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  1. 50 states: Vacation rentals perfect for a group getawayTue, 19 Sep 2017 08:49:17 -0400
    From 18-bedroom oceanfront mansions to three-bedroom New England charmers, TripAdvisor Rentals has rounded up houses perfect for a group gathering.          More...
  2. 10 most extreme theme park rides around the USAMon, 18 Sep 2017 07:47:01 -0400
    These rides offer thrills just as extreme as any roller coaster.          More...
  3. Photos: The eye-catching cabins of China's Yue Tuo Island ResortTue, 19 Sep 2017 11:30:45 -0400
    The Yue Tuo Island Resort in Tangshan, China, has a different spin on the overwater bungalow.          More...
  4. 10 great breweries where the scenery’s as good as the beerMon, 18 Sep 2017 14:52:48 -0400
    With the explosion of craft breweries, good beer is more accessible than ever. But some places are worth an extra trip just for the scenery.          More...
  5. Kids get in free at San Diego's top attractions in OctoberSat, 16 Sep 2017 08:00:00 -0400
    More than 100 theme parks, museums, tours, activities, hotels and restaurants participate.          More...
  6. 10 best places to go in Africa (and what to do there)Thu, 14 Sep 2017 07:54:50 -0400
    With 54 countries calling it home, Africa’s topography, landscape and activities vary drastically by region.          More...
  7. TripAdvisor names the world's top museumsWed, 20 Sep 2017 07:53:43 -0400
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  8. Celebrating female innovators at the Racine Art MuseumTue, 19 Sep 2017 07:12:25 -0400
    These craft artists are legendary          More...
  9. 10 places to get on the water for ultimate leaf peepingTue, 19 Sep 2017 07:06:43 -0400
    Float through fall in these stunning autumn destinations          More...
  10. Fall travel forecast: Prices, crowds are downSun, 17 Sep 2017 18:00:08 -0400
    Lower prices, nice weather and fewer crowds could make this fall one for the record books.          More...
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Travel Warnings
  1. Cuba Travel WarningMon, 18 Sep 2017 20:55:00 EST
    The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Cuba while Hurricane Irma recovery efforts are underway. Major roads are now open in Havana and power and water service has been restored in most of the city, but some parts of the country may be without power and running water. North central Cuba suffered severe damage and should be avoided until further notice. On September 6, the Department authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees and their family members due to Hurricane Irma. This is an update to the Travel Warning for Cuba issued September 13, 2017.Travelers should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts, and keep in close contact with their travel agency, hotel staff, and local officials.U.S. citizens in Cuba in need of emergency assistance should contact the Embassy by telephone at +53- 5280-5791 or the Department of State at 1-202-501-4444. At this time, U.S. citizens should not attempt to go to the U.S. Embassy in Havana as it suffered severe flood damage.For further information:Visit the Embassy Havana website for the latest messages to U.S. citizens and other information related to Embassy operations.See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Cuba.Enrol in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest security updates and make it easier for the nearest U.S. Embassy to locate you in an emergency.Follow the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Twitter @USEmbCuba and Facebook and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook. More...
