Islands name: Haiti.
Country: Republic of Haiti (HA).
Languages: French (official), Creole (official).
Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade
Coastline: 1,771 km.
Geographic coordinates: 19 00 N, 72 25 W.
Highest point: Chaine de la Selle 2,680 m.
Location: Caribbean, western one-third of the island of Hispaniola,
between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the Dominican
Size: 190 km x 270 km, 27,750 sq km.
Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous.
Overview: Haiti occupies the western one-third of the island
of Hispaniola. Haiti is a unique Caribbean country that offers even the
most adventurous tourist and experienced business traveler exciting challenges.Haiti
is an unusual Caribbean country offering a taste of Africa combined with
French culture. Haiti is one of the least developed and least stable countries
in the Western Hemisphere. The availability of consumer goods and services
barely adequate in the capital, Port-au-Prince, but other parts of the
country experience chronic shortages.
Accommodations: Some tourism facilities in the large cities and
resort areas are satisfactory, but many are rudimentary at best, and are
difficult to find in most rural areas and small towns..
Activities: Haiti is quickly become known as a watersports enthusiast's
playground. The sea is a magnificent deep blue. Haiti has wonderful and
spectacular beaches that are a paradise for divers, snorkels and coral
Average tourist arrivals: 149,000.
Crime: Travel in Haiti can be dangerous and all visitors are
urged to exercise vigilance and caution. While the security situation has
improved, political tension remains high and the country is still subject
to criminal lawlessness. There are incidences of violence and kidnappings
for ransom, with kidnappings taking place mainly in Port-au-Prince. With
the notable exception of Labadee, travelers to Haiti should remain alert
and aware of their surroundings. The loss or theft of a passport should
be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest Embassy or
Electricity: 110 Volts, alternating at 60 cycles, Flat blade
attachment plug like in many caribbean countries.
Entry Requirements: US citizens and most European citizens do
not require a visa for a stay of up to three months. .
Health: In some cities and towns ordinary services such as water,
electricity, police protection and health services are either very limited
or unavailable. The biggest concern in Haiti for travellers is malaria,
and dehydration. Tap water should be avoided as much as possible. Visitors
to Haiti must have a valid and official certificate in their international
vaccination record. It is highly recommended that you get the following
three shots: Tetanus / Diphteria, Typhoid and Hepatitis A.
Telephone: the international country code is 509.
Time: UTC-5; daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday
in April; ends last Sunday in October.
Currency: The official currency is the Haitian Gourde (HTG),
divided into 100 centimes. Gourdes per US dollar - 37.138 (2007), 40.232
(2006). Although U.S. dollars can be used as currency in Haiti, it is usually
to the traveler's advantage to use Haitian dollars.
Credit cards: Credit cards are welcome nearly everywhere, but
ATMs are scarce and the few there are in Port au Prince are often out of
order. Travellers cheques are difficult to exchange.
Airport: Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP), 13
km (8 miles) from Port-au-Prince. A mini-bus shuttle service is run by
local agents, Agence Citadelle, costing US$10 per person. This should be
booked in advance. The second international airport is Cap Haitien International
(CAP), 10 km (6 miles) south of Cap Haitien.
The United States is alerting travelers that Haiti’s main airport does
not meet international security standards. The Haitian airport is the only
one in the world that the U.S. agency has found not to meet international
security standards. The U.S. agency only inspects airports with direct
flights to the United States.
Departure Tax: Haiti's US$ 25 airport departure tax must be paid
in cash in U.S. currency. It cannot be paid as part of the airline ticket..
Flight Times: Paris 9 hours; New York 4 hours, Los Angeles 10
hours, Miami 2 hours.
Driving in Haiti must be undertaken with extreme caution. The situation
on the roads can be described as chaotic at best. It is advisable to hire
a driver through a local hotel. Public transportation as it is usually
defined does not exist in Haiti. Haitians use buses, "taptaps" and taxis,
but none of these should be considered reliable. It is strongly recommendet
not to use them.
Ferries: Ferries are a cheap and a convenient form of transportation
in Haiti, but terrible accidents happend in the past. In 1993 a heavily
overloaded ferry sank in a storm off the coast of Haiti, drowning most
of the 2,000 passengers. In May 2008 another overcrowded ferry overturned
yards off Haiti's central coast, killing hundrets.
Ports and harbors: Cap-Haitien.
Ethnic groups: black 95 %, mulatto and white 5 %.
Government type: republic.
Legal system: based on Roman civil law system; accepts compulsory
Literacy: 52.9 % (male: 54.8 %, female: 51.2 %).
Religions: Roman Catholic 80 %, Protestant 16 % (Baptist 10 %,
Pentecostal 4 %, Adventist 1 %, other 1 %), none 1 %, other 3 %.
Note: roughly half of the population practices voodoo.
Agriculture-products: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn,
Industries: sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement,
light assembly based on imported parts.
GDP per capita: US$ 1,900 (2007 est.).
Natural resources: bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold,
Population below poverty line: 80 % (2003 est.).
Unemployment rate: widespread unemployment and underemployment;
more than two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs (2002 est.).