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Curacao
Official Name:

Curaçao

Last Updated: May 8, 2017

Embassy Messages

Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Curaçao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid for duration of trip. More information on entry requirements may be found here

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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None

VACCINATIONS:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

Country Map

U.S. Consulate General Curaçao

J.B. Gorsiraweg 1,
Willemstad, Curaçao

Telephone: +(599)(9) 461-3066

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(599)(9) 510-6870

Fax: +(599)(9) 461-6489

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Curaçao for information on U.S. - Curaçao relations.

Upon arrival in Curaçao, you must have: (1) a U.S. passport valid for the duration of your stay; (2) a completed Embarkation and Disembarkation Card (ED-Card); (3) a return or onward ticket; and (4) if requested, proof of sufficient funds to cover accommodations and food during your stay. You can complete the ED-Card on the airplane en route to Curaçao or in advance by using ED-Card Online. U.S. citizens are allowed to stay in Curaçao without a visa or permit for a maximum consecutive period of six months each calendar year. If you want to stay longer than 180 days, or if you want to work, you must apply for a residence permit. If you have already stayed in Curaçao six months and want to reenter the same year, you must apply for a “declaration of admission” upon arrival. For further information, contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulates in Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. Visit the website for the Island of Curaçao for the most current visa information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Curaçao.

Departure Fees: When departing Curaçao, airport departure fees are charged for international destinations. Most airlines include this fee in the ticket price. The most current information can be found on the airport’s website.

Information about dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

CRIME: Crimes of opportunity, such as pickpockets and purse snatching, particularly at beaches, hotel lobbies, or from cars are common. Accordingly,

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to secure personal property. 
  • Do not leave valuables in cars in plain view or unattended in unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes. 
  • The parking lot around Mambo Beach Boulevard/Curaçao Beach Boulevard is considered higher-risk for car break-ins.
  • Some beaches charge a fee for access and employ private security, which provides some deterrent to crime. 
  • Keep a copy of your valid U.S. passport in a secure location in case your passport is stolen.

Incidents of violent crime, including rape and armed robbery – although not common – do occur. Exercise caution when visiting more isolated areas of the island. Some thefts and assaults have been reported near nature areas, remote beaches, and small or informal parking areas used by divers.  

Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate.  Travelers should take standard precautions when frequenting nightclubs and bars. Travel in pairs or groups and, if you consume alcohol, do so responsibly. 

Gangs and drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island. 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.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Dial 911 for police assistance on Curaçao.

If you or someone you know becomes a victim of crime, you should contact the local police and the U.S. Consulate. Do not rely on hotels, restaurants, or tour companies to make the police report for you. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur on Curaçao. 

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • replace a stolen or lost passport
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

For more information, see our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Consulate for assistance. If you are in immediate danger, first contact the local police at 911.

For further information:

Access to quality medical care is limited on Curaçao, and facilities do not offer the health and service standards typically expected in the United States. 

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. Critically ill patients requiring service not offered in Curaçao are transferred to Colombia. If medical evacuation is authorized by the patient’s insurance carrier or funded privately (approximately $15,000 – $25,000), patients can be transferred to the United States.   

Medicines: Bring all necessary medications with you. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. The variety of drugs available locally is smaller than in the U.S. Pharmacies (called “boticas”) provide prescription and over-the-counter medicines. For most medicines, you will need a local prescription. Boticas are open only during regular business hours. One botica stays open at night and on weekends according to an on-call schedule. To find out which botica is available after hours, you can call (+5999) 737-7404, visit pharmacies on duty, or check with your hotel.

Curaçao’s medical system is fashioned after the Dutch medical system which emphasizes the use “house doctors”  (or huisarts) as a gateway to more specialized medical care. House doctors are outpatient primary care physicians. They are not required to have completed postgraduate training such as a residency program. Specialists have received training similar to residency programs in the United States. Some surgical specialties, e.g., neurosurgery and cardiac surgery, are not represented on the island. 

