Travel Safety Tips: avoid Crime & Scams in Haiti

Haiti has a reputation for serious crime, but is it deserved? How safe is Haiti now? We share our top tips on staying safe while traveling in Haiti.

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Photo © Getty Images/1001Nights

This has been one of the most controversial articles on the WorldNomads.com site and, as the original author, I have received a lot of criticism (and a fair bit of abuse) for it. I’m not going to talk about “context” or “background” or any of that defensive BS, I’m just going to publish this updated version.

At World Nomads, we listen.

For a bit of fun, and so all the early comments make sense, I’m leaving the old version at the bottom of this article, because I’m not hiding from anything I’ve written before – right, wrong or indifferent.

Here we go.

Haiti's Dark Past

Haiti looks stunningly beautiful, and it is now on my list of places to visit.

Tropical Caribbean beaches, lush mountains, impressive waterfalls, a history that includes being the first nation to throw off slavery and colonization, and a culture – deep, rich, unique and steeped in mystery.

For quite a while it was off my list, off most people’s list; what was, and is, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere was made poorer by a massive earthquake in 2010. The nation almost collapsed under the weight of the tragedy. There was desperation everywhere. For a while, evil was unchecked.

Gangs roamed the broken streets of Port-au-Prince, and the only visitors were relief workers. It’s been suggested that some 10,000 aid organizations were involved in the 2010 recovery process.

But instead of fixing Haiti’s problems, the relief effort made matters worse. The UN is blamed for starting a cholera outbreak, and aid organizations botched the job of stopping it, so 500,000 more Haitians died.

The aid effort is accused of perpetrating its own kind of exploitation (including the Oxfam sex scandal), causing the country to become what this author describes as “The NGO Republic of Haiti”, operating in the interests of donors instead of Haitians.

It’s around this time that I penned the words “beyond horrific” in describing the safety situation for independent travelers who were thinking of visiting Haiti. It wasn’t the right time or place for wealthy (relative to almost everyone in Haiti) inquisitive adventurers to practice their wanderlust.

Haiti is Beautiful

But in the last few years, a few trailblazers have been dipping a toe in the water, and they like what they see, especially when the water is the Bassin Bleu, a natural waterfall and pool close to the city of Jacmel.

This is not a travel guide, it’s a safety guide, so I’ll just leave these images here to speak for themselves.

Bassin Bleu
Port-au-Prince's Iron Market.
The view from the Citadelle
Voodoo is the dominant religious practice.

A Positive Perspective of Haiti

I have not been, so I reached out to people who have to get an accurate picture of Haiti since 2015.

One of those was Stephen Bennet, who, with his brother, manages the Uncommon Caribbean blog and travels to Haiti regularly.

“It is most definitely possible to experience and enjoy all that this marvelous country has to offer,” he told me.

“However, Haiti is not the kind of place where anyone can just rent a car and get around on their own. For the general traveler, one of the local tour operators is a must.”

He recommended two. If you want to know who they are, read Stephen’s blog and drop him a message.

A Negative Perspective of Haiti

Then I got an opinion that was the polar opposite of Stephen’s.

“In short, no, it is not safe,” Burke Files told me emphatically. “I am a private investigator who has traveled to Haiti three times in the last 18 months. I hired a security person to accompany me who spoke the local version of French, and we still had problems.”

Burke wasn’t angry about this, and I enjoyed a long telephone conversation with him about not only Haiti but his intriguing job in general – Hollywood film producers take note.

If you ever find yourself in an episode of Survivor, you want Burke on your team.

He told me he takes precautions and carries very little cash when out and about, but while walking around a crowded Port-au-Prince market was aware that the few dollars he did have had just been pickpocketed.

Seconds later, another man armed with a knife demanded he hand over his money.

Burke told me, “I pointed to the first guy and said sure, if you can get it from that guy, you can have it.”

I guess the nature of his work, and the way he needs to travel, Burke often draws attention. But equally, he’s a savvy and careful traveler with one eye always on his safety.

What Do Others say?

So, who are these trailblazers who are rediscovering Haiti? Can they be trusted, are they experienced, are they like us – Nomads?

Yea, pretty much actually. The legendary Gary Arndt wrote about Haiti as “wanderer in residence” for G Adventures.