  2. Haiti Travel WarningTue, 12 Sep 2017 21:03:00 EST
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Haiti due to its current security environment and lack of adequate medical facilities and response. U.S. citizens are informed that the U.S. Embassy has resumed normal operations following Hurricane Irma. The authorized departure of non-emergency employees was lifted September 12, 2017. This is an update to Travel Warning issued on September 05, 2017.  Rates of kidnapping, murder, and rape rose in 2016. While there is no indication that U. S. citizens are specifically targeted, kidnapping for ransom can affect anyone in Haiti, particularly long-term residents. Armed robberies and violent assaults reported by U.S. citizens have risen in recent years. Do not share specific travel plans with strangers. Be aware that newly arrived travelers are targeted. Arrange to have your host or organization meet you at the airport upon arrival or pre-arranged airport to hotel transfers. Be cautious when visiting banks and ATMs, which are often targeted by criminals. Fewer incidents of crime are reported outside of Port-au-Prince, but Haitian authorities' ability to respond to emergencies is limited and in some areas nonexistent. U.S. Embassy employees are discouraged from walking in city neighborhoods, including in Petionville. Visit only establishments with secured parking lots. U.S. Embassy personnel are under a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Embassy personnel must receive permission from the Embassy security officer to travel to some areas of Port-au-Prince and some regions of the country, thus limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Protests, including tire burning and road blockages, are frequent and often spontaneous. Avoid all demonstrations. The Haitian National Police’s ability to assist U.S. citizens during disturbances is limited.  Have your own plans for quickly exiting the country if necessary. The U.S. Embassy remains concerned about the security situation in the southern peninsula departments of Grand Anse and Sud following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew. Embassy employees are not permitted to travel to those departments without special approval for and official trips only. Medical care infrastructure, ambulances, and other emergency services are limited throughout Haiti. Check that your organization has reliable infrastructure, evacuation, and medical support in place. Comprehensive medical evacuation insurance is strongly advised for all travelers. The authorized departure of non-emergency employees has been lifted. This is an update to Travel Warning issued on September 05, 2017.For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Haiti’s  Country Specific Information.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, located at Boulevard du October, Route de Tabarre telephone: 509-2229-8000; after hours emergency telephone: 509-2229-8000; fax: 509-2229-8027; e-mail: acspap@state.gov; web page: http://haiti.usembassy.gov.Anyone who missed a scheduled American Citizen Services appointment at the U.S. Embassy due to Hurricane Matthew is welcome to call 509-2229-8000, 509-2229-8900 or send us an email at the acspap@state.gov to reschedule your appointment. For Immigrant or nonimmigrant visa cases, please contact the call center at 509-2819-2929 or by email at support-Haiti@ustraveldocs.com.Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  More...
  3. Kenya Travel WarningFri, 08 Sep 2017 16:23:00 EST
    The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the border area between Somalia and Kenya because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.U.S. citizens should also be aware of potential terrorist threats and the high risk of crime throughout the country.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated January 13, 2017.  For your safety:Avoid travel in the northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa, the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety, all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and carefully consider whether to use the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.Over the past year, terrorist attacks involving improvised explosive devices and shootings occurred in Kenya’s border areas with Somalia and along northern portions of the Kenyan coast. Though the threat from terrorism continues to be most pronounced in these areas, a broader terrorism risk throughout the rest of Kenya remains, including within the Nairobi area.Terrorist targets have included Kenyan and foreign government sites, police stations, police and military vehicles, hotels, public transportation and other infrastructure targets, nightclubs and bars, religious and academic institutions, and shopping areas.Violent and sometimes fatal crimes, including armed carjackings, muggings, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time. U.S. citizens and U.S. Embassy employees have been victims of such crimes. There has been an increase in armed incursions by herders on private farms and wildlife conservancies in Laikipia, Baringo, and Samburu counties in central Kenya. If you intend to visit the area, monitor local media and request the latest information and the level of security provided at your specific destination.On February 26, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended its Notice to Airmen for Kenyan Airspace for one year. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.To be safe, you should review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings and local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution , Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Kenya.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.Contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya located on United Nations Avenue, Nairobi, at +254 (0) 20 363 6451 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +254 (0) 20 363 6170.Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.   More...
  4. Ethiopia Travel WarningFri, 25 Aug 2017 22:42:00 EST
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention.There continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in the Gondar region and Bahir Dar in Amhara State, and parts of Oromia State. This replaces the Travel Warning of June 13, 2017.The Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated its ability and willingness to restrict or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia and limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide consular services. Additionally, the Government of Ethiopia does not inform the U.S. Embassy of detentions or arrests of U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Be aware  that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.Given the unpredictable security situation, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should have alternate communication plans in place, and let family and friends know that communication may be limited while you are in Ethiopia.  The Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to register your mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Ethiopia.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.Contact the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014, by email at AddisACS@state.gov, or at +251-11-130-6000 Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-11-130-6911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More...
