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Electronics Overseas: Plug Outlets in South America

voltage converter

Voltage Converter

Outlets in South America can be rather difficult when trying to plug in/charge your domestic electronic devices. When it comes to electricity there are two things that you need to know; first the voltage & frequency and secondly, the type of plug to be used.

There are two major types of voltage, 120v and 240v.  120v covers a range of 100v-127v and 240v covers a range of 240v-240v.  If you plug in a machine that can’t support one or the other then you might just witness your very own fireworks display.

There is a simple reason why there is a variance in electricity around the world and it has to do with the history of how electricity evolved around the world.

Scroll Down For Country Specific Information

Universal Adapter, travel adapter, universal travel adapter

When electricity was first invented, the entire globe utilized 120v.  Due to the fact that it’s more efficient to carry double the voltage over long distances, the Europeans decided to switch to 240v.  This, in turn, causes fewer drops in electricity and voltage which can damage and ruin electronics.

At the same time the United States wanted to switch to 240v as well but decided against it due to the cost to replace all the electrical appliances.  The United States is essentially stuck in the 1950’s and have started to counteract the problem by wiring new buildings with 240v split in half.  Brazil is the only country that currently runs the two different types of voltage.

Luckily for consumers most electronics today are able to support both frequencies and voltages.  The only thing that we have to worry about is the actual plug to use.  Before they started creating universal voltage & frequency electronics it was requirement to carry those bulky and super heavy voltage converters.  You remember that right?  Now we only need adapters so we can plug our electronics into those other plugs around the world.  The birth of universal electronics for travel has arrived!

First, you need to check whether your appliance is able to support the electricity in the specified country.  Laptops and smart phones are now built to support any electrical voltage and frequency around the world.  Look at the actual plug of your appliance, an example would be that small box looking object that comes with a laptop plug, and focus on the section that reads “input”.  If it works everywhere it will read 100-240V~50-60hz.  If the plug does not read that way you need a voltage converter.

Second, are the outlets to use. If you are traveling to South America here are the plugs and voltages for each country:

Electrical Outlets in Argentina-220v:

Outlet plug in Argentina, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Argentina, plugs in Argentina

Outlet plug in Argentina


Electrical Outlet in Brazil 110v: (American plugs are very common in Brazil as well)

Outlet plug in Brazil, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Brazil, plugs in Brazil

Outlet plug in Brazil


Electrical Outlets in Bolivia 230v:

Outlet plug in Bolivia, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Bolivia, plugs in Bolivia

Outlet plug in Bolivia


Electrical Outlet in Chile 220v:  If you have the top plug it will work with bottom plug

Outlet plug in Chile, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Chile, plugs in Chile

Outlet Plug in Chile


Electrical Outlets in Colombia 110v: (American plugs)
Outlet plug in Colombia, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Colombia, plugs in Colombia

Outlet Plug in Colombia

Electrical Outlets in Guyana 220V:
Outlet plug in Guyana, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Guyana, plugs in Guyana

Electrical Outlets in Uruguay 220v:
Outlet plug in Uruguay, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in uruguay, plugs in uruguay

Outlet plug in Uruguay


Electrical Outlets in Paraguay 380v:

Outlet plug in Paraguay, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Paraguay, plugs in Paraguay,

Outlet plug in Paraguay


Electrical Outlets in Ecuador 208v: (American Plugs)

Outlet plug in Ecuador, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Ecuador, plugs in Ecuador

Outlet Plug in Ecuador


Electrical Outlets in Venezuela 120v: (American Plugs)


Outlet plug in Venezuela, Outlet plug in south america, electrical outlets in Venezuela, plugs in Venezuela

Outlet Plug in Venezuela


{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

WanderingTrader November 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

You should be able to buy the universal adapters at any store in Australia.. It would be very hard to find plugs for australia to south america plugs in south america… check at your local hardware store


Janos December 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

thanks for the visuals


WanderingTrader March 16, 2012 at 12:05 am

Mainly use the american plugs but also use the two prong European plugs


susan schiffer May 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

What about Peru? I’m leaving tomorrow and bought a universal European adaptor which I am planning to use with a 220-110 converter. Will I blow up the joint?
Thanks, Susan


Marcello May 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Peru is the plug from US or EU without the 3rd neutral hole… just the two circular ones or two vertical ones


oscar August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

What’s the voltage and adapters for Peru?


