Safety of Traveling in Haiti now
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 8:17 PM Last Post By: parryander
Jan 9, 2013 5:53 PM
Safety of Traveling in Haiti nowBonjour!
I have reservations to travel in Haiti the end of this month- down to Kanaval in Jacmel. Early January the US State Dept raised its advisory level to something like "try and not go, you may be murdered".
I'd like to hear from fellow travelers, or those in Haiti now- what do you think? Roving bands of thugs or - just be careful. Stay away from crowds (kanaval) vs. Lock up your stuff, travel in pairs etc etc.
thanks in advance!
Jan 9, 2013 9:27 PM
1You don't say if you have ever traveled to Haiti or a similar country before, so I will assume you have not.
Kanaval is a fantastic experience, but very chaotic and a great time to get your things stolen (cameras, money, etc.) It is a serious crowd, and yes, violence can break out. Without experience in Haiti or good language skills (so you can hear and understand what is going on around you), I will recommend that you find a good reliable guide to hang with you at least the first day or so. They can help you navigate the crowds, find other things to do in the area (beaches, waterfalls, arts), help you find good viewing, watch your back, and explain some of the sights you will see. Haitian kanaval - and Jacmel's in particular - is pretty unique and the costumes are very entwined with the history and culture. If you have arranged a hotel room (I hope you have be now) ask them about a guide.
Other than that you should be fine. Haiti is safer than many major US cities, has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the Caribbean. Really. Get your shots, pack very light, bring 2 cameras and have a great time.
Jan 10, 2013 11:48 AM
2Just got back from Haiti. Agree with Parryander. Had a great time. It was insane and a few hairy moments but it was probably more paranoia on our part than true danger.
Jan 20, 2013 10:55 AM
I am also thinking to go to Haiti for Karnaval, but I read that it is in Cap Haiten this year, on February 12. What is the correct information? May be we can hire the guide together?
I am still thinking flying to the USA to Port Au Prince and from there take a bus VERSUS idea of driving via the Domenican Republic border to Cap Haiten directly.
What would be your advice?
Jan 20, 2013 8:17 PM
4The 'national' Kanaval is in Cap Haitian this year - a new trend to move the focus around the country. Last year it was in the south. Most cities still have a celebration.
I will warn you about one small problem with kanaval in Au Kap - very few rooms available to stay in. Cap Haitian has always had few hotels, and by now they arr likely booked. Please check this before going and expecting a place, if you have not reserved a room already.
Other towns - in particular Jacmel always have their own Kanaval, too - and quite a fine one.
Taking a bus either direction is fine and a good cost. You may not have the proper insurance to rent a car and take it across the border.
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