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Travel Insurance for South America

Learn more about World Nomads travel insurance for your trip across South America.

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Essential Travel Insurance Tips - South America

Stunning South America is where you can find some of the world’s oldest treasures, including the remnants of the ancient Incan empire in Peru, and the Aztec and Mayan empires from Mexico. 

You might be taking a road trip from north to south from Laredo, Mexico to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a cool 7,244 mi (11.658 km), exploring the whole continent slowly, or enjoying a short break a short break in Argentina, Peru or Brazil. Wherever you visit, you’ll be with lasting memories of beautiful beaches, ancient cultures and vast landscapes.

While traveling through South America, it’s a smart move to consider travel insurance as the safety net that helps when things don’t go to plan, with a 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team available and travel insurance benefits.

Travel Insurance can offer cover for:

Santiago, Chile
Costanera tower and city skyline, Santiago, Chile. Photo credit: Getty Images / Ruben Earth

What’s covered?

When traveling through South America, World Nomads offers two travel insurance plans, the Standard Plan and the Explorer Plan. 

Both plans offer cover for things such as lost baggage and emergency medical evacuation, however, the Explorer Plan offers higher benefit limits and cover for a wider range of activities. If you know you’re planning to tackle some adventure sports, check our list of activities to decide which travel insurance policy best suits your needs. 

South America is great for travelers seeking adventure, but if you’re planning to go white-water rafting on the Mendoza River or glacier walking on the Perito Moreno Glacier, and an accident happens, travel insurance could help with reimbursement of medical expenses or the cost of evacuation should a physician advise it’s necessary. 

Whenever you leave home to travel overseas there are risks – it’s important to remember travel insurance isn’t designed to cover everything so you should take the time to understand what your policy covers you for.

Buenos Aires, Argentina The obelisk on Ave 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo credit: Getty Images / Andrew Peacock

What should I look out for when traveling to South America?

Getting away from the ‘gringo trail’ (the tourist hotspots) and discovering a more authentic South America will make for holiday memories that stay with you long after you return State-side. Whether you visit Chile’s Marble Caves, explore Lamas Castle in Peru, or take in the stunning Hill of Seven Colors in Purmamarca, (locally called the Hill of Seven Skirts), South America has an array of experiences for the adventurous traveler.  

However getting away from the bright lights can also be risky  as armed robbery is a possibility in some South American countries. Always stick to well-lit areas at night and avoid traveling alone. But if the unthinkable happens, your life and your safety is paramount so don’t try to save your wallet if it means risking your life. Your things can be replaced, but you can’t.

  • Cover for activities and sports when in South America: Hiking to Choquequirao through the cloud forest above the Apurimac River is a great way to explore Incan civilisations, but you’ll need to know the height of your hiking trail to make sure you’re covered by the right plan – check the plan details before you buy to make sure you’ve the cover you need. It’s advisable that you plan the sports and activities that you’re doing and then check the list of covered activities to see if you need the Standard Plan or the Explorer Plan.
  • Access to our 24/7 Emergency Assistance Team around the clock: World Nomads travelers have access to 24/7 Emergency Assistance. If something goes wrong and you need help, contact our team.  They can help get you find local medical facilities if needed, provide local consular details and information and in the worst-case scenario, help get you home if you’re seriously injured or ill and need to be repatriated. When you call (free from anywhere in the world), make sure you have your policy number and a contact number for where you are so we can help.
  • Overseas medical insurance and cover for Coronavirus-related events: There’s no denying that the way we travel has changed following the impact of coronavirus.  Depending on your Country of Residence and the travel insurance plan you choose, you may also have access to Coronavirus (COVID-19) coverage for certain events. Some of our plans offer:
    • Emergency medical cover, evacuation and/or repatriation if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 while overseas;
    • Cover for some additional Coronavirus-related events such as cancellation following a diagnosis to assist our travelers on the Explorer Plan.

To find out what cover applies to you, read our What’s Covered for Coronavirus article which has some of the details, including benefit limits, conditions and exclusions.

  • Lost, stolen or delayed baggage cover: Overseas travel can bring all kinds of unexpected surprises and traveling to South America is no different – the sheer deliciousness of a street vendor’s pao de queijo (cheese bread), the kindness of a helpful stranger, the beauty of a beach sunrise. These are the moments you will remember. But it’s important to be prepared for everything – the theft of your wallet and passport while you sleep, your rental car being damaged or stolen while you hike an Incan trail, or the garden variety luggage being lost by your airline carrier. World Nomads travel insurance offers cover for many of life’s unexpected and unwelcome surprises.

Travel insurance tip

If something is stolen, make sure you report it as soon as possible after you’ve discovered the theft and as you buy items keep receipts of your purchases as proof of purchase in case you need to make a claim in the future.


Botafogo bay, Rio de Janeiro
Botafogo bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo credit: Getty Images / Andre Pinto

What’s not covered?

Understanding what’s not covered is just as important as knowing what your insurance does cover you for. Things that won’t be covered by travel insurance include:

  • Gear that was stolen from an unattended car (even if it was locked)
  • Medical evacuation or repatriation for any incidents related to drug and alcohol abuse, or that is not pre-authorized by a physician
  • Medical costs related to a pre-existing condition
  • Not having visas or passports issued on time or properly fulfilling the entry requirements of your destination. 
  • Leaving your gear behind, or not keeping an eye on your things and they get stolen. 
  • Business equipment.

If you’ve any questions, or are unsure if something is covered, please contact us for more information.

About World Nomads

World Nomads polices are designed by travelers for travelers to provide simple and flexible travel insurance. Featuring coverage for more than 150 activities, you can get a quote, claim, or extend your policy online at All the information we provide about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.

Travel Insurance Benefits: how we can take care of you*

Trip Cancellation

Been working hard for your trip?

We'll work hard to protect it.

Trip Protection
  • Unexpectedly hospitalised?
  • Travel buddy unfit to travel?
  • Close relative suddenly dies?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Expenses

Feeling fit and healthy? What if you get sick or injured?

Take the pain out of medical or dental costs.

Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Need meds quick?
  • Accidentally injured?
  • Suddenly sick?

We’ve got your back.

Emergency Medical Transportation

Know where the nearest hospital is?

Don’t stress, we’ll get you there quickly.

Evacuation and Repatriation
  • Banged up abroad?
  • Need a hospital urgently?
  • Medivac home?

Help starts here.

Protect your gear

Love photography, filming or sport?

Cover your bags, tech or gear.

Protect your gear
  • Passport stolen?
  • Airline lost your gear?
  • Bags delayed?

Help starts here.

  • Emergency Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation
  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption
  • 24-Hour Assistance Services
  • Baggage
  • And more (depending on your country of residence)
*This is a general summary only. Restrictions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Coverage may not be available for all countries, states or provinces. Benefit limits may vary depending on the plan chosen. Get a quote for full details.

24/7 emergency assistance

Whether you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation, our teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year before and during your trip.

Are you in need of emergency assistance right now?

Contact the team

Travel insurance. Simple & flexible.

Travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families. Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on their trip, but these things can and do happen. So be prepared and get your travel insurance today.