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By No owner — last modified Jan 13, 2018 03:50 PM

 Haiti - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -5.

Yachting Essentials

Electricity
Voltage: 110 V
Frequency: 60 Hz

Water
Water can be obtained in Port Morgan.

Fuel
Fuel can be obtained in Port Morgan.

LPG
Propane/LPG tanks may be able to filled in Les Cayes.

Money

Gourdes [Gde] (pronounced: "good" or "güd") of 100 centimes. US currency also circulates as a major currency.

Credit cards are widely accepted at restaurants and grocery stores but not in local markets or shops.

Banks have ATMs in Port-au-Prince, but some smaller banks will charge huge fees for withdrawals ($20+).

It is not uncommon to exchange US$-to-Gourdes with local money changers (which may be just a guy sitting on the corner with a wad of cash). As sketchy as this seems, it is common and not illegal (as of January 2018). Because of the ubiquity of smart phones, the money changer will probably use an exchange rate app to show you the exchange rate then tack on their own fee. They will sometimes give better rates than the banks for the same exchange.

Grocery stores also exchange money to gourdes. Their rates are usually better than banks.

The "Mysterious" Haitian Dollar

There is a local pseudo-currency called a "Haitian Dollar," which will be referred to sometimes in markets or by locals. The Haitian Dollar is NOT a Gourde.

In reality, the Haitian Dollar does not exist. There is no physical currency that is a "Haitian Dollar" and the exchange rate can be quite mercurial. Visitors to Haiti should negotiate prices in US Dollars (and specifically say "US Dollar") or Gourdes.

Communications

International Dialing Code for Haiti is +509.

There are roaming agreements with international carriers; however, the data fees can be extreme.

Digicel update December 2014:
Anyone cruising using Digicel should be aware that if you purchase a SIM card in one country, it cannot be topped up in different one, as previously possible. So if you wish to use the sim bought here while cruising in other countries, you should either put on a large enough sum to cover your needs, or set up an account and do it online. You can top-up Digicel at https://online-top-up.digicelgroup.com/

Internet cafes are available in towns.

Post office hours: Mon-Fri 08:00-20:00, Sat 08:30-12:00. Letters posted after 09:00 will not be despatched until the following working day.

Transport

Traffic in Haiti is an extreme sport in itself. Take great care if driving in Haiti and/or just let a local do it for you. Private drivers are common and relatively inexpensive for day trips.

Rental cars can be EXTREMELY expensive. It is coming down somewhat, but a single day rental might be $300+. This is a byproduct of the foreign aid work price gouging after the 2010 earthquake.

Public transport in Haiti consists mainly of colorful “tap-taps” that run regular routes within urban areas and between towns in the countryside. They are not particularly safe, but their use is common for local people and they are inexpensive. (They are called "tap-tap" because you "tap" on the body of the vehicle when you want to get out.)

A handful of public buses exist in the capital. Similar to tap-taps, they aren't particularly safe, but are used by locals all the time.

Regular marked taxis are rare (basically nonexistent).

For airport transfers, make arrangements with a travel agency or local driver service. Plan travel to the airport ahead of time and plan to depart hours early, even if it is just across town: traffic is extreme.

Diplomatic Missions

Events

Carnival
Three days before Ash Wednesday. Carnival is a major public holiday in Haiti.

Emergencies

Emergencies:

Ambulance - Dial 118
Police - Dial 114

NOTE: Emergency services may be slow to arrive, delayed by traffic, or difficult to reach (due to communication services).

Publications

IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club

The Haiti Cruising Guide - 3.0
www.freecruisingguides.com (free download)
Free Cruising Guide produced September 2010 and last updated July 2014 by Frank Virgintino (author of the Jamaica and DR Free Cruising Guides). The only complete guide to Haiti.

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published: 3rd Edition January 2013
ISBN 9781304133847
Available as a Kindle version at www.amazon.com as well as other EPub bookstores.
The latest edition of this route planner is larger than ever. For more details see this report

The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South
By Bruce Van Sant
Available from Amazon (10th edition March 2012)
ISBN-13: 978-1470146962
This is the Tenth and last Edition of the popular directions for sailing south to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Lonely Planet Guide to Haiti

Good Samaritans of Haiti

A non-profit organization based in Ile a Vache with projects countrywide for schools, microcredit, agriculture etc. Cruisers can arrange to deliver donated goods and work with charitable projects as volunteers thus ensuring goodwill and local contacts. They welcome volunteers with experience in English teaching, music, mechanical repairs etc. for short or long visits.

Travel to Haiti - First Impressions
A great insight into the character of Haiti.

