Hito Cajón Border. Chile-Bolivia | Customs and Immigration

Chile

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Verified:
3 days ago
Altitude:
4685.0 masl

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June 2024: No chance with a Chilean car, they were asking about residency before I even entered the office. You might get lucky, probably not…

January 2020: Open and in full operation. Very easy crossing and as foreigners owning a Chilean vehicle we had no problem leaving the country (even without residency or declaración jurada). Minimal check of the vehicle

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Tried to cross with Chilean plated car. Immediately said we couldn’t without residency. They were not budging. Same story at paso de jama….

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This border is truly very special.
First of all. You need to knock on the door before they let you in. Sometimes you wait quite a long (over 30 minutes or 1h) until they open. That’s especially when they have their lunch break (around 1:30 PM).

The staff here is very strict and does not seem to cooperate with foreign travelers. They say, they have the same process than any other border but that’s not true.

1. it’s very complicated that you can leave Chile here with a Chile car as a foreigner. They say it’s illegal (what is definitely NOt true and you have to get the residency). But recidency needs also time so for sure there is a process for all the people who want to live here and are in the process of the recidency.

What you need to cross borders is
- Declaration Jurada (that says you bring the vehicle back within 6 months - better have a new one for this border, more later).
- ⁠Padron (the document that states that you own the car) - we have it also proofed with a Apostille (a legal document that says that it’s not fake)

2. despite all they agreed to check the car online. And (surprise) of course the car is legally owned in our name. So we think you won’t be able to cross here if the car is still not in your name (that takes 4 weeks to 3 months in Chile).

3.Immigration was no problem. But differently to the other borders they don’t let you through when Aduana gives a NO. So Aduana checks first. Than immigration. Than Aduana again

4. Aduana was despite a problem because they refused to let us through because our Declaration Jurada was from November and they counted the days from that date. Although the document has no expiration date and it’s not true what he said ( the other aduanas explained it to us).

How the Declaration Jurada works:
It states that you have to bring the vehicle back within 180 days. It has to be made from a notario. The Aduana set the date (normally with a stamp with your day of departure).
Hito Cajon Aduana takes the date of the document.

In summary they say they have the same process than any other border but they haven’t because their interpretation of the common things are different.

We heard that’s never a problem to come back here.

Vegetables, fruits and animal products. Were no problem. Chile did not check our car (as we leave Chile) and Bolivia was just interested in our Chassis number.

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Migration and customs from Chile. It seemed closed when we arrived, but they ended up opening us up. We were alone and the passage did not have to take more than 5 minutes. No vehicle control. The staff was friendly.

migration et douane du Chili. ça paraissait fermé quand nous sommes arrivés, mais il ont fini par nous ouvrir. nous étions seuls et la passage n’a pas du prendre plus de 5 minutes. aucun contrôle du véhicule. le personnel était sympa.

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Super nice people (English speaking). They stamp you into chile after passport review. Next desk over they do the 90 day tip. They want to see the title. Then they come out to inspect for non allowed agri products. We gave up vegetables and honey. They opened the back of the Land Cruiser but only a marginal inside inspection.

Have an address in chile where your going.

When you arrive you’ll see two overhead doors. Knock and someone will let you pull in. Very modern building with bathrooms.

We probably overthought the inspection process. Went smoothly and we were on our way in less than 30 minutes total.

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We are owners of a Chilean motorbike and were refused to cross from Chile to Bolivia at this border. We read mixed reviews here and gave it a try but unfortunately the stubborn guy mentioned jedd was working there and refused us without residency. We argued for a while but no luck. We had to backtrack to Paseo Jama and try to enter Bolivia via Argentina. Over a a very horrible experience for us! (We are also sure they called ahead at the Paseo Jama to give us more trouble as they made it difficult for us to leave at that border too)

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Pretty straightforward. Gave up some mouldy veg we saved for this purpose. Took away our (already) dead plants! Nearly lost our giant pine cones. Wanted to see any honey and eggs. Overall pretty quick. Aduana and pets very easy.

