HAITI TRAVEL GUIDE
Haiti is a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to its east. Though it’s still recovering from a 2010 earthquake, many of Haiti's landmarks dating to the early 19th century remain intact. These include Citadelle la Ferrière, a mountaintop fortress, and the nearby ruins of Sans-Souci Palace, the baroque former royal home of King Henry I.
Haiti is a country with a revolutionary, exciting past and its future still remains uncertain. Though Haiti has faced hard times during the past decades, Haiti's tourism industry which bustled in the 60s to the 80s is returning. Resorts and investments are transforming this misunderstood gem into a Caribbean tourist spot once again
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HAITI QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Port-au-Prince (Haitian Creole: Pòtoprens)
- Currency: Gourde (HTG) (US dollars widely accepted)
- Area: 27,750 km²
- Population: 11,12 million (2018)
- Language: French, Creole (Kreyol Ayisyen)
- Religion: Roman Catholic 80%, Protestant 16%, but much of the population also practices Voodoo
- Electricity: 110/60Hz (USA Plug)
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HAITI PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 January, Independence Day
- 2 January, Ancestors’ Day
- 14 April, Pan-American Day
- 18 May, Flag and University Day
- 15 August, Assumption
- 17 October, Anniversary of the Death of Jean Jacques Dessalines
- 24 October, United Nations Day
- 18 November, Vertières Battle Day
- 5 December, Discovery Day
Also, Carnival, Good Friday, Ascension Day, and Corpus Christi.
HAITI WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Located in the Caribbean’s Great Antilles, Haiti has a hot and humid tropical climate. Daily temperatures typically range between 19°C and 28°C in the winter and 23°C to 33°C during the summer months. Northern and windward slopes in the mountainous regions receive up to three times more precipitation than the leeward side. Annual precipitation in the mountains averages 1,200 mm, while the annual precipitation in the lowlands is as low as 550 mm. The Plaine du Gonaïves and the eastern part of the Plaine du Cul-de-Sac are the driest regions in the country. The wet season is long, particularly in the northern and southern regions of the island, with two pronounced peaks occurring between March and November.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN HAITI
While outdoor activities in Haiti can be enjoyed all year round, the best time is during the dry season from November to April. It can get very muddy during the rainy season, in particularly May, September and October.
BEACH OPTIONS IN HAITI
The best time to visit the stunning beaches of Haiti is during the dry season from November to March. April and May can still be pleasant, but you're best off avoiding the hurricane season from June to October.
SURFING IN HAITI
Haiti has some good surf from November to March, which is also the dry season. Note that from June to October it is hurricane season so it is really not advisable to be on the water.
KITESURF IN HAITI
You can expect nine months of good kitesurfing conditions in Haiti. The best period is from December to April as the winds are really consistent. July to September can be pretty good too. While October and November may have good wind, it's the hurricane season so you need to carefully monitor the weather. The only months with very few kitable days are May and June.
HEALTH RISKS IN HAITI
Be aware of possible health risks in
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
WHAT TO EAT IN HAITI
Take time to meet the locals by doing what they do – you’ll enjoy a more affordable and authentic experience.
Eat at lunch wagons or stalls. The local fare is cheap and often incredibly good.
Drop by a local bar – often the de facto community center. Besides a drink, you’ll get all sorts of useful – or wonderfully frivolous – advice.
Look for community fish fries or barbecues in the Eastern Caribbean.