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Border – Los Libertadores (Argentina – Chile)

December 12, 2012

This is the first time that we’ve come across a border that is all in one place. Both The Argentinian and Chilean border controls are in the same building which is on the Chilean side of the border. If you are going the other way into Argentina both sets of border controls are on the Argentinian side of the border.

The actual border is in the middle of a long tunnel through the mountain but the border controls are a couple of km’s after the end of the tunnel.

Cristo Redentor Tunnel

As we approached the border there were two queues one for cars and one for trucks. There were also some people handing out forms for the border crossing – so we asked these guys which queue we should be in and they told us to get in the auto queue. They also handed us some forms to fill in. The forms they handed out were a personal migration form, a car import form and a SAG import form. We later found out that the car import form was the wrong one and there is a different one for cars which aren’t Argentinian or Chilean.

Border building and auto queue

Trucks don’t actually do the border crossing paperwork here it is done near Uspallata and they just have their SAG check here.

After waiting in line for around 20 minutes a policeman came and told us that we wouldn’t fit inside the building so to go and park in the truck area. This was great because we skipped around 30 minutes of the queue. When we got to the truck area we did have a bit of difficultly parking as one policeman was gesticulating us forward and another was telling us to stop. The one who wanted us to stop started shouting at us and blowing his whistle and the other was waving more and more frantically. Eventually we made the whistling one aware of the other one and we managed to park.

Inside Los Libertadores

Once parked we went into the building where the process is quite straightforward. Then once you have managed to work out what the hell is going on. It basically follows a number system; for overlanders the Migracion windows (1& 2) are around the back (as the 1&2 in the front room are for bus passengers).

Migracion Counter

1 – Argentina Migracion

2 – Chilean Migracion

3 – Argentinian Aduana

4 – Chilean Aduana

5 – Get your SAG Check.

We ended up having to go to 1 and 2 twice because the vehicle import form we had been given was the wrong one.  Of course the wrong form had been presented and stamped at both windows but nobody told us it was the wrong form until we got to window 3!  We would recommend going to Chilean Aduana (window 4) first to get the right form before doing all the other steps.

Aduana Counters

We went back out to the truck and spoke to the officials outside to arrange our SAG check. This was the most thorough search we have had on this trip with 2 officials and a dog. They looked in every cupboard inside and every locker outside. This is the first check where anyone has looked in our outside lockers. The dog even checked out the cab. We had a few veggies taken but we’d eaten all our meat (other than cooked chicken which is ok).

Mark and Food dog

Once this was done we got another stamp on our paperwork and we were free to go to the exit gate where our paperwork was checked and we were free to enter Chile.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ebs permalink
    December 13, 2012 2:24 pm

    This is the border crossing I was talking about the other day. Would have loved to have taken that train. Think it stopped in the late ’80s. A friend’s father claimed to have been on it during a quake which knocked the train over edge, rolled down the side and ultimately came to rest back on a cutting below. A slightly tall story I felt though just within the realms of credibility. Hope The Beast had its steering working well for the hairpins!

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