  5. Bangladesh Travel WarningThu, 24 Aug 2017 07:06:00 EST
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of continuing threats from terrorist groups in Bangladesh and to consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country. The Department is updating this travel warning to reflect the change in the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka’s status to “partially accompanied,” effective August 24, 2017, allowing all spouses/partners of U.S. government personnel to remain in or return to Dhaka. Previously, only adult family members employed by the U.S. government were permitted to remain or return to Dhaka. Minor dependents are still prohibited from residing in Dhaka. The U.S. Embassy remains open and will provide all consular services. This travel warning replaces the travel warning dated January 5, 2017. While Bangladeshi security forces continue to identify and counter terrorist elements, the Islamic State of Iraq and ash Sham (ISIS) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) persist in their efforts to plot and/or carry out terrorist attacks throughout the country. In March, two suicide bombing attempts occurred at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and an explosion in the city of Sylhet killed seven people. These incidents were the first notable attacks since July 1, 2016, when terrorists killed more than 20 people, including one U.S. citizen, in a restaurant frequented by foreigners in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave.In October 2016, ISIS threatened to target "expats, tourists, diplomats, garment buyers, missionaries, and sports teams" in the most "secured zones" in Bangladesh. Recurring threats and periodic terrorist activities have prompted the Embassy to require U.S. government personnel in Bangladesh to live, work, and travel under strict security guidelines. The internal security policies of the U.S. Mission in Bangladesh may be changed or adjusted at any time and without advance notice.U.S. government officials and their adult family members are not permitted to travel on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, or other uncovered means on public thoroughfares and sidewalks in Bangladesh. In addition, U.S. government officials and their family members remain severely restricted in their ability to visit public establishments and places or to attend large gatherings in Bangladesh. U.S. citizens should take stringent security measures, remain vigilant, and be alert to local security developments. For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, located at Madani Avenue, Baridhara, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1212, at (88) (02) 5566-2000, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Weekends and After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (88) (02) 5566-2000 (press "3" and ask for the duty officer).Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More...
  6. Mexico Travel WarningTue, 22 Aug 2017 09:37:00 EST
    The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico issued December 8, 2016.For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends “defer non-essential travel” in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed. Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.U.S. government personnel are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit. Kidnappings in Mexico take the following forms:Traditional:  victim is physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release.Express:  victim is abducted for a short time and commonly forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.Virtual:  an extortion-by-deception scheme where a victim is contacted by phone and coerced by threats of violence to provide phone numbers of family and friends, and then isolated until the ransom is paid.  Recently, hotel guests have been targets of such "virtual" kidnapping schemes.U.S. citizens have been murdered in carjackings and highway robberies, most frequently at night and on isolated roads. Carjackers use a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. citizens should use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups.  U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.State-by-State Assessment: Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions throughout Mexico. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, U.S. citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see our Country Specific Information.Aguascalientes: Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.Baja California (includes Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali): Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state of Baja California experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring innocent bystanders have occurred during daylight hours. Due to poor cellular service and general road conditions, U.S. government personnel are only allowed to travel on “La Rumorosa” between Mexicali-Tijuana on the toll road during daylight hours. Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides. According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Baja California Sur experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours. Campeche: No advisory is in effect.Chiapas (includes Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation.Chihuahua (includes Ciudad Juarez, the city of Chihuahua, Ojinaga, Palomas, Nuevo Casas Grandes and Copper Canyon): Criminal activity and violence remains an issue throughout the state of Chihuahua and its major cities. If you plan to drive in the state of Chihuahua, you should limit travel to daylight hours on major highways and follow the recommendations below.Ciudad Juarez: Exercise caution in all areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling after dark west of Eje Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. Defer non-essential travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.Within the city of Chihuahua: Defer non-essential travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts, where the travel of U.S. government personnel is restricted.Ojinaga: Travel via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas port-of-entry.Palomas and the Nuevo Casas Grandes/Paquime region: Use U.S. Highway 11 through the Columbus, New Mexico port-of- entry.Nuevo Casas Grandes: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside of city limits after dark.Copper Canyon and other areas of the state of Chihuahua: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel.Coahuila: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Coahuila, with the exception of Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, because of the high incidence of violent crime, particularly along the highways between Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited in some parts of Coahuila, particularly in the north. U.S. government personnel are allowed to travel during daylight hours to Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, using the most direct routes and maximizing the use of toll highways. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, or Parras de la Fuente. Colima (includes Manzanillo): U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel at night, from traveling within 12 miles of the Colima-Michoacán border, and from traveling on Route 110 between La Tecomaca and the Jalisco border. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to this border region, including the city of Tecoman.Durango: Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside of the city of Durango only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Durango.Estado de Mexico (includes Toluca and Teotihuacan): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, Ixtapaluca, and Tlatlaya due to high rates of crime and insecurity, unless traveling directly through the areas on major thoroughfares. Avoid traveling on any roads between Huitzilac, Morelos, and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon): No advisory is in effect.Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo): Personal travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect.Jalisco (includes Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.Mexico City (formerly known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.Michoacan (includes Morelia): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacan, except the cities of Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas, and the area north of federal toll road 15D. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling by land in Michoacan except on federal toll road 15D during daylight hours. Flying into Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas is permitted for U.S. government personnel.Morelos (includes Cuernavaca): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.Nayarit (includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas): U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa María del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.Nuevo Leon (includes Monterrey): U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the municipal boundaries of San Pedro Garza Garcia or Santa Catarina (south of the Santa Catarina river). Travel to and from Monterrey airport is permitted at any time.Oaxaca (includes Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Escondido): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation in Oaxaca City. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, and they are not permitted to travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas. Puebla: No advisory is in effect.Queretaro: No advisory is in effect.Quintana Roo (includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum): U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred.San Luis Potosi: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of San Luis Potosi. Sinaloa (includes Mazatlan): One of Mexico's most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa, except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada, the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.Sonora (includes Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos): Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades. U.S. citizens traveling throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours and exercise caution on the Highway 15 corridor from Nogales to Empalme. Puerto Peñasco should be visited using the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, and limit driving to daylight hours.Due to illegal activity, U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to:The triangular region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and north of Caborca (including the towns of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar).The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and state Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).South of Hermosillo, with the exception of the cities of Alamos, Guaymas, and Empalme.  Defer non-essential travel east of Highway 15, within the city of Ciudad Obregon, and south of the city of Navojoa.Tabasco (includes Villahermosa): No advisory is in effect.Tamaulipas (includes Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas due to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border and organized criminal groups may target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas. These groups sometimes take all passengers hostage and demand ransom payments.  U.S. government personnel are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m. Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Ciudad Victoria have experienced numerous gun battles and attacks with explosive devices in the past year.Tlaxcala: No advisory is in effect.Veracruz: U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation. Road travel should be limited to daylight hours only.Yucatan (includes Merida and Chichen Itza): No advisory is in effect.Zacatecas: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Zacatecas. For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Mexico.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.Contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, at +52-55-5080- 2000 x4440, (5080-2000 for calls in Mexico City, 01-55-5080-2000 for long distance calls in Mexico) 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After- hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +52-55-5080-2000.Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. 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  7. Iran Travel WarningTue, 15 Aug 2017 22:42:00 EST
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Iran.This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran dated August 22, 2016, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention for U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans. Foreigners, in particular dual nationals of Iran and other countries, including the United States, continue to be detained or prevented from leaving Iran. U.S. citizens should very carefully weigh the risks of and consider postponing planned travel to Iran. U.S. citizens residing in Iran should closely follow media reports, monitor local conditions, and evaluate the risks of remaining in the country.  Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons.In June 2017, the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it would take “reciprocal action” in response to the implementation of Executive Order 13780.  This Executive Order prohibits the issuance of U.S. visas to nationals of Iran and five other countries unless they are either exempt or are issued a waiver. The Department of State has received reports that Iran is denying visas to U.S. citizens in response. The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Iran and, therefore, cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens there. The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. The range of consular services provided by the Foreign Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy is limited and may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates. The Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals.  Iranian authorities make the determination of a dual national’s Iranian citizenship without regard to the dual national’s personal wishes. Consular access to detained U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often delayed. The Iranian government continues to repress minority religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Baha'i, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others. Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the province of Sistan-Baluchistan near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan and the provinces of Kurdistan and East-Azerbaijan in the northwest of the country near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens, particularly those of Iranian origin. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, religious activists, and persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution. See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report and Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for more information on the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in Iran.The U.S. government is concerned about the risks to civil aircraft flying into, out of, within, or over Iran due to hazards from military activity associated with the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices. The U.S. government’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Iran in the event of an emergency is extremely limited. U.S. citizens in Iran should ensure that they have updated documentation at all times and make their own plans in the event of an emergency. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis" at the Department's website. For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution , Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Iran.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.Contact the Foreign Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy, located at No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran, Tehran.  The telephone numbers for the Foreign Interests Section are (+98)(21)2279-3912, (+98)(21)2279-3697, (+98)(21) 2254-2178, and (+98)(21) 2256-5273; fax (+98)(21) 2258-0432; and email: tie.vertretung@eda.admin.ch.Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  More...
