CuraçaoOfficial Name: Curaçao
Must be valid at time of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
Visitors to Curaçao may be asked to show onward/return tickets, proof of sufficient funds and proof of lodging accommodations for their stay.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Telephone: +(599)(9) 461-3066
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(599)(9) 510-6870
Fax: +(599)(9) 461-6489
Curaçao is a semi-autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The economy is well-developed and tourist facilities are widely available. Tourism and the financial services sector have been the mainstays of Curaçao economy since the 1970s. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Curacao for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
All U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from Curaçao. All sea travelers must also now have a passport or passport card. We strongly encourage all U.S. citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. U.S. citizens can call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports. Temporary visitors to Curaçao may be required to have an onward/return ticket, and may be asked to show proof of sufficient funds and proof of lodging accommodations for their stay. The length of stay granted to U.S. citizens is typically 30-90 days, and may be extended by the office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands and the island of Curaçao website for the most current visa information.
When exiting the country, visitors may be required to pay an “airport departure fee.” Most airlines have already included this fee in the ticket price, but check the airport’s website for the most current information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Curaçao.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
There are no known terrorist or extremist groups, areas of instability or organized crime on Curaçao, although gangs and drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.
Stay up to date by:
- Bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution;
- Following us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook;
- Calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays); and
- Taking some time before you travel to consider your personal security. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: The crime threat on Curaçao is generally considered low to medium, although travelers should always take normal precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. Drug smuggling and other criminal activities continue to be issues on Curaçao, and this may affect visitors adversely. Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Purses, cameras, and other handheld electronics are most frequently reported stolen.
Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and parts stripping, can occur. Vehicle damages or losses may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles, jet skis, and other items.
While violent crime against tourists is not common, thefts and assaults are reported more often in some isolated areas. Please take care when visiting isolated areas (i.e. nature areas, small parking areas used by divers, etc.), where a few tourists have reported day-time assaults and robberies. Some of Curaçao’s many beaches charge a fee for access, but also provide some security or surveillance of the area, which provides some crime deterrent effect.
Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced on Curaçao, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Young travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would when going out in the United States, e.g. to travel in pairs or in groups if they choose to frequent Curaçao’s nightclubs and bars, and if they opt to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly. Anyone who is a victim of a crime should make a report to Curaçao police as well as report it immediately to the nearest U.S. consular office. Do not rely on hotel/restaurant/tour company management to make the report for you.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport;
- For violent crimes such as assault or rape, help you find appropriate medical care;
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and contact family members or friends;
- Although the local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime, consular officers can help you understand the local criminal justice process and can direct you to local attorneys.
Please call “911” for emergency police assistance on Curaçao.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling on Curaçao, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws on Curaçao, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Curaçao laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Local law is based on Dutch law, which allows for the detention of subjects during an investigation with the approval of a judge. Persons imprisoned on Curaçao do not have the option of posting bond for their release.
If you are arrested on Curaçao, authorities of Curaçao are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch consulates in the United States.
If you are a women traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Curaçao. For more detailed information about LGBT rights around the world, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
Accessibility: While on Curaçao, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Sidewalks and crossings in many areas are not wheelchair accessible, and many building lack ramps.
Medical care is generally considered to be good on Curaçao. There is one general hospital, St. Elisabeth Hospital (SEHOS), whose medical standards can be favorably compared to a small hospital in the United States. SEHOS has recently obtained a decompression (hyperbaric) chamber and the medical staff to offer care, including treatment for scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. The hospital has three classes of services, and patients are accommodated according to the level of their insurance. First Class: one patient to a room, air conditioning, etc. Second Class: two to six patients to a room. Third Class: 15 to 30 people in open dormitories. Several private clinics such as Dr. Taams Clinic and the Antilles Adventist Hospital, provide medical service on par with a small clinic in the U.S. The many drug stores or “boticas” provide prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Visitors will need to obtain local prescriptions and may not be able to find the same drugs that they would in the United States. Emergency services are usually quick to respond. A small but significant number of cases of dengue fever are reported each year, insect repellent is recommended. Curaçao is only about 14 degrees from the equator, so the solar radiation is very strong. Sunscreen is recommended anytime you are outside during the day.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions, on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While on Curaçao, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Driving on Curaçao is on the right-hand side of the road (as it is in the US). Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 5 years of age should be in a child safety seat; older children should ride in the back seat. Right turns at red lights are prohibited on Curaçao, and u-turns are often restricted. Traffic signs prohibiting actions have a red circle around them, but not the red slash you expect to see in the United States.
Curaçao's main roads are usually well lit, and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located. Nonexistent or hidden street signs are a major problem. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads on Curaçao are extremely slippery during rainfall. Night driving is reasonably safe, as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. There are speed limits on Curaçao, and driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license fine and/or imprisonment. However, these are not consistently enforced. Drivers should be alert at all times for speeding cars or drunk drivers, which have caused fatal accidents. In the rural areas of the island, drivers should be alert for herds of goats or other animals that may cross the roads unexpectedly. Minivans used as public buses are inexpensive, and run non-stop during the daytime with no fixed schedule. Each minibus has a specific route displayed in the front windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes. Taxis, while relatively expensive, are safe and well regulated. As there are no meters, passengers should negotiate a price before entering the taxi.
Look out for scooters, motorcycles and ATV’s while driving. They may not strictly follow traffic rules. ATV’s are licensed as cars on Curaçao, and are often driven on major streets.
The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Prior to October 10, 2010, Curaçao was a part of the Netherlands Antilles. On that date, Curaçao acquired a new, semi-autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assessed the government of the Netherlands Antilles as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Netherlands Antilles air carrier operations. However, under its new status, Curaçao was assessed by the FAA for compliance with ICAO aviation standards and was found to be deficient in several areas with respect to oversight of Curaçao’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.