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Border Crossing: Santa Rosa, Peru / Chacalluta, Chile

Remember that Chile has strict agricultural customs laws. For this and visa requirements, see Peru-Chile Border Crossings in the Introduction and Information chapter. Ninety days are normally given by Chile and Peru. Chilean time is one hour ahead of Peruvian time between April-October and two hours ahead between October-April.

By Bus

The road border is called Santa Rosa in Peru and Chacalluta in Chile. It is about 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) between the two posts. Border hours are: Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.-midnight (Peruvian time), Friday and Saturday 24 hours. The border gets crazy on the weekends, when the traffic is heaviest. Transport pauses at each border post for passengers to go through immigration and customs procedures; the driver will indicate to which window to go. Change money in Peru, as there are more casas de cambio (foreign exchange bureaus) and the rate is better.

In Tacna, colectivos (shared taxis; daily 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., 1 hr, $8-9) and busetas (minibuses; daily 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m., 1.5 hr, $6) leave from the international section of Terminal Terrestre Manuel A. OdrĂ­a, opposite the national terminal (daily 4 a.m.-11 p.m.). Buy tickets directly from agents' ticket windows, not touts who may demand a tip. This terminal has an iPeru office, shops, restaurant, phones, internet, bathrooms, exchange houses, travel agents and other facilities.

If traveling by shared taxi, the driver will take your passport into the company’s office to fill out the tourist cards. These will be returned to you before you leave the terminal, along with a customs form for you to fill out. If you need a Chilean visa, get it in Tacna.

In Arica, shared taxis and minibuses depart from the international section of the Terminal Rodoviario de Arica (Diego Portales and Santa MarĂ­a, across the street from the national terminal).

By Train

The Tacna-Arica train, said to be the shortest rail line in the world, is a novel way to cross a border. Immigration and customs procedures are performed at the train station in both countries.

An autovagĂłn (rail bus) leaves Tacna Monday-Saturday at about 4:45 a.m. (adults $4, children under 8 years old free, 1 hour 15 minutes). It arrives in Arica around 80 minutes later. Departure times change according to the season, so check at the station for current times. Reserve tickets the morning before. The office is open 7:30-8:30 a.m., though the line forms at 6:30 a.m. A few tickets are kept back for same-day purchase, but you must arrive very early. The morning of departure arrive at least two hours beforehand to pass through immigration and customs controls. Sometimes an afternoon train also runs. The train station is at Avenida Gregorio AlbarracĂ­n 412 (Tel: 245-572).

From Arica, the autovagĂłn leaves at 8 a.m. (Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-noon, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Av. Prat and Chacabuco. Tel: +56-58-231-115).

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