Chile lies in an active seismic zone and is prone to major earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Several of the strongest earthquakes in history have occurred in Chile. Prepare yourself for a natural disaster by consulting the websites of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Chile's Oficina Nacional de Emergencia (ONEMI).
Minefields are found in Chile's northern border region with Peru and Bolivia and around the southern border with Argentina in Patagonia. Minefields are generally marked, but markers may have shifted or may not be visible. Follow clearly identified roads and trails when traveling in minefield areas. Border crossings should only be made at authorized locations. Consult with park or other local officials concerning minefields and other hazards.
Chile is a popular destination for outdoor and adventure sports. Despite the best efforts of local authorities, assisting persons lost or injured in isolated and wilderness areas can be problematic. Before you go, learn about local hazards and weather conditions. You can obtain information in Spanish about parks and wilderness areas from the Chilean Forestry Service, mountain climbing from the Federacion de Andinismo de Chile, and weather forecasts from the Chilean Meteorological Service. Forest fires can be a problem in many areas of the country, including areas frequented by tourists. Historically many fires occur during the dry summer months of December, January, and February, sometimes burning hundreds of acres. Check the Chilean National Travel Board (Spanish only) or the Chilean Federal Emergency Agency websites for alerts. Inform park rangers, police, or other local authorities of your itinerary, and report missing or injured persons to the police immediately.
Chile’s mountains and ski resorts are the recreational destination for hundreds of skiers and snowboarders each year. The main ski centers in Chile have good safety standards with well groomed runs, ski and snowboard lessons with certified instructors, and clear signals for closure and opening of runs. Skiing and snowboarding, however, are inherently dangerous sports and injury or death is always a possibility. Skiers and snowboarders should respect the rules of each ski resort and be aware that skiing or boarding out of bounds is extremely dangerous.