Haiti - General Information
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Haiti | General Information

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

BankCards acceptedNetworkCurrencyATM locations
Société Générale Haitienne de Banque S.A. (Sogebank)Visa and MasterCardElectron, PlusGourdesCap-Haïtien: Sogebank branch at 10 A Cap-Haïtien St

Delmas and Airport (Aéroport) Rd: at the Sogebank headoffice; Eagle Market on the corner of Delmas Rd andDelmas 83; Esso on Delmas 34; and the Texaco Stationon Airport Rd

Pétion-Ville: Sogebank branches on Darguin St and LouvertureSt; Texaco Station on Rte du Juvenat

Turgeau: Sogebank branch on Jean Paul II Ave; TexacoStation on Alix Roy St (facing the Saint Louis Roi deFrance church)
Scotiabank Visa and MasterCardCirrus/
Maestro, Electron/
GourdesAt it's three branches

Banking and business hours
Mon to Fri 8am-1pm (some branches are open until 4pm or6pm after closing for a lunch break)

Post Office
Mon to Fri 8am-8pm
Sat 8:30am-12 noon

Mostly Roman Catholic. Protestant, including Adventist, Baptist, and Pentecostal,as well as Voodoo also represented.

Currency and credit cards
The official local currency is the gourde (HTG, HG, or gde/gdes), which isdivided into 100 centimes. Notes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25,50, 100, 250, and 500 gourdes, and coins in 5, 10, 20, and 50 centimes, aswell as 1 and 5 gourdes. US dollars are widely accepted. As prices may be quotedin gourdes, US dollars, or unofficial Haitian dollars (one Haitian dollar =HTG5), you should confirm the currency before paying for something. Most majorhotels, car rental agencies, and upper-scale restaurants accept American Express,MasterCard and Visa (some accept Diners Club) and US dollar traveler's cheques.Ensure you have gourdes or US dollars upon arrival, as there are no currencyexchange facilities at the airport.

Departure tax
The departure tax requirements change without notice. Keepsome extra US and local currency on hand but expect topay about US$35 plus a security charge of HTG10 per person.Children under two years are exempt.

Entry requirements
A valid passport with at least six months remaining validityis required for American, British, and Canadian citizens.Visas are not currently required by citizens of these countriesbut it is wise to check with your nearest Haitian embassyprior to departure to ensure requirements have not changed.Nationals of other countries may require visas. Consult yournearest Haitian consulate or embassy.

Upon arrival you will be given a card, which you must keepand surrender to Immigration on departure.

Visitors entering via a land border crossing must pay a US$20entry fee in cash.

As of January 8, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.

Exchange rates
As of March 16, 2005US$HTG
British pound sterling1.9123072.12048
Canadian dollar0.8287831.25642
European Union euro1.3314050.21242
Japenese yen0.0095710.36097
Swiss franc0.8588132.38921
US dollar--37.71400

Health standards
Medical facilities and services are scarce and generally below Western standards.The situation is worse outside of main centres, where basic emergency servicesmay also be very slow. Serious cases require air evacuation at the patient'sexpense and medical facilities and caregivers often expect immediate cash payment.It is advisable to obtain adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulancecoverage.

Ensure you bring an adequate supply of essential medicines for the duration ofyour stay. Medications available in pharmacies may be past their expiration date.

Dengue fever, hepatitis A, malaria, seasonal meningococcal meningitis, and typhoidfever can occur in Haiti. Sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, syphilis,and HIV, are prevalent. Consulting a physician or travel medicine specialistto determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is advisable.

The level of community sanitation is extremely low. Only eat washed and peeledfruit, cooked vegetables, and well-cooked meat and fish that are preferably stillhot. Avoid the ackee fruit unless you are certain it is ripe, as it has beenattributed to a number of deaths. Only use boiled water or preferably bottledwater for drinking, brushing your teeth and making ice. It's also best to stickwith long-life UHT milk.

Illegal items
There are harsh penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugsand strict regulations for temporarily importing firearms. Prohibited items includecoffee, matches, methylated spirits, pork, and all meat products from Braziland the Dominican Republic.

The official languages are French and Creole. Some English is spoken in touristareas.

The main post office in Port-au-Prince is located in place d'Italie in Cité del'Exposition. It is open Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8:30amto 12 noon. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK,two to three weeks.

