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Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets

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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet

Central & South America - Tips for Travellers to Central and South America. Important Tips

Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela


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.

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, D.C. 20520.


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 to proceed.


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 is info.

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.


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Disclaimer: Although we've tried to make the information on this web site as accurate as possible, we accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person resulting from information published on this site. We encourage you to verify any critical information with the relevant authorities before you travel.

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