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Documents & health information for South America

Cox & Kings supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Aware campaign to help you stay safe and healthy overseas. Find out more at FCO Travel Aware. The FCO website provides travel information for many countries around the world which includes advice on safety and security, entry requirements and health, as well as general information. Cox & Kings strongly recommends that you, and everyone on your booking, visit the FCO website and read the advice about the country you are planning to visit prior to booking. You should also revisit the advice regularly prior to your departure as it may change frequently. It is also possible to sign-up to receive FCO e-mail updates for your destination so you are aware of any changes to advice they issue and we recommend you do this. There are different levels of advice, and sometimes this includes advice against travelling to certain areas or countries. To check the current travel advice, visit and follow @FCOTravel on Twitter and

Health & entry requirements

All the destinations featured in this brochure have specific entry regulations and many have recommended health precautions. The requirements and recommendations in force at the time of publication are detailed below. If there are any alterations, you will be informed at the time of booking or as soon as these are known to us. However, it is your responsibility to check the relevant requirements and recommendations before departure to ensure that you comply with them, and to take with you the correct documentation for the country or countries that you are visiting.

Please note that the entry requirements listed are only valid for British citizens. All other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy/consulate for advice. Regarding any inoculations or health precautions that may be needed, Cox & Kings recommends that you consult your GP or travel clinic for personal advice.

Requirements and recommendations are as follows:
Antarctica: AEGHK
Argentina:  ACEGHIJK
Belize: AC†EFGIK
Colombia: AC*EFGHIK
Falkland Islands: AEGK
French Guiana: AC†EFGIK
Paraguay: AC†EGIJK
Suriname: AC†EFGIJK
Uruguay: AEGIK

Key to the codes:
A: Full valid British passport required (minimum six months validity from the intended date of return).
B: Visa required (see note).
B*: Visa required and can be obtained on arrival, please check requirements with your travel consultant.
B†: Visa required, to be completed online.
C: Yellow fever precautions advised.
C*: A yellow fever certificate is required if travelling from an infected country.
C†: A yellow fever certificate is required for all travellers more than one year old when travelling from an infected country.
D: Cholera precautions advised.
E: Typhoid, polio and hepatitis A precautions may be advised.
F: Malaria precautions advised.
G: Tetanus precautions advised.
H: Areas of high altitude – check with your GP for confirmation that it is safe for you to visit.
I: Food and drink precautions advised.
J: Diphtheria precautions advised..
K: Hepatitis B precautions advised.

Changes to requirements and recommendations:
The above information is accurate at the time of writing (June 2019). Cox & Kings will advise you before accepting your booking should there be any subsequent changes to the above recommendations and requirements. You should contact your GP or visit the MASTA (Medical Advice Service for Travellers Abroad) website at where you can receive professional advice as well as arrange any vaccinations. Further country-specific useful health advice for travellers can be found via the NHS and FCO.

General health advice

Please see the advice regarding inoculations for specific countries above. For more general advice, please note the following:

  • Drink only bottled water and check the seal is secure when you receive it.
  • Do not eat raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit, and raw or uncooked seafood.
  • Avoid drinks with ice in unless you know that the ice was made from filtered water.
  • Avoid food and drink from street vendors and restaurants that might have suspect refrigeration and sanitary practices.

Malaria: Malaria may be a risk in parts of South America and no drug will guarantee total protection. It is essential that medical advice is sought before travelling to this region as there are many factors that need to be considered, including, but not limited to, the area to be visited, risk of exposure and possible side-effects.

Chikungunya virus: In 2014 there was an outbreak of Chikungunya virus with cases reported in countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and also in the USA. This virus often occurs after the rainy seasons when mosquitoes breed more actively. The best way to avoid infection is to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellents and wearing appropriate clothing. Medical attention must be sought for any feverish illness experienced while travelling or on your return home. For more details, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre.


Some areas of Latin America are at high altitude and key places are listed with their heights below. In order to minimise the effects of altitude and help the acclimatisation process, it is advisable to rest for a few hours upon arrival and avoid heavy meals, alcohol and physical exertion for the first day or two. If you have any history of heart complaints, or if you are over the age of 60, please check with your GP that it is safe to visit these areas. If you are planning to take part in a hike or a trek, please always check the requirements with your travel consultant as some countries and mountain ranges have specific regulations which must be followed.

Key places at altitude:

La Paz – 3,640m
Potosi – 4,067m
Lake Titicaca – 3,812m
Salar de Uyuni – 3,653m

Arequipa – 2,335m
Chivay, Colca  – 3,635m
Cuzco – 3,399m
Machu Picchu – 2,430m
Patapampa Point, Colca – 4,889m
Puno – 3,830m

San Pedro de Atacama – 2,407m

Bogotá – 2,625m

Quito – 2,850m
Cotopaxi National Park – 

Passports & embassies

This advice is only valid for British citizen passport holders. Holders of any other type of British passport (eg British subjects) or of any other nationality must contact the relevant embassy/consulate (details listed below). It is important that you hold a valid 10-year British passport and we recommend that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months from your date of return to the UK. Passport application forms can be obtained from the post office or online at The passport advice telephone line is on 0300 222 0000 (calls are charged at national rate). Whether renewing your passport or applying for a new one, all relevant information can be found on the website or by telephoning the number above. The cost for a postal application is £72.50 and takes a minimum of three weeks to obtain from the date of application.

Information on visas may be obtained from the respective embassies and high commissions at the following addresses:

  • Argentine Consulate, 27 Three Kings Yard, London W1K 4DF. Tel: 020 7318 1340.
  • Bolivian Embassy, 106 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AD. Tel: 020 7235 4255.
  • Brazilian Consulate, 3 Vere Street, London W1G 0DH. Tel: 020 7659 1550.
  • Chilean Embassy, 37-41 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9JA. Tel: 020 7222 2361.
  • Colombian Consulate, 3rd Floor, Westcott House, 35 Portland Place, London W1B 1AE Tel: 020 7637 9893.
  • Consulate General of Ecuador, 9 John Sessions Square, Alie Street, London N1 8NQ. Tel: 020 3905 2150.
  • Falkland Islands Government Office, 14 Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H 0BH. Tel: 020 7222 2542.
  • For French Guiana, please contact the French Consulate, 6a Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2EW. Tel: 020 7073 1250
  • Guyana High Commission, 3 Palace Court, Bayswater Road, London W2 4LP. Tel: 020 7229 7684.
  • Paraguayan Embassy, 3rd Floor, 344 Kensington High Street, London W14 8NS. Tel: 020 7610 4180.
  • Peruvian Consulate General, 52 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9SP. Tel: 020 7235 1917.
  • Honorary Consulate of Suriname, Flat 89 Pier House, 31 Cheyne Walk, London SW3 5HN. Tel: 07768 196 326.
  • Uruguayan Embassy, 4th Floor, 150 Brompton Rd, London SW3 1HX. Tel: 020 7937 4170.


For British citizens, a tourist card is required for entry into most South American countries. These may be obtained and completed on all international flights, excluding flights to Suriname. Please remember to retain each card for your departure from the country. It is not necessary to purchase tourist cards prior to departure.

  • For Suriname, please check with your travel consultant.  

If you are not a British citizen and do require a visa, Cox & Kings can recommend a reputable visa assistance company who can help with your application. Please contact your travel consultant for details.

Neither Cox & Kings nor any visa assistance company can guarantee the granting of any visas, as this is a matter outside of their control. If a visa is not granted through no fault of Cox & Kings or any visa assistance company, neither will accept any liability for the consequences. Therefore Cox & Kings reserves the right to pass on to you any costs incurred as a result, including cancellation charges.