There are quite a few islands and remote areas around Haiti accessible only by ferry. Routes include Port-au-Prince to Jérémie and Côte des Arcadins to Île de la Gonâve. Boats are rarely comfortable and often dangerously overcrowded. In some areas, such as Labidie and Île-à-Vache, small boats operate as water taxis. Fix the price before you board, as the owner may try to charge for the whole boat.
Haiti’s buses are big and seemingly indestructible affairs, and they need to be. They’re cheap too – even the longest 12-hour trip gives change from US$15. There are no timetables; buses leave when filled. A taptap is more likely to be a minibus or pickup truck, used for travel within cities, or hopping between towns. Bus and taptap stations are sprawling conglomerations of vehicles and people and market stalls: Haiti in microcosm.
Driving in Haiti is an adventure sport. Roads can be terrible, traffic signs are rare, and ‘might is right’ is the main rule. If you do drive, you will need an International Driving Permit or a current license from your home country.
There are rental companies in Port-au-Prince, mostly near the airport. Fees are around US$70 per day for a saloon, and US$150 per day for a 4WD, the latter being better able to cope with the road conditions.
Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien have collective taxis called publiques, which run along set routes and charge around HTG25 (US$0.75) per trip. You can spot them by the red ribbon on the mirror – if the driver takes it off he’s treating you as a private commission, and you’ll have to negotiate the fee.
There a motorcycle taxis (moto-taxis) everywhere, with a trip rarely costing more than about HTG20 (US$0.60).
Caribintair (250-2031/2; firstname.lastname@example.org), Tortug Air (2250-2555/6; email@example.com) and Tropical Airways (2256-3626/7) link Port-au-Prince to several departmental capitals, including Cap-Haïtien, Les Cayes, Jacmel and Jérémie. Haiti’s size means that flights are short (just 15 minutes to Jacmel), saving hours on bad roads. The planes are small and demand can be high, so book as far in advance as possible. One-way tickets usually cost around the US$85 mark.