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Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

London, United...
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Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Hi,

We'll be driving down from El-Calafate to TdP in 3 weeks time. I have a feeling that food stuff are difficult to find in TdP and restaurants (if there are any) would be expensive. Therefore, I plan to buy a lot of food in El-Calafate before the trip.

Question 1: Will there be restaurants and Grocery stores near where we are? We will be staying in Hosteria Lago Tyndall. This will help determine how much food to bring.

Question 2: What can I bring across? (of if easier to answer, what can't I bring accross? From reading some posts, I worked out no vegetables and meat. To make it more specific, please say if I can bring the following:

1. CANNED vegetables

2. DRIED meat

3.Crisps (potato chips)

4. Nuts

5. Protein Shake (in powdered form)

6. Bread

7. Rice / speghetti / pasta

8. Egg

9. Jams / spreads / peanut butter

10. Honey

11. Instant meals (the type where you just add hot water)

12. Chocolate bars / protein bars / Candy bars

13. Orange juice

14. Cereals

15. Milk

Thanks very much!

Shah

Sasolburg,South...
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1. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

I would not take the chance with meat products, eggs,nuts and milk.

If you take a lot of food into Chile, it will delay you crossing time at the border into Chile, time you could have spend exploring the park.

If you plan to go to Puerto Natales on you way to TdP, you can stock up on what you need there.

There is a little shop in the park at the parking area near Hoteria las Torres.

Heinrich

London, United...
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2. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Thank you Heinrich. I am not plannning to go to Puerto Natales if I can help it as I would rather be spending my time in the park. Do you think food will be a problem there? Is the little shop well stocked, for example. Also, are there many restaurants there? I don't mind if the quality of food is not good, as long as the food is not super expensive.

However, do let me know if in your opinion I should make a trip to Puerto Natales (maybe one of the nights) to stock up.

Thank you.

Shah

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Add fruit to Heinrich's list, Shah.

Your problem is not with the park authorities in Torres del Paine, but with Chilean Customs and Agriculture. I've not crossed in the far south, but I have in Patagonia west of Bariloche.

Each time I've crossed, the border patrol insisted on opening the trunk (boot) of my car and searching thoroughly for forbidden products. They seemed to be going by the book, looking for a list on which meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts and milk figured prominently. (We'd eaten all of ours, so there was nothing left for the fruit police. We did not cross in the far south, remember, where you're traveling.)

You can always take your chances bringing the food across, but if the guards are on their toes, they wil likely confiscate the contraband.

Remember that lots of tourists like you come across from Argentina by this route on their way to Torres del Paine. There's no other practical land connection between the far south and the rest of Chile. If your food gets confiscated, you're likely not the only one with the need for emergency shopping in Cerro Castillo, Chile.

Happy travels,,

David

Munich
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4. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Hi Capetien,

do you have a list of all the forbidden goods?

I have the same problems and I dind'nt found any serious list of the forbidden, or of the allowed, goods. I know www.sag.gob.cl, but this list is also not detailed.

Beate

Lunenburg, Canada
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5. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Hi Beate!

I'm afraid I don't have any list more detailed than what Heinrich and I have written.

I suppose you could e-mail Santiago with specific questions, but I don't know what sort of answer they might send. On the other hand, if you do get a written response, at least you could show it to the border patrol in case the Agriculture officer takes more than he should.

Best wishes!

David

Munich
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6. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Thank you, Capetien,

this was my last hope!!!

So I decided to bring no food at all.

Beate

Ushuaia
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7. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Hi. This is a tricky question as the chilean authorities are the toughest in the world when it comes to food restrictions. I have crossed the border into Chile around a hundred times over the past 30 years and sometimes I am still surprised. But you can bring some food without problems and it will be very valuable as eberything in the TDP park will be very very expensive. You can bring all kind of canned food. Also all kind of processed food , well packed and sealed by a wellknown brand is no problem-. You can even bring fresh cheese but from a supermarket and a wellknown brand and sealed. Wellknown brands in Argentina for cheese are Sancor, La Serenissima and some more. You can of course bring Corned beef, fish and all that suff in cans. Also tea bags and dried milk from a wellknown bramd isn´t a problem. It is more tricky with food bars. Also tecnically possible, if they have honey or some other stuff they might get confiscated. Any fresh meat, fish, groceries, milk, fruits (even most dried fruits despite being sealed), fresh vegetables are strictly forbidden. Declare all food youare bringing. In the worst case you can get some confiscated but you don´t have to pay the huge fines. On the TT forum somebody had even Rei food bars confiscated.

Munich
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8. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Hi,

thank you. But it should be difficult for us to bring food from wellknown brands. We in Germany have very different brands as you.

The most important thing for me was the granola bars. Because as I lernt last time in Chile, the granola bars there where only sweet and fatty, not so healthy things.

So in the end, we can bring nothing.

Beate

London, United...
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9. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Just for future references - I confirmed with customs that CHEESE is a no-no, even if they are wrapped.

Lunenburg, Canada
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10. Re: Border Crossing - What food Can I Bring?

Beate,

If it's not too late to offer some insight, I crossed from Argentina into Chile twice last week. In my car's trunk, I brought 1 Liter cartons of UHT milk and containers of fruit juice, purchased at the supermarket in Argentina.

Both times, I went out of my way to declare the milk and juice on my S.A.P. (Chilean Agriculture) form, and both times I specifically showed the border patrol officer the items in my trunk. Both times, the officer said OK, and approved us to enter Chile.

Officials went out of their way to ask whether we had any fruit, meat, nuts, honey and jam, which I believe would have been confiscated if we'd brought any. I'll bet you, though, that processed food in sealed packages, if it's not on the contraband list (or, in my case, milk if pasteurized under UHT conditions, stands a good chance of making it through.

When in doubt, declare your food products right on your Agriculture form. We seemed to fare better after being open and forthcoming than we might had the border patrol discovered undeclared things on their own.

David