Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of Haiti.

Presidential Palace after the earthquake
Presidential Palace prior to the earthquake

Get in

By plane

Port-au-Prince airport (IATA: PAP) is served by several major airlines, primarily Air Canada, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and United Airlines as well as smaller flights from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other spots in the Caribbean. Taxis from the airport to your destination in Port-au-Prince will be about USD20 for standard fare. Tap Taps going to all places past the airport will cost about HTG10 (USD0.25) and a community-created route map can be found here.

By bus

From Santo Domingo: Caribe Tours, Capitol Coach Line and Terra Bus each run very modern buses daily to Port-au-Prince, each of the 3 companies departing from their own station along Av. 27 de Febrero. Caribe runs to Pétionville (in the hills above Port-au-Prince) that leaves at 11:00. Most all tickets currently cost USD40 one-way, plus serious tax/border fees of about USD26 and DOP100, depending on the direction. Unfortunately, Caribe Tours' bus drops you off in Pétionville after dark so make prior arrangements with a trustworthy person to meet you and transport you to your lodging.

Another, less expensive option, is to take a guagua (Dominican minibus) from Santo Domingo departing 4 blocks NW of Parque Enriquillo, just West of Av Duarte, from a small parking lot within the elevated expressways of Espresso 27 de Febrero). suggests guava buses leave every 45min, but this is not always the case. Price is DOP400 (about USD10), allow about 5h for the journey including a quick rest/meal sto) and arrive in the border town of Jimani. From there it is a 4km walk or a DOP50+ ride by motoconcho to the border post. The border is apparently open 08:00-18:00 (if it respects its times).

In the past it was very easy to cross the border without submitting to any immigration procedures on either side, and although probably illegal, saved a few dozen dollars in bribes and was much faster too. Things are changing: passport control is now generally required leaving the Dominican Republic, not just entering the DR. Entering Haiti legally is quick: fill out the green form and pay whatever amount the official asks (around DOP100). There are no ATMs at the border. Moneychangers give gourdes for Dominican and US currency. Rates are fair. Protect Haiti's small green card in your passport, allowing you to leave Haiti without risking a penalty.

There's usually plenty of local transportation from the border to Port-au-Prince. Crowded tap-taps and buses can take you to Croix-des-Bouquets for about HTG75 (1-2h), from where it is another hour to Port-au-Prince (bus, HTG5+ per route, summary network map. Road ranges from very bad to good, and is prone to flooding. Peruvian UN soldiers at the border have confirmed that the road to Port-au-Prince is safe to travel with no incidents of robbery or kidnappings, but definitely try to arrive in Port-au-Prince before dark.

Get around

Port-au-Prince shared taxi or TapTap

Tap-taps run along prescribed routes throughout the city. Most routes cost HTG10 ($0.25), although to get across the city you may need to utilize multiple routes, each of which charges separately.

Taxis are typically about HTG500 and should be used only during daylight. After dark, prices rise substantially, and you are at substantially greater risk of being mugged.





There are at least two banks with ATMs: Scotiabank and Sogebank. The closest Scotiabank to downtown is at the intersection of Boulevard Jean-Jacques-Dessalines and Rue Pavée. Even the ATM is closed on Sundays. Banks here close very early, even on the weekdays.


Eating out in Port-au-Prince is surprisingly expensive. Even at modest restaurants a full plate of food will usually cost around HTG200. A good amount of food from street vendors will even cost up to HTG100.





There are grocery stores all over town at least two in the centre of town, both located on Capois: the Big Star Market in the Champ-de-Mars area and the Primera Market nearby the Hotel Olafson.



There are no cheap places to stay, just less expensive choices.



Stay safe

You should not be outside on the streets after dark unless you are wandering around the busy Champs-de-Mars area. Many travellers and guide books rate Port-au-Prince as the most dangerous major city in the Caribbean in terms of crime and personal safety, even more so than, say, Kingston, Jamaica or Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.



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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.