If you are planning to embark in an amazing polar expedition, one of the most important things to have ready for the adventure is the necessary documentation to travel. When you are traveling internationally, a passport is essential! Make sure your passport is valid not only for the duration of your trip, but for at least six (6) months following your intended travel dates.
Although a visa is not required to set foot on the White Continent, most expeditions depart either from Ushuaia, Argentina or Punta Arenas, Chile. Hence, you might need a visa while you are in transit, or if you want to spend a couple of days in any of these countries before or after your voyage. Depending on your citizenship you might need a visa, so it is strongly recommended that you check with the local embassy to make any necessary arrangements ahead of time.
Note: The information below is valid at time of writing (July 2018), but these visas & fees change frequently. We recommend you re-check before traveling!
For stays of three months or less in Chile or Argentina: US, UK, Australian, Canadian and Chinese citizens do not need a visa. Since regulations change frequently we recommend you double check they prevail when you intend to travel.
Some countries may not require a visa to enter, but they may charge tourists a reciprocity fee. Make sure you have checked if you need to pay a reciprocity fee, because some countries such as Argentina require you to pay it online before arriving to the country.
US, UK and Canadian citizens are exempt from paying this reciprocity fee when entering either Chile or Argentina. Nevertheless, Australian citizens have to pay a USD $117 reciprocity fee at the airport when they arrive in Chile by air (notice that when traveling by land this payment is not required). In Chile, this fee can be paid either by credit card or in US dollars.
As we’ve said a few times, these regulations change frequently, so this is just a guide! Our team is here to help you make sure you have the correct documentation before you come south.