Traveling in Chile


Travel Safety

September 14, 2019

Chile is considered a relatively safe country for travel and the vast majority of foreigners will visit without incident. Exercise normal safety precautions.

As per the most recent 2019 Numbeo survey Chile has a similar Crime Index Rate as Sweden, the United States and France. In the region, Chile has the lowest crime index rate then all of its South American neighbours. It also ranks above popular travel destinations with the north american and European markets such as Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Nevertheless opportunistic petty street crime can be a problem in tourist hot spots and in large urban areas such as Santiago and Valparaiso. Be extra cautious when in crowded spaces like Paseo Ahumada (a popular pedestrian shopping street in downtown Santiago), Mercado Central (a Santiago land mark, this wrought-iron fish market is very popular for seafood lunches), at night in the Bellavista neighborhood or at Cerro San Cristobal or Cerro Santa Lucia. Also exercise caution when in any large urban center throughout the country, specially in public areas such as bus terminals and open markets .

Worthy of note if you are venturing away from Santiago by land, is the fact that Chile is connected by one main highway, Ruta 5, which runs north-south almost the length of the country from Arica to Puerto Montt. While it is a modern toll four lane divided highway for most of the country, allow for extra time in case of delays. Daytime travel is recommended, specially in the Araucania region where historical indigenous land dispute claims are known to cause highway disruptions. Check the website of the Chilean Ministry of Public Works for the latest on highway information, international cross border, toll costs, weather and natural disaster related information (Spanish only).

Links of Interest:

Chilean Government - Ministry of External Affairs

Chile Abroad - Embassies, Consulates and Multilateral Missions of Chile Information for those interested in traveling in and around Chile

Country Specific Chile Travel Advisories:

Fact sheet and travel advice for Chile U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs

Travel advisories for Chile Government of Canada

Foreign travel advice for Chile United Kingdom Government

Travel advice for Chile Australian Government - Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs

Emergency Numbers when in Chile:

Ambulance | Ambulancia: 131

Santiago Metropolitan Area | Región Metropolitana

Fire | Bomberos: 132

All Regions | Todas las Regiones

Police | Carabineros: 133

All Regions | Todas las Regiones

Air Search and Rescue Service | Servicio de Búsqueda y Salvamento Aéreo (SAR) FACh: 138

All Regions | Todas las Regiones

Coastal Rescue Unit | Unidad de Rescate Costero: 137

All Regions | Todas las Regiones

Andean Rescue Corps | Cuerpo de Socorro Andino: 6994764

Santiago Metropolitan Area | Región Metropolitana