Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay,
Travelers to Central and South America are usually welcomed with
courtesy and warmth. There is great diversity in the region. You
can visit major cosmopolitan cities, ruins of great ancient civilizations,
primeval tropical rainforests and breathtaking locales. However,
there are important things that you should know before you travel.
That is why we have prepared this publication. We wish you an
enjoyable and memorable journey.
Please note that travel to Mexico and the Caribbean are covered
in their own publications. Please refer to the last page of this
pamphlet for further details.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE PUBLICATION 10407
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Revised October 1996
The information in this publication is in the public domain
and may be reproduced without permission. When this material is
reproduced, the Department of State would appreciate receiving
a copy at: CA/P/PA, Room 6831, Department of State, Washington,
CURRENT TRAVEL INFORMATION
The Department of State's Consular Information Sheets are available
for every country of the world. They describe topics such as unusual
entry regulations, the crime and security situation, political
disturbances, areas of instability and drug penalties. They also
provide addresses and emergency telephone numbers for U.S. embassies
and consulates in the subject country. In general, the sheets
do not give advice. Instead, they describe conditions so travelers
can make informed decisions about their trips.
In some dangerous situations, however, the Department of State
recommends that Americans defer travel to a country. In such a
case, a Travel Warning is issued for the country in addition to
its Consular Information Sheet.
Public Announcements are a means to disseminate information
about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or
trans-national conditions posing significant risks to the security
of American travelers. They are issued when there is a perceived
threat, usually involving Americans as a particular target group.
In the past, Public Announcements have been issued to deal with
short-term coups, pre-election disturbances, violence by terrorists
and anniversary dates of specific terrorist events.
Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements
are available at U.S. regional passport agencies; at U.S. embassies
and consulates abroad; or by sending a self-addressed, stamped
envelope to: Overseas Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department
of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818. They are also available through
airline computer reservation systems when you or your travel agent
make your international air reservations.
Before you travel, check to see if a Travel Warning is in effect
for the country or countries that you plan to visit.
You can access Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings
and Public Announcements 24 hours-a-day in several ways.
To listen to them, call (202) 647-5225 from a touchtone phone.
From your fax machine, dial (202) 647-3000, using the handset
as you would a regular telephone. The system prompts you on how
Information about travel and consular services is available
on the Bureau of Consular Affairs' World Wide Web home page. The
address is http://travel.state.gov. It includes Consular Information
Sheets, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, passport and
visa information, travel publications, background on international
adoption and international child abduction services and international
legal assistance. The site also links to the State Department's
main home page at http://www.state.gov, which contains current
foreign affairs information.
Consular Affairs Bulletin Board
If you have a personal computer, modem and communication software,
you can access the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). To
view or download the documents from a computer and modem, dial
the CABB on (301) 946-4400. The login is travel; the password
There is no charge to use the telephone, fax and bulletin board
systems other than normal long distance charges.
As you travel, keep abreast of local news coverage. If you plan
more than a short stay in one place, if you intend travel to an
area where communications are poor, or if you are in an area experiencing
civil unrest or some natural disaster, you are encouraged to register
with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration takes
only a few moments, and it may be invaluable in case of an emergency.
Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and your passport number
with a friend or relative in the United States. If your itinerary
is not fixed, try to get in touch with family and friends frequently
so they will know how to reach you if necessary.