Getting Around Haiti
This is often the quickest (and easiest) way to get around Haiti. Tortug’ Air (tel: +509 2812 8000) and Sunrise Airways (tel: +509 2811 2222; www.sunriseairways.net) offer various domestic routes between them. Planes can also be chartered from Missionary Aviation Fellowship (www.mafhaiti.org) which flies to 15 airstrips in Haiti.
Side of the roadRight
Route Nationale highways are generally fairly decent, but road quality elsewhere is unreliable at best and terrible at worst.
Hire cars are available in Port-au-Prince, Pétionville and at the airport. They can also be booked via hotels. Petrol can be scarce outside Port-au-Prince and sometimes even within the capital.
Secom (tel: +509 2942 2940; www.secomhaiti.com) greets clients at the airport with a hired car. Though a 4-wheel drive costs nearly double a saloon, it's a better choice because of road conditions. A UK driving licence is good for three months. All hired cars' registration numbers begin with 'LO'.
Three kinds of taxis operate in Port-au-Prince; motosiklet (or motorbikes) that dart deftly and dangerously in and out of traffic; publiques (or public taxis) that are basically battered cars with a red ribbon hanging from the driver’s mirror to indicate availability; and private cabs such as Nick’s Radio Taxi (tel: +509 2948 7777).
Braver travellers can also use tap taps, the elaborately painted vehicles that have practically come to symbolise Port-au-Prince. Though colourful, they can be very crowded, and foreign visitors are generally advised not to use them. A local joke asks how many people can get in one tap tap. The answer: 'one more'.
Air-conditioned and comfortable tourist-style buses run between Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes in the south and to Cap Haitien in the north. Capital Coach Line (tel: +509 2813 1880; www.capitalcoachline.com), San Souci Tours (tel: +509 3743 4646) and Transport Chic (+509 3741 2489) are the main operators.
An International Driving Permit or current licence from your home country is required.
Buses run every hour or so between Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. They depart from near the football stadium on rue Oswald Durand.
Buses run twice a day to Jeremie from Grand Rue in downtown Port-au-Prince. For Cap Haitien, take a bus from Barriere Bouteille on the north side of Port-au-Prince.
There is no functioning railway in Haiti.