Marcello August 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Voltage and adapters are American standards, American two prong and 110 voltage. Make sure that you have the two prong and not three because I experienced that most plugs were just two and didn’t have the third prong on the bottom


Shirley Smalheiser August 28, 2012 at 2:01 am

Question: I need a C adapter plug for Chile. I have a two prong plug that reads:
6A 220 V. Can I use it for my Israeli laptop which uses a 3 prong H which reads:
KC-057 16A-250V.
Thanks for your help.
Shirley Smalheiser


Marcello August 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm

The laptop will work on any frequency so the real question is whether you have an adapter or voltage converter.. if its just an adapter then you are fine it will work. If its a converter then make sure its converting the right voltage. From what you wrote I think you have an adapter and will work just fine


Karen Pechin December 4, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Great info, but I’m still confused. I currently live in Chile and am traveling to Brasil. I want to take my Chilean curling iron that is 220v, with a Chilean plug that looks like it will fit the Brasiliian plug. Should I bother to take it or will it not work?


Marcello December 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

I’d recommend taking a voltage converter just in case Karen.. Brazil is the only country in the world that has two voltages


Mark Whelan December 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

This may seem ridicules,however I am planning to bring my juicer to Chile…its 120v /60Hz max current 6.25A. I have an adaptor plug…will that be sufficient?? I leave in 2 days fyi :)
Thanks so much


Marcello December 31, 2012 at 7:02 am

The voltage in Chile is 220-240 Volts so you will definitely need to bring a voltage converter :-)


april January 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

What about Belize? I may be going there in March.


Marcello February 11, 2013 at 11:34 am

They have 110 voltage and use american plugs. The 3 prong is flat instead of vertical


Alex January 19, 2013 at 7:42 am

Hi there,can someone tell me if the appilance power is comverted to 110 from 220 but the hz is 50, it will work?


Marcello January 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

If I’m not mistaken Alex all that matters is the voltage… check on your adapter if it says 110-220 and if it does you can plug it in anywhere in the world.


Teresa February 7, 2013 at 5:10 am

Hi Marcello, I currently live in South Africa where the voltage is 220. I will be emigrating to Ecuador and I believe the voltage there is 110. I have many hair electrical appliances like a hairdryer, curling tongs and straightners I would like to take with me, but my husband who is Ecuadorian has adviced me not to take any of them with me as I might just blow them up even if I use an adapter over there. Is this true? What do you recommend? Should I or shouldn’t I take my appliances? It would be a real pity not to take them all as I would have to buy new ones over there and I like the ones I have. Please advice.
Thank you very much.


Marcello February 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

I would recommend not taking them Teresa and just buying new ones in Ecuador. You can’t plug it into the wall unless the appliances are double voltage and from what I am aware hair dryers and those kind of appliances generally are not good for voltage changes. Things are cheap enough in Ecuador would recommend just leaving everything and buying new stuff.


Daniela February 16, 2013 at 7:38 am

Hi, I am planning on traveling to uruguay this week. I have a laptop, ipad, flat iron, and blow dryer which says 2000w. What do i need to get to endure they work? I have seen the 6plug power strip would i also need a converter and adapter? I am also traveling with 4 other adults should we get several sets? Thank you in advance!


Marcello February 26, 2013 at 2:06 am

Daniela look on the power strip of the machine and see if it has the variation in voltage. I would recommend either getting a voltage converter to be safe or just buying a new blow dryer in Montevideo. You could probably pick one up pretty cheap.


Catherine Gates April 7, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Thank you so much for the pictures of the outlets and your explanation–this was very helpful information and saved us from buying a convertor for a two week trip–we appreciate it! Four of us are off to Ecuador & Peru in May.


eliza May 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm

We are travelling to Chile from North America. Will I be OK with just an adapter for our plugs (apple products, hairdryer, laptop) or will I also need a converter as well? Thanks for your help!


Marcello May 2, 2013 at 4:35 am

For the hair dryer you will need a voltage converter.. for the rest you can just adapters.


Steve May 9, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I’m bringing a blackberry playbook from canada to bolivia. It has a 3 prong plug and the plug has a box (transformer) halfway along it.
What do you recommend?


Marcello May 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

That is a new enough piece of technology that you won’t need the transformer. You should be fine with just a converter plug


Regina May 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I am in chile, my pc (from us) has a 3 prong plug, what kind of concerter i need? I used the 2 prong for chile but it said pc was not charging… :(


Marcello May 27, 2013 at 3:09 am

You just a US plug.. just get an adapter that goes from Chile plug to US plug


Laia May 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi Marcello,
In my flat iron made in Argentina says: 220V- 50 Hz 39W and I’m here in Canada. Can I plug it without worries or I need the adapter /converter? Thanks a lot.


Marcello May 27, 2013 at 3:09 am

No for an iron I would recommend a voltage converter. Irons take up a lot of energy. You can look to see if it supports 110 on the plug. If it does then fine but if it doesn’t best to get an actual voltage converter


Annette Coplan July 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

What is required in Peru ?


Marcello July 12, 2013 at 2:30 am

Hey Annette… US plugs work in Peru… both three prong and two prong. Would recommend that you have a two prong though as those are common


Mark July 16, 2013 at 6:31 am

Hi there. I’m going to Cali, Colombia. What sort of plugs will I need for an AppleMac laptop and iphone charger. And can I get them in Cape Town before I go. Hope you can help. Thanx a ton!


