power plugs in South America - South America Tours 1

Tell me where you are travelling and I will tell you what to take. As simple as that! If you are planning about taking a South America travel to anywhere in this magical continent, there are some considerations you have to take in account in your South America tours to avoid the unexpected. For example, local habits, currency and, last but not least, electricity and power plugs in South America countries. Just imagine how dreadful it can be for you getting to your hotel room after a long, exhausting trip, just to find out that the electric outlet is not the same as your laptop’s or your cell phone’s.

Power Plugs in South America: American or European Type?

So, if you want to avert that situation in any South America tours you take, there are some things about countries in South America you should know beforehand. The first thing is that there isn’t a standard outlet all over the continent; power plugs change from country to country. Some countries in South America use the American power plug, with three two or three flat prongs, and others use the European one with two pins.

So, depending on the place you’re visiting in your South America travel, you might need an adapter or not. In any case, buying an adapter beforehand will come very useful, because the hotel where you stay in might not have a one on hand. If you forgot yours, however, there is nothing to worry about. This type of adapters are sold in most markets, electric parts store or any other vendor for a dollar or maybe two.

The second thing, and maybe the most important, is to make sure that you may not only need an adapter but also a power converter; otherwise you could make some serious damage to your iPad, laptop, cell phone or hair blower.

power plugs in south america - south america tours 2
This map may be helpful to know the different power plugs in South America and which countries use them. Image: Pinterest.

Different Voltages of Power Plugs in South America

People from South America have the same problem, because the electricity standards vary as well from country to country. Most countries in South America use the American standards in electricity, but some others have the European voltage, and Brazil is the only one with the both. The American standard is 120 volts, while the European voltage is 240; in the Brazilian territory, on the other hand, voltage goes from 115 up to 240, isn’t this crazy?

The good news is that it’s not necessary to carry power transformers up and down, because most of the electronic products (pay attention, not all) are able to support both. So, check the box and the manual of your device, the bottom of your laptop or under the battery of your cell phone: if you see “100-240V~50-60hz” written on the device, then you are ready to plug it into South American outlets.

Before connecting your so loved device in any South American power plug, make sure to read and understand the electric specifications. This can save you some money and some hurdles. If you are not completely clear about the compatibility of your device with the electricity setting and the type of power plugs in South America’s destination, you can ask the concierge of the hotel you are staying in and even ask for an adapter.

Here is a complete guide about the most important information regarding voltage, frequency and power plugs in South America. We hope you find it useful, prevent any further inconvenience and enjoy your South America travel without disconnecting from your favorite gadgets.

Table of Voltages, Frequencies and Power Plugs in South America

Country Voltage Frequency Outlet Type
Argentina 220 V 50 Hz 3 prong plug, Australian type
Bolivia 220 V 50 Hz 2 flat pins United States type.
Brazil 115 – 220 V Varies from city to city. Varies from city to city.
Chile 220 V 50 Hz 2 or 3 prong plug European type
Colombia 120 V 60 Hz 2 flat pins United States type
Ecuador 120 V 60 Hz 2 flat pins, United States type
French Guaiana 220 V 50 Hz Typical European two pins plug
Guaiana 120 V 60 Hz

They are changing from 50 Hz to 60 Hz

2 flat pins, United States type
Paraguay 220 V 50 Hz Typical European two pins plug
Peru 220 V 60 – 50 Hz depending on the area American type and European type, but there are a lot of universal outlets
Suriname 220 – 240 V 60 Hz Typical European two pins plug
Uruguay 230 V 50 Hz Typical European two pins plug and

3 prong plug, Australian type

Venezuela 120 V 60 Hz 2 flat pins United States type