“While it is true the earthquake was devastating, Haitians are a proud people who don’t see themselves as objects of pity," he wrote in 2015.

“Visit Haiti for the sake of visiting Haiti, as you would any other country in the region. Haitians are a welcoming people and supporting the tourism sector is one of the best things that can happen to the economy here.”

G Adventures offers small group tours to Haiti, and it's a reputable company that does its due diligence.

Lonely Planet’s Paul Clammer also encourages escorted or guided travel to Haiti and, in August 2017, wrote, “Haiti is far less violent a country than neighboring Dominican Republic or Jamaica, both of which host vibrant tourist industries.

We'd advise keeping away from political demonstrations (as you would in many countries), but instead, heed the number of adventure and package-tour operators now returning to the country. Haiti is a country more than ready to welcome tourists looking for the next travel frontier.”

And the last word from Stephen at Uncommon Caribbean, just so you get the message that “escorted” or “guided” travel is the safest option:

“Haiti still has a lot of problems, as recent events have shown. But, traveling there is not unlike traveling to other poor countries/destinations with established escorted tour programs.”

The Old Version of this Article

According to the World Bank, Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the most poverty-stricken in the developing world. 

The devastating earthquake in 2010 resulted in the deaths of 150,000 people. Life expectancy is low, a quarter of the population has access to safe drinking water, less than half the population is literate and the majority of Haitians live in extreme poverty.

There is a high level of crime in Haiti. Some areas are worse than others, but there is a very real danger of violent crime everywhere in Haiti, and this includes assault, armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, and rape. The exception is Labadee, an area leased by a cruise ship company.

No Police

Do not let the presence of the UN Stabilisation Force MINUSTAH or the Haitian National Police (PNH) lull you into a false sense of security. Both groups tend to be highly visible and heavily armed with assault rifles and pump-action shotguns.

Serious violent crime can and does happen all the time. To make matters even worse, after the earthquake around five thousand prisoners, most of them violent offenders, escaped from prison and remain at large.

If you plan to shop while in Haiti, choose the stores which are frequented by UN police in Port-au-Prince. The presence of these heavily armed patrols tends to deter criminals.

Kidnapping

While it is true that the rate of kidnapping has declined since it reached a peak in 2006, it's still high.

People have been kidnapped while traveling, at work, off the street, and at home. A number of those people had taken security precautions.

The motivation for kidnapping in Haiti tends to be financial, and kidnappers don't discriminate based on age, gender, or nationality, or race and often target children.

Many kidnap victims who are returned, report being beaten, tortured, and sexually abused.

Kidnapping risks in Haiti are not the same as in South America for example, and measures that are adequate elsewhere have been proven inadequate for Haiti.

Crime Gangs

Haitian criminals tend to operate in groups of two to four and more often than not are highly confrontational and violent. it is not uncommon for victims of robberies or home invasions to be seriously injuring or murdered.

Don't think that simply giving a criminal what they want will enable you to escape without harm.

Public Transport Risks

Criminals have been known to watch travelers arriving at the airport, follow them and then attack. Be highly vigilant when withdrawing money; always use an ATM or bank inside a hotel.

Do not use public transport including "tap-taps", where violent crime often occurs. Public transport has been the location of numerous stabbings, robberies and kidnappings.

High Crime Areas

There are some safe hotels and markets in Port-au-Prince and in other locations in Haiti. However, it's best not to walk around Port-au-Prince alone, especially at night. Avoid the high-crime areas of Carrefour, Martissant, Cite Soleil, the Delmas road area, and Petionville.

Certain roads should also be avoided. The urban route Nationale #1, airport road (Boulevard Toussaint L'Ouverture) and the connecting roads to the New ("American") Road via Route Nationale #1 have been the locations of numerous incidents of violent crime including murder, robbery and carjacking.

No Fun Carnival

Crime rates often increase during the holiday season of Christmas and Carnival, when large numbers of people are on the streets and many are drunk, high and carrying weapons.

Random stabbings take place where the motive is to stab, not to steal, with many people injured without being robbed.

The traffic snarls to a stop, large group violence occurs at the drop of a hat and there is little sense to any of it. Street musicians roam around and start-up impromptu gatherings called "Rah-rahs". These often start off as quite a fun experience with people dancing and singing in the street, but they often escalate to an orgy of violence and destruction.