Public holidays 2005
January 1 Independence Day
January 2 Ancestors' Day
February 7, 8, 9 Carnival
March 25 Good Friday
April 14 Pan-American Day
May 1 Agriculture and Labor Day
May 5 Ascension Thursday
May 18 Flag and University Day
May 26 Corpus Christi
August 15 Feast of the Assumption
October 17 Anniversary of the Death of Jean-Jacques Dessalines
October 24 United Nations Day
November 1 All Saints Day
November 2 All Souls Day
November 18 Battle of Vertières Day
December 25 Christmas Day

Shopping hours
Shops are generally open Monday through Friday 8am to 12 noonand 1pm to 4pm, and Saturday 8am to 12 noon.

Hotels add a 10 per cent room tax to bills.

Taxi rates
There are no taxi meters. Rates are fixed by route or by an amount agreed uponin advance. From the airport to downtown the fare is about US$20; to Pétion-Villeabout US$30. Hourly or daily rates can be negotiated for tours.

The phone system in Haiti is poor. Cellular and Internet services are available.

The country code is 509. Local phone numbers have seven digits.

The main telecommunications companies are Teleco (Telecommunications d'Haïti,which is state-owned), HaiTel (Haiti Telecommunications International, part ownedby US-based MCI WorldCom) and ComCel (Communication Cellulaire d'Haïti, ownedby US-based Western Wireless).

HaiTel phone booths are located throughout the capital and in some towns. Touse them you must buy a prepaid phone card, available at HaiTel sales centresand authorized distributors. Dial 123 to make collect calls to Canada and theUS.

Digicel offers cellular and roaming service on the 900 MHz GSM network. HaiTel,ComCel, and Ti-Teleco also provide cellular service and rent handsets. HaiTeloffers roaming service for the following makes and models of handsets:

AudioVox: Pcx-1000xl, Pcx-1000xle, Pcx-1000xlp, Pcx-1000xlgte, Pcx-1000xlusu,Pcx-1100xl, Pcx-11100xl, Pcx-3500xl, Pcx-3600xl, CDM 5000XL, CDM 8000XL, CDM8100, CDM 8100, CDM 8100PP, CDM 8150XL, CDM 9000, CDM 9100, Sch-1050, Sch-1500,Sch-1520, Sch-1510, Sch-1530, Sch-1550, Sch-1900, Sch-1910, Sch-2000, Sch-1000,Sch-1011, Sch-2050, Sch-2500, Sch-1950, Sch-2010, Sch-1000

Kyocera: Qcp-1135, Qcp-2027, Qcp-2035, QCP-203ä, Qcp-2008, Qcp-2119, Qcp-2135,Qcp-2235, Qcp-2255, Qcp-3035, Qcp-6035

LG & Touch Not: Lsp-2200, LG 1010, DB-525, Data base-520, DB-210, 4NEI, Tm-910, Tp-1100,Tp-3000, Tp-5200, Tp-5250, Lx-5350, Sp-110, Sp-510, Tm-210, Tm-510, V-111, Grooved-2300w,LGI 3000W, Lgp-2000W, Lgp-2200W, Lgp-5000w, LSP1100

Motorola: StartTAC st7867w, StartTAC st7868w, TalkAbout T2267, TalkAbout T8167,TalkAbout T8367, TimePort 270c, TimePort P8167, TimePort P8367, TimePort P8767,V60c/V2267, V120c, V200/V8162

Nokia: 2170, 3285, 3585, 5170, 5170i, 5185, 518ï, 6185, 618ï, 6188, 8270

Qualcomm: Qcp-1900, QPHONE 1900, Qcp-2700, Qcp-2760, Qct-1200, Qcp-1920, Qcp-1960,Pdq-1900

SamSung: Sch-n100, Sch-a310, Sch-8500, Sch-6100, Sch-6000, Sch-3500, Sch-n150,Sch-n160, Sch-n200, Sch-n370, Sch-t300, Sch-1300, Sph-a400, Sph-a460, Sph-a500,Sph-n100, Sph-n105, Sph-n170, Sph-1300, Sph-t100, Sph-n240, Sph-n400, Sph-n300,Sph-n20

Temperatures vary from 50°F-75°F in mountainous areas to 70°F-93°F in coastal regions.Summer highs average about 95°F and in winter 85°F. There are two rainy seasons:April to May and August to October.

Time zone
Haiti is on Eastern Standard Time year round, which is five hours behind GreenwichMean Time (GMT).

Traffic rules
Driving is on the right, however, there are few lane indicators and many peopledrive wherever they can fit in, even if it's on the wrong side. Drinking anddriving is illegal.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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