The vendors here have been the most agressive I have ever encountered on any island in my travels. Saying No and Thank you is not enough no matter how firm you say it. We had many vendors swarming at one which put me off right away; even my wife had had enough after ten minutes of this nonsense. Be smart; just avoid them.
PAP can be extremely dangerous
Though many people are extremely grateful when you come to Haiti.. one must be very careful. There are those that are so desperate in these times that kidnapping is very prevalent. White, female NGO workers were being kidnapped with their shuttle drivers. Drivers have been killed with the worker ransomed. Chances of this happening are greatly lessened by traveling with another person. The more people in the car, the better your chances of getting to your destination. Pockets of violence are still occurring and one should be alert at all times.
Be advised this is an active earthquake area and shocks are still felt.
At the time I traveled, there were not the health issues there are now... be wary and very careful to limit touching things as Cholera is epidemic right now. Basic sanitation is extremely limited.
I highly advise everyone to pay close attention to your countries travel warnings when considering a trip to Haiti at this time.Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Women's Travel
Fair warning, if you're riding in a tap-tap, expect a very bumpy ride. The streets in Haiti are littered with pot holes, and not just the kind that will wreck your cars alignment but the kind where you could lose someone if you're not careful...they're big and deep and I think the drivers aim right for the middle....Related to:
- Religious Travel
I don't know about now, but when I was there you HAD to take quinine to avoid getting malaria. Mosquitos are everywhere so check before you leave and be sure you have the medication you need. You will not want to seek out medical treatment there. As much as I had a just ok time there, I would never go back to Haiti.
How you conduct yourself determines the level of your own personal safety in Haiti or anywhere else.
Do NOT count on the embassy or local law enforcement to save you if you end up in a bad situation.
Personally I would feel safer in Port Au Prince than I would in Detroit USA, but that's me.
Hire locals as interpretors and guides and pay them fairly.
Sundays in Haiti are slow, It can be hard to get around in some areas, prepare.
Don't act like a greedy American and try and haggle these people down for something they are selling.
They may be desperately in need of money in exchange for their wares, however, they are proud people and you will offend them by being unreasonable in your effort to low-ball them.
Go to Mexico or China if you are looking to haggle.
Keep in mind if you are an American as I am that the world's communities perceive Americans much differently than ten or 20 years ago.
We are not liked, and I don't blame them.
If you can not be kind, careful, respectful and fair to other people in your travels to Haiti or to the local market in your own community, please just stay home and watch TV.
I know some very good guides, drivers and interpretors in Haiti, people who can be trusted and will greatly improve your chances of survival, I would be glad to assist you if you are a reasonable fair person.
- Work Abroad
- Arts and Culture
Dirty and smelling
The City is very dirty, very crowded, a lot of porvety is present everywhere you go. The City of port au prince in general has a very particular odor that you wont forget. It does smell and badly.
Traffic in downtown is terrible, and most people drive very fast.
Kidnapping of local people is a way of living.
pap taxi arrival
As soon as you leave customs you will meet "official taxis representatives"with badges etc.
They take you outside and a taxi comes. The agreed price is $30.00, but as soon as you leave the driver starts hassling you telling you it is $30.00 per person!! Thanks to bad reviewers we went to the Plaza which is no longer a hotel. Then he wanted 10 or 20 more to take us 10 blocks to the olofsson. Stand your ground. $30.00 is a lot of money in haiti. The guy wanted $70.00. I gave him $40.00 and told him to get lost. Better yet have your hotel send a driver.
There is A Travel Advisory
However, I don't know why there is a travel advisory. During the past year, we have spent nearly three weeks in Haiti, sometimes right in the heart of the capital, Port au Prince, and haven't even had a hint of problems. Although, I am sure that some have. We just did not, which made it more worry free for us.
Haiti does not feel as dangerous as the press makes it out to be, especially now that Rene Preval is president, but the one thing you need to watch out for is any kind of protest that happens. In a large crowd of political protesters, things can get dangerous.
Exaggerations in the Media
The situation here is not as bad as as it seems when you read the news. There are a few people who make trouble and the UN has evacuated the families of the international staff, but this is really exagerated. I walk around a lot even in the evening and also go jogging in the morning, there is no real danger.
If you decide to go to a outdoor marketplace; please make sure to go with a group of people. Some of the merchants are very aggressive. They will try to surround the tourists and convince them to buy their wares. You can get some really good deals... but beware they do not want you to leave without buying anything.
Official Travel Warnings
I just wanted to give my opinion on all those travel warnings posted on the websides of governments. Haiti is not that bad overall, sure there is a lot of politicial unrest but overall our family has never felt during our stay beeing in danger.
Stay clear of gatherings and try to avoid larger cities like Port au Prince and Cape Haitien. The cities are anyway not that nice, tons of rubbish everywhere. Pure slums!Related to:
- Road Trip
Getting Through Customs at the Airport
When you arrive at Port-au-Prince airport, you will be swarmed by a number of the porters who help handle the luggage. I recommend you pick one (or perhaps more if you are in a group with lots of luggage), and remember the number on his shirt to keep track of him. Let him help you all the way through customs and when you come out of the terminal. It gets hairiest when you get outside. We had several guys all trying to help with our luggage, and then all expecting us to tip them. Try to maintain order and keep track of who is *really* helping you, and just pay him a tip when you are loaded up.
DANGERS? Haiti is the poorest...
DANGERS? Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and only 30% of the population have regular jobs at present. In 1997 massive political demonstrations led to stampedes, car-burnings, and general street violence in which at least 40 people died. American, Canadian and Pakistani troops have been brought in to keep order.
The main dangers you face as a tourist are- driving accidents, fights during parades or political demos, AIDS. Port au Prince, where 75% of violent crime takes place, sometimes has about one murder per day.
PLEASE have a look at this excellent site:
When we were there, the first...
When we were there, the first free election in Haiti's history went on. There were still problems from time to time, and often they manifested themselves as riots or roadblocks. The pic was taken from a helicopter as we flew over one of those roadblocks.
Tropical paradise . . . This is more than a hotel. It's a resort with a wonderful beach. The bar...more
Cote des Arcadins, KM 61, P.O. Box 1670, Gonave Bay, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Caribbean
Good for: Business
This hotel is beautiful and private, very well kept and clean; the staff and service is amazing. The...more
Top Haiti Hotels
- Port-au-Prince Hotels
- 110 Reviews - 165 Photos
- Jacmel Hotels
- 19 Reviews - 64 Photos
- Cap-Haïtien Hotels
- 18 Reviews - 17 Photos
- Save up to 50% off Hotels Everyday
- Expedia.com Photos, Reviews and the Guaranteed Lowest Prices
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
Explore the World
- Rajagiriya Hotels
- Moody Beach Hotels
- Saint Julian's
- Wisconsin Dells
- The Cove Palisades State Park Hotels
- Las Vegas
- Camp Borden Hotels
- Durban Warnings and Dangers
- Aruba Warnings and Dangers
- Kiev Warnings and Dangers
- Costa Rica Warnings and Dangers
- Cartagena Warnings and Dangers
- Sydney Warnings and Dangers
- Dubrovnik Warnings and Dangers
- Newark Warnings and Dangers
- Dar es Salaam Warnings and Dangers
- São Paulo Warnings and Dangers
- Machu Picchu Warnings and Dangers
- Guam Warnings and Dangers