It is very difficult to tell as an outsider whether or not the Rah-rah is affiliated with a political movement or a drug gang. As rival drug gangs and political groups are prone to open shoot-outs on the street, this can be a major problem.

Travelers have been killed when stopping to listen and participate in one of these events.

Political Instability & Chaos

The major cause of the high crime rate is political instability. The cohesive government that once existed was destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake.

As a result of this, chaos reigns and protests and demonstrations occur with some regularity, sometimes turning violent with little to no warning.

If you see a large crowd gathered, remain calm and leave the area quickly, avoiding confrontations along the way. The same rule applies in general if you see large crowds or roadblocks. While you may be tempted to wander over to see what is happening, but the best advice is to leave the area.

Personal Security

Make very sure you have adequate security arrangements while in Haiti. If you're staying in a private residence, make sure there is a trustworthy full-time security guard, do not use public transport, and if possible travel with an armed escort.

Be very careful at all times with your valuables and take the same safety precautions as you would in other places. Don't flash your cash or that shiny new camera. Dress down and leave the bling at home.

Chat with locals about where to go and where not to go.

Get a travel insurance quote for Haiti

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42 Comments

  • globe-trotter said

    With such high crimes in Haiti, those who still choose to go there are it seems, tired of living.<br>There are thousands of safe places in our planet that one can go to so why choose such a lawless country ?

  • Paul Belony said

    Whoever wrote this is a hatemonger, an ennemy of Haiti and a scavenger.<br>You are an ignorant coward hidden behind an ugly mask spittinng amplifying lies <br>on the fate of a country that is still strugling,after a devastating earthquaque.

  • http://www.haiti-security.com said

    Whoever wrote this is spot on. This is the EXACT condition to be found in Haiti. <br><br>There is no negative conclusion to be drawn about the people of Haiti by this article. <br><br>This article simply describes the horrific living conditions and overall state of Haitian society. <br><br>Every word is true, true, true. Haiti is a dangerous place for one and all.

  • Emily said

    This information is not accurate in the slightest. Yes, Haiti is dangerous, but to say something like "Do not use public transportation including ‘tap-taps’, unless you really have a pressing need to find out what being stabbed feels like" is not only a lie but incredibly unprofessional on the part of World Nomads. This article cites zero facts or statistics and is based purely on stereotypes, likely written by someone who has never spent a day in Haiti.

  • safetyhub said

    Emily, there is a great deal of research which goes into these articles, and then a great deal of effort to write them in a particular style. Among the research conducted is a survey of other online forums, of government advisories, NGO information, and of course from travellers. In this case the article was written by someone with a great deal of travel experience in the region. <br>Among the information we survey and collate was this little gem written in April 2011 about a post-quake visit to Haiti in 2010. It is a typical example of the kind of information we found (before you read it can I invite you to submit your own piece on crime in Haiti... we'd incorporate it into an updated safety piece. my email [email protected])) This from LP's Thorn Tree:<br>"There is enough rubble in PaP to fill the Hoover Dam 6 times. That means it can take up to an hour to drive 3 miles. Add to this the fact that there is no electricity in most of the city at night (the big hotels have it and there are some generators) and you have streets that are hard to navigate and a dicey security situation. It is absolutely by no means safe in PaP for a single woman traveling alone. All the UN and NGO people we interviewed have curfews and many travel in caravans through the city. The poverty is crushing and anyone who looks like they have money can be a target. Haitians also don't appreciate white tourists coming there simply to gawk at them--and there are plenty of those. I was shocked (disgusted) to see that "donors" to certain charitable organizations were allowed to walk through the earthquake-victim tents and ICU wards and take photographs of suffering Haitians lying in their beds. Don't expect anything to be cheap--agriculture stopped in the 80s and Haiti imports 70% of its food. But your main expense there is going to be transportation. You will need a fixer who you pay on a day rate to get you around the city and probably do some translating for you. Educated Haitians speak French and maybe some English but most people speak Haitian Creole. Don't get me wrong--Haiti is a fascinating place with a lot of wonderful people. If you go, I'd recommend flying into PaP, if you really want to see "the devastation" and then taking a local flight up to Cap Haitien. There you will find some real Caribbean beauty and the quiet you say you are looking for. Cormier Plage, for example, is a stunning place to stay with great food. In PaP, as another poster said, the Hotel Oloffson is a must-see and the Quartier Latin in Petionville has phenomenal food."<br>

