Crave To Travel

Tourist Visas To Travel In South America For Indian Citizens

Every Indian citizen who has traveled abroad is familiar with the travails of obtaining a visa to visit most countries in the world. This is true for South America too. When Swami and I first planned our trip, we were caught in the spirit of wanderlust inspired by scores of other travel bloggers. But of course, most of these travel bloggers came from ‘western’ countries, or countries whose citizens enjoy the freedom to travel to most places in the world without a visa. The reality came crashing down upon us in the last few weeks and I’ve been prowling the net for accounts by fellow Indians.

The deluge of paperwork, formalities, consular interviews that are more befitting a court of law, the time, money and effort spent in going to consulates can drive anyone insane. And to make things worse, the internet doesnt have a whole lot of information about other people’s experiences. Its surely something to bemoan about, but we must consider ourselves fortunate to be able to travel this way in the first place, so we try to take it in stride and do the best we can.

As our date of travel approaches (Dec 4th, 2011), the need for prompt and efficient action is imminent where visas are concerned. Overnight, our living room starts to look like the command central of a records office.  Timing is key. If you get your visas too early, there may be a rule requiring that we enter within 90 days. If you get it too late, then you risk not getting the visa at all. How is one to plan an independent backpacking trip then? Can such a trip still be considered to be in the “its-all-up-in-the-air” variety?

The good news is, my searches on the internet for accounts by similar people have not been futile. There is a great thread on the lonely planet thorntree forums that sees active participation from highly spirited, perseverant and inspiring folks who dont give up in the face of absurd visa rules and regulations that require you to use up the trees! I have also come across some Indian travel bloggers.

So now, I will be adding to that pool of information. I went to SF today and visited the Peru, Chile and Colombian consulate in San Francisco (all blessedly within 5 blocks of each other – 2 in the same building on the same floor) and will publish detailed posts about my experiences at each consulate.

0 thoughts on “Tourist Visas To Travel In South America For Indian Citizens

  1. suresh

    Hopefully all the pains of getting visa's will pale in significance once you experience your dream of travelling around the world. Have a great time Nirupam and Swami.

    Your planning for getting multiples visas fascinating.. Reminds of all those classic action movies..

  2. Murali Natarajan

    Hey Guys,
    I came across your blog as we start our crazy visa hunt for Latin America. My wife and I are Indian citizens living in Boston and planning a trip across Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil. We are looking to travel in 2 months time so we may end up being late on getting some of these visas.

    I am definitely encouraged to see the effort you put in and hopefully we can get to all the places we want to see as well.

    Love the blog,

  3. Nirupama Srinivasan

    Hi Murali, Thanks for checking out the blog. We're a bit behind, but will surely catch up on entries once we have some breathing room. Feel free to shoot any questions our way. Just got the Bolivia visa in Santiago today – it was a breeze! You dont need a visa for Ecuador – so some relief there. Good luck with your travels and do send me a link to your blog/facebook page if you have one. – Niru

  4. Sue London

    Hi All,

    I have an Indian passport too but have travelled to many countries independently . Can you imagine the hassles I had to do to get my visas. But it's been a wonderful journey and I have also compiled a book on 'How To Plan Your Travels' by Suejata london found on Amazon . Do get a copy of my book to get all the information.

    Here's a link to my video on youtube


  5. varinder

    I do have one question for you Nirupam?
    My age is 22 and I have travelled Singapore and Malaysia before.
    Now I am looking forward to get the tourist visa for Mexico.
    The question that I have for you is`what documents do I require to get the visa of MExico?
    And is this possible to enter in united states of america from mexico anyhow?