Safety and security
Chile has a small but significant landmine problem. Landmine accidents mainly affect livestock and small numbers of local people crossing the borders at unauthorised crossing points. Minefields are located primarily in border areas adjacent to Peru and Bolivia in the extreme north of Chile Regions I and II, and Argentina in the south in Region XII.
Although most minefields are clearly marked, some signs and fences have been damaged by weather or vandalism and may be hard to recognise, particularly in the north of the country. Minefields are, in some cases, laid right up to the edge of highways.
You should also be aware that there are mined areas in six government-protected wilderness areas in Regions I, II and XII. Although neither park rangers nor visitors have ever been injured or killed by landmines, we advise you to check with local authorities before travelling to border areas of Regions I, II and XII, stick to clearly marked roads and observe all warnings signs.
Crime remains relatively low in Chile but you should take sensible precautions.
Pickpocketing, other thefts and muggings are increasingly common throughout Chile, particularly around well-known tourist sites and bus stations. You shouldn’t leave luggage unattended and be particularly attentive at bus terminals, restaurants and other areas frequented by tourists. We advise you to take great care with your belongings, keep in groups and don’t walk alone late at night.
If you’re planning to drive in Chile, be prepared and take some basic precautions:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Wed, 04 May 2016 14:56:39 BST