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Transportation in Haiti: How to get around

October 10, 2014

Getting around in Haiti is no easy feat. There is no elaborate public transportation system set up for the locals much less for tourists so it boils down to you getting where you need to go however you find fit.

Motorbike: This is an awesome and fun way to travel short distances. I found that the overall driving in Haiti is very safe once outside of the capital. Motorbikes were our main mode of transportation throughout our trip and I loved it! The cost is usually about 5 USD. depending on where you are going it could be more or less.

Taxi / Jitney – There are taxis running up and down the main streets almost everywhere in Haiti. They are extremely cheap and a great way to get around if you know where you are going. For most of them there are no set stops so you are responsible to tell the taxi where to stop. Unless you are familiar with where you are going i would not recommend it. I did not ride any taxis on my last visit but i definitely plan on it on my return to Haiti. Cost for a ride is about 25 U.S. cents.

Private driver – Getting a driver is the easiest way to get around in Haiti, the only down side is that it can be quite costly. When traveling from Montrouis Haiti to Petionville which is roughly a 31/2 hour drive It cost us 225.00 U.S. dollars one way! After spending a day there for us to get to Jacmel cost us an additional 150.00 U.S. Dollars.

How do you find a driver? You can have your hotel set that up for you but form personal experience the rates are more expensive than you finding one! I ended up asking our motorbike taxi if he knew of anyone who could take us to Petionville. He stated he had a friend who runs a taxi so we basically rented out his jitney for the trip. Because we were with the same motorbike driver for 3 days we felt totally comfortable with him and trusted him completely to get us to our destination.

Finding a driver from Petionville to Jacmel proved to be more challenging since we were only there for a short period of time. I asked one of the bus boys who was extremely helpful and pleasant to us throughout our stay if he knew of someone who could drive us and he recommended his close friend who is not a taxi driver but has a truck and could take us. It was much cheaper than going with the hotel taxi and it was more personal. We were able to make stops, he pointed out different cities and sites to us on the drive to Jacmel, our whole experience was amazing!

I am in no way saying that one should go to Haiti and just get in a car with anyone, I am only speaking of MY PERSONAL experience.


Is it safe to travel to Haiti?

September 23, 2014

Like most countries there are great parts and there are bad parts. I have no idea why the media chooses to focus solely on the poorer parts of this amazingly beautiful country. Upon booking my trip to Haiti I remember doing a google search only to be horrified by the images i saw: dead people laying on the floor, people eating whatever they could find, and just complete chaos .

What made me continue to book my ticket you may ask? Curiosity. I Have had several friends travel to Haiti and tell me how breathtaking it is but that still did not stop my negative preconceived notions from getting the best of me. The more research I did the more i thought about canceling my trip and just taking the lost, I was so worried about getting kidnapped, getting sick and so many other things that I am sure the average person would apprehensive about when visiting a third world country. At the last minute I decided that we would just go for it and what ever happens happens.

I am elated to report that traveling to Haiti is not only safe but it is truly a once in a lifetime experience! I have been to many different countries and I can’t think of another place that has touched my heart like Haiti.

Here are a few suggested tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable vacation:

Visit your local travel clinic to find out if there are any recommended vaccinations.

Set up your transportation from the airport to your hotel before arriving. Once you arrive to your destination you can rely on your hotel to help you find trustworthy local transportation.

I honestly suggest staying away from the Capital. We were only three twice during our whole stay and that was to enter the country and to leave. I asked several different people in several different parts of Haiti about the capital and they all said the same thing. They stated almost all of the violence and kidnappings happen in the capital. When you stay in smaller provinces everyone knows everyone so it is a lot more collectivistic and safe.

Try not be too showy with money when paying for something. Keep your money separated that way if you want to buy something you already have change or near the exact amount.

Do not wear flashy jewelry to call attention to yourself.

I was told to only have my DSLR camera out when taking pictures but I had it with me everywhere and i had absolutely no problem at all and never once felt like I may have it stolen.

If you find a driver you like and trust, stick with him/her for the duration of your trip
Read more about transportation in Haiti here.

Make sure to keep your passport locked in the safe in your room and keep a photocopy of your passport in case you need Identification for something.

Overall I found that the Haitian people were very friendly and helpful. We never once felt in any danger at all.

Also, don’t be offended by all the staring. They are just curious when they see tourists and mean no harm.