What’s Happening in South America? Here’s What We Know Right Now


Fitz Roy, Patagonia, Argentina

At Southern Explorations, we pride ourselves on our regional expertise and know-how. Our in-destination presence and local awareness are key to the success of our trips. Now, we look to our network of in-country experts and partners to inform and guide us as the world looks to “reopen” in the eventual wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
What does “reopening” look like for Southern Explorations and our guests? Each country we visit is different and all situations are fluid, so it is with that in mind that we want to provide you with the most current information from our on-the-ground travel experts. 
Like you, we want to get back out there to travel and explore again! And we will - as soon as it is safe to do so. Right now, we are solely focused on working towards that goal. As our operations team closely monitors and evaluates the unique situation in each destination, we will share with you all the intel and updates from our team across Central America and South America. 
Here’s what we know right now, and please check our website for regular updates:
The country is closed until September 1. Argentina enacted strict measures early in the pandemic and has been faring well.
The city of Santiago is under full-quarantine and Chile’s quarantine measures have been extended through the second week of June.
Latam Airlines has announced it will resume domestic flights and select international flights (notably Miami/Santiago) this month.
Please refer to the Argentina and Chile information, as these are the two countries that travelers depart from to access Antarctica.
A state of emergency in Peru has been extended to June 30. Domestic flights should resume in August and international flights should resume in October.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Peru indicated that domestic air transport is expected to restart during ‘Phase Three’ of the government’s economic recovery plan (July - end of July).
Peru’s international borders will remain closed for a few more months. The restart of air transport (domestic and international) will depend on the results of the two first phases of reopening. As of now, Latam Airlines has announced its plans to resume flights in July.
Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
Domestic and international airlines with connections to Ecuador have begun the process of resuming flights and the exact routes will be announced in the coming weeks; however, the Galapagos won’t open to tourists until at least July 1. 
The good news out of the Galapagos is, thanks to continuous testing and the social distancing measures imposed by the Galapagos Governing Council, and the local population’s respect for the measures, that spread of the virus has been well controlled in the archipelago, with very few cases reported.
As a result, over the past few weeks, Galapagos residents have been able to return to the islands on special flights under strict bio-security regulations, after having been tested beforehand on the mainland. These flights have enabled airport authorities, airlines and their crews to fine tune operations and protocols in advance of tourism’s return to the islands. 
Costa Rica 
The Costa Rican Government has extended entry restrictions until July 30. Until at least that date, Costa Rica will deny entry to visitors and non-resident foreigners. The restriction applies to the country’s ports of entry via land, air and sea.
In Panama, the stay at home order has been extended until at least July 23 with all hotels closed until July 30. 
All domestic and international flights have been cancelled until at least September 1st.  
Uruguay’s borders are closed to foreign visitors until further notice.
The U.S. has currently banned flights coming from Brazil due to fast rising case numbers.