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CURACAO

   
 
 
 

CURACAO, Netherlands Antilles

 
  ABOUT CURACAO:

MAP OF CURACAO   מפת קורסאו

Information by State.Gov, updated: April 13, 2011

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: 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 the Curaçao economy since the 1970s.

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SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM (STEP) / EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens living or traveling in Curaçao are encouraged to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may sign up directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Enrolling is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

Local Consulate information is available below and at the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates.

United States Consulate General Curaçao
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1, Willemstad, Curaçao
Telephone: (599-9) 461-3066
Emergency after-hours telephone: (599-9) 510-6870
Facsimile: (599-9) 461-6489
 

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ENTRY / EXIT 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 American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports. Visitors to Curaçao may be asked to show onward/return tickets, proof of sufficient funds and proof of lodging accommodations for their stay. Length of stay for U.S. citizens is granted for thirty days and may be extended to 180 days 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.

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 web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

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SAFETY AND SECURITY: There are no known terrorist or extremist groups, areas of instability or organized crime on Curaçao, although drug trafficking rings 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. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or by calling 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).

Take some time before travel to improve your personal security—things are not the same everywhere as they are in the United States. Here are some useful tips for traveling safely abroad.

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CRIME: The crime threat in Curaçao is generally considered low although travelers should always take normal precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. Drug smuggling and trafficking in persons continue to be issues in Curaçao. Drug smuggling, in particular, has been significantly reduced through intensive cooperation among U.S., Dutch, Curaçao and international law enforcement authorities. Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals 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.

Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always rigorously enforced in 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.

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INFORMATION FOR 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 (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). If your passport is stolen we can help you replace it. For violent crimes such as assault and rape, we can help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and help them send you money if you need it. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if you need.

The emergency line in Curaçao is 911.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

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CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Curacao, 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, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. 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 in Curacao, 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.

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SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Dutch law in principle does not permit dual nationality. However, there are several exceptions to the rule. For example, American citizens who are married to Dutch citizens are exempt from the requirement to abandon their American nationality when they apply to become a Dutch citizen by naturalization. For detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch consulates in the U.S.

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MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical care is good in Curaçao. There is one general hospital, St. Elisabeth Hospital, whose medical standards can be compared with to a small hospital in the U.S. St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber and qualified staff to assist 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 one hall. Several private clinics such as Dr. Taams Clinic and Advent Clinic, provide good to excellent medical service. The many drug stores or “boticas” provide prescription and over the counter medicine. Emergency services are usually quick to respond. There have been cases of dengue fever in recent months.

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.

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MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:

  • Does my policy apply when I’m out of the United States?
  • Will it cover emergencies like a trip to a foreign hospital or a medical evacuation?

In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

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TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Curaçao, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Driving in Curaçao is on the right-hand side of the road. 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 on red are prohibited in Curaçao.

Curaçao's main roads are fairly well lit and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located. Nonexistent or hidden and poorly maintained street signs are the major road hazard in Curaçao. Therefore, drivers should proceed through intersections with caution. Roads in 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 in Curaçao and driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license and/or a fine. However, these are not consistently enforced. Drivers should be alert at all times for speeding cars, which have caused fatal accidents. In the rural areas of the island, drivers should be alert for herds of goats that may cross the roads unexpectedly. Minibuses 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 verify the price before entering the taxi.

The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Travelers may also wish to visit Curaçao’s tourist office website for more information.

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AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Prior to October 10, 2010, Curaçao was a part of the Netherlands Antilles. On that date, Curaçao acquired a new independent 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 has not been assessed by the FAA for compliance with ICAO aviation standards.

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CHILDREN’S ISSUES: Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

* * *

This replaces the Country Specific Information for the Netherlands Antilles dated November 16, 2009, to reflect Curaçao's newly autonomous status.

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JEWISH AND KOSHER CURACAO:
  1. CURACAO
  2. ABOUT CURACAO
  3. JEWISH CEMETERIES
  4. JEWISH MUSEUM
  5. KOSHER FOOD AND RESTAURANTS
  6. MAP
  7. MIKVAH
  8. SYNAGOGUES

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COUNTRIES AND JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ISLANDS:

  1. ANGUILLA
  2. ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
  3. ARUBA
  4. BAHAMAS, THE
  5. BARBADOS
  6. BELIZE
  7. BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
  8. CAYMAN ISLANDS
  9. COSTA RICA
  10. CUBA
  11. CURACAO
  12. DOMINICA
  13. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
  14. EL SALVADOR
  15. GRENADA
  16. GUATEMALA
  17. HAITI
  18. HONDURAS
  19. JAMAICA
  20. MONTSERRAT
  21. NEVASSA ISLAND
  22. NICARAGUA
  23. PANAMA
  24. PUERTO RICO
  25. SAINT BARTHELEMY
  26. SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
  27. SAINT LUCIA
 
 
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