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Living in Haiti


It is always challenging to move to a different place but you will find that living in Haiti offers a similar experience to other places in the world once you set aside all the stigmas attached to the country. For instance, you can visit historical sites such as the Citadelle Laferriere, forts, Cathedrals, natural sites such as the waterfalls at Saut Mathurine in Camp Perrin, and caves in the Cayes region.

Haiti is situated on the Caribbean Sea and has a variety of terrain, such as steep coasts, reefs, and areas with lacy mangroves. There are many beaches that are sparkling with sunshine for more than three hundred days of the year.

Haiti is also a mountainous land, which holdsprecious woods, extraordinary species of flowers, and over three hundred varieties of orchids and butterflies. The Lodge or the Montcell are among the mountain cottage where you could retreat for a direct contact with nature.

Visa requirements

A valid passport is mandatory. No visa is required for stays less than 90 days. A visa is required only for citizens of Cuba. Colombians, Panamanians, and Dominicans do not need a Haitian visa as long as they hold a valid American or Canadian visa. 


French and Haitian Creole are the official languages of Haiti; however, English is widely spoken in the business community. Spanish is also spoken by many.


Haiti has a tradition of hospitality and is very open to newcomers. A great portion of the population lives in urban areas. There is a large variety of property to choose from, although this varies depending on the area. There is a good choice of rental properties in Pacot, Bourdon, Delmas, Tabarre Pétion-Ville, Laboule, Pelerin, Thomasin, Furcy and Kenskoff.

Permanent Accommodation to Buy or to Rent


Rental prices are fixed depending on the neighborhood. It varies from monthly $US 200 to $2500 per apartment and $US 500 to $3000 and higher if furnished. There are real estate agents throughout Haiti who can help you in your search.

Home or land purchase

For home or land purchases one should consult a real estate agent or newspaper advertisement in order to contact the owner directly.

Temporary Accommodations

Facilities for visiting business persons are provided by numerous hotels and bed and breakfasts throughout Port-au-Prince, primarily in Petion-Ville, one of the suburbs of the capital. They offer a full range of business services, including Internet and voicemail. Reservations can be made by telephone, fax, or e-mail.It is advisable to make reservations at least two weeks prior to a visit.

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Transferring personal goods from abroad to Haiti or out of Haiti

Various firms deals with shipment of goods in to and out of Haiti via air or sea. For small packages, it is best to contact Federal Express Haiti, DHL International Haiti, or Anndex International Courrier for 24 hour services.

Telecommunication and Internet access

The country code for Haiti is 509. Local numbers increased to 8 digits. The first digit indicates whether it is a landline (2) or a mobile phone (3 & 4). Comcel and Digicel Company use GSM wireless cellular phone technology. Haitel uses a third generation CDMA telecommunication network system. Cellular telephones are also available for rent. Comcel, Digicel, and Haitel all have booths at the airport.

Major hotels offer internet access Wi-fi in public areas and in rooms. Cyber Cafes and hotspots are also widely available.

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According to crime rate data, Haiti has a low crime rate compared to other countries in the Carribean. Please visit the following links for further information:


The standard is 110 V, 60 Cycles, with American outlets. 220 V is also available.

Money and Bank

The national currency is the Gourde (ISO Code: HTG) The U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere. Currency exchange is available in many banks or hotel front desks. The current rate is around USD1.00 for HTG 41.00. It is advised to convert your home currency into USD before leaving since the local rate of conversion is not always advantageous.

Local and international banks have an extensive urban coverage. A limited number of ATMs are also available.

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted in most tourist establishments. Cash advance is available at some banks and ATMs.

For local commercial banks please visit the following links:,,LIDfr,00.html


Public transportation is not yet organized.. Tap-Tap, public minibuses, are available for transport, as are private taxis and car rentals. The major car rental agencies located in Port-au-Prince include Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar and Secom. Air travel is possible from Port-au-Prince to most of the provinces. Though distances are short, travel in Haiti can be slow.

Local incoming travel agencies can also arrange cars and minibuses with drivers and guides for transfers and excursions.

