Here are some common questions we get from our customers regarding travel to Latin America! Please bear in mind that each Latin American country has it's own rules and regulations so it is very dependent on where you are travelling to.
British nationals do not require a visa to enter most major tourist destinations in Latin America unless you are travelling on an Emergency Travel Document.
You require a tourist visa to enter Cuba, but this is all part of the booking process with us - we will sort visas for all those travelling.
You must hold a valid passport to enter any Latin American country. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. We advise that you have at least 6 months validity left on your passport when entering the country.
On presentation of a valid British passport most countries will grant you a 90-day stay.
Certain remote areas such as South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and the Galapagos Islands require a landing fee for each visitor (over 16 years of age). This will be added to your final total with us.
Up-to-date travel advice can be found on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website by clicking here.
Travel proof: Immigration officials in Latin America countries may require you to provide proof of onward travel – e.g. in the form of a return ticket.
Travelling with children: Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence that both parents have given permission for the journey before allowing lone parents to leave the country.
Debit Cards: Depending on where you are ATMs are fairly widely available in larger towns and cities throughout Latin America but you should not rely solely on using debit cards to access funds. There may be a limit on the number of withdrawals you make per day and international charges for withdrawals may also apply.
Credit cards: Accepted in most hotels and major shops and restaurants.
Travellers’ cheques: Sometimes accepted but not always.
US dollars: Not widely accepted outside the major tourist areas for cash transactions but it is worth bringing a supply of dollars as they are much easier to exchange than pounds.
Exchanging money: Only use authorised bureaux de change. If you are unsure, ask at your hotel reception and they will be happy to help.
Safety and Security
Being aware of crime makes holidaymakers safer. If you take care and follow the precautionary tips you will enjoy a crime-free holiday.
Crimes to look out for:
- Pickpockets are rife, especially on pubic transport and in busy city streets.
- Distraction theft, bag snatching and armed robberies in the street, taxis and restaurants.
- Con-men who rob tourists while an accomplice pretends to help them remove ketchup or mustard that has been “accidentally” sprayed on them.
- The slitting of handbags
- “Express” kidnappings, whereby a con-man attempts a random and short abduction, so as to extract cash from the victim.
- Thefts at ATM machines.
How to avoid being a victim:
- Keep passports in a hotel safe or security box except when being used for identification purposes.
- Keep a photocopy of the details page of your passport with you at all times.
- Keep a close eye on your bags and luggage at all times.
- Wear a rucksack on your front or keep a bag tucked under your arm.
- Don’t leave a wallet or money in an outside pocket.
- Avoid wearing ostentatious jewellery or carrying large amounts of money.
- Be vigilant at ATMs and avoid using ATMs in isolated or poorly lit areas at night.
- Book taxis in advance where possible
What to do if you’re a victim of crime:
- If you are robbed, you should inform the local police – a police report will be required by your insurers and by the Embassy if you need a new passport.
- Prior to your tour we will advise you of all relevant contact details you may need. Eg Consulate, local police stations etc.
Always conssult your GP or travel nurse before travelling to Latin America
Dengue Fever is common to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. There is no vaccination or immunisation. It’s vital to avoid mosquito bites, using repellent regularly and covering up with suitable clothing to avoid being bitten.
Yellow Fever outbreaks have been reported. It is recommended in some areas that you receive a Yellow Fever vaccination before travelling.
HIV/AIDS: Ensure normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
Asthma, sinus and bronchial problems can be aggravated by the polluted atmosphere in the major cities.
Other conditions: Take a sufficient quantity of medical supplies, keeping in mind eventualities such as flight delays etc.
Medical facilities are good, but can be expensive. Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is vital for your trip. Check for any exclusions and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake.
You should always take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.
Getting to South America is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights and we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available.
Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour.
As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.
For the majority of our tours we arrange all your internal flights for you as booking them independently can be difficult and costly. We have excellent links with internal airlines and flight providers so we recommend you let us book your internal transport!
Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.