Haiti, a small country in Caribbean, has been a popular destination amongst the tourists. According to the World Bank Report, 423000 international tourists visited Haiti in 2009. But, post the disastrous earthquake that jolted Haiti in 2010, tourism is seen as a key driver for recovery of economy. With availability of cheap flights from London, Florida, Miami, New York and other parts of the world to Haiti, tourism in Haiti has experienced a fresh start post the earthquake and rebuilt its market.
While planning a vacation to Haiti, merely getting information on the tourist attractions and accommodation options is not enough. You should also know about the transportation options that are available for travelling in and around a city as well as between the cities in Haiti. These include –
- Domestic Flights – Haiti has several airports across the country which makes domestic flights the fastest way to travel between the cities. Any airport is around 30 minutes flight from the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Domestic flights save time as the road route may take long hours owing to the bumpy terrain.
- Buses – Lower fares make buses a cheap way of travelling around Haiti. Each city has locations designated for the buses, but these locations are not marked. Inquiring with the locals for the bus stop for some destination city is the easiest way of getting on to the correct bus. There are no fixed schedules or departure times; in fact buses leave the stop only after they are filled completely. Also, enquire about the fare before you board the bus and if you have time, you can always survey a little to get the lowest possible fare. Buses are not only a way of staying within a budget but also give tourists a chance to explore new areas as well as meet the locals.
- Tap-taps – Modified and decorated old schools buses or vans, called tap-taps, are the most economical way of travelling around Haiti. A Haitian version of a communal taxi, tap-taps are over packed with around a dozen passengers, their cargo, chicken, goats etc. Mostly tourists are advised to avoid using tap-taps as they are risky, but if you want to experience the real Haitian life, it is the best option for you. Only remember to travel light, as the luggage you carry will be on your lap.
- Taxis – Taxis are more convenient and secure option for moving around in Haiti. You can either rent a taxi exclusively by paying a higher fare or the driver will pick up other passengers on the way. Negotiating the fare in advance as there are no metered fares is always beneficial. A red ribbon hanging from the front mirror usually denotes a taxi.
- Rental Cars – If you love adventures and taking challenges, you will love riding on the bumpy, potholed mountainous roads in Haiti.
Any type of public transportation in Haiti is less luxurious and more tedious compared to the modern world but it will assure that you get a real experience of the Haitian life.