Haiti, officially called the Republic of Haitia, is a country in the Caribbean. It occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, with the rest of the two-thirds being occupied by the Dominican Republic. Haiti also includes small satellite tourist islands, including Île-à-Vache, also known as Cow Island.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Regardless, it is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean and is often referred to as Le Perle des Antilles, or The Pearl of the Antilles, due to its national beauty. The following are Haiti's 10 departments and their responding capitals: Nord-Quest (Port-de-Paix), Nord (Cap-Haïtien), Nord-Est (Fort-Liberté), Artibonite (Gonaïves), Centre (Hinche), Ouest (Port-au-Prince), Grand'Anse (Jérémie), Nippes (Miragoâne), Sud (Les Cayes), and Sud-Est (Jacmel). The capital and largest city in Haiti is Port-au-Prince.
What to see & do
Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien - The Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, or MUPANAH, is a museum dedicated to the heroes of the independence of Haiti and to the history and culture of Haiti. Some of its displays include chains of slavery, torture instruments, several sculptures, temporary exhibitions of paintings, and the anchor of the Carvel of Christopher Columbus, the Santa Maria (ship). The building itself is semi-buried, hence had minimal damage during the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Citadelle Laferrière - Citadelle Laferrière, also called Citadelle Henry Christophe or the Citadelle, is a mountaintop fortress in northern Haiti. The Citadelle is the largest fortress in the Americas and has become an icon of Haiti.
Sans-Souci Palace - Sans-Souci Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was the royal residence of King Henri (or Henri Christophe) of Haiti, his wife Queen Marie-Louise, and their two daughters.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Port-au-Prince - The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, also known as Port-au-Prince Cathedral, was a cathedral built between 1884 and 1914 in Port-au-Prince. It became the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince. However, the cathedral was destroyed during the 2010 earthquake.
How to get around
The most common public transportation serving the country is "Tap-taps." These are modified trucks or vans with wood benches that serve as seats. Tap-taps can easily be spotted due to their bright colours, often bearing a religious slogan. First time travellers in Haiti or those who cannot speak conversational Creole are advised not to ride a tap-tap without a guide or assistance. In any case, yelling 'Merci!' at the driver is their signal to stop. Bus service is also available. Cars for rent in Haiti are actually SUVs or trucks. Though the roads are not well-maintained, renting cars are still more comfortable and safe compared to tap-taps. Travellers can also hire a chauffeur. It is more costly than riding the bus or tap-tap, but is perhaps the most convenient way of getting around Haiti. The drivers usually own their own vehicles, which are usually a 4x4, and can take you anywhere you need to be without difficulty. No more guesswork!
How to get there
There are two major airports serving Haiti: Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Tabarre, near Port-au-Prince, and Hugo Chávez International Airport in Cap-Haïtien, in the Nord department. Toussaint Louverture International Airport receives flights from Santiago de Cuba, Montréal, Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Paris, Pointe-à-Pitre, Santo Domingo, Sint Maarten, Miami, Providenciales, Santiago de los Caballeros, Fort Lauderdale, New York, Panama City, Atlanta, Curaçao, Antigua, Aruba, Jacmel, Jérémie, and Port-de-Paix. Airlines that provide these flights include Aero Caribbean, Air Caraïbes, Aerolíneas Mas, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, LIAT, Sunrise Airways, and Tortug' Air. Hugo Chávez International Airport is served only by Air TUrks and Caicos, American Airlines, IBC Airways, SALSA d'Haiti, and Sunrise Airways, with connections to Providenciales, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Port-au-Prince.