south america reopening to tourism

South American Countries Opening for Tourism & Travel – [August 2021]

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.

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Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours.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
– Best COVID Travel Insurance Plans 2021
– 5 Countries without Covid travel Restrictions

Which South American countries are open for tourism?

  • Argentina is currently closed for tourism but could reopen soon. The number of allowed travelers was expanded on August 6.
  • 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, India and South Africa.
  • Chile is closed for tourism. Nationals and foreign residents are allowed to enter from July 26.
  • Colombia is open to all countries without restrictions from June 3.
  • Ecuador is open to all countries
  • French Guiana is currently closed for tourism.
  • Paraguay is open to all countries with no quarantine.
  • Peru is open to most countries. Visitors from the U.K. are allowed entry again. There is still a travel ban on some flights from Europe, South Africa and Brazil.
  • Suriname is currently closed for tourism.
  • Uruguay will reopen borders for international travel on November 1.
  • Venezuela is only open to Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Bolivia and – occasionally – Colombia.

Most 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 strengthened their restrictions for travelers from these territories.

South American Countries – Latest Updates (August 10)

Argentina Reopening


Argentina is closed for tourism but borders with neighboring countries could be reopened soon according to Migrations Director, Florencia Carignano. Authorities will wait until an important number of citizens are fully vaccinated to proceed, she said.  

“As soon as a certain percentage of the vaccinated population is reached, we will open up. Of course, with all the care that is being taken in the world,” Carignano explained.

Some reopening “pilot tests” are being carried out with some areas of Uruguay at the moment.

On August 6, the country announced a plan to relax COVID-19 restrictions as infections decrease. 

The government will expand the number of people who can meet in person. Also, the number of Argentinians allowed to reenter the country will be expanded from 1,000 to 1,700 per day.

“The more we vaccinate and take care of ourselves, the more we can sustain these achievements and advance in sustained and progressive openings,” President Alberto Fernandez said on national TV. 

Who is allowed entry?

  • 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. 

Entry requirements

Bolivia Reopening


Bolivia is open for tourism to most countries but the EU. The government has extended the suspension of all passenger flights to and from Europe until June 31 in an attempt to contain the spread of the different variants of COVID-19 in its territory.

Returning Bolivians from Europe are allowed entry under a number of conditions. They must bring a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours and undergo a 14-day self-quarantine at home. 

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

As of now, 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 has banned travelers who have been in India, South Africa, or the UK within 14 days prior to arrival. Nationals and residents of Brazil coming from those countries are allowed entry but must complete a two-week quarantine period upon arrival.

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. 

  • Complete a self-declaration online
  • Bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test by a certified laboratory
  • Proof of health insurance is no longer required to enter the country. (Source)

Chile Reopening


Chile opened its borders to fully vaccinated Chileans and foreign residents returning from abroad on July 26, announced Undersecretary of Public Health Paula Daza. These travelers will still need to observe a 10-day quarantine.

The government has created a “National Unit for Border Control and Passenger Surveillance” to oversee their return within the framework of Chile’s “Protected Borders Plan,” said Daza at a press conference.

Also, outbound travelers will need to present proof of vaccination. 

As of today, fully vaccinated people bearing the “mobility pass” can resume interstate travel, go to restaurants, gyms, theaters and churches.

Entry requirements for essential travelers

  • 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 lifted all COVID-19 travel restrictions on June 3. Visitors from all countries can now enter without testing or quarantining. (Source).

Earlier this month, the government also reopened all sea, land and river borders with Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. 

Effective June 8, all restrictions were lifted in Bogota, Medellin and Barranquilla in an attempt to bring back tourism to the cities and restart the very much damaged economy.

From now on, all clubs, restaurants, bars, gyms and the rest of the business will be allowed to open without limited capacity and – mostly – without schedule restrictions. 

“People need to work. This Thursday we will be introducing the biosafety protocols needed to reopen Bogotá. Bogota has the biggest industry and the most powerful workforce in Colombia and we need to keep them working,” said Bogotá Mayoress Claudia López 

(Source: La República).

