Drone Laws in South America

It is hard to find the legal information that applies when you want to use a drone in a South America country. This article is a good starting point for you to obtain the details about the drone laws.

For a better overview, we have summarized the provisions vividly in two maps. The first map is for the private use of drones and the second card represents the provisions for commercial drones.

South America map for private drone use

South America map private Placeholder
South America map private
South America map for commercial drones

South America map commercial Placeholder
South America map commercial
Legend
  • Green indicates that you can use your copter without prior authorization under the applicable regulations. In many cases, you can get a special permit for operations beyond the rules. In some countries, you may fly without authorization, but only without a mounted camera. These countries are not green – but yellow – marked; as most pilots certainly want to create films and photographs.
  • Yellow indicates that you need to register your drone or yourself, you must apply for a permit or you need to pass a test. You will learn the details below.
  • Red indicates that the commissioning of drones is generally prohibited. In these countries, you should be especially careful, because even at the airport your drone can be confiscated partially under the laws or you can be arrested only because of the possession of the drone.
  • Grey means that I have not found reliable information or I do not sufficiently understand the drone laws. If you can help here, I appreciate your comment below the article!

Before you start here, you should also read my article on the international drone laws view. There I list general safety precautions that you should always be aware and call tips for dealing with no-fly areas.

The research for this article took several weeks and the ongoing update process of the current legal situation is extremely time-consuming. Please consider to support us with a donation. Your help makes it possible that we can update and improve this article permanently! Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

[paypal-donate]

Drone Rules in South America:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, ColombiaEcuador, Guyana, Panama, ParaguayPeru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela

If you have more experience to deal with drones in the countries of South America? Please leave us a comment!

You liked the article? Then share it with your friends!

About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Finnian | 17.01.2017

    I was wondering, what are your personal opinions on Latin American drone laws? Which laws do you deem fair and reasonable? (You guys are drone travelers and would obviously prefer lax drone laws, but I’d like a reply from an objective and unbiased standpoint.) Thanks a lot, I love your blog!

  • Paolo | 12.02.2017

    You can bring your Drone to Brazil, your model must have the “Anatel” seal on the label. Lately some mostly selling drones have it. If you don’t you have to apply for one, it costs about 70$ and it takes about 45 days to be released. It is a radio frequencies concession tax. Failing to do so you risk to have your device apprehended until the tax is paid. Generally then you should not fly over crowded areas or above 60m.

    • Francis Markert | 27.03.2017

      Hi Paolo,
      thank you very much for your comment! I will update the article very soon!

  • Victor | 20.03.2017

    this is great! Very useful! thank you very much! I am planning my trip to south america with my dji mavic.

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Darren Robinson | 26.04.2017

    I have been travelling throughout South America since November 2016. I have carried my P4 into and out of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Chile. I have not had problems anywhere or had to pay any taxes, fees or otherwise. I made enquiries to the relevant embodies prior to departure seeking guidance on laws but have not had to refer to them. Did land crossings between Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and Colombia. Flew into Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Galápagos Islands. Currently in Chile.

    • Mike | 15.08.2017

      Hi! Did you fly into Chile with your drone and did you have to enquire upfront to get the permit? You say you had no problems whatsoever? We go in September but we are already travelling so have the drine (mavick pro) with us. We have no permit do its not a problem if we cant fly it, we just hope we can bring it along to our next destination. Just some more info and real life experience on that would be great! 🙂 Thanks, Mike

      • Riley | 29.12.2017

        Hey Mike,
        Will be heading to Chile next year in May with my Mavic Pro.
        Was wondering how you went with your trip in regards with the drone and any problems you may have ran into?
        Thanks in advanced,
        Riley

        • Mike | 09.01.2018

          Hi Riley,
          we’ve crossed the South Pacific, and our first destination was Easter Island (Chile). Drone rules are very strict here, 98% of the island is national park. You are not allowed to fly (big penalties and jail time) unless you have permission of the Cilean Airforce. But landing on Easter Island and Santiago (next destination after Easter Island) did not gave any problems. Maybe because I was already inside Chile and my flight from Easter Island towards Santiago was a domestic flight. But I always carry my Mavic as carry on (in the DJI carry on bag) so it looks like a camera.

          The last year we did Tonga, New Zealand, The Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, USA, Iceland, Belgium without any problems (on the airport or bordercrossings) with the drone. Mexico we were not allowed to fly over the maya ruines.

          Have fun on your trip!
          All the best,
          Mike

  • Dan Nable | 10.09.2017

    Hello,
    Are there updates re drone rules in Bolivia and Peru? Do i need to secure permits?

    Thanks

  • alex | 17.03.2018

    Hi Francis,
    I will be going to Patagonia. Do you think I can just fly my drone there without registration?
    Thanks

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi Alex,
      It depends on the countries you want to visit 😉

  • Scott Cartner | 21.03.2019

    Hey Guys!
    I am planning a year long trip around Central and South America with my Mavic Pro, but I’m having difficulty finding a guide that does little more than suggest tips.
    I’m very worried that I am going to get it taken away from me or even worse, get in real trouble for using it where I shouldn’t.
    The more I look into it, the more I get confused and worried about taking it at all, but I really think it could also be an amazing opportunity I will never have again.
    I’ve learned so far the Nicaragua is pretty much a no go, and a explode proof bags for the batteries are a good idea. But where and what are the “no go’s”?
    I’m hoping because you have already did all the hard work and had the experience of travelling with one, you might be able to provide me with some vital information.
    I would appreciate all the help you can provide, thank you for your time.

Write a comment