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Not closed. Bolivia to Chile with dog.
Entrance could not accommodate our 3.5m height. Had to park outside.
Go inside with all papers. First do passport- DO NOT LOSE THE LITTLE PAPER, YOU NEED IT TO EXIT CHILE!!
Then do vehicle (nice guy spoke English) Then give dog papers- he keeps original, gives you copy. Then do declaration form in paper. After form, go inspect vehicle for food. Young guy was overwhelmed and simply indicated lips are zipped. Took nothing. Waved us away.

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Bolivia > Chile
Border crossing itself was very easy, the Chilean food inspection only took our popcorn kernels away.

We have a Chilean plated vehicle bought from another foreigner also without residency. The title transfer is not yet complete so we are still driving with the poder.

The guy working for Aduana printed out both the 2016 memo amendment and gave it to us. He insisted that we cannot take the car out of Chile again and that the passage in the old version allowing us to do so with the owners permission is supersceded by the 2016 version which adds the provision that the foreign owner must have residency. So be warned, just like Paso Jama you could have problems at this border.

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The border is not closed! See comments Please reopen.Can you delete the outdated description and just write:"This border is sometimes closed and you have to get your paperwork and stamps done in San Pedro. Check the latest comments".I'd change it myselves if i could. But therefore i have to check in and i have no additional info to check in. Just want to edit the main description.THANKS!

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Open and as described in recent check-ins. Minimal inspection of vehicle and relatively quick process around 45 minutes. Two notes:
1) We crossed with two right hand drive vehicles and were immediately told they weren't allowed in Chile. But after some discussion with the supervisor we were allowed to enter.
2) We crossed with a dog with no issues but you must have the Bolivian SENASAG documents including vaccines and anti parasite info. We got the documents in Oruro and asked for a crossing date 10 days later.

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Entering Chile
We arrived around 12:15. Took us around 30/45min.
They checked carefully the papers of the van. We have a bicycle and had to declare it. We have a TIP for the bicycle as well. Don t forget to tell them if you have.
Concerning food, they took our honey, plant, lentils, raw chickpeas. We hide our cheese, nuts and charcuterie.
They didn’t search the van. Only where I told them the food was.
They also took an animal bone and don t want feathers.

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This station is open. The information on this border is a bit scattered. Going from north to south Bolivia - Chile) you will enter:

Checkpoint Reserva Nacional Eduardo Avaroa,
200m
Aduanas Bolivia (vehicle only)
5km
Immigration Bolivia
5km
Aduanas y Inmigración Chile.

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This border post is temporarily inoperable for reasons uncertain. At the post they said their system was down, but in town locals (regular locals, not PDI) said their pipes burst and their generator failed and that no one knew for how long the post would be inoperable. For now all entry and exit formalities for the Chilean side of Hito Cajón must be done in San Pedro de Atacama. This does not impact the Bolivian post, which is functioning normally.

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CHILEAN BORDER POST IS TEMPORARILY INOPERABLE!

We arrived at 11:05 and were told they wouldn’t open until noon. Shortly before noon an official came and told us that their system was down and that we’d have to do exiting procedures in San Pedro de Atacama. In town the word was that their pipes burst and the generator doesn’t work so who knows for how long this post will be inoperable. The Bolivian side works fine.

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Leaving Chile and travelling to Bolivia, we couldn't do the migration and aduana stuff here. They said it's closed and we had to return to San Pedro de Atacama to get stamped out our passports and give back the TIP.
It's better to ask the aduana in San Pedro, if they are working here, before you leave.

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Leaving Chile. Really easy and friendly staff, super slow tough because there where only 5 people working at the moment - took me 2 hours. Obviously tour companies have privileges (preference) over normal travellers.

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We are a French family with a camper and a Chilean car (our own) and they didn’t let us pass because of the Chilean car. So be careful. Don’t come here to pass Bovian border. It’s better to go to Bolivia from Argentina

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Entered Chile, friendly staff but a bit complicated. Took us about 1 hour.
Food check they took our nuts away. First time after more then 6 times entering Chile.

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Passed very fast, no worries. Wen we arrived they are playing ping pong.

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From Chile to Bolivia, very easy on the chilean side, we were allowed to pass all the touring buses. Our rig is to big to go inside their building, so they let us pass on the right side were we could park and walk inside.
Took our tip papers and stamped our passport, took only 5 minutes.

