It looks like there’s another unscrupulous swindle to add to the list of scams in Peru. All credit goes to Jack and Jill of Jack and Jill Travel the World for highlighting what appears to be a far too common occurrence along the Tacna to Arica border crossing.
You can read all about it by following the link above. In short, some colectivo taxi drivers are trying to charge their foreign passengers an extra $20, claiming it’s a standard “tourist card” fee.
No such thing exists, so you should not pay any additional fees when crossing from Tacna to Arica — especially to taxi or bus drivers. If you do need to pay any type of visa fee (such as an overstay charge), pay it directly to a border official.
The last time I crossed over from Tacna to Arica, a roadside border official stopped my taxi purely to ask the passengers how much they had paid. Our driver hadn’t overcharged us, so he had nothing to worry about. These kind of random checks are a good idea — unfortunately, it sounds like there aren’t enough of them to keep the more unscrupulous drivers in line…
Thanks again to Jack and Jill for taking the time to share their Peru–Chile border crossing troubles.