Caribbean Travel World Logo
Haiti Facts
Flag of Haiti

Click for Port-au-Prince, Haiti Forecast

Map of Haiti


Islands name: Haiti.

Country: Republic of Haiti (HA).

Nationalty: Haitian(s).

Languages: French (official), Creole (official).

Capital: Port-au-Prince.

Population: 8,706,497.

Climate: tropical; semiarid where mountains in east cut off trade winds.


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 Republic.

Size: 190 km x 270 km, 27,750 sq km.

Terrain: mostly rough and mountainous.

Tourist Information

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 is 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 explorers..

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 Consulate.

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. 

Air Transport

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.

Land Transport

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.

Water Transport

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 ICJ jurisdiction.

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, sorghum; wood.

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, marble, hydropower.

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.).