South America - multi-stop SoAm itinerary / visa-taxes strategies
Dec 21, 11, 1:11 pm
Have converted almost all my PRG MR pts to 100K Avios miles, so any help from those with "head" knowledge about the following appreciated: (US passport)
1. By visiting IPC first, I avoid Chile $131 visa?
2. By visiting COR or SLA first, I avoid Argentina $140 visa?
3. Any strategies to avoid/reduce Brazil or Bolivia visa fees?
4. What are Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela fees-taxes; any strategies to avoid-reduce those?
All my travel is by air & all my stops are 3-4 day stock photography urban explorations in airports' cities. Thanks in advance!
Dec 21, 11, 5:13 pm
1. No, unless you fly LIM-IPC. If you enter Chile via SCL, you have to pay.
2. Yes, if you don't fly via EZE
3. Brazil - no way
Dec 22, 11, 9:40 pm
Yes, am planning LIM-IPC-SCL on OneWorld using BA Avios miles, but Avios calculator at:
doesn't recognize LIM-IPC segment? Why? There appear to be Iberia & LAM flights AFAICT. Are they seasonal?
Dec 23, 11, 7:43 am
LIM-IPC (http://www.lan.com/es_es/sitio_personas/ofertas/descubra-sudamerica/vuelos-a-isla-pascua/index.html) comes back in february 2012... It might go away again.
Dec 26, 11, 10:19 am
Help -- my 100K Avios pts 10-stop SoAm itinerary seems to have just shrunk to 3-4 stops when I started to check partner award seat availability...
Why via this pricing calculator is a Jan 19 MIA-MDE with stop in BOG = 14.5K Avios pts + taxes:
(is this calculator no longer valid?)
whereas by phone or this calculator it is 35K miles?
Why such vast discrepancy between Avios pts calculators? Explanation appreciated!
Dec 27, 11, 9:24 am
Cost in avios depends on routing. You can have it for 10000 Avios if you fly AA direct, it's 14500 if you fly with LAN only and 35000 if you mix AA/LAN. If you fly two airlines, you pay more, so better book two separate tickets.
Dec 27, 11, 6:08 pm
Chile and Argentina are not visas. They are so-called "reciprocity fees," charged to U.S. citizens for the same amount that the U.S. charges citizens of those countries to apply for a U.S. visa. If you enter Chile via SCL and Argentina via EZE or AEP, you pay the fee. Otherwise not. LIM-IPC has to be available for you to bypass entering Chile at SCL.
Bolivia and Brazil require visas of U.S. citizens, period. You can't avoid those. Bolivia lets you obtain a visa on arrival, although you need to present quite a bit of documentation to do that, including a yellow fever vaccination. You have to get the Brazilian visa in advance. If you're talking about a January trip, you need to get that process underway, um, awhile ago.
All of those countries charge airport-departure taxes which may or may not already be included in the price of your ticket. Since you're flying with miles, you'll have to pay the taxes.