Port-au-Prince in Haiti
Port-au-Prince in Haiti

Port-au-Prince

Houses built on the mountains just outside of Port-au-Prince
Photo by Heather Suggitt

HAITI

Carribean

Haiti Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Port-au-Prince

Location:

Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican Republic

Currency:

gourdes (HTG)

Area:

27,750 sq km

Population:

11,198,240 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

French (official), Creole (official)

Religion:

Protestant/Methodist/Adventist/Jehovah's Witness 51.8%, Roman Catholic 35.4%, Vodou 1.7%, none 11% (2016-17 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-5

Tel Code:

+509

Weather

Climate

Haiti has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity year-round. The country experiences two main seasons: the rainy season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April). The rainy season is characterized by heavy rains and occasional storms, while the dry season is characterized by less rainfall and more sunshine.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Haiti is during the dry season (November to April) when the weather is sunny and dry, and the risk of storms and flooding is low. During this time, the temperature is also a bit cooler, making it more comfortable to explore the country. Keep in mind that the peak season for tourism in Haiti is around Christmas and New Year, so it's best to book accommodation and transportation in advance.

Transportation

Air travel

The main international airport in Haiti is Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, which serves as a hub for many international airlines. There are also several domestic airports in Haiti, providing easy access to different parts of the country.

Bus

Bus service is available in Haiti, although it can be unreliable and uncomfortable. Bus routes connect major cities, towns, and tourist destinations, but service can be infrequent, and buses are often overcrowded.

Taxi

Taxis are a common mode of transportation in Haiti, although they are not regulated and fares can vary. Taxis can be found at airports, bus stations, and on the streets in urban areas.

Car rental

Car rental is available in Haiti, although it can be expensive and it is important to be aware of the road conditions in the country. Many rental companies will not allow you to take a car off-road, and it is necessary to have a valid driver's license and be a confident driver to navigate the roads.

Motorbike rental

Motorbike rental is also available in some parts of Haiti, particularly in tourist areas. This is a great option for travelers who want to explore more remote areas, but it is important to be aware of the road conditions and have a valid driver's license.

Accommodation

Haiti offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts.

Hotels

There are a variety of hotels in Haiti, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. Some popular hotels are located in Port-au-Prince, while others are found in coastal towns and tourist destinations. Many hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and fitness centers.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular accommodation option for budget-conscious travelers in Haiti. They offer simple, clean rooms and often provide meals. Guesthouses are often family-run and provide a more authentic experience of Haitian culture.

Vacation rentals

Vacation rentals, such as apartments and villas, are also available in Haiti. These rentals offer more space and privacy than hotels and guesthouses, and are often equipped with kitchen facilities. Vacation rental properties are often located in coastal towns, such as Jacmel and Labadee.

Eco-Lodges

Haiti has a few eco-lodges which are a great option for travelers looking to experience the natural beauty of the country. These lodges are often located in remote, natural areas and offer comfortable accommodations in a natural setting.

Camping

Camping is also an option in some parts of Haiti, particularly in national parks and other natural areas. It's important to note that facilities can be basic, and that it's important to have a good camping gear and be prepared for the tropical climate.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Haiti Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Haiti is a Caribbean country known for its rich culture and history, as well as its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes. Visitors to Haiti can experience a unique blend of African, French, and Caribbean influences in the country's art, music, and cuisine. Despite facing economic challenges, Haiti has many interesting places to visit and things to do.

      1. Visit the Citadelle Laferrière

      The Citadelle Laferrière is a fortress located on a mountain top in the northern part of Haiti. The fortress was built by Henri Christophe, a leader of the Haitian revolution, in the early 19th century. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

      2. Explore Port-au-Prince

      Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of Haiti. Visitors can explore the city's history and culture by visiting the National Palace, the Iron Market, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption.

      3. Visit Jacmel

      Jacmel is a charming coastal town located in the southern part of Haiti. The town is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and its vibrant arts and crafts scene. Visitors can explore the town's many art galleries and studios and take in the beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea.

      4. Visit the Sans-Souci Palace

      The Sans-Souci Palace was the residence of Henri Christophe, a leader of the Haitian revolution. The palace, which was built in the early 19th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most important historical sites in Haiti.

      5. Visit the National Museum of Haiti

      The National Museum of Haiti is located in Port-au-Prince and features exhibits on the country's history and culture. Visitors can see artifacts from pre-Columbian times, as well as works by Haiti's famous artists.

      6. Visit the Labadee Beach

      Labadee is a private beach resort area located on the northern coast of Haiti. The area is owned by Royal Caribbean International and is exclusively open to their cruise ship passengers. It's a great place to enjoy the sun and the sea and to practice water sports.

      7. Visit the Château de la Ferrière

      The Château de la Ferrière is a castle located in the northern part of Haiti. The castle, which was built in the 19th century, is an interesting example of French-style architecture and offers great views of the surrounding area.

      8. Visit the Bassin Bleu

      The Bassin Bleu is a set of three natural pools located in the mountains of Haiti. The pools are connected by small waterfalls and are surrounded by lush vegetation. Visitors can swim in the pools and take in the beautiful scenery.

      9. Visit the Place Boyer

      Place Boyer is a historic square located in Port-au-Prince. The square is home to the National Pantheon, which houses the tombs of Haiti's most famous leaders and heroes.

      10. Visit the Saut-d'Eau

      Saut-d'Eau is a waterfall located in the Ville Bonheur sector of the Artibonite Department. It is an important pilgrimage site for Vodou practitioners and is visited by many people during the Fête de Saut d'Eau, which is held annually in July.

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