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Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean VISA, VACCINATION, CURRENCY EXCHANGE, TRAVEL AGENCY

1. Posted by NNicolaou (Budding Member 38 posts) 11y

Here comes another catalogue of questions:)

i am planning a trip to South America next Jannuary. I am not sure yet of my itinerary and i need to find out whether i need visa or any kind of vaccinations for every country in latin america. Do u know any site i can find this kind of info?

Also i need to find some info regarding the currency i need for each country and where i can find currency echange stores.

Finally i need some tips for finding an international travel agency to book cheap flights to latin america.

Please dont shoot me for all those questions. It is the first time that i actually try to prepare a trip by myself and it is kind of tricky.:)

2. Posted by hednorth (Budding Member 31 posts) 11y

Hi there!
I`m going to Argentina and Uruguay in January for the first time alone :) Don`t know about your country, but I found a lot of info on the government webpages (of my country) about visas and vaccinations. They recommend taking the hepatitus A and difteria and one more I can`t remember (typhoid?). Depends on the purpose of your travel, if you`re going to be in the cities or the jungle. I think it`s great you have lots of questions....then I can use the answers myself

3. Posted by NNicolaou (Budding Member 38 posts) 11y

Hi Hednorth!
thanks for the input. Actually i tried the gov webpage but it was not helpful at all.
i come from Cyprus by the way.

4. Posted by hednorth (Budding Member 31 posts) 11y

Just found a visa/embassy page :) Hope you find your country! :)

5. Posted by elincita (Budding Member 38 posts) 11y

I just called up the office of foreign affairs and they were really helpful and told me everything I needed to know. Plus they said I could always look it up on their website. And for the Vaccination I just called the health department and they told me where to go:)

hope everything works out for you:)

6. Posted by NNicolaou (Budding Member 38 posts) 11y

hey thanks that was very helpfu!
i need visa for brasil and chile

7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Quoting NNicolaou

Also i need to find some info regarding the currency i need for each country and where i can find currency echange stores.

Looks like you have the Visa research under way. The best and only sure way to find out, however is to drop by, phone or email the embassy of the countries you want visit. They are the only ones who can tell you what is required and give you advice on what you need.

For exhcange rates, Check out XE.COM

For more general information on countries, check on CIA factbook or

8. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 11y


  • Hepatitus A and B and Typhoid are a good idea for anyone traveling. The hep vaccines require shots over several months, you need to plan in advance to be protected fully by these vaccines!
  • Be sure your tetnus, measles and polio vaccines are up-to-date. Your doctor can look at the date you got the original shots (when you were a kid) or do a "titer" exam to see if you have enough antibodies to protect you.
  • Yellow Fever, required if you plan to travel to Brazil, or plan to travel from other countries into Brazil.
  • Rabies, only necessary if you plan to spend a lot of time in the bush, jungle, pampas away from civilization, on your own. Otherwise, perhaps an expensive and unnecessary shot.
  • Malaria, no shot, but if you plan to spend time in jungle areas that are known for malaria (there are many maps that can indicate these zones) it's necessary to take daily or weekly pills. You can buy them at home, or risk getting them in the country where you need them.

If you carry an ATM (automatic teller machine) card from your bank that draws on a current (checking or savings) account, or a VISA or MasterCard credit card that allows you to withdraw cash, you will have no problem. I spent a year in seven South American countries and used cash machines everywhere. Some charge a small fee, others didn't. You'll want to check the fee policy from you bank (I was lucky, my U.S. credit union didn't charge me a fee to use another bank's ATM).

The beautiful thing is that the ATMs give you the local currency, and you get the benefit of the best exchange rate. In Ecuador, you get U.S. dollars, and in several other countries, you have an option to withdraw U.S. dollars as well. A nice way to stock up on "emergency cash." I always carried $US100 tucked deep in my backpack "just in case."

However, I would stay away from carrying large amounts of cash, and don't bother with traveller's cheques. They are a serious burden as many places charge a large fee to cash them. If you have time, set up a bank account at home that issues a cash card and use it with confidence in South America.

The Lonely Planet South America on a Shoestring has a pretty good list of nationalities that require visas for each country. (Where are you from?) Nationals from the United States do not require a visa to visit any South American country. Lenghts of stay are generally 90 days (Bolivia was 30 with an easy extension to 90). I do not know about Brazil or Colombia.

You might find the following online travel agency useful. I've found they have some of the lowest fares around. It's a place to start and benchmark prices.

Hope these help!

9. Posted by NNicolaou (Budding Member 38 posts) 11y

hey thank u so much for your replies!!
that was very helpful