  8. North Korea Travel WarningThu, 10 Aug 2017 18:40:00 EST
    The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens not to travel to North Korea/the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).Due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens, the Secretary of State restricted the use of U.S. passports to travel into, in, or through North Korea effective Friday, September 1, 2017, per C.F.R. 51.63. Persons who wish to travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport after that time must obtain a special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64, and such validations will be granted only under very limited circumstances. This notice includes information about the restriction on the use of U.S. passports to travel to, through, or in North Korea effective September 1, 2017, and replaces the Travel Warning dated May 9, 2017.North Korean authorities have imposed unduly harsh sentences for actions that would not be considered crimes in the United States and have threatened U.S. citizen detainees with being treated in accordance with “wartime law of the DPRK.” Since the United States does not maintain diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea, the U.S. government has no means to provide normal consular services to U.S. citizens in North Korea.  Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency consular services to U.S. citizens traveling in North Korea. The DPRK still routinely delays or denies consular access to U.S. citizens, even when requested by the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, and despite North Korea and the United States both being signatories to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.At least 16 U.S. citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past ten years. North Korean authorities have detained individuals who traveled independently and those who were part of organized tours. Being a member of a group tour or using a tour guide will not prevent detention or arrest. Efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions in the DPRK have not been successful.Pursuant to the Secretary of State’s determination, published in the Federal Register on August 2, 2017, that North Korea’s arbitrary system of law enforcement poses an imminent danger to the physical safety of U.S. nationals, U.S. passports may be used to travel into, through, or from North Korea after September 1, 2017, only if they contain a special validation. Please see Passport for Travel to North Korea for more information. Using a U.S. passport in violation of these restrictions could result in criminal penalties. In addition, the Department may revoke a passport used in violation of these restrictions. For additional information on the validation see the Federal Register published here. If you decide to enter North Korea, you should have no expectation of privacy. All electronic and multimedia devices including USB drives, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, Internet browsing histories, and cookies are subject to search for banned content.If DPRK authorities permit you to keep your mobile phone when you enter the country, it will not function unless you use the DPRK mobile service, which will enable DPRK authorities to monitor your calls. GPS-trackers and satellite phones are not allowed. Possession of any media, either physical or electronic, that is critical of the DPRK government or its leaders is considered a criminal act punishable by long-term detention in hard labor camps and heavy fines. In North Korea, the following - whether done knowingly or unknowingly - have been treated as crimes:Showing disrespect to the country’s former leaders, Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il, or the country’s current leader, Kim Jong Un, including but not limited to tampering with or mishandling materials bearing their names or images;Entering North Korea without proper travel documentation;Possessing material that is in any way critical of the DPRK government;Proselytizing or carrying out religious activities, including activities that may be construed as such, like leaving behind religious materials;Engaging in unsanctioned political activities;Traveling without authorization, even for short distances;      Having unauthorized interaction with the local population;Exchanging currency with an unauthorized vendor;Taking unauthorized photographs;Bringing pornography into the country;Shopping at stores not