And then there was Chile.
Days after its neighbor to the north, Peru, announced it would welcome back travelers, Chile is preparing to restart international travel, according to media reports that were recently confirmed by the U.S. embassy in Chile. And yes, that includes Americans.
After an introductory period during which travelers from high-risk countries (including Americans) will still be required to quarantine, Chile will welcome all travelers in early December with testing and other entry requirements.
It's welcome news for a destination known for some of the best wines in the world and the picturesque gateway to Patagonia. The problem is that getting that far south is rarely cheap – until recently. Keep reading to see what we mean.
What's Required to Enter Chile?
Chile is actually throwing open its borders to international travelers starting Nov. 23. But not everyone will be allowed to easily visit at the start.
All travelers must enter through Santiago de Chile (SCL) airport and present three documents prior to their flight:
- A completed “Affidavit of Travelers” form, or a sanitary passport, prepared less than 48 hours before boarding. These are available at www.c19.cl
- Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure
- Proof of a health insurance policy that will cover COVID-19 health issues during their stay in Chile
But Americans and other travelers won't be allowed to skip quarantine until at least Dec. 7. From Nov. 23 through Dec. 7, travelers arriving from high-risk countries including the U.S. will be required to quarantine for 14 days in Santiago – even with a negative COVID-19 test.
Starting Dec. 8, that 14-day mandatory quarantine is set to disappear. But there are still plenty of other rules and regulations that must be followed.
All foreign travelers have to follow a “14-day period of vigilance,” during which they'll be required to report their location and health status to the Chilean Health Ministry through an upcoming health platform. Social distancing and other safety measures remain in place throughout the country, including nightly curfews and mask mandates. And many areas throughout the country remain on lockdown or in quarantine, which travelers must follow.
Getting To Chile for Cheap
Whether you're ready to head for Chile next month or not until later next year, this is good news. But it's a breath of fresh air for Thrifty Traveler Premium members who booked the mistake fare of a lifetime last week.
Flights to Santiago are typically close to $1,000 or more. But we found a mistake fare with nonstop flights to Santiago de Chile (SCL) starting at just $63 roundtrip. Yes, $63 for a nine-hour flight down to Chile.
Want insane flight deal alerts like this one? Try Thrifty Traveler Premium for just $5.99 a month!
And it wasn’t just Atlanta that got the love. We were shocked to see just how many cities from the U.S. offered roundtrip fares over 80% off to Santiago!
- Augusta (AGS) – $117
- Birmingham (BHM) – $117
- Chicago (MDW) – $290
- Cincinnati (CVG) – $187
- Detroit (DTW) – $192
- Fargo (FAR) – $374
- Los Angeles (LAX) – $306
- Memphis (MEM) – $186
- Minneapolis (MSP) – $186
- New York (JFK) – $307
- Orlando (MCO) – $146
- Panama City (ECP) – $117
- Seattle (SEA) – $247
With phenomenal availability starting this winter (peak summer in Chile) through October 2021, and flying Delta with generally one quick connection through Atlanta (ATL), this goes down as one of the best flight deals we've ever found. It's still unclear whether Delta will honor these fares, but we (and hundreds of Premium members) have got our fingers crossed.
Those insane prices have disappeared – they only lasted about 90 minutes. But even if you missed it, there are tons of other cheap options to fly to Chile. We find sales monthly with fares from larger hubs for as low as $400 roundtrip. If you're sitting on some Delta SkyMiles, using them to book a SkyMiles flash sale is another great option.
Chile reopening its borders is another major bright spot for the travel community. One by one, more and more countries are restarting travel – often with testing requirements and other entry restrictions.
We hope that other countries will continue to safely reopen as tourism inches its way back toward normal.