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:
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 among the mainstays of Curaçao economy since the 1970s. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Curacao for additional information on U.S – Curacao relations.
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 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. 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 Island of Curaçao for the most current visa information.
Ebola restrictions: the Government of Curaçao will deny boarding to any passenger on a Curaçao-bound flight who has traveled within the past 21 days to, from and through the countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The ban is related to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.
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. However, gangs and drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Consulate on Facebook and visit the Consulate’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: The crime threat on Curaçao is generally considered medium, and travelers should always take normal precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. Drug smuggling and other criminal activities continue to be problems on Curaçao, and this may affect visitors adversely. Several bystanders were injured during a gang-related homicide at the Hato International Airport in 2014. In response, local authorities stepped up security controls at the airport.
Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Robberies of private homes also occur. Purses, cameras, passports, tablets, and other handheld electronics are most frequently reported stolen.
Car theft can occur. Take extra precaution and do not leave personal items or purses in cars and in plain view. 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. The parking lot around Mambo Beach is considered to be high-risk for car break-ins, so visitors should exercise extra precaution when visiting Mambo Beach.
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 some tourists have reported day-time assaults and robberies. Some U.S. travelers have reported their items were taken from hotel rooms and safes while they were on night scuba dives in more remote areas of the island. Extra precautions should be taken to secure personal property at all times. U.S. travelers should have a copy of their valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case their passport is stolen. Some of Curaçao’s many beaches charge a fee for access, but also provide some security or surveillance of the area, which provides some deterrent to crime.
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.
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.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
- Please call “911” for emergency police assistance on Curaçao.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling on Curacao you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. 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. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
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.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
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 woman 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 Curacao. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Curacao, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While on Curaçao, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than in the United States. Sidewalks and crossings in many areas are not wheelchair accessible, and many buildings 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 small hospitals in the United States. SEHOS recently obtained a decompression (hyperbaric) chamber and the medical staff to offer treatment for scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness. Several private clinics such as 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.
Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
Chikunguya and Dengue are mosquito-borne illnesses that are becoming more frequent in tropical and equatorial climates around the world. Symptoms can include fever, rash, severe headache, joint pain, and muscle or bone pain. There are no specific treatments for Chikungunya and Dengue and vaccines are still in the developmental phase. Preventing mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent these illnesses. Avoidance and prevention techniques include: reducing mosquito exposure by using repellents, covering exposed skin, treating clothing and tents with permethrin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms. You can also reduce exposure through mosquito control measures, including emptying water from outdoor containers and spraying to reduce mosquito populations. The Aedes mosquitos that carry these illnesses are primarily day biting and often live in homes and hotel rooms especially under beds, in bathrooms and closets. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents containing either 20% DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, which will help diminish bites from mosquitoes as well as ticks, fleas, chiggers, etc., some of which may also carry infectious diseases. For further information, please consult the CDC's Chikungunya Virus Website and Dengue Virus Website.
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 detailed 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, which 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 in the US). Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 5 years of age must be in a child safety seat; older children must 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.