  • Swissmiss said

    Hmm, reading your article makes me wonder where you got your information from. If is is from the same sources as most Media outlets then i understand. Have you ever been to Haiti? Well i have, just last september. I (white european) actually stayed in Deltas, an area that you claim to be a slum and highly dangerous. There are different Parts in Delmas and where i have stayed i felt completely safe!! We even visited My friends
    Family in carrefour. We stayed in petionville as well which for your Information is not a slum but the area where Most of the rich People of Haiti live! It makes me so angry to read all this megativity and prejudices! Haiti as a whole Country is deemed a dangerous Place yet the small village i stayed at in Les Cayes was paradise in earth. People didnt have locked doors. Wouldnt they get some type of protection if it was all that dangerous?? Haiti is a beautiful country with a very rich cultural heritage and just lovely people! Give Haiti a break! And for that matter Time for foreign colonial Powers to leave alone!

  • safetyhub said

    Swissmiss, glad to see you took our number 1 tip for staying safe and got yourself a guide with local knowledge (your friend with family in Haiti). I'd hazard a guess and say that's exactly why you had such a trouble-free trip.
    If there is an international conspiracy of "the media" and "foreign colonial powers" then I'm not on their email list - have never heard from them.

    However, I'd love for you to write a piece for us about how to travel safely in Haiti. Contact me at [email protected] Even if you're not a writer I'd be happy to assist you with the process and we can post your 'blog' here on the Safety Hub.
    cheers

  • susie said

    Yes, Haiti has issues, but where did you get your information from? You didn't even bother to compare it to other islands with high crime rates nor did you post beautiful pictures of Haiti. I'm not going to waste my time to do that for you, because ignorant people like never change their minds. I know a lot of people that visit Haiti year after year and they have great experiences. You make it sound like it’s a nightmare. I doubt you ever been to Haiti, you left out the beautiful culture, the arts, food, beautiful beaches and how tourist is growing. You sound so ignorant and I will never come back on your BLOG! People please do your own research, because this blog is slanted!

  • Chris Whiye said

    I laughed hysterically while reading this. Haiti is one of the safest places I can possibly imagine. This entire article is absolutely ridiculous. "No Police" = Anyone who steals in Haiti will be brutally punished by the local population. They are much better than the police at keeping crime at an absolute minimum. "Kidnappings" = There actually hasn't been a kidnapping in Haiti in many years. For a population of almost ten million, it's statistically much safer than most first-world countries. "Crime Gangs" = The only 'gangs' are drug-smugglers who do everything possible to avoid attention, so they're definitely not going to steal or hurt anyone. "Public Transport Risk" = The 'tap-taps' are only dangerous because of car accidents, which is a risk everywhere in the world. I've never heard of one story of anyone ever being robbed, stabbed, or otherwise having a negative experience on a 'tap-tap' in Haiti except for car accidents. "High Crime Areas" = There really are no 'high-crime' areas in Haiti. The 'infamous' Cite Soleil is much, much less dangerous than any major American city. "No Fun Carnival" = Locals with grudges against each other might get into a fight at a festival. No one else would ever be involved. Such festivals are much, much less dangerous than Saint Patrick's Day in any American city. "Political Stability & Chaos" = The media makes it seem like there is perpetual chaos in Haiti, but if you're actually there, or talk to people who are there, it makes the media seem like a comedy-show. Some teenagers might burn some tires in the street before their parents catch them and spank them, and the media will claim it's large-scale rioting & chaos. "Personal Security" = Haiti is one of the safest countries I can possibly imagine. I can walk alone anywhere knowing that if I trip on a rock and fall, that any Haitian will help me up. I don't believe that the author has ever actually been to Haiti, and I think the other countries in the area have bribed him into scaring away tourists from Haiti. That's fine, because I like my secluded beach paradise away from most tourists. You want to know what 'real' danger is like, then go to the Dominican Republic; you'll probably end up naked in the middle of nowhere, beaten half-to-death, wishing you went to Haiti instead.

