Haiti is located on the western third of Hispaniola between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and has neighbours like Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico. The island's capital city is Port-au-Prince which is one of the largest cities in Haiti.
Some of the island's best assets are its tropical climate, a vast expanse of mountainous regions and a variety of seafood! The island is also home to tropical plants like the Royal Palm trees that contribute to its beauty.
If you are seeking a unique adventure that is both rich with culture and excitement, Haiti is your ideal destination. The island's high mountains made it possible for travellers from all over the world to partake in activities that they will remember forever. The island is also known for its great music, fun-filled festivals and carnivals.
Haitians are a friendly people that are always extending warm greetings to the visitors, and are known to have a great sense of humour. Haiti’s history dates back to when the French colonised the country and has been a background for the language they speak, which is a French Creole. Many Haitians are bilingual; while some may not be fluent English speakers, they know enough English to hold an interesting conversation.
There are also many wonderful places to visit that have a mixture of both romance and family fun like the Bassin Bleu and Kokoye Beach. Haiti boasts a diverse palette; their food is a blend of both African and French cuisines with the lots of red hot pepper and tasty spices that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
A visit to Haiti will leave you breathless, you will be intrigued by its history, beautiful beaches, its people and music.
Weather in Haiti
The temperature is considered very warm in Haiti and is usually remains around eighty degrees throughout the year. The rain and humidity will also vary greatly depending on the part of Haiti which is being explored. It all comes to down to the geographical attributes of the location. The mountainous regions can be expect to be a lot cooler whilst the lower lying areas will be warmer.
Average rainfall in the rainy sports is over fifty inches per year while there are some areas which get almost no rain at all. In general, the major tourist areas are semi-rainy, with two different rainy seasons occurring. The first rainy season is estimated to take place usually around May, and the other one starts in September and will end mid- November.
Even during the rainy season, the days are usually fairly sunny, with rain falling mostly at night. The air is usually thick with humidity on these days, though, and this is when it feels warmest. It is advised to carry a damp washcloth and a bottle of water when leaving your hotel.
From December through April, it is almost always dry and less humid so many people prefer to travel to Haiti at this time. This is almost enjoyed because it is still warm in Haiti despite being cold in other parts of the world.
Food and Beverage
Haitian cuisine reflects the culture of the people that inhabit the western part of the island of Hispaniola; Bold yet simple. Dishes are usually flavourful and spicy yet prepared with simple ingredients. The dishes are unique incorporates the use of vegetables, meats, rice or corn meal and peppers. Spices and herbs are often used to strengthen the flavour of the dishes.
The country’s cuisine is often confused with that of its surrounding Caribbean counterparts, however once you have sampled these dishes yourself, you will note the difference in taste and flavour. Even the style of cooking is different.
Some all time favorites for Hatians are Rice and Beans! This dish is had alone by many, but often times you will find that some form of meat is accompanied with it. Seafood are a popular choice or Chicken, Beef and Goat meat.
Some popular dishes that can be found in restaurants and local eateries are:
Griyo (fried pork)
Poulet aux Noix (chicken and cashew nuts)
Mayi Moulen ak Sòs Pwa, Poul an Sòs (beans and stew chicken with cornmeal)
Tassot (Dried Fried Meat)
Siri Djon ( Rice with Black Mushrooms)
There are a ton of other mealtime favourites for locals, be sure to sample food in the restaurants and “streetside” dishes. The food preparation is slightly different wherever you go in Haiti, however it promises to be delicious.
Drinks made by the Haitians again vary by region but popular favourites for everyone include :
Coconut Cream Cocktail
As you can see the drinks are usually all natural and made using fresh fruit and vegetables. They are usually very healthy and excellent nutritional values.
Popular Vacation Spots
Everything about Haiti is a well-kept secret, including its historical buildings, but through these activities you will not only become exposed to but also inspired by the country’s cultural authenticity that is unlike that which is offered in any other Caribbean country, or the world for that matter.
Saut Mathurine Waterfall - the Saut Mathurine Waterfall easily tops the list of places to visit when in Haiti. Located at the eastern end of the Plaine du Cu-deh-sac, this waterfall is definitely a cut above the rest. If you climb all the way to the top of the waterfall, you can grace your eyes to beautiful scenery. There are many local tour guides with whom you can arrange for transportation but you want to ensure than the water is turned on.
Barbancourt Rum Distillery - Fine rum is the best rum and that is what you will be offered at the Barbancourt Rum Distillery. Whilst there are five different kind of rums offered, the excitement is generally created about the Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve, Aged 15 Years. Each sip is like a sip of magic! Do not leave without sampling or purchasing a bottle to take back to your motherland.
Etang Saumatre - It could be the water, its color, or just the fauna, either ways, the Etang Saumatre lake is a must visit. It is the largest in Haiti and the second largest in Hispaniola and is located in the valley of Cul-de-sac which is just east of Port-au-Prince. The lake supports over 100 species of waterfowl, flamingos and American crocodiles. You can also see other animals such as the Hispaniolan slider.
Iron Market - Iron Market is one of the most popular tourist stops in Haiti. Here you can buy local products and arts at unbeatable prices. The vendors are happy to negotiate and ensure you take home a part of your Haitian experience.
Go to the Sea - Whichever part of the island you end up, swimming is a must and you’ll notice I haven’t chosen a specific beach. Well, that is because, all the beaches in Haiti are boastful of clear blue turquoise water. You will have no regrets.
Hiking - Haiti is well known for its stunning mountains and many persons’ visit this island when they are soul-searching. Whether you just want to hike for the scenery or you are soul searching, these mountains will inspire you.
Haiti has declared itself ready to receive travellers again after the earthquake that shook the nation in 2010. A lot or person deter from travelling there because of political reasons or natural disasters. It seems times have been unkind to the country but nevertheless, it’s back in business. The citizens, teamed with foreign aid have restored this country back to former glory. The landscape is still beautiful and the culture is still rich. Haiti is a prime destination for vacation.
Currently 1USD converts to about 54.16HTG. US Dollars are a widely accepted currency and can be used to purchase anything. If you really want true value for your money it is always advised to change your money into local currency. This ensures the best conversion rates. Money can be converted at the airport or at local Cambios and banks.
It is advised to find a reputable driver when travelling to Haiti. It will be hard to manoeuvre driving a rental car yourself because the streets are not clearly labelled and you might get lost. Once you are familiar with the area then it is perfectly fine to drive yourself around (cheaper too). A chartered taxi that is licensed is your best bet and they can take you wherever you would like to go on your trip. Just bear in mind to travel smart and it’s best to make friends with a fe locals, so you make the most of your trip. Happy travel!