On the border that unites Santiago de Chile with Mendoza there is rows that reach several kilometers and you wait from up to five hours in customs for enter Argentina and carry out as the main activity of the trip the shopping tour to super and hypermarkets.
According to Delegation of Migrations in Mendozamarked a record number of visitors from the neighboring country in April, with 194,345 people admitted from Chileexceeding pre-pandemic levels, in which the average movement was 128,098 people per month.
The wholesale business in Argentina gained ground among the Chileans due to the numerous reports on Chilean TV and influencers who promote them and affirm that everything it costs two or three times less than in Santiago.
Regarding the consequences of this popularity among Chileans, in manager from the wholesaler oscar davidin Godoy Cruz, assured that there is no shortage. However, he expressed his concern about long lines that the clients had to carry out and the discomfort that generated repeat buyers.
“Chileans began to arrive in March: they buy Herb that there is very expensive, olive oil, caramel sauce, caramel cookiesthey take everything they can afford,” said the manager of the wholesaler. He said that, in addition to food, Chileans buy medicines and products of perfumery and cleaning.
“Shopping breaks”: what the tours consist of
national gendarmerie indicated that about 80% They are Chileans who come to do merchandise purchasesarticles of personal hygiene either cleaning. The tours are not only done in private carsbut more and more travel agency promote the “shopping spree”which includes lunch and a walk through the thermal baths of cacheutabefore returning to Chili.
“We took them to eat rich and rest after the stress of spending several hours in a supermarket“, a Chilean driver told Channel 9 of Mendoza TV.
In May, the Andesmar bus company, which runs the land route Mendoza-Santiago de Chilebegan to promote two days tours to a hypermarket. The micro part of Santiago de Chilefor a cost of 40,000 Chilean pesos (equivalent to US$50) per section.
Passengers have between six and eight hours to shop, which will depend on the delay at the border. And they can carry as luggage one checked bag per passenger with maximum weight of 30 kilogramsplus one backpack either clutch bag.
Chileans have available US$300 franchise for purchases abroadso if they exceed that amount they must pay a tax to the trans-Andean treasury upon his return. Likewise, the Chilean authorities control that no purchases for commercial purposes. If a person were carrying entire packs of merchandise, they can be retained in Customs.
Hours for foreigners
Oscar David’s manager also clarified that in order not to affect traditional Mendoza clients with the flood of Chilean tourists, a limit of hours of attention to foreign visitors.
In this way, people with foreign ID they are served between 7 and 14while the residents of Mendoza are served between the 7 and 19.