Willemstad is a generally safe place for travelers in terms of both international safety and personal safety. There are relatively few health concerns so travelers do not need to be alarmed or overly cautious about travels to the area.There is little risk of crime being a problem, with the major crimes against tourists being petty theft crimes or breaking into cars.  Most serious crime (people get injured or worse) on Curacao however takes place between the locals. For the most part, Willemstad is the capital of one of the safest places in the region.  (For more information about safety in Curacao in general, all of which applies to Willemstad specifically, see http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g14... .) 

There are some general guidelines to keep in mind to prevent becoming a victim of petty crime. Petty theft anywhere usually occurs when there's an opportunity; a wallet sticking out of a rearpocket, or an open purse slung carelessly to the backside of the owner.  In Willemstad, don't wander off into shabby areas with very run-down buildings (usually boarded up, with a lot of grafitti and rubbish lying about) and a lot of guys with buckets hanging around. These buildings are derelict, and the guys are "Chollers", the local name for drug-addicts. Of course most of these people aren't petty criminals, however some of them will be tempted to nick some of your belongings. Most chollers manage to get all the cash they need by washing cars or doing other chores. But don't worry about this in the centre of Willemstad at all. Keep in mind that tourists wandering about in the evening in areas they don't know can be an attractive target for petty criminals anywhere in the world, the same applies for Curacao. In evenings, stick to places with lots of people and keep alert.

The tapwater is suitable to drink; it's reckoned to be one of the best in the world. Batidos (smoothie) are generally safe to drink, as the ingredients are usually well-cooled and the equipment is cleaned constantly. If you are tempted to eat some local food at a stall (i.e. "pastecchis", little pastry pouches filled with cheese, tuna or vegetables) or get a Chinese take-away, some digestive problems might occur.  Looks can deceive, some of the best food I had on Curacao was local food from very shabby looking stalls. In general, if there are a lot of locals hanging out and eating, the food should be OK. Ask your local contact for advice on the best places to eat what the locals eat. If you can't get advice, use your common sense or just take the risk.

Driving in Curaçao is done on the right hand side of the road. Seat belts are required by law. Drivers with children under the age of four must have child safety seats, and children under 12 must ride in the back seat. The main roads are generally maintained quite well, but dDrivers should be cautious about potholes in the roads. Also be very cautious while driving in the rain, as roads will become very slippery. Missing or concealed street signs also pose problems for travelers. This can be especially problematic in the evening, when a lot of the roads are not well lit. The government has recently invested and has stated to keep investing in more lighting and other road safety precautions. Drivers who will be touring remote areas of the island should invest in a rental car with four-wheel drive. Be carefull when parking at the side of the road, some shrubs have enormous thorns that can easily penetrate a tire. If this has happened and the tire hasn't deflated, don't pull the thorns out. Contact your car rental firm and ask about what to do.

Keep in mind that the local people have a laidback style of driving. Having said that, there are some peculiarities. Local people like driving in caravans, several cars following close to each other. Keep a safe distance, as one of the characteristics of driving here is that people can decide very quickly to make a right or left turn and don't signal at all.  A lot of local cars have broken brake and/or taillights. Some drivers  will signal by sticking an arm out of a window. This is difficult to see, especially since the usual mode of driving is with one arm out of the left window.  Sometimes local drivers can make up their mind at the very last moment when choosing which lane they want to be in. It's common to steer their car right in front of yours at the very last moment.  Most drivers seem capable of doing at least three things at the same time, besides driving. Naturally their attention is spread out between all the activities, so safety does decline. Speeding is quite common too, especially at night and on the main roads. Drunk driving is officially against the law, but does happen quite a lot, especially in the weekend. The weekend lasts from thursday evening untill sunday night.  Drunk local drivers are easily spotted. Their speed drops to about 15 or 20 miles an hour or even slower, and the car usually sways about the lane. Keep a safe distance, and only overtake if you are sure it is safe.  As always, drivers should exercise caution at all times when driving in a foreign country.

If you are on a diving holiday and have rented a car to go off to some of the remoter bays of beaches, remember not to leave anything of value in your car.  A pair of shoes or your picnic basket can be very valuable to somebody who doesn't have anything. Some places are renowned for car burglaries, but the attention of the burglars shifts to different places from time to time. You can ask at any dive shop about which places you should avoid or be extra carefull. However, a lot of the nice dive-sites to the west and east of the island have a restaurant or dive shop, with a supervised parking lot. Some of the diveschools have lockers, or the owners might be willing to look after your belongings. Good practice at all times is to show that nothing of value is left behind by opening up the glove compartment (in the dashboard).  Check your insurance policy for the rules as to whether or not to uncover the contents of the trunk.  Some local people even leave their cars unlocked, because no damage occurs if a break-in has taken place.  I wouldn't advise you to do that with a rental car, however.

If you have become a victim of petty theft, or have lost your belongings, you should report it to the local police. If the crime happened in your hotel, contact the manager as well. If your credit-card or bank-card is taken, notify your credit card firm or bank immediately. The same goes for your cellphone-company. They can block your account and prevent further unpleasant surprises, and help you as well. If you have travel insurance contact them as well. You need to do this in order to be able to claim any losses.

One of the main safety concerns that visitors should take precautions for is exposure to the sun.  As with any beach destination, visitors easily spend too much time out in the sun without taking the necessary precautions and therefore expose themselves to unnecessary danger. In addition to the long term risks associated with sun exposure, such as skin cancer, there are immediate risks including dehydration, sun stroke and heat exhaustion.  You should take care to drink plenty of water and to stay in the shade as much as possible.  Avoiding the beach during the hottest parts of the day (early afternoon) especially during the summer months is strongly recommended.

At the moment there's a dengue fever situation on Curacao. The local government states that this doesn't pose a threat to tourists. This is not quite the case. Dengue fever is a potentially lethal desease transferred by mosquitos. These like to hang around in cool and shaded places during the daytime, preferably close to a source of open water.  The ones that pose the danger ( Aedes aegypti) are active during the morning and evening. If you haven't travelled to a tropical area where dengue is active, you generally don't have to worry. Use insect-repellants containing at least 40% DEET and sleep under a mosquitonet if your room isn't airconditioned. If you have travelled to areas where dengue was active, you have to be more carefull. You are at a higher risk compared to others and have to take extra precautions to prevent being stung. For all the facts, check  the CDC information at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/dengue/.

Having said all this, don't be alarmed. Just be aware about the risks. That doesn't mean that every tourist get's robbed, has a car accident, a bad case of food poisoning, and on top of it all contracts Dengue Fever. Curacao is a very laidback place, usually nothing happens to tourists here at all, except having a really nice holiday. Just use your common sense especially when leaving the trodden tourist path. Enjoy your stay.