Following Colombia, two more countries in Latin America have just lifted all of their pandemic-era travel restrictions, allowing foreign tourists to enter under pre-2020 guidelines.
Despite having been well-reputed as one of the world’s most friendly destinations in the early days of the crisis, the geopolitical region was quick to shut down its borders once vaccines became available, imposing entry bans on non-immunized visitors and other draconian laws aimed at curbing the viral spread.
After nearly two years of strict border checks, countries in the region seem ready to reinstate normality, especially after the World Health Organization declared the pandemic to be ‘over‘:
Chile And Costa Rica Lift All Travel Restrictions
Within days of each other, the Hispanic countries of Chile and Costa Rica have abolished all COVID-related entry requirements, allowing all visitors to enter without observing health-related requirements for the first time since they were first imposed in early 2020.
This means that, from now on, U.S. nationals, and indeed any non-Chilean or Costa Rica passport holders, will be able to travel to both countries without worrying about COVID mandates, including showing a vaccination certificate and/or negative tests as valid proof of entry.
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Since May 5, 2023 and May 9, 2023, all of the following has applied to tourists seeking entry into Costa Rica and Chile, respectively:
- No vaccination proof is needed
- No pre-departure test is required
- No entry forms must be filled out prior to departure
- Unvaccinated travelers are not subject to stricter screening upon landing
The travel update was first issued by the relevant health authorities in the Latin states and then confirmed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) through its COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map and, ultimately, U.S. embassies in Chile and Costa Rica.
Prior to the update, unvaccinated travelers were routinely denied boarding flying to Costa Rica or Chile unless they could present a negative antigen test result issued in the preceding days or hours. In Chile’s case, online pre-travel registration was also mandatory.
Now, vaccine discrimination is no longer carried out by border inspectors.
What About Easter Island?
Despite being part of Chile, Easter Island, a volcanic island in Polynesia, may impose different entry requirements for foreign arrivals due to its special status.
If you plan on traveling to Easter Island, check with your airline regarding entry requirements in advance.
Previously, the island had completely shut itself out from the rest of the world in an attempt to protect its small populace from the ever-evolving COVID variants. They only lifted entry bans in May 2022, though health protocols continued to be applied.
Easter Island is famous for its moai sculptures, erected by native inhabitants between the 13th and 16th centuries, depicting large human figures with oversize heads.
This destination is served by nonstop flights leaving from Santiago, in mainland Chile, or Papeete, in French Polynesia.
Why Visit Chile?
Chile is one of the most fascinating natural world destinations in Latin America, as well as the most developed nation in the Global South.
Boasting an impossibly diverse territory, which encompasses alpine peaks and volcanoes, otherworldly arid landscapes, and an elongated, rugged Pacific coastline, Chile is every nature enthusiast’s dream getaway.
Some of the main attractions include:
- Santiago, the rapidly-growing national capital, with its clusters of skyscrapers rising against the Andes mountain range
- Valparaiso, a city best known for its street art and as the birthplace of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda
- The Atacama Desert, a vast plateau stretching over 990 miles with a Mars-like scenery
- Chiloé, the second largest island in South America after Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, with a distinct culture and architecture than that of the mainland
- Iquique, a casino-riddled coastal town dubbed the ‘Monte Carlo’ of Chile
- The Chilean Fjords, best enjoyed on a cruise traveling through the Chilean Patagonia
- La Serena, a quaint town in Northern Chile and the gateway to the scenic Elqui Valley, a popular destination for hikers and trekkers
Why Visit Costa Rica?
Crowned Central America’s number one tourist destination, Costa Rica is the go-to place for a digital detox, with its dense tropical jungle unspoiled by mankind, pristine beaches, and laidback lifestyle.
Having launched one of the most accessible Digital Nomad Visas (DNVs) in the market, Costa Rica has been attracting both young entrepreneurs and remote workers in search of tax exemptions and a better life-work balance.
The top-rated spots in Costa Rica are:
- San Jose, the sprawling capital, home to world-class museums and a lively nightlife
- Cartago, a historical colonial-era town that served as the capital of Costa Rica between the 16th and 19th centuries
- The Manual Antonio National Park, packed with hiking trails and unruffled sandy beaches
- Arenal an area of outstanding natural beauty in Northwestern Costa Rica comprising an active volcano and a picturesque lake
- Monteverde, a popular ecotourism hub visited by more than 250,000 tourists every year
- The Poas Volcano, an active stratovolcano with two sulfur lakes in its core, offering a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding peaks
- Santa Teresa, a traditional coastal town jam-packed with backpackers, with a high concentration of hostels, surf shops, and trendy bars
Find out which countries have reopened for tourism recently clicking here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com