Mountainous landscapes and a tropical climate are ingredients that could make Haiti a vacation destination, but decades of poverty, vulnerability and violence, especially since the 1980s, have made this all but impossible and made Haiti the poorest country in the Americas. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Under the brutal dictatorship of Francois ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude (‘Baby Doc’), political dissent was systematically eradicated and political opponents imprisoned or killed. When Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected in 1990, Haiti was looking better but a short time later he was overthrown by the army. Economic sanctions and US military intervention brought the country constitutional government in 1994, but the situation did not improve amid allegations of voter fraud and ongoing torture and brutality. See other countries in North America on ezinereligion.
Arriving by plane
There are no direct flights to Haiti from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. jetBlue (B6) offers non-stop flights from New York to Port-au-Prince. American Airlines (AA) flies non-stop from Miami to Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïti. The national airlines Lufthansa (LH), Austrian Airlines (OS) and Swiss (LX) offer non-stop flights from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to New York; Lufthansa (LH) and Swiss (LX) fly to Miami. Eurowings (EW) connects Düsseldorf non-stop with New York and Miami. Air France (AF) offers flights from Paris to Port-au-Prince via Miami and Atlanta. Air Caraibes (TX) flies non-stop to Port-au-Prince from Paris once a week. feeder flights from Germany,
Frankfurt/M. – Port-au-Prince: 23 hours; Vienna – Port-au-Prince: 25 hours; Zurich – Port-au-Prince: 23 hours 38 minutes (each with stopovers).
The departure tax of around €23 (USD $25) is usually already included in the ticket price. €9 (US$10) is payable upon entry.
Arrival by car
Haiti can be reached by land from the Dominican Republic via border crossings near the towns of Dajabón, Jimaní and Elias Piña, among others. Long-distance bus: The bus companies Caribe Tours and Metro regularly connect Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) with Port-au-Prince. Toll: There are no toll roads. Documents: In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic.
Arrival by ship
The main ports are Port-au-Prince, Cap Haïtien and Labadee.
Haiti is a port of call on numerous cruises operated by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises departing from the USA and Canada.
Traveling by plane
Sunrise Airways (S6) operates between Port-au-Prince and Cap Haïtien. Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) connects Port-au-Prince with Jérémie twice a week; Charter flights can also be booked with MAF.
Traveling by car/bus
Haiti’s road network has a total length of 4,300 km. Because of the dilapidated road network and the risk of muggings, driving at night is generally discouraged. The capital Port-au-Prince is particularly dangerous. Tolls: Haiti has no toll roads. Petrol stations: There is currently a shortage of petrol. A large number of gas stations have been closed.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
All-weather roads connect Port-au-Prince to Cap Haïti and Jacmel. Driving inland is time-consuming due to poor road conditions and mostly lack of signage; there are always deep potholes to be expected.
Rental cars can be hired in Port-au-Prince and Pétionville, as well as at the airport and in the hotels; it is advisable to book this with a chauffeur. Drivers must be at least 21 years old and have held their driving license for at least 1 year; often drivers under the age of 25 are charged a young driver fee.
Taxis are available in cities and at airports. Small buses or pickups, known as camionettes or tap-taps in Haiti, also operate between cities as shared taxis.
Sans-Souci Tours buses regularly connect Port-au-Prince to Ouanaminthe via Cap Haïtien (journey time: 4 hours). La Source Transport operates the Port-au-Prince – Jacmel route (journey time: 3 hours). Cities such as Jérémie, Hinche, Les Cayes and Port-de-Paix are also served by buses from Port-au-Prince.
Traffic regulations: – Drunk driving is a criminal offence; however, there is no fixed alcohol limit. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – out of town: according to the signs.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
In addition to the national driver’s license, the international driver’s license is required.
Traveling in the city
The colorful tap-taps in Port-au-Prince charge the same fare but are often overcrowded. Taxis are not metered; however, fares for certain routes are set by the government. You should still ask the fare in advance. Inexpensive shared taxis are also available. For excursions, taxis can also be booked by the hour or by the day.
Locally on the way by train
There is no rail service in Haiti.
Traveling by ship
Sailboat trips to the beaches are available from Port-au-Prince; A trip in a glass-bottom boat over the Sand Cay Reef is particularly attractive. Cargo and passenger ships commute between Jérémie, Cap-Haïtien and Port-au-Prince. Ferries or small sailing boats go to the islands, and most towns along the coast are also accessible by sailing boats.