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Airport Arrival
Airport Arrival
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Chile Airport Arrival

Santiago International Airport is called: Arturo Merino Benitez.


The airport is located about 30km from the centre of Santiago and the drive time takes about 30min via modern automated-toll roads.


The airport comprises one, large and very spacious terminal with one end for international flights and the other for domestic. The new terminal has been open for ten years and is extremely state-of-the-art: clean, large and full of shops and cafes. There is still a problem, however, when two or more international flights arrive close to one another as the immigration facilities cannot cope with the massive surge of arrivals.


International Arrivals

Reciprocity Tax

Passengers with Australian, Canadian, American and Mexican passports have to pay a reciprocity tax before passing through immigration.


Reciprocity Tax Rates charged per person (as at May 2009).

  • Australia USD 61
  • Canadá USD 132
  • United States USD 131
  • México USD 23


Enquiries can be directed to the Cash Desk + 56 – 2 - 690 - 1063

This tax is applied to countries that charge Chilean nationals a fee to process visas when visiting their countries, hence the term “reciprocal tax”. It is advisable to check before coming to Chile if, because of your nationality, you have to pay this tax and ENSURE that you have the cash on you upon arrival. This tax has to be paid BEFORE passing through immigration, for which there is a special area, and paid in cash.


Immigration and Visa

Upon arrival to Chile, through ANY border control point, you will be given a little form to fill out. This may be given to you on board your incoming flight. This is a Tourist Visa and is VERY important. Keep it with you until you leave the country and surrender it to immigration. If you loose this document it will make your departure rather difficult and tiresome.

Travel necessities (suitcases, bags, personal effects), clothing, adornments, electrical toilet appliances, articles for personal use (alarm clock, camera, typewriter, portable calculator) that are used and appropriate for the normal use of the person importing or exporting them and which are not for sale.

Objects for use exclusively for their profession or trade, provided they are used, portable, manual, of simple manufacture, that do not need to be installed for their normal use and relate to the traveller’s profession or trade.

Up to a volume not exceeding 400 cigarettes, 500 grams of pipe tobacco, 50 cigars and 2.5 litres of alcoholic drink per adult person (over 18 years old).


Customs and Food & Agriculture Control

You are NOT permitted to import the following items when entering Chile: Fruits, seeds, cheese, meat, vegetables or non-processed animal products. Fire arms, munitions or explosives or illegal drugs. NOTE: Luggage is x-rayed upon entry and dogs check out luggage too.

Passengers are entitled to enter, free of customs duties and taxes, all merchandise that represents their luggage. Luggage is understood to include:

  • House furniture .
  • Household goods, crockery, linen goods and paintings.
  • Musical instruments.
  • Electrical or electronic goods, spares and appliances.
  • Office installation.


Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG)

The following should be declared on entering the country as these are NOT permitted:

  • Milk, butter, cream and cheese.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Meats of any kind, cured meats and sausages.
  • Seeds, grains, dry, desiccated or dehydrated fruits.
  • Fruit, ornamental or forestry plants of parts thereof: twigs, cuttings, bulbs, etc. Flowers, dried flowers and garden plants. Soil.
  • Word or bark
  • Insects, snails, etc. Bacteria and fungus for scientific research purposes. Bees, honey and bees wax. Animal semen, biological and veterinary pharmaceutical products.
  • Small animals and pets (dogs, cats, etc.). Birds.
  • Live species and their products or byproducts, prepared from wild fauna.

Important to bear in mind: Making a Sworn Declaration that is not true constitutes a crime and can be punished by a prison sentence of between 61 days and 3 years. Refusal to make the declaration may be punished by a fine.



There are a number of taxi companies offering taxis from the airport as well as mini-bus transfers and larger buses to take people to hotels or bus stations. These days it is reasonably well controlled, but there are still often situations when numerous taxi men will hassle the arriving passenger all vying for his or her business. The best bet is to either have a pre-arranged transfer or head for the “Taxi Oficial” desk and deal with them.


International Departures

The boarding area is located on the third level of the International Terminal. On entering International Police, the passenger will be asked for their identification documents (identity card or passport), stamped TOURIST visa (depending on the country of origin) and the boarding card.

The boarding gates are found following the Airport Security (AVSEC) control. Only passengers leaving the country have access to this sector.

Those leaving Chile and intending to return, and who are carrying articles of value, should pass by the Customs office, located just to the right after the security control, to make a declaration of temporary export of the objects which are intended to be returned.