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The immigration and aduana to enter Chile were very smooth and fast. The employees were very friendly. They controlled our vaccination certificate. We voluntarily gave up the onions and they didn't find the rest of the fruit/veg.

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Driving a Chilean car as foreigners crossing from Chile to Bolivia they didn‘t let us in. Had Declaracion Jurada and Autorización with us (no Padròn, but wasn‘t the problem). There was one very stubborn guy who insisted on a Chilean residency and didn‘t want to discuss about that. Declaracion Jurada is a „useless document“ he said. All of his colleagues were very friendly and tried to help us finding a solution, but he just didn‘t want to give his okay.

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Great crossing and very friendly personnel! The heated building is very nice. No veggies allowed, but canned food and pasta was no problem. You can throw away garbage here, and there are bathrooms.

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Very friendly border personal. Office is heated!
1. Salud controlled the C19 on our mobiles. Did not ask to see Vac certificates nor anything else
2. Passports stamped with Migration (90 days)
3. TIP issued with Aduana (90 days)
4. Car was briefly checked and asked if we had food. Spotted the honey and confiscated it
Took under 30 minutes.

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Chile to Bolivia: too many confusing experiences here on iOverlander. The border crossing into Bolivia was easy and straightforward. We brought fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. No issues, nobody asked about it. Could not have done without during the days ahead whilst wildcamping. We did experience a hold up at the Bolivian end, because many 4x4 tours were making the border crossing. This was around 10.30am.

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Good news everyone ! This is where we left Chile and entered Bolivia. we came here today as foreign owners of a Chilean car, quite apprehensively after having read the horror stories below. expecting the worse, we were surprised by the kind and helpful PDI and Aduana officers who work here. The process took 10 minutes and only required our passports, the padron of the vehicle and the immigration slip we received on entry into chile. once the paperwork was completed, they gave a cursory glance at the car (literally only checked that the number plate was the same as on the form) and wished us a good journey. Very straightforward (didn't even need a declaración jurada) and easy border control.

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Best border crossing ever. We were greeted by some friendly and enthousiastic guys, playing Iron Maiden through their speakers on full power and singing along while stamping our passports. The other guys were enjoying a game of pingpong.

The whole process was very fast, not too thorough a search but very correct. Took seeds and leftover veggies but we knew that was coming so no complains there. Our wooden poles for our tarp were not allowed as well unless we'd paint them right in front of them ... ofcourse we left the poles at the border crossing. All in all super nice!

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Friendliest border entry ever! Yes they take fruit, veg, raw eggs, honey.

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I passed through the Hito Cajón Border Post (also called the “Portezuelo del Cajón”) going N-S on my solo bike tour thru SAm. I had no hassles.

I have included a summary in the other IOV entry, called "Border crossing Chile-Bolivia". Its gps co-ordinates are at the official CH/BO border (-22.880969, -67.798465). The BO Border Post is there. The CH Border Post is 5 km S (inside CH), at S22.91649 W67.79801.

For details and photos, see Day 203 of my blog "Cycling from Ecuador to Ushuaia -2019/20".

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Easy pass thru from Bolivia. Nice guys. Inside the garage from wind.

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No way to cross with chilean car here. Before even saying "good morning" they asked us if we have chilean car and chilean residency. Then it was just a row of No, no, no to any of our questions, negotions...

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Open and full of guards playing ping pong. Took us about 20 minutes here. They do a rather thorough search so make sure you claim all fruits & veg. They take your honey, seeds, all produce. Milk products, rice, cooked food, packaged food is ok.

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For travelers with pets, make sure you bring a Bolivian health certificate (10 day prior) with all the vaccines to date. Very strict rules in Chile. Otherwise you will have to beg for them to let you bring a veterinarian from Atacama to issue one. See requirements in pic.

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Attention!!! We crossed from here to other side until San Cristobal... We are in a VWbus 2wd differential locked... (kombi ) we not recommend do this... the road was terrible, lots of mud and water overall.. we just see Toyotas and Nissan heavy prepared doing this road... almost destroyed our car... If we know that, we never get inside... but inside the park was absolutely amazing, the desert we want to see... Even with a 4x4 think twice, you could easy destroy your car in this road... Lucky!

