Home » South America Travel Information
South America is a huge continent and weather conditions differ greatly depending on which destinations you plan to visit. We all want different things from our holiday and the best time to go to South America for one person may be poles apart from another. For some dry weather is important, whereas for others travelling out of peak season is vital, so this summary is only intended as a brief guide covering the most popular destinations. Please contact us to discuss in more details.
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Eclipse Travel can assist with all your flight arrangements, including international flights, round- the-world flights, internal South America flights and South America air passes.
Which airlines fly to South America from Australia or NZ?
From the east coast there are 3 options for flying into South America:
There are also alternatives via the USA, although connections are not as good and will usually require an overnight stop.
From the west coast you can either fly via Sydney on one of the above alternatives or can consider alternatives via South Africa or the Middle East.
Can South America be incorporated into round-the-world flights?
Yes, there are many options, some of which can be good value. Or if you are simply looking to combine South and North America with the one ticket then there are other good alternatives we can discuss.
What is the baggage allowance for flights?
Baggage allowances depend on the airline, however common international flight allowance is between 20-23kgs and 15-23kgs for domestic flights. All airlines allow international limits on domestic flights when issued on the same ticket.
Some popular airline baggage allowances can be found here;Qantas | LAN & TAM Airlines | Aerolineas Argentina | Avianca | Skyairline
To check the latest visa requirements and assistance with your application CLICK BELOW to use our handy Visa Machine:
What visas are required?
Australian citizens require a visa to enter Paraguay.
Brazil – New Zealand and British citizens can travel to Brazil visa-free. The Brazilian Government has removed the visa requirement for Australians, Canadians and US citizens travelling to Brazil AFTER 17 June 2019.
Paraguay – The SILVIO PETTIROSSI airport in Asunción is the ONLY port of entry into Paraguay that offers the VISA ON ARRIVAL facility. If you are entering Paraguay from a land/water border crossing or are landing at an international airport other than the SILVIO PETTIROSSI in Asunción, you MUST obtain a visa before you travel.
Citizens from countries other than the six (6) listed above, who need a visa to enter Paraguay, must obtain their visas before travelling to Paraguay regardless of their port of entry into the country. Upon arrival in Paraguay, Australian and New Zealand citizens get granted a Multiple Entry 90-day stay. Please see the link here http://www.mre.gov.py/australia/csVisa.htm
USA – Please note that when flying via the USA you will need to apply for a visa waiver.
Canada – If travelling via Canada you must apply for a new mandatory entry requirement known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that applies to all visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada effective from 15 March 2016. The authorisation is electronically linked to the passport and is valid for five (5) years or until passport expiry, whichever comes first. The cost of an eTA is CAD 7.00 per person and to view eTA-required nationalities visit here. Eligible customers can apply for an eTA online here
When transitting via New Zealand on a passport other than an Australian or British one you may require a transit visa. More information can be found on this here
What additional entrance fees or taxes can I expect?
In several countries an entrance fee is charged to Australian passport holders. A brief overview of these costs (subject to change) can be found below:
We highly recommend obtaining comprehensive travel insurance when travelling to South America. Please check the terms of your policy carefully, particularly with regard to limits of cover and ensure you are familiar with the procedure for making claims. Once you have paid your deposit or full payment, certain fees will apply if you have to cancel your holiday and for this reason you should take out insurance at the time of paying your deposit, which should then protect you in such a situation.
Beginning February 1st, 2018, all visitors to Ecuador are obligated to provide proof of health insurance when passing through immigration in order to gain entry into the country of Ecuador.
What vaccinations are required?
There are many factors that need to be considered by you and your health care professional when assessing the need for vaccines and/or medication. This information is only a guide and not a replacement for professional health advice. Be sure to speak to your doctor or visit a travel clinic at least 6-8 weeks before you travel. The following is a list of our general recommendations:
What Causes Altitude Sickness?
The primary cause of altitude sickness is ascending too quickly. Many areas within South America have altitudes which have been known to induce this illness. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen at specific altitudes. This is known as acclimatisation and generally takes one to three nights at a given altitude. If this is a particular concern to you, all our trips can be customised to give you more time to acclimatise.
Some general recommendations for people travelling to areas of high altitude: The day before you travel
If you are having difficulty breathing or develop any abnormal symptoms then seek immediate medical help. Many hotels and also most of your tour guides will have a ready supply of oxygen which will help alleviate any potential problems.Preventive Medications(requiring prescriptions):
Whilst we understand your dietary requirements are important and often vital to your health, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Eclipse Travel aims to alleviate these concerns and on request will prepare translations of your requirements into either Spanish or Portuguese, depending on which destinations you are travelling to.
In general we recommend using the local currency for each country within South America as you will get the most value for your money. ATMs are common in all major centres and even the smaller ones. As a backup we recommend a supply of US dollar notes in small denominations as every country in South America readily accepts these and they can be very handy on border crossings.
Travel Money Cards are also an option and work as a bank card on your travels around the continent. Traveller’s cheques are very difficult to exchange in South America so we do not recommend these.
Unlike the United States tipping in South America is not mandatory but like anywhere is much appreciated. Expected amounts differ by the country but we have outlined some broad guidelines for you as follows:
Internet cafes are prevalent throughout all major centres in South America and are generally inexpensive to use. Additionally, most hotels offer Wi-Fi or shared computers with internet access which is often included in the cost of your hotel.
Using your mobile phone with roaming can be very expensive. We recommend using Wi-Fi in your hotels to access programs like Viber or Skype to make free calls to your family and friends back home. Additionally, you can use calling booths or paid accounts with Skype in internet cafes as a very inexpensive way of making calls.
Electrical Outlets in Latin America
Most countries in South America use the European style outlet with 110v. Visit the below link for more information on each country.
INCA TRAIL: SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
You can typically expect anything from warm and sunny to freezing cold and rainy in the day time when doing a trek in Peru. Evenings are almost always chilly and we suggest dressing in layers so you can easily adapt to the conditions. We recommend you to take the following;
AMAZON: SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
PATAGONIA: SUGGESTED PACKING LIST
GENERAL: SUGGESTED PACKING LIST