Medical Advice for Holidays in South America
We want to make sure that you get the very best out of your holidays in South America, and part of that is making sure you're medically prepared for your trip. Obviously we recommend that you take professional advice, but we hope that you find the following useful.
Particularly if you aren't visiting the Amazon jungle, you may need very little in the way of additional jabs and immunisations to make sure that you're fully protected, but recommendations do vary from country to country, so check our detailed country guides to see what is usually recommended:
Malaria and Yellow Fever in South America
Depending on where your holiday takes you, you may also need to have a yellow fever jab and/or a short course of anti-malarial medication. Again, please do speak to your doctor (or even better, a specialist travel clinic) but generally speaking some rough guidelines are as follows:
If you are visiting the Amazon Jungle or wetland areas such as the Pantanal or the Esteros del Ibera, you will almost certainly be advised to get a yellow fever jab although you are now unlikely to be asked to show a valid Yellow Fever certificate on entry when you cross any borders within South America.
Many of the same regions are also classed as malarial areas, although the two diseases don't exactly correlate. For example, some areas of the Peruvian and Ecuadorean coast are classed as medium-risk malarial areas but carry no risk of yellow fever. Typically if you are going to be visiting a malarial area you will need to start taking your anti-malarial medication a few days before you enter the area and for a few days after. You will not need to take it for the entire duration of your holiday unless the whole of your holiday is within a malarial area.