Back in 1492, the island of Hispaniola, part of whose territory is now occupied by Haiti, was discovered by Columbus. The Spaniards, and then the French, tried to bring their civilization to this island, and they partially succeeded, but, fortunately, not completely. Now Haiti boasts very beautiful white-sand beaches, as well as nature reserves, in which, for example, about 300 species of orchids grow and a large number of birds, including flamingos, live.
Geography of Haiti
The state of Haiti is located in the western part of the island of Hispaniola (this is the second largest island in the Greater Antilles group), which is located in the Caribbean Sea. This country also includes several islands – Tortuga, Gonav and Vash. To the east, Haiti borders on the Dominican Republic. Cuba is located just 83 km from Haiti. The total area of the country, including the islands, is 27,748 sq. km.
Most of the territory of Haiti is occupied by mountains with infrequent small valleys. Plains are located only in coastal areas. The highest peak is Mount Pic la Selle, whose height reaches 2,680 meters.
The Artibonite River flows through Haiti (it is the longest river on the island of Hispaniola).
Sometimes earthquakes occur in Haiti, but more often – hurricanes, which are destructive from time to time.
According to simplyyellowpages.com, Port-au-Prince is the capital of the state of Haiti. About 1 million people now live in this city. Port-au-Prince was founded by the French in 1748.
Official language of Haiti
Haiti has two official languages, Haitian Creole and French.
About 80% of the population consider themselves Catholics, about 16% – Protestants. Many Haitians combine Catholicism with elements of voodoo.
According to diseaseslearning.com, Haiti is a presidential republic, headed by the President, elected by popular vote for 5 years.
The bicameral local parliament is called the National Assembly, it consists of the Senate (30 senators) and the Chamber of Deputies (99 deputies).
The main political parties are the Front of Hope, the Fusion of the Social Democrats, the People’s Struggle Organization, and the Christian National Union.
Climate and weather
The climate is tropical, with slight variations depending on the altitude. In Port-au-Prince, the average daytime air temperature in January is at least +23C, and in July – +25-35C. The average annual rainfall in Port-au-Prince is 137 cm. The rainy season is from May to July, and the hurricane season is from July to October.
The best time to visit Haiti is from November to March.
Sea in Haiti
The island of Hispaniola, on which the state of Haiti is located, is surrounded on all sides by the Caribbean Sea. The average sea temperature near the coast from January to March is +26C, and from June to October – +28C.
Culture of Haiti
The culture of Haiti was formed under the influence of the cultural traditions of the West Indies, Africa, France and Spain. Haitians are very creative people. Their musical traditions have their roots in the local voodoo religion. The most important local musical instrument is the drum.
Holidays in Haiti (they are called Carnival or Kanaval there) begin in February and take place almost every month until the end of the year. The Rara music festival (before Easter) is celebrated on a large scale. Other popular local festivals are San d’O, Gede, St. James’s Day.
All carnivals are accompanied by very colorful street processions with various musical and theatrical performances.
Haitian cuisine has been influenced by the culinary traditions of the Caribbean, France, and Africans. In recent years, people from Lebanon and Syria have had a noticeable influence on the local cuisine. The main food products are rice, seafood, fish, meat (mainly chicken meat), legumes (beans).
Haitian cuisine is famous for its spicy, spicy dishes (shallots, garlic, thyme, parsley, cloves, black pepper, red pepper are widely used).
A traditional Haitian dish is yellow rice with beans and chicken. Despite the apparent simplicity, this dish is very tasty due to the method of preparation and spices. We also recommend trying “Kabrit” (fried goat meat) and “griot” (fried pork).
Traditional soft drinks are fruit juices (made from grapefruits, oranges and mangoes), Akasan (milk drink with vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, mixed with cornmeal) and Malta (made from unfermented barley with molasses). Instead of ordinary water, Haitians often drink the so-called. “coconut water”
Traditional local alcoholic drinks are rum, clairin (made from sugarcane), Kremas (made from condensed milk, coconut milk and white rum) and beer (the most popular beer is Prestige).
Most Haitian attractions are located in Port-au-Prince. These are, first of all, Notre Dame Cathedral, Oloffson Hotel, Laferier Fortress, St. Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince Cathedral, Fort St. Jacques.
We also recommend visiting the National Museum, the Museum of Haitian Art and the Museum of the National Pantheon (all located in Port-au-Prince).
Tourists who have flown to rest in Haiti are very popular with local parks and reserves – Fort-de-Pin National Park, La Visit National Park, Macaya Park, as well as La Citadelle and Trois-Canman parks.
Unique orchids grow in this country (scientists have counted about 300 species of orchids there). In total, there are about 5 thousand species of various plants in Haiti.
Cities and resorts of Haiti
The largest cities are Carrefour, Delmas, Pétionville, Gonaïves, Saint-Marc, Les Cayes, and, of course, the capital is Port-au-Prince. Almost every major seaside settlement is an excellent beach resort.
Tourists come to Haiti mainly for the local beaches, and their expectations are always justified. This country has very beautiful white sandy beaches.
Top 5 best beaches in Haiti:
- Labadie Beach
- Kyona Beach
- Ca-Ira Beach
- La Tortue Beaches
- Kokoye Beach
Tourists from Haiti bring handicrafts, jewelry, straw hats, rum (for example, Rhum Barbancourt) as souvenirs. We recommend that you do not buy items related to the local voodoo religion.
Mon-Fri: 09:00-16:30 (some until 17:00)
Ukrainians can apply for a tourist visa to Haiti at the airport upon arrival.
Currency of Haiti
Gourde is the official currency of the state of Haiti (its international designation is HTG). One gourde = 100 centimes. Most hotels, restaurants and prestigious shops also accept credit cards for payment (most often – American Express, less often – Diners Club).
You can import foreign and local currency without restrictions, but large amounts must be declared.
It is forbidden to import coffee, matches, alcohol, pork, any meat products from Brazil and the Dominican Republic, drugs, firearms (except for sporting rifles, but you need to get permission for them).
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Haiti in Germany:
Address: 10719, Germany, Berlin
885-541-34 email: [email protected]
114 – All emergencies
Behind Kyiv for 6 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv it is 13:00, then in Port-au-Prince it is only 07:00.
A service charge of 10% is included in the bill, so tipping is not required. It is not customary to leave taxi drivers for tea.
Before traveling to this country, doctors advise to be vaccinated against typhoid fever, hepatitis A, malaria and rabies.
The crime rate in Haiti is very high. Sometimes foreign tourists are abducted right on the way from the airport to the hotel (although this is a rare occurrence and mainly US citizens are attacked). There is little that local authorities can do to stop attacks on foreign tourists. Therefore, reasonable precautions must be observed in Haiti. Foreigners are advised not to travel outside of Port-au-Prince.
Please note that massive cases of cholera have been reported in the country.