Welcome to the one and only, über awesome guide to Haiti! Ever wanted to visit the Pearl of the Caribbean, Ayiti? Intrigued as to find out more about what lies beneath in this mis-represented country? Ever wanted to know what the hell to pack, where to go, how to get around, what the food is like, and all of that good stuff?
Well dudes and dudettes, you will find information and extensive guides below!
(Don’t be shy! Tap or move your cursor over the map and look at the points of interest!)
SAKAPFET! – Sah-kahp-fèt – What’s going on?
Creole (Kreyòl) and French (Français)
There are two official languages in Haiti, Creole and French, but there are vast cultural differences. French is by some considered the language of the educated, and was the only official language until 1961. Whereas Haitian Creole is considered the language of the Haitian people and spoken by nearly the whole population. Both are quite similar, and if you know French, you should be all gravy.
- What Haitian phrases to know before you go (Coming Soon!)
Location and Geology
Caribbean, Island of Hispaniola
You can’t deny that the Caribbean is home to some of the most beautiful vacation spots in the world. Haiti, on the western portion of Hispaniola, is the third largest Caribbean island with one of the longest coastline in the world…which makes it pretty damn beautiful. Like other Caribbean islands, the waters are warm and the sun is always shining! Haiti is covered in rolling hills and mountains, but due to deforestation, has very little green left.
- Must Visit Destinations in Haiti (Coming Soon!)
Capital: Port-Au-Prince/Pòtoprens, Cap-Haitian/Okap/Kapayisyen
Port-Au-Prince is Haiti’s capital city as well as its largest population density by far. Constructed like an amphitheater, the city’s business district is located close to the water, with the homes up in the hills. Much of Port-Au-Prince is in disrepair due to the 2010 earthquake. Cap-Haïtian is the second largest city in Haiti, and described as the more educational focused city. From Cap-Haïtian you can reach Labadee, a tourist attraction, or La Citadel which played an important role in their independence.
Culture and Population
9,7000,000 (2011 estimates)
The Haitian people have quite the storied history. With influences from colonization of the Spanish, to their native Taino people, it has combined to create a rich culture. After declaring their independence in 1804, Haiti has had a history of political corruption and violence that has held it back, but the good is still apparent. With a love for music, vibrant artwork, amazing food, and a will a love for talking, there is plenty things amazing about its culture.
- My First Real Impressions of Haiti and it’s People.
- Haiti: Ready to Become the Pearl of the Caribbean again? (Coming Soon!)
Spicy, Fried, Rice, Beans, Pork, Fresh Seafood, Plantains
Haitian food is absolutely delicious, and absolutely deadly if you don’t know what you are eating. When I say deadly, I mean fiery, and if you can’t handle spice, know what you are eating. Haitian food is influenced by Spanish, French, and its native Taino and is generous with herbs and spicy peppers, as well as rice, beans, pork, and chicken.
- Delicious Food Guide to Haiti (Coming Soon!)
Catholic, Protestant, Mixed-Voodoo
Catholicism is by far the largest practiced religion, sitting at around 85%, brought over during early settlements by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish. Also practiced is the highly mis-understood Voodoo religion, practiced by nearly 50% of the population. Oh, and it’s not nearly as Hollywood horror-esque as it’s made to be.
Main Highways: Route Nationale 1 (North), 2 (West), and 4 (South).
Traversing Haiti can be a little bit wild to put it lightly. Haiti’s infrastructure for roads and highways is not very well-kept, and all attempts to build a public transportation system have all failed. Two main highways, Route 1 and 2, are decently kept and can take you all the way North to Cap-Haïtian or West from Port-Au-Prince. Also, Route 4 will take you South to the popular coastal town of Jacmel.
- Guide to Getting Around Haiti (Coming Soon!)
What else would you like included in this guide from my experiences?