South America Begins Careful Tourism Reopening (9/1/2020)

Several South American countries have officially started reopening their borders for tourism, though great care is being taken to slowly loosen travel restrictions as Covid-19 outbreaks continue across many nations in the region.

Below, we have a list of the traditionally most-visited countries in Latin America, along with their current reopening status:

  • Not open for tourism
  • Re-opening soon 
  • Now open

For the countries that have reopened, we have also included information on which of these permit international visitors, in addition to the entry requirements.

Argentina: Not Open for Tourism

Argentina has banned all international commercial flights until September 1st, 2020.

Bolivia: Not Open for Tourism

Bolivia is currently closed to tourists. The government announced a total quarantine of the country through July 31.

Brazil: Now Open

Though Brazil is suffering from the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in Latin America, it officially reopened its borders for international tourism on July 29, 2020.

Visitors from all countries are allowed to visit Brazil, but must meet the following entry requirements:

  • A valid Visa. (If your country requires a Visa to visit Brazil)
  • Proof of travel insurance. You must have proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID for the duration of your trip. You will need to show proof of this before departing at the airport, and again upon arrival.
  • Arrivals should expect temperature checks, as Brazil has recently been testing new temperature screening systems since May.

Chile: Not Open for Tourism

Chile is closed to all foreign tourists and currently has a nationwide curfew.

Colombia: Not Open for Tourism

Colombia closed its borders to foreign travelers in March and no international passenger flights are expected until at least August 31st.

Update Aug 26: A new government decree has stated land borders will remain closed until Oct 1. No word yet if this includes air borders as well.

Ecuador: Now Open

Ecuador resumed international flights with limited capacity on June 1st, 2020.

Entry Requirements

  • All arriving passengers are required to have the results of a negative PCR COVID test within the last 10 days before arrival.
  • If testing is not available in your country, you must sign a declaration that you agree to undergo testing in Ecuador upon arrival, and quarantine until results are ready

Peru: Not Open for Tourists

Peru is suffering from the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in Latin America only after Brazil. International flights to Peru should resume in October (2020), though the first passengers will likely be limited to foreign businesspeople, officials, and technicians. Traditional recreational tourism should return to Peru sometime between April and July 2021.

Uruguay: Not Open for Tourists

All borders are closed to foreign travelers until further notice

New Luxury Cruise Ship to Start Safe Sailing to the Galapagos Islands in September

(from Travel + Leisure / August 2020):  Because it’s operating exclusively in Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago, the newly built Silver Origin has the green light to cruise – despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No Sail Order.

origin 1

With absolutely stunning looks, the new ship will add a bit more luxury to the eco-minded destination. The Silver Origin is scheduled to start sailing with passengers on Sept. 19, with a series of adventurous itineraries that offer lots of wildlife-watching moments. The 100-passenger vessel will have just 51 suites on board, all of which will come with private balconies. Many of them will also have stunning bathrooms that include tubs with ocean views. Amping up the luxury factor even more: Every stateroom gets butler service, to make sure your Champagne is topped up at all times.

The ship will also have two restaurants on board — descriptively named The Grill and The Restaurant — along with a number of lounges and the Basecamp, a departures hub for various expeditions, whether that’s a wildlife-watching trip by Zodiac or a paddle in the fleet of kayaks that the Origin has on hand. The ship also has a small gym, spa, and salon.

Itineraries take in some of the greatest hits of the Galápagos, including Bartolome Island (known for its penguins and snorkeling) and Santa Cruz (home of the Charles Darwin Research Station). In the coming months and years, Silversea says, the ship will make maiden calls in several lesser-visited places throughout the archipelago, including Santa Fe Island.

Ecuador recently resumed, and arriving visitors to Ecuador are no longer required to undergo quarantine if they present negative COVID-19 test results,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Quito

Peru Announces Restart of Traditional Tourism for 2021

3 Peru

nternational flights to Peru should resume in October (2020), though the first passengers will likely be limited to foreign businesspeople, officials, and technicians.

Traditional recreational tourism should return to Peru sometime between April and July 2021, with the precise date depending on the levels of contagion in Peru is at that time.

A campaign to encourage domestic tourism will officially begin on September 27 within the framework of “International Tourism Day.”

Ecuador to Begin Tentative Tourist-Facility Re-openings

Ecuador’s Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has approved several pilot programs for the reopening of selected tourism facilities throughout the country.

On August 21, 2020, the governmental body authorized trail phases for the incremental reopening of Papallacta hot springs (a resort area to the east of Quito), in addition to hot springs, swimming pools, and other water-activity areas in Baños, Ecuador. 

In addition, a protocol was approved regarding the resumption of competitive soccer clubs

4 Papallata Banos

Is it Safe to Travel to the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are one of the most secure places in the world in terms of personal safety and health. To preserve the archipelago, the islands were declared a National Park back in 1959. In 1969, the Galapagos Islands started receiving a steady flow of tourism. This ultimately meant that processes and directives needed to be implemented and improved, helping travelers enjoy the Galapagos Islands with an unparalleled degree of safety.

5 Galapagos iguana playa
Alfonso Tandazo
Alfonso Tandazo

Surtrek President