  • Melanie Rose said

    I went to Haiti in the past year due to a funeral and I knew that Haiti was a dangerous place, but I didn't fully understand how much danger I was in. When the article explained why not to ride a tap tap, my heart froze because I had been on one during my trip and I feel so blessed that God had protected me. Ever since the devastating earthquake, a beautiful country has turned upside down. It's so sad to know that Haiti has turned into a violent and harmful place. My parents would always explain to me how amazing the country was and how beautiful the scenery was when they were younger. Haiti really does need some prayers because what it has become... is not pretty.

  • Medjine Jean Claude said

    Haiti is a country that has issues like all other countries. This article is racist and the information is wrong. Every country has their own safety problems. I have walked around at 1 am in Haiti without anything going wrong. People need to stop puting Haiti down and trying to make it seem like we are a but of barbaric savages that kill for fun. Respect us please.

  • Jeff V. said

    It's tragi-comic to see all the Haitians here besmirch the author in every way possible to try to deflect from the reality that exists in their country. Traveling to Haiti is taking one's life in his hands. I traveled there with a volunteer organization after the earthquake, and even with a large group we needed significant security measures to insure our safety. There is no conceivable reason to travel to Haiti for pleasure. There are many other islands in the Caribbean that are safer and offer an equivalent (if not much better) experience. If you're white and you must go there, hire security or at minimum a local guide to help you navigate the pitfalls.

  • James said

    There is no racism in this article. Why do people always look for reasons to complain about one thing or another? He never mentioned one single time about violence only coming from black communities. Im sure if this was an island off the coast of NY it would contain all the same words. Everyone experiences things in certain ways. It doesnt mean it needs to match up exactly to your personal experience. Are you to say that whomever describes the horrors of having their child kidnapped is full of s#%t simply because it didnt happen to you? Get a life and stop looking for reasons to complain. Do i dare even write the word "christmas" in front of your eyes, or is that highly offensive for precious eyes to see? Haiti has been great for some and a nightmare for others. Same as Manhattan, Soho, Tokyo or wherever else crime can happen. Bet you wouldnt walk down those streets all by yourself. But im sure you will say you have.

  • Joanna said

    I came back from a week long trip to Haiti (Jacmel and Port au Prince) last Saturday. I am a middle aged white woman, I travelled with a white friend.
    We travelled alone, to see and learn about the country, without a guide or "minder". The hotel in Jacmel had no doors to the bar/restaurant, just arches to the street. Not sure how I'd feel about that in my native Atlanta, but there it felt just fine. At NO TIME, ever, did I feel remotely endangered. We walked back from restaurants at night, greeted people we encountered, and were greeted in return. We had many, many lovely conversations with people who were keen to talk about their country, its problems, its politics and its rich culture and history. It did make a huge difference that I speak French. If we as Americans refuse to learn foreign languages, we really do limit ourselves.
    Yes, Haiti is desperately poor. Yes, Port au Prince is overcrowded and still a mess after the earthquake. Yes, we took the precautions we always take with cell phone, money, camera when we travel. And the traffic really is horrendous. But the crime rate in the DR is double what it is in Haiti, and in Jamaica it's 4 times as high.
    This blog post has NOTHING to do with the country I just visited (and, by the way, it was Carnaval season)

  • Jon said

    Next time you want write something about Haiti I strongly encourage you do a little research on Haiti first. And on behalf of all my Haitian zo-koko-tet-fey-languet manmanw

  • MamaT said

    I've been to Haiti a half dozen times and this article is outrageous. I've flown into PAP and stayed in St Mark and Pierre Payen. I've flown into Cap multiple times. The last trip I even brought my daughter along. I've walked the streets of Cap, Berard and Grand Rivière and shared the gospel with people. I've sat in doorways and engaged in friendly debates. I rode from the airport thru Cap with my duffle bag in a open bed Toyota truck while people walked by and I was stopped in traffic. Not one person even looked like they thought about grabbing my bag. I've visited homes, businesses, schools and hospitals and the Haitian people have been nothing but warm and welcoming. Shame on you for the inaccuracies depicted in this article.

  • Stina Craft said

    This article is ill-informed and extