of citizens and residents who had been left stranded abroad since December 20 when the country entered a complete lockdown.

Uruguayans, residents, their families and certain categories of essential travelers are now allowed entry.

Entry requirements

  • Negative PCR COVID-19 test results obtained 72 hours prior to boarding.
  • Affidavit stating not having had symptoms or contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
  • Health insurance that covers COVID-19
  • Agree to undergo a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine plus a second PCR test taken on day 7. 

December 8 – Update

Uruguay might not start reopening its borders until March 2021, said the local government at their last press conference. The country remains cautious in its management of the pandemic and economic reactivation.

Venezuela Reopening

Venezuela

March 23

Venezuela has started to lift its internal COVID-19 related restrictions. As of today, public parks and movie theaters are allowed to reopen for business after more than 10 months of closure. 

March 2 – Update

Commercial flights to and from Venezuela are now limited to Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, and Bolivia. Visitors arriving with a negative COVID-19 test can bypass the 14-day quarantine.

For its part, Colombia has extended its river and land borders closure with Venezuela until June 1, in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. Essential travel between both countries is still allowed. 

December 8 – Update

Venezuela will not reopen its borders for international tourism until, at least, February 2021. Only a few flights coming from Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Iran, Mexico, Panama, Russia and Turkey will be allowed in the meantime. 

Entry requirements

  • Negative PCR COVID-19 test results no older than 48 hours at the moment of boarding.

Related: Most Dangerous Countries in South America