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Local air transport

Several local airlines offer regular flights with aircrafts of up to 19 seats to the following cities. Cap-Haitian, Jeremie, Les Cayes, and Port de Paix.

Aircrafts and helicopters for air taxi/charter services can also be organized to various other areas of the country


Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health care services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid or accepted outside the United States. Travelers should confirm the validity of their insurance coverage before living their country.

Hotels have a list of private doctors available for emergencies. Private hospitals offer better services than public hospitals. Air ambulances may be required for cases requiring transportation to facilities in the region. Several drugstores and pharmacies are available.

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Local time, business hours and holidays

Government and commercial offices typically open between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and close between 3:30 pm and 5:00 p.m. Many retail businesses remain open until 7:00 pm - 8:00 p.m.

Haitian Holidays

January 1, New Year's Day

January 2, Ancestors' Day

February 5, Carnival

March 21, Good Friday

May 1, Haitian Labor Day

May 18, Flag Day

May 22, Corpus Christi

August 15, Assumption Day

October 17, Death of Dessalines

November 1, All Saints Day

November 2, All Souls Day

November 18, Battle of Vertieres Day

December 25, Christmas

And also the variable date holidays such as Mardi-Gras, Holy Friday and Corpus Christi.

Business Customs

Haitians are open to working with foreign investors and are particularly well disposed towards American investors. Most Haitian business persons speak English fluently. Appointments with Haitian business operators should be made in advance. Invitations to restaurants for meetings are appreciated and business is usually discussed in restaurants and hotels as much as in offices.

Temporary entry of materials and Personal belongings

There is no fee for the entry of personal belongings. However, a 0.25 percent unique rate is applied to goods entering under diplomatic concessions and for those that are on "temporary entry."

Goods that will be in the country temporarily must be imported under the temporary entry regime. Temporary entry refers to goods that will be processed before being re-exported. These goods are subject to a security deposit equivalent to one and a half times the duties and taxes payable under the release for consumption regime. This deposit is consummated in the form of a "chèque de direction" (banker's check) that will be released once the goods are re -exported. Goods that enter the country under the temporary entry regime and are then used for consumption purposes are taxed on the amount of their depreciation when they are re-exported. All imported goods are subject to verification fees and administrative costs.

Cultural Practices

Haiti is internationally known for its culture, art, music and hospitality. Haitian Cuisine has emerged from the cross cultured blending of locals, Indians, Spanish, Africans, and French. Its spices and flavors are worldly renowned as the most exquisite in the Caribbean. Haiti has lots of restaurants and night life.

If you are based in the Port-au-Prince area, there are exceptional libraries to visit, such as the national archives, the collection of the Saint Louis de Gonzague, andthe national library, which are all in Port-au-Prince, where rare books dating back from the colonial era are housed.

Painting in Haiti is a way of life. It is everywhere on the sidewalks, on the walls, and in the houses. Pétion-Ville has galleries where you can witness Haitian painting.

Compas, racine, rara, dance rhythms from distant Africa, calinda, square dances from French era. All these rhythms set one's mind to party.

Haitian craft of is one of the most original of the region. Items made of wood, cut metal, papier maché, recycled material, coasters made of painted wood, painted fabric, embroidery, crochet ... the choices are endless when one wants to offer a gift or simply add a local touch to its interior decoration.


Carnival in Port-au-Prince is a huge celebration that occursthe weekend before the beginning of Lent. Carnival in Jacmel occurs the weekend before this.

Raras occur throughout the region principally in Leogane from carnival period all the way through Easter.

There are also regional festivals throughout the summer time.

Insurance Sevices

There are two types of insurance systems: private and public. The Office of Accidental Insurance and Workers Compensation and Maternity (OFATMA) is a governmentagency that deals with public insurance for workers protection against accidents and sickness and workers maternity leave.

Private insurance is covered by private firms that offer coverage for multiple cases such as death, sickness, theft, fire etc.

Please click here for contact services information: Contact Directory

Please click on the following link for Haitian Embassy, Consulate and Commercial Missions Abroad: