Haiti Fast Facts

Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola, along with neighboring Dominican Republic. The state, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, is not easy to travel to, but offers beautiful beaches and other exciting nature experiences. However, as a traveler you have to take good care of your safety – especially in the cities. See andyeducation for education in Haiti.

Capital City Port au Prince
Size 27,750 km²
Resident 10,912,000
Official Language Haitian and French
Currency gourde
Time Zone UTC-5
Telephone Area Code +509

Fast facts to know

  • Coffee, mangoes, pineapples, avocados, cocoa, sugar cane, rice, maize and sorghum are among the crops grown in Haiti.
  • Most Haitians are of African descent.
  • Most of the residents are Catholic.
  • Haiti used to be covered with tropical rainforest. Today, all stocks have disappeared due to deforestation.
  • Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • Most Haitians don’t like being photographed.
  • Haiti was once a French colony.
  • There are currently travel warnings for Haiti. Crime, terrorism, natural disasters and the tense political and social situation should be taken into account by travelers ( information from the Federal Foreign Office ).
  • To communicate, travelers should have at least basic knowledge of French.
  • The infrastructure in Haiti is poorly developed and often only works to a limited extent.
  • A passport that is still valid for at least 6 months is required for entry.
  • Standard vaccinations are recommended. You should be particularly careful with drinking water. Finding out about cholera is advisable.
  • Port-au-Prince has long been considered the “most dangerous city in the world”.
  • The aftermath of the severe earthquake in 2010 can still be clearly felt in the country.
  • But Haiti also offers palm beaches, sun, caves, waterfalls, colorful cities, friendly people and an exciting history.
  • The Haitian Revolution brought Haiti independence as the second American country after the United States.

Exciting cities in Haiti

  • Port au Prince
  • Delmas
  • Petionville
  • Jacmel
  • Cape Haiti

history of Haiti

  • After the discovery by the Spaniards, the indigenous people, the Arawaks, were almost completely wiped out.
  • 17th century the island is repopulated with African slaves.
  • 1697 ceding of the western part of the island to France.
  • Under French rule, Haiti becomes the richest colony of the French Empire.
  • 1791 Beginning of a bloody slave uprising.
  • 1804 Declaration of Independence under the name of Haiti. Haiti is the first independent black republic.
  • As a result, Haiti committed itself to the abolition of slavery and supported Venezuela, Peru and Colombia in their fight for independence, among others.
  • In 1844 the eastern part of the island gained independence as the Dominican Republic.
  • Haiti has suffered from despots for most of its history.
  • 1915 during the US military intervention, Haiti is occupied by the United States Marine Corps until 1934.
  • 1964 François “Papa Doc” Duvalier sets himself up as dictator.
  • In 1986, his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier, was expelled from the country after riots.
  • 1987 military coup after constitutional reform.
  • 2004 after civil war-like conditions, military intervention takes place through Chile, France, Canada and the USA.
  • High inflation in 2008 and sharply increased food prices worldwide lead to serious unrest with fatalities.
  • In 2010 a severe earthquake claimed around 316,000 lives and destroyed the center of the capital.

Climate & travel weather in Haiti

  • Tropical climate.
  • Small temperature differences all year round.
  • A little cooler at high altitudes.
  • 2 rainy seasons (April-June & August-November).
  • Danger for hurricanes is greatest from August-November.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • June – July & December – March.
    • Rainy seasons and hurricane season should be avoided.

Ideas for trips in Haiti

  • Shipwreck at Cap Haitien.
  • Citadel of Laferriere.
  • Go on a caving expedition.
  • Musee du Pantheon National Haitien.
  • Sanctuary of the “500 Marches of the Miraculous Medal”.

Eating & Drinking in Haiti

  • In addition to Creole and French cuisine, tropical and African influences can also be felt.
  • Haitian cuisine makes extensive use of citrus and tropical fruits such as bananas, pineapples, mangoes and peanuts.
  • Recipes from the Caribbean are colorful and aromatic.
  • For breakfast there is bread, quark, jam, bananas, sometimes pasta.
  • Typical spices: ginger roots, coriander, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and thyme.
  • Hot jalapenos or habaneros chili peppers and garlic are also popular.
  • Corn porridge is served with almost all dishes.
  • Plantains are popular and are prepared in a variety of ways.
  • Fish as popular as meat. However, the latter is very expensive and is therefore eaten less often.
  • In the evening, Bonne Bouilie (porridge made from flour, sugar, milk, cinnamon) is very popular.
  • Lots of great sweets and desserts.
  • Fresh fruit & delicious tropical fruits very popular.
  • Rum very popular, but there are also good French wines.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Guinea chicken with sour orange sauce.
    • Flambéed lobster.
    • Tassot de dinde (dried turkey meat).
    • Diri et djondjon (rice & black mushrooms).
    • Diri ak pwa (red and brown beans).
    • Griot (Fried Pork).
    • Tasso (Roasted Goat Meat).
    • Canard Fri (roast duck).
    • Sòs poulet (chicken in sauce).

Particularly scenic

  • Bassin Bleu waterfalls.
  • Saut Mathurin waterfall.
  • Cave Marie-Jeanne.
  • Beautiful beaches:
    • labadee.
    • Abaka Bay.
    • Cormier Plage.
    • Plage de Port Morgant.
    • La Pointe Ouest.
    • Civadier Beach.

Haiti Fast Facts