Climate and Key Facts

We will advise you on the best time of the year to travel and, just as importantly, when not to go to a particular region or place. We hope the following guidelines are useful:

The best time of the year to travel to southern Chile and southern Argentina, the Falklands and Antarctica is December to February.

The Uyuni salt flats and the Atacama Desert are turning into  year-round destinations but bear in mind that temperatures plummet at altitude in the South American winter (July-September).

Please click the links below for up-to-date visa and entry requirements for British nationals travelling to Chile:


Passport validity


Please make sure your passport is valid and up to date. In general terms, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from your date of arrival into all South American countries.  


Yellow fever


Evidence of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for travellers who are going to or have recently been to countries where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission.


Travelling with children


Single parents or adults travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to provide notarised documentary evidence of parental responsibility, or consent to travel from those with parental responsibility. Such documentation is often required before being allowed to enter Latin American countries and, in many cases, before permitting children to leave the country.  


Local airport taxes International and domestic airport taxes may be payable locally if it is not included with your airline tickets. This is usually payable in US dollars and it may not always be possible to pay by credit/debit card.

For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting South America, contact your local GP.


The following NHS website provides health information and advice for travellers to South America, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica:–antarctica

Please click onto the links below for up-to-date advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office:


Help for British nationals in South America:


It is best to travel to Chile with a supply of US dollars rather than trying to obtaining any Chilean pesos here. Dollars can always be changed for local currency and are more widely recognised than euros or pounds.


It is always a good idea to visit an airport ATM when you land, before leaving the airport.   You should always take sensible precautions when using bank ATMs.


It is generally easy enough to travel throughout Chile using bank ATMs but these are not always available in remote locations such as Patagonia or the Atacama desert. We always recommend you keep a supply of US dollars handy and make sure that notes are clean and undamaged. Torn or damaged notes (e.g. from a staple or written on) will not be accepted.


We also suggest that you have a supply of single 1 dollar notes as these are useful for tips for airport and station porters and for hotel staff.


Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels and the better restaurants and shops but may not be accepted in small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, nor in local markets.


In general terms, MasterCard is more widespread than Visa. It may be a good idea to take both if you have them. Usage of American Express is rare.

Exchange rates are subject to change at any time but the following table for countries in Central and South America provides indicative information:

Chile:         Santiago:           GMT -3

Chile:         Easter Island:   GMT -5