There is one hospital in Curaçao, Saint Elisabeth's Hospital (SEHOS), which is located in the Otrobanda quarter. All medical emergencies are brought to SEHOS. It is the only 24-hour emergency care center and offers emergency surgical and medical care. The hospital has a neonatal ICU (NICU), medical ICU (MICU), coronary care unit (CCU), treatment for heart attack and stroke patients, and a hyperbaric chamber for scuba diving injuries. Prehospital transportation and care are provided by an EMS service. For emergency medical assistance, dial 911.   

There is one private health clinic on the island, the Antilles Adventist Hospital, which offers some surgical procedures, radiologic services, and an array of other medical services.

Mental health facilities include outpatient psychiatrists and psychologists for both children and adults, as well as voluntary and involuntary psychiatric inpatient facilities.

Below are phone numbers for health and service providers in Curacao. 

Emergency: 911
EMS: 912
Sint Elisabeth's Hospital (SEHOS): +5999 462-4900
Antilles Adventist Hospital: +5999 737-0611
Klinika Capriles (Mental Health Services): Tel: +5999 737-4700; +5999 737-4022 (emergency)

The following diseases are prevalent: Zika Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever.

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. Zika outbreaks have been reported on Curacao. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some offenses committed overseas can be prosecuted in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

In Curaçao, laws against possession of controlled substances are enforced rigorously, including against tourists in possession of marijuana for personal use.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

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.

Dual Nationality: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the The Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch Consulates in the United States.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Curaçao. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.

 

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: 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.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Take extra caution when driving in Curaçao. Proceed through intersections with caution as traffic sings are often hidden or nonexistent.  Roads are extremely slippery when it rains.  Look out for scooters, motorcycles, and ATVs, as drivers of these vehicles do not strictly follow traffic rules. Be alert for speeding cars and drunk drivers. In rural areas, watch out for goats and other animals that cross the road unexpectedly. Night driving is reasonably safe, as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. Roads are not as well-lit as in the U.S. Driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license, fine, and imprisonment. 

Traffic Laws:

  • You can drive on Curaçao with a valid U.S. driver’s license. 
  • Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, and motorcyclists to wear helmets. 
  • Children must ride in the back seat and children under 5 years of age must be in a child safety seat. 
  • At intersections and traffic circles, yield to traffic coming from your right unless signs indicate otherwise. Right-turns at red lights are prohibited. 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. At all T-crossings, through-going traffic has priority. The speed limit is 45 km/hour (28 mph) in town and residential areas, and 60-80 km/hour (37-49 mph) outside the city and on the four-lane Ring Road.

If you get into an accident, do not move the vehicle or pull over. Call your rental agency and call Curaçao Road Services at +5999-747-1333 or 199. You may be required to file a police report. In case of car trouble, call Roadside Assistance 24/7 Curaçao at +(599) 9-24-7. Ask your car rental agency for additional instructions in case of an accident.

Public Transportation: Public transportation is limited. There are two bus terminals, one in Punda near the post office at the ‘Waaigat,” and another in Otrobanda near the overpass. Large buses (called ‘Konvooi’) travel limited, longer-distance routes, typically once per hour. Mini-vans and mini-buses bearing the word “BUS” on their registration plates travel shorter routes on main roads. They are inexpensive and run non-stop during the daytime with no fixed schedule. Each minibus has a specific route that is displayed on the front windshield. Taxis are expensive, but generally safe and well-regulated. There are no meters, so passengers should determine the price in advance.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Curaçao’s Tourism Board for more information about transportation.

Watersports Advisory: You should carefully assess the potential risks inherent in recreational water activities and measure your participation in them against your physical capabilities and skills. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of watercraft traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!  

Cliff Jumping and Diving Advisory: Carefully consider the potential risks inherent in cliff jumping and cliff diving. Individuals have suffered serious injuries from engaging in these activities in Curacao.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Curaçao’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Curaçao’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

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