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Wildlife sea lion beach Santa Fe Galapagos Ecuador courtesy of Metropolitan Touring Contours Travel

Latin America is open for international travel!

October 20, 2020

During these long months of lockdown, our partners across Latin America have been working tirelessly to achieve the #SafeTravels stamp. This stamp recognises destinations, tour operators and attractions that have developed biosafety protocols that meet the international standards established by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). And, after months of implementing and testing biosafety protocols, many countries in Latin America are open for international travel once again.

So, let’s take a closer look at those countries who have earned the #SafeTravels stamp. And what entry requirements are in place for those destinations…


Ecuador was the first country in South America to be awarded the certification from the WTTC. And it was the first to open for international travel! Travellers to Ecuador must present a negative PCR test taken no more than 10 days prior to arrival.

But if you wish to travel to the Galapagos Islands, the conditions are a little more strict. A negative test must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure. The Galapagos have been welcoming tourists safely since August. And we can’t think of a better destination to escape to right now! Remote, mostly unpopulated and utterly unique! We can’t wait to get back there!


Those arriving in Peru must show a negative PCR test which has been issued no more than 72 hours prior. Beautiful Machu Picchu will reopen on 1 November (although this lucky traveller snuck in early). And what’s more, greatly reduced visitor numbers mean an even more magical experience awaits.

Meanwhile, museums and archaeological sites in Cuzco and Lima are already operating at reduced capacity and with all the relevant health and hygiene measures in place. As one of our favourite destinations in South America, we are thrilled that Peru is open for international travel once again.

Costa Rica

Travellers to Costa Rica must have a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Costa Rica also requires travellers to show proof of medical insurance which will cover them for COVID related illness.  Travellers may also opt to purchase insurance through Sagicor. This is a Costa Rican company that offers policies in accordance with the government mandates.

Costa Rica has taken smart strategic measures to encourage residents to explore their own country, and domestic tourism has been allowed since June.  This has allowed hotels to implement and test the new protocols and streamline operations within current restrictions. So by the time you can finally visit, Costa Rica will have well established and fully tested systems in place. Meaning a hassle-free holiday for you and your family.


On arrival to Colombia you’ll need to show a negative PCR test issued no more than 96 hours prior. Next, you will need to download the tracing app CoronApp-Colombia. And finally, don’t forget that facemasks are compulsory in public areas.

With slow travel on trend for post-COVID holidays, why not consider an extended stay in the Coffee Region? Or get away from it all with a stay on Colombia’s wild Pacific coast?

Ask our expert Travel Specialists for more great ideas for your next South American holiday. We are working hard to create safe holiday experiences for you, once our own borders finally open for international travel.