Four species of triatomines are known from Chile: Triatoma infestans Klug, Mepraia spinolai Porter, M. gajardoi Frías, Henry & González, and M. parapatrica Frías (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), the last three are endemic. The geographical distribution of M. gajardoi includes the coastal areas in the north of Chile between 18° and 21°S, an area with both a resident workforce and summer-season visitors. A study was developed to assess the risk of vectorial transmission of Chagas disease by M. gajardoi in hut settlements on the coast of the Tarapacá Region, in particular in Caleta San Marcos and Caleta Río Seco. The study comprised fingerstick sampling of 95 persons, venous samples from 29 domestic dogs and capture of 52 triatomines, from both fishing coves. The samples were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. The results show that, of the total number of persons studied, 100% were negative for Trypanosoma cruzi Chagas (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae) antibodies, 10.34% of canids were positive for the antibody and 5.8% of M. gajardoi were infected to the PCR technique. The presence of this species in areas close to human settlements constitutes a risk to human populations established on the coast of northern Chile.