Friday, September 10, 2021

How To Travel To Haiti

North AmericaHaitiHow To Travel To Haiti

By air

International travellers arrive in Haiti in Port-au-Prince (PAP) at Toussaint L’Ouverture Airport or at Cap-Haitien International Airport in the north. Airline tickets can be purchased through numerous online ticket exchanges and agencies. Intra-Haitian flights are also available. Prices for these flights can fluctuate from time to time due to inflation, but depending on the airline, they are usually between $125 and $132 round-trip to and from Port-au-Prince, and are cheaper between Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. A really cheap, reliable and popular airline is Sunrise Airways. In addition to bypassing the rather dangerous and inadequate public transport system of buses and taps, the flights offer safe passage to and from Port-au-Prince from other parts of Haiti.

Airlines such as American Airlines, Delta and Spirit fly to Port-au-Prince from the United States. Air Canada, Air France and Caribair, among others, also offer international flights to and from Port-au-Prince.

Lynx Air flies from Fort Lauderdale and Miami to Cap-Haitian. MFI (Missionary Flights International) also flies from Florida to Cap-Haitian, but only registered non-Catholic Christian missionaries can fly. Other international airlines that fly to Cap-Haitian are Sky King, Turks and Caicos Air and Pine-apple Air.

On the road

From Santo Domingo, Caribe Tours offers a daily bus to Petionville (in the hills above Port-au-Prince) that leaves at 11am. A ticket costs $40 one way, $26 tax and 100 DR. Unfortunately, this bus drops you off in Petionville after dark. Therefore, arrange in advance with someone you trust to pick you up and drive you to your accommodation.

There is also a busy border crossing between the Dominican Republic and Haiti at Dajabón/Ouanaminthe. The border is only open during the day. From there you can take a local transport to Cap-Haitien.

Another, less expensive option from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince is to take a gua-gua (Dominican minibus) from Santo Domingo (leaving a few blocks north of Parque Enriquillo) for 380 pesos DR (about $10, 5 hrs) and arrive at the border town of Jimani. From there walk 4 km or take a motoconcho for 50 pesos DR to the border crossing.

The border is supposedly open from 09:00 to 18:00 (but don’t rely on these times). It is very easy to cross the border without going through any immigration procedures on either side, and although it is probably illegal, it saves a few dozen dollars in bribes and is also much faster. Apart from entering the DR, where a soldier takes a look at the passport, no one does any inspection: immigration or customs. Entering Haiti legally is quick: just fill out the green form and pay the amount requested by the officer (about 100 DR). There is no ATM at the border.

The money changers give gourdes for DR pesos and US dollars. The prices are fair. There are many local transport options between the border and Port-au-Prince. Crowded buses will take you to Croix-des-Bouquets for 50 gourdes (1.5-2 hours), from where you can reach Port-au-Prince itself in another hour (bus, 5 gourdes). The road is in variable condition and prone to flooding. Peruvian UN soldiers at the border have confirmed that the road to Port-au-Prince is safe and that there have been no attacks or kidnappings, but try to arrive in Port-au-Prince before dark.