Update History

January 2018: Cap-Haitien added as a port. Some updates to incidentals.
July 2016: Formalities checked.
October 2015: Security section updated
May 2015: Publications checked
February 2015: Clearance updated with information from Frank Virgintino about extensive searches being carried out on boats arriving directly from Colombia. 
April 2014: Formalities updates with information from Frank Virgintino. 
April 2014: Facts and security updates following visit to Haiti by Frank Virgintino - author of the Haiti Free Cruising Guide.
May 2013: Fees update from Steve Stevens who cruised N Haiti.
December 2012: Country Profile updated with information about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, October 2012.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Share |
benjamingotke
benjamingotke says:
Jan 09, 2018 01:16 PM

Visit to Haiti, January 2018.
We visited Cap Haitian at the beginning of January.
On arrival the agent took care of Immigration. No customs necessary. US$100 for everything.
When you arrive at the city of Cap Haitian, go to the cargo dock opposite the coastguard and ask for Thomas, also known as "Ketchup". He speaks good English and is working at the dock. The dock is very secure and when going to town, ask Thomas to go with you. He can arrange trips to the castle.
Thomas has a friend called Rodney. He was our watchman, sitting on the boat and keeping it safe. Thomas is very good at showing people around at the market and the town. He knows what is safe and not.
Rodney got about 40 USD for 20 hours of "watch" and Thomas got 80 USD plus a big bag of rice for helping us for a whole week.
About 3nm west of Cap Haitian there is a bay called Labadie. First when you enter you will pass a big cruise dock and island only made for cruise ship tourists. At the bottom of the bay is a little village which is very beautiful. Anchor in 6m in good mud.
Water is not drinkable and watermakers are no use in Cap Haitian. There is too much garbage in the water. Have plenty of water and food on board. We bought a lot of food at the market, but carefully washed everything.
Every person on Haiti has been extremely friendly and open. It's a beautiful country with beautiful people. It is really worth a visit!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 14, 2016 10:32 AM

How you can Help Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew

Sam Altema is the SSCA representative on the island of Ile a Vache which was hit very hard during Hurricane Matthew to the point of sheer devastation. Food is actively being distributed according to reports from "Friends of Ile a Vache", both by plane and barge, but the majority of homes have been destroyed with many having lost their belongings and personal property. Hard currency is needed to rebuild shelter and lives. If you wish to donate, Sam is working to distribute funds fairly and where they are needed the most.

Altema Jean Samuel - E-mail: altema1986@gmail.com>
Send funds via WESTERN UNION with Sam's name. Donors will receive a 'control' number which must be emailed to Sam.

Michael Samuel on the island of La Gonave, Haiti, is the POC for AAE (www.aaehaiti.org) and is also receiving donations via Western Union.

Michel Samuel - E-mail: maitresam2001@yahoo.fr

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 14, 2015 07:02 PM

Posted on behalf of Frank VIrgintino from Marina Zarpar, DR:
13 February 2015
We have received a few boats, the most recent today, Canadian flagged, that sailed directly from Cartagena to Ile a Vache Haiti. I have never heard of boats being boarded by the authorities in Haiti, but in this case, the Haitian Coast Guard assisted by what appears to be United Nations military or police, boarded the boat and retained the owner and crew a number of days while the boat endured extensive checking.
I would recommend that boats coming from Colombia to Haiti, clear first at Jamaica at Port Antonio before proceeding east to Haiti.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 21, 2014 02:46 PM

For Frank's contact details, see Haiti Cruising Guide (free) under Publications - http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Haiti?rc=GeneralInfo#Publications

roark.hennessy@gmail.com
roark.hennessy@gmail.com says:
Mar 21, 2014 01:01 PM

We recently visited Haiti on our journey through the windward passage. We are thankful for the guidance that Frank V. gave us on where to stop. If you happen to be traveling the same route, you should stop at the small fishing village just under the northern peninsula. It breaks up the long sail, and is a good place to rest. The people in the village are extremely nice, and very helpful. Nobody asked us for money or bothered us in anyway. There was a gentlemen name College who spoke pretty good english. He asked me to convey the real needs of the village where supplies. Especially things like paint (for the school), pens, pencils, and paper (for the kids), used or old sails for the fishermen, etc. After our initial anchoring, we were greeted by the fishermen, and taken ashore by College and his brother. We were given a tour of the village, and then played limbo, and jump rope with the children. It was an awesome visit. The anchorage is good for any easterlies, but it can be a bit rolly. Email Frank for the coordinates.

Roark&Sheri
s/v Island Pearl

Haiti
Cap Haitien / Labadie
Cap Mole St. Nicolas
Port Morgan (Ile-a-Vache)
Port-au-Prince
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