designated for foreigners; andRemoving or tampering with political slogans and signs or pictures of political leaders.Numerous foreigners have been held in North Korea for extended periods of time without being formally charged with a crime. Detained foreigners have been questioned daily for several weeks without the presence of counsel and have been compelled to make public statements and take part in public trials.The DPRK funnels revenue from a variety of sources to its nuclear and weapons programs, which it prioritizes above everything else, often at the expense of the well-being of its own people. It is entirely possible that money spent by tourists in the DPRK goes to fund these programs.  We would urge all travelers, before travelling to the DPRK, to consider what they might be supporting.   The DPRK remains one of the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world.  U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea should familiarize themselves with all applicable sanctions relating to the country, particularly U.S. sanctions. To learn more about U.S. sanctions on the DPRK, see the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).The Department of State remains deeply concerned about the DPRK’s ongoing, systematic, and widespread human rights violations. To learn more about North Korea’s deplorable human rights situation, see the DPRK Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2016.The United States and the United Nations Security Council have expressed grave concern regarding North Korea’s recent nuclear tests, ballistic missile launches, and other activities prohibited by United Nations Security Council Resolutions.  UN Security Council statements from May 2017 are posted on the UN website.As a result of concerns arising from unannounced missile launch activities and GPS navigation systems interference and/or disruption, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Prohibition and Advisory notice to U.S. airmen and operators. The FAA has issued Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 79 which prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Pyongyang Flight Information Region (FIR) west of 132 degrees east longitude, and the FAA has advised those flying in and around the Pyongyang (FIR)  east of 132 degrees east longitude to be aware of possible GPS interruptions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.For further information:See the Department of State’s  travel website, travel.state.gov, for current Worldwide Cautions, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for North Korea.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important safety and security messages via email (though you may not have access to email while in North Korea).  Enrollment also makes it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.U.S. citizens who plan to travel to North Korea are strongly encouraged to inform the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China by enrolling in STEP.  U.S. citizens residing in China can contact the U.S. Embassy directly.  The Embassy is located next to the Ladies’ Street (Nuren Jie) and Laitai Flower Market, near the Kempinski Hotel and Lufthansa Shopping Center on Tianze Road near the Liangmaqiao subway stop:U.S. Embassy in BeijingAmerican Citizens Services UnitNo. 55 An Jia Lou RoadChaoyang DistrictBeijing, China 100600Telephone:  (86-10) 8531-4000Email:  BeijingACS@state.gov Emergency after-hours number for U.S. citizens:  (86-10) 8531-4000U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea are also strongly encouraged to contact the Embassy of Sweden by email prior to travel. Please provide the Embassy of Sweden with your name, date of birth, dates of your trip, and emergency contact information: The Embassy of Sweden Pyongyang (U.S. Protecting Power in North Korea)Munsu-Dong DistrictPyongyang, DPRKTelephone:  (850-2) 3817 485 (reception)Telephone:  (850-2) 3817 904, (850-2) 3817 907 (Deputy)Telephone:  (850-2) 3817 908 (Amb.)Facsimile:  (850-2) 3817 663Email:  ambassaden.pyongyang@gov.seIf you provide information to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing or the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, officials will be able to locate you more easily in an emergency. Take note of the contact details for the Swedish embassy in case of an emergency.U.S. citizens can obtain current information on safety and security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More...
