Haiti is one the most beautiful country in the Caribbean with its natural beauty and rich heritage. Below are the top 10 things to know about to the Republic of Haiti to make your visit enjoyable and adventurous.
- No traffic rules/law that we as foreigners are accustomed to. It is a free for all. Limited to and/or no traffic signs, lights, and/or street signs.
- There is no GPS system or map. Google map will not help you
- One of the most used public transportation is Tap-Tap. It is bus/van/pick-up truck that people tap on. It is overcrowded and people are literally standing and holding on. However, I found out that it is an adventure. You can get a cab, but you would need to be able to communicate to the driver and it can be pricey.
- Knowledge of the language. English is very limited. You will get by if you know Creole and/or French.
- You need to understand the culture and their beliefs. Pictures taken of them are a big no-no. You need to first ask permission and yes they will say no.
- Going to the North of Haiti i.e. Cap-Haitien is a 30-minute flight with Sunrise Airway which is around $80 round-trip. It is worth it rather than driving.
- They take the U.S. dollar and they have the American 110 volt. No travel adapters (Yippee!!)
- As of March 2016, they don’t recognize Daylight Saving Time. Which had me confused for several hours. Haiti is in the Eastern Time zone.
- Invest heavily in mosquito repellent. I was never bitten by mosquitoes in the States. I hear stories, but my reality has changed. I spent more time fighting them off.
- Traveling by bus/van is a roller-coaster. It is fun but very bumpy.
Haiti is not for independent travelers especially for those who are solo. I am not cautioning anyone due to crime. While I was there, I felt relatively safe. I was not concerned about being mugged, robbed, or pick-pocketed. I was more concerned about getting around. Without a driver and/or a tour guide, I would be clueless. If Haiti is in your plans, check out these tour companies:
- Port-au-Prince Taxi (http://www.portauprincetaxi.com)
- Tour Haiti (http://tourhaiti.net) The site is in French but you can check out their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TourHaiti/
- The Ultimate Haiti Experience (http://www.theultimatehaitiexperience.com)
My personal recommendation is Tour Haiti. We had a great time and we visited several sites that were outside of the itinerary during my visit from July 1 to July 10, 2016.
Overall, Haiti is a beautiful country with natural beauty. This trip was a homecoming as I am Haitian and I’ve never been to Haiti. Visit Haiti and see the powerful heritage that exists. Ayiti!