Entry Restrictions:

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.

Ecuador Reopening


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.

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.

Entry requirements

  • PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate
  • 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 or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. (More info here). 

French Guiana Reopening

French Guiana

The government has not announced a reopening date yet and the country only accepts visitors for essential travel. This overseas French territory continues to restrict entry to most foreign visitors. Only travelers with truly compelling reasons are allowed entry. 

As of today, the country is under a regional curfew from Monday through Friday from 7 pm to 5 am and on the weekend from 7 pm Saturday to 5 am Monday in these locations: Cayenne, Kourou, Macouria, Matoury, Montsinéry-Tonnegrande, Rémire-Montjoly, Roura, and Sinnamary.

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.

Paraguay Reopening


Paraguay remains open to all countries without quarantine requirements except for those coming from Brazil.

Entry requirements

  • Complete a Travelers Health Form.
  • Negative COVID-19 test results obtained 72 hours before arrival.
  • MERCOSUR citizens are exempt to present insurance that cover COVID-19 
  • Within 24 hours of entering the country, visitors must complete a traveler’s Health Affidavit and get the QR code.
  • Visitors arriving from Brazil must undergo a mandatory 7-day quarantine in addition to the rest of the requirements. 

Non-resident U.S. citizens arriving by air may obtain a “visa en arribo” (visa on arrival), at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asuncion. Travelers are encouraged to visit their embassies to check the specific information applying to their countries of origin.

Peru Reopening


Peru is open to most visitors. It has also resumed commercial flights with some EU countries and the United Kingdom. The entry of visitors from South Africa and Brazil remains banned.

Peruvian nationals and foreigners from Spain, France, and the Netherlands, are allowed entry after more than a year of a travel ban. (Source)

Unfortunately, Peru is currently considered the world’s worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic. Data suggest that the so-called Indian variant is behind the extremely difficult situation the South American nation is going through.

Not only the country has the worst per capita COVID-19 death toll, but also its health system has collapsed. 

“These two elements combine to create a bottleneck,” […] “Oxygen supplies are insufficient, and a major concern is that the vaccination rate is still very low, leaving people exposed and the healthcare system under pressure,” said Francesco Segoni, MSF’s Emergency Coordinator in Peru. (source)

Entry requirements 

  • Negative COVID-19 test results obtained 72 hours before arrival.
  • MERCOSUR citizens are exempt to present insurance that cover COVID-19 
  • Within 24 hours of entering the country, visitors must complete a traveler’s Health Affidavit and get the QR code.

Visitors from these countries must present a negative PCR COVID-19 taken no longer than 72 hours before boarding, wear a mask, wear a face shield and fill out a geolocation affidavit here.

Suriname Reopening


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.

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. 

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


Thanks to a drop in coronavirus cases, Uruguay will open its borders to fully vaccinated travelers on November 1, announced government. 

Starting September 1, foreigners who own property in Uruguay will also be allowed entry. 

Regardless of their country of departure, all travelers will need to submit proof of having received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine 14 days prior to arrival and a negative COVID-19 PCR test.

For now, only nationals, residents, their families and certain categories of essential travelers are allowed entry. Those visitors still need to undergo a 7-day mandatory quarantine.

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. 

Venezuela Reopening


SVMI, SVMC, SVMG, SVBC, SVBM, SVVA, SVJC, SVSA, SVSO, SVPR, SVMT, SVCS airports are closed to all international passenger flights.

This restriction does not apply to inbound flights from Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Bolivia, Panama and Dominican Republic.

Allowed travelers should be aware that due to the impact of the low air traffic demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, strategic direct routing has been implemented in some airports. 

Visitors must bring a negative COVID-19 test if they want to bypass the 14-day quarantine.

Colombia has fully reopened its land borders with Venezuela but President Nicolás Maduro will only allow a 12-hour reopening at a time.

Entry requirements

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

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