  9. Somalia Travel WarningThu, 03 Aug 2017 10:58:00 EST
    The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Somalia because of widespread terrorist and criminal activity. Militants associated with both the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) operate with relative impunity throughout large parts of the country, including Mogadishu, and attack civilian, military, and government targets. U.S. citizens should be aware that kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks and other violent incidents are common throughout Somalia, including Somaliland. There is no U.S. embassy presence in Somalia. This replaces the Travel Warning dated January 11, 2017.  There is a particular terrorist threat in places where large crowds gather and Westerners frequent, including airports and seaports, government buildings, hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas. Somali government, military, and Western convoys are also regularly targeted for attack. There have been numerous attacks on hotels, restaurants, and the international airport in Mogadishu.                                                                                                        Al-Shabaab has repeatedly attacked Mogadishu’s international airport complex with improvised vehicle bombs, mortars, and direct weapons fire. The group has conducted attacks from within the airport’s secure perimeter and detonated an explosive device hidden in a laptop on an airplane shortly after it took off from the airport on February 2, 2016.ISIS’s demonstrated capabilities in Somalia have steadily increased since rising to public prominence in late 2015. Since that time, adherents based in Puntland claimed credit for a suicide bombing targeting regional security forces at a checkpoint in Bosasso, took responsibility for a raid at a popular hotel in that city, and conducted several other attacks against government officials in Puntland in the months prior. The group briefly occupied the coastal town of Qandala in late 2016.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) containing information on the U.S. prohibition against U.S. civil aviation operations in airspace over Somalia. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.U.S. citizens should avoid sailing near the coast of Somalia due to the risk of pirate attacks. Merchant vessels, fishing boats, and recreational craft all risk seizure and detention by pirates in the waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the international waters near Somalia. See the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Somalia. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, at  telephone (+254) (20) 363-6451, 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (+254) (20) 363-6000.  Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  More...
  10. Venezuela Travel WarningThu, 27 Jul 2017 20:55:00 EST
    The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Venezuela due to social unrest, violent crime, and pervasive food and medicine shortages. This travel warning also informs U.S. citizens that on July 27, the Department ordered the departure of family members and authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.  All U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to an embassy movement policy that limits their travel within Caracas and many parts of the country.  Inter-city travel by car during hours of darkness (6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) is strongly discouraged and in some cases may be prohibited.  U.S. government personnel must also request approval for travel outside of Caracas.  These security measures may limit the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide services.  This replaces the Travel Warning issued December 15, 2016.The political and security situation in Venezuela is unpredictable and can change quickly.  Since April 2017, political rallies and demonstrations occur daily throughout the country, often with little notice.  Disruptions to traffic and public transportation are common.  Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons and rubber bullets against participants, and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism. Armed motorcycle gangs associated with the government frequently use violence to intimidate demonstrators.  Clashes between these groups have resulted in serious injuries and over 70 deaths.  U.S. citizens have reported being arrested, detained, and robbed while in close proximity to protests.Security forces have arrested individuals, including U.S. citizens, and detained them for long periods with little or no evidence of a crime.  The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed.  The detained citizen may be denied access to proper medical care, clean water, and food.Violence and criminal activity - including homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking - pose significant and continuing security concerns.  Indiscriminate violent crime is endemic throughout the country and can occur anywhere at any time.  There are reports of authorities (e.g., police, airport, immigration) and criminals posing as authorities participating in robbery and extortion.  Drug traffickers and illegal armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure.The Simón Bolívar International Airport, in Maiquetía, is located in an extremely high-risk area for armed robbery and kidnappings.  Do not take unregulated taxis from this airport and avoid ATMs in this area.  Travel between the Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas only during daylight hours, as armed bandits frequently target night-time motorists along this route.Due to shortages of medicine and medical supplies, U.S. citizens should be prepared to cover their own needs for over-the-counter and prescription medicines while in country.  You should have medical evacuation plans in place that do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.  Comprehensive medical evacuation insurance is strongly advised for all travelers.U.S. citizens may also be detained and/or deported by Venezuelan immigration officials for not complying with visa or immigration regulations.  U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela must have a valid visa that is appropriate for their specific type of travel (journalism, employment, study, etc.) or risk being detained or deported.  Journalists must possess the appropriate accreditation and work visa from the Venezuelan authorities before arriving. International journalists are closely scrutinized and have been expelled and/or detained for lacking appropriate permissions to work in Venezuela or for participation in what could be seen as anti-government activity, including observing and reporting on public health facilities.For further information:See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Venezuela Specific Information.Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.Contact the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, located at Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba, Caracas at +[58] 212-975-6411, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +[58] 0212-907-8400 or, or 0212-907-8400 from within Venezuela.To reach the Department of State’s Overseas Citizen Services, call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. More...