Marcello July 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm

You need to make sure you have the American 3 prong and American 2 prong other than that you should be fine


Mark July 17, 2013 at 9:05 am

Thanx so much. Much appreciated. Have a good day


Avalon July 25, 2013 at 4:19 am

Hi Marcelo,

Lots of great advice, though I’m still unsure of how to interpret my own devices. I am travelling to Chile in two days with my mac book pro (laptop), blow dryer (125 VAC 60 Hz 1875 W) and flat iron (120 VAC 60 Hz 250 W). I just bought an international adaptor that would (should) be fine for my laptop but what else would you advise that I use with this adaptor for the other two devices?

Thanks in advance for your response!



Marcello July 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm

You will need a voltage converter for the iron and the blow dryer.. everything else you can just use an adapter


Filip August 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

A bit of the beaten track, but if you’re in The Falklands Islands they have standard British plugs at 220-240 Volt. You’ll need a UK/Ireland adaptor there.


Marcello August 16, 2013 at 11:37 am

Thanks Filip


tiahna August 28, 2013 at 11:25 pm

hello, just wondering im from Australia and travel to south America, countries Peru, brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay. most of them are a 2 pin round or flat 220v or 110v. I cant find an adaptor anywhere not even on ebay. especially because it has to be in this voltage range and a certain type, type A, C or I. I have an Au- European 2 pin and a Au- to north American 3 pin, and these both arnt the right voltage or the type? I am really confused, it can be so frustrating. can I have voltage 250v or 240v or 230v for the 220v?


tiahna :)


Marcello August 29, 2013 at 9:24 am

Most are 2 pin flat (as in the pictures) the only ones that will be different are the ones from Argentina, French Guyana, and Brazil which are more influenced by Europe. They all run 110V.


Linda Tamburro September 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I have a student that just arrived from Brazil to live with me for at least one year. She brought a flat iron for her hair, it has the two round prongs. What do I need to be looking for here in Canada for her to use this product, an adapter or a convertor. Will I find such a thing in Canada?


Marcello September 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I would highly recommend that she check the the voltage on it. Canada normally has 110v but Brazil is one of the only places in the world that has 220v and 110v for voltage. I would recommend to get a voltage converter and an adapter just in case Linda.


Dara September 15, 2013 at 1:50 am

I am currently in chile and brought my MacBook Pro and I have the plug converter but when my computer is plugged in to the outlet it feels like electricity is coming off the the metal case. Is that bad? Am I gonna fry my computer?


Marcello September 15, 2013 at 3:54 am

Might be overheating or having an issue because of the electricity. One solution would be a surge protector. Head to the local electronics store and you should be able to find one easily


Dan October 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for the useful website. We are traveling from the US to Chile and want to be able to charge our phones (one iPhone and one Android) and Nikon Coolpix AW110 camera with a rechargeable Li-ion battery. The charger for the camera has the 100-240v-50-60hz statement appearing in the photo above. Do you think that we will need a voltage converter for the camera? Thoughts on the phones?

Continued safe travels to you!


Marcello December 5, 2013 at 12:28 am

Do not need a voltage converter for cameras or phones.. just use an adapter and you will be fine


Hilary November 3, 2013 at 9:24 am

Am travelling to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Chile, then on to Belize and Guatemala. Reading all comments above, I will take two pronged adaptors in round and flat designs. I will be using a travel hairdrier, mini ipad, and will charge a camera and Kindle. Do I need a converter?


Marcello December 5, 2013 at 12:23 am

You don’t need a converter unless you are traveling with something like a hair dryer which I wouldn’t recommend. If it is just basic electronics then you will not need one.


Paul December 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi, I’ve just moved to Colombia (Medellin) from Australia (240V, 50Hz) and bought with me 2 kitchen appliances that don’t seem work here (1 works at half about half speed and the other started smoking when I plugged it in). Do you know what type of voltage converter is needed and most of all where I could get it from (maybe online or I noticed you are currently here in Colombia)? Thanks :)


Marcello December 23, 2013 at 12:23 am

I don’t know if you will be able to find a converter here Paul but that voltage is rare for these parts of the world. It would be easier for you to just buy new ones.


manola December 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I am thinking of taking a Kitchenaid mixer as a gift to my sister in Argentina;this is the description of it from amazon
*220 VOLTS – FOR EUROPEAN OR ISRAELI USAGE ONLY – not for use in United States!!!!!
Do you think it will work there?
Thank you.


Marcello December 23, 2013 at 12:15 am

You will need a voltage converter or you can find 220 volts in many homes where the dryers are. I would recommend buying a voltage converter however.


