Chile is one of the most beautiful and exciting places to visit. With natural wonders and endless breathtaking landscapes, as well as a rich culture and welcoming locals, there is something for everyone in this South American jewel. While most visits to Chile are safe and healthy, there are certain things that travelers should be aware of in order to stay well.
One of the most dangerous encounters a traveler in Chile can have is with the hazardous ash, dust
Exposure can cause a variety of health conditions, particularly those involving the respiratory system, and can severely affect your breathing. It is especially dangerous for anyone who already suffers from a respiratory condition.
If you happen to be visiting during a time when ash and other volcanic elements are in the air, take appropriate precautions to avoid exposure. Remain inside whenever possible, with doors and windows shut.
Place damp towels at door and window thresholds and any place where contaminated air may get in.
If you must go outside, use a face mask for protection. Clothing that covers exposed skin and goggles to protect the eyes are also recommended.
Chile has several areas that reach high altitudes. While these are popular places for adventure travelers to explore, it's important to remember that rapid ascent into higher altitudes can cause a number of health concerns.
Traveling to areas greater than 8,200ft (2,500m) can cause altitude sickness, a dangerous, and potentially fatal,
Anyone who has suffered from altitude sickness in the past should be aware that they are at an increased risk of suffering from it again, as are people who have existing breathing conditions.
The consumption of alcohol prior to acclimatizing to the change in altitude can also be a contributing factor and should be avoided.
Smog is an issue, particularly in downtown Santiago, and can cause a variety of breathing issues. It's particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and those who suffer from existing respiratory problems.
The government issues regular alerts, declaring either a
if you are planning to hike or do outdoor activities in winter while in Chile, frostbite and hypothermia are also health risks to consider.
Communicative diseases like cholera are reported throughout Chile, and Hepatitis B and typhoid are not uncommon, especially during the warmer months. Appropriate vaccination and immunizations should be administered prior to travel to lessen the chances of contracting a dangerous illness.
Dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases are also present, with occasional outbreaks reported on Easter Island. If you're planning a visit, be sure to take appropriate precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
Less dangerous, but just as unpleasant, illnesses like diarrhea, can occur from the consumption of unfiltered water. The water found in the cities is typically clean and safe to drink, but should be avoided in rural areas. As a rule of thumb, it's always a good idea to stick to boiled or treated water during your trip.
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Chile is home to many natural wonders. However, these can threaten the safety of many people. Be prepared for the geysers and ground shakes with our travel safety tips.
Chile offers some of the most amazing travel experiences on earth. But while this beautiful country is a relatively safe place to visit, the threat of crime still exists. Here are a few things to consider for a safe trip.