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Bolivia to Chile immigration and TIP.
A few question about where we come from and where we go. Nice custom team.
TIP for 3 months.
A real inspection : question about forbidden products, search of the vehicle, tiny camera in the body of the car.
45min/1hour for everything.

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Bolivia ->Chile:
Overall very easy process with Vehicle Inspection. You cannot bring vegetables, fruits, animal products (even cheese), seeds, and even honey into Chile.
One advice though: They only have a one lane passing. All the tour companies bring their tourists to the Bolivian Border Post in the morning. They will first process all exiting Vans and busses before they let you enter. We waited 90 Minutes together with all the other tour busses before we could even enter the border post... :(
If possible avoid mornings...

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They told us they were open from 9am (not sure until which time).
We were here at 8.30 so we had to wait for half an hour. This was on a Sunday.

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All our paperwork was done here, not in San Pedro. They said its open since March. We went to bolivia. In bolivia the papers for our car were done 5 km after the migracion.

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now open 8am to 8pm daily. very efficient and friendly. were fine with us taking our cooked meat and veg through.

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The place is open now and you have to do immigration and aduana here when coming from Bolivia. It looks closed, but just drive up to the white gates. If they don't open right away, it might be that the place is full ( you can look through the window). If it is not full but no one opens, go around, there is a door bell on the other side.
Officers were very friendly. They were happy with us handing them some leftover vegetables and did not check the rest of the car.

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Chilean Immigration and Custom in Hito Cajon are open (we passed today).

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This place was open and processing many tour busses. They processed our passport stamps into Chile and our TIP for our vehicle.
Beware that going into Chile, they have a very thorough inspection of vehicle and personal items. They will confiscate animal products, produce and seeds such as honey, dried beans, fresh vegetables and fruits, uncooked meat, poultry, eggs etc

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February 2018: This place is closed. All travelers that want to travel from Chile to Bolivia over Hito Cajón or vice versa, have to do the Chilean immigration and customs in San Pedro de Atacama. The Bolivian immigration is located at Hito Cajón, while customs are uncertain – check the other points for more information.

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still closed. looks like big construction is going on. only 3 workers here but no aduana or immigration, yet. get your papers done in San Pedro.

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Was still closed and we were told to do everything in San Pedro. There everything gone well.

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This place is closed go to San Pedro :)

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Was not open when we passed through, drove to San Pedro

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Stopped here at 2:30 on a Friday. Knocked on the door for more than 10 minutes before someone answered. We were told several times to go to San Pedro for immigration. When we asked "what is this office?" He replied "nothing." We did not want to have to drive back to this location for immigrarion so we asked again and were told to go to San Pedro. We suggest stopping by just in case something changes again but we completed immigration and Aduana at the office in San Pedro.

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This place was shut when we got there. Spoke to border patrol after just sitting there waiting for a bit. They told us to go on to San Pedro for immigration.

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Not Open since two days cause no water. Migración in San Pedro. No signs!

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Apparently closed. Honked and a very kind lady opened and told us that the immigration is now right next the Aduana. She was right!

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The border office is open. No need to stamp your passport in San Pedro anymore.

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Need to get your passports stamped into Chile here. Aduana still in San Pedro but it will eventually be here as well.

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UPDATE: Entering Chile from Bolivia. This post is opened since 1. 8. 2017. It is mandatory to do your immigration here. In the afternoon and evening it seems to be completely abandoned but it is already open. If you see the main gate closed, it is only because of the wind so just drive as close as possible and the cameras will detect you. We did not know this, there was nobody around, we drove to San Pedro. There we have been thoroughly searched for 2 hours like the worst smugglers, informed that the car is okay, but both of us are personally illegally in Chile. So next morning we had to drive back to Hito Cajon to get the immigration stamp. Luckily the PDI guys were very friendly and cool. So current situation: immigration in the new building at Hito Cajon, Aduana+SAG still down in San Pedro. Later on Aduana will also move up to Hito Cajon, but we do not know when and it is going to be easy to recognize, we suppose. Right now the opening hours are 8 - 18 but this may vary.

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This is the new immigration office for travellers from and to Bolivia laguna route. It is ready built but not opened yet. Currently you can just pass by. So for Chile immigration you still have to go to San Pedro de Atacama.

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