Nick Israel January 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Can a Blackberry phone handle voltage fluctuations from 110 v in one country and 220 v in another when charging. Going to Brazil and I understand the voltage fluctuates from State to State. Thank you. Nick


Marcello February 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

Yes Nick it can.. all new phones are built to take any voltage.


Victoria January 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Hi Marcello,
I was living in Brasil recently and purchased a battery charger there (for small batteries). I am now living in Canada and wondering if I could use it with a universal adaptor. The power cord looks as if it can be used in any country with a plug adaptor only (PRI: 100-240V-50/60HZ 7.2W). I am having trouble locating plug adaptors from type n to type a/b and am wondering if a universal adaptor would work or of anywhere online that I could get one that would work, as long as you think the power wouldn’t be an issue.
Thanks in advance! Looks like you’re helping a lot of people out here.


Marcello January 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Victoria you should double check the voltage on the back of the charger to make sure it supports 110V. Brazil is one of the only places in the world that has both 220 and 110 voltage.


Irene January 24, 2014 at 7:39 am

Hi Marcello,
I am leaving Australia in 3 weeks time for Argentina and Antartica. I bought a adapter, it has 2 pins coming out and 2 steel bars on either side of prongs. I think it may be earthed but I don’t know. Can I use this adaptor for my laptop, camera and phone.


Marcello January 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm

You don’t need anything earthed for those appliances. Most appliances now can handle any kind of voltage. You should be fine with just an adapter.


Robyn January 29, 2014 at 3:26 am

I am still confused reading all these
We are traveling to Peru,Brazil and Argentina soon
Not worried about the adaptors as we have a good range
BUT will my hair dryer work as I know the voltage is different, but ours is higher
My dryers wording on tag 220-240V 5060Hz1750-2100W
I dont want to kill it, I have used before in England and it worked
Most men dont care about hair dryers but I do and I dont want to go 4-5 weeks with out or relying on the hopless little ones most hotels have
Regards Robyn


Marcello February 9, 2014 at 11:37 am

Hair dryer will not work Robyn. You need a voltage converter for a hair dryer. It takes quite a bit of electricity


Conrad January 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm

What about Peru, what converter do I need?


Marcello February 9, 2014 at 11:17 am

No converters needed you can just use American plugs there.


Beth February 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

do I need to use a convertor for my Kobo e-reader?


Marcello February 9, 2014 at 10:48 am

If it is an e-reader I would say no because most smaller electronics have built in systems to take on any kind of voltage now. I would double check by looking in the back of the plug however. Should say there if it takes both or one or the other.


Jim March 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Marcello – BAD Advice regarding the 50 – 60 Hz!!!!!
Motors and heaters designed for 60 Hz MAY burn up if used on 50Hz outlet! If designed for 50 and used on 60 they won’t work well but will probably not be damaged.

Computer and phone chargers are USUALLY designed to work on 110 to 240V and 50 – 60 Hz. The adapter will have a tag on it that specifies. It is sometimes hard to find and read but, if you want to protect your devives, find it and read it to be sure. If it is multi voltage and Hz all that is needed is a plug adaptor.


Marcello March 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Thanks for the note Jim. That is why I recommended people look on the charger to ensure it is up to the right specs.


celina March 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Marcello: I’m traveling to Bolivia in a month I’m planing to bring my ninja blender and Jack La Lanne’s juicer, do I need an adaptor or converter?.


Marcello March 25, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Those are pretty intensive devices would recommend a converter.


Gustavo June 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

Hi Marcello. You should say to everyone that any adaptor MUST NOT work with electrical motors, even small ones. Adaptors are generally electronic devices for small appliances, they do not accept inductances caused by those motors and can blow up itselves, BUT instead of people buying many appliances even they are cheap, there is something even cheaper : transformers. In Brazil we call “Auto-transformadores”. They are offered in many wattages, from 50 to 5 kilo Watts. They can convert Voltages from 220 to 110 or 110 to 220V. Although a 5kW transformer is not that cheap (and not that light, about 15 pounds or something to the most powerfull), people can save room in luggages, they will be able to use their stuff they already have, will save time to look for and go for shopping things that they should maybe trash in the future. According to Teresa on February 7, 2013 at 5:10am, I guess my solution suggested here shall be the best option to her, and for sure, to everybody. Good luck pal !


Marcello June 9, 2014 at 9:07 pm

For most devices now Gustavo you do no need a transformer. That is a device that converts electricity. The only thing you really need transformers for now a days are hair dryers. Most other electronics like laptops, cell phones, and most other devices people use are to take both 110 and 220V. Its just simply not needed as much now a days.


Annie Craven June 10, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Wouldn’t life be easier if there was only 1 plug with 1 voltage across the globe? Yes please! Or just make sure you pack your universal convertor and a convertor for the voltage to make sure your cover all your basis. Thanks for sharing your post!


Marcello June 11, 2014 at 1:26 am

That would be nice Annie


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