Haiti is not your typical Caribbean hideaway, but rather an intriguing land of striking contrasts, geographical, social, and political. Today, with a fledgling democracy in place, the country is on the rebound, and working to regain the prominent place it once enjoyed in Caribbean tourism.
A large, mountainous country of 10,700 square miles, Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Haiti’s dramatic countryside is dominated by three rain-forested mountain ranges separated by wide, cactus-covered plains.
In Port-au-Prince, a lively culture continues to thrive. Colourfully painted tap-taps –buses and flatbed trucks that serve as public transportation – brighten the streets; on many downtown walls, murals with social and political messages portray the vitality of the Haitian people. With its two million inhabitants, Port-au-Prince is a bustling center of activity.
On a hillside overlooking the town from the east is Petionville. Still considered one of Haiti’s most affluent suburbs, the area is home to hotels, restaurants, and art galleries. From here you can enjoy sweeping vistas of Port-au-Prince.
Haiti is a mysterious locale, perfect for adventurous travelers who enjoy the challenge of discovering and experiencing unique cultures.
Driving in Haiti must be undertaken with extreme caution. The situation on the roads can be described as chaotic at best, and it is advisable for those with no knowledge of Haitian roads and traffic customs to hire a driver through a local hotel. Public transportation as it is usually defined does not exist in Haiti. While Haitians use buses, "taptaps" and taxis, which may observe regular routes much like public transportation, none of these should be considered reliable.
Passport valid for six months from date of entry required by all.
January 1, Independence Day/New Year's Day; January 2, Ancestry Day; January 6, Epiphany; April 14, Good Friday; April 14, Americas Day; May 18, Flag Day and University Day; May 25, Ascension; May 22, Sovereignty and Thanksgiving Day; June 15, Corpus Christi; August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; October 17, Death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines; October 24, United Nations Day; November 1, All Saints Day; November 18, Vertières Day or Armed Forces Day; December 5, Discovery of Haiti; December 25, Christmas Day.
Not required for touristic stays of up to six months except by nationals of China (PR), Colombia, Dominican Republic and Panama who do require a tourist visa.
27,750 sq km (10,714 sq miles)
Haiti GNI per capita
US $660 (World Bank, 2008)
Haiti Main exports
Light manufactures, coffee, oils, mangoes
10 million (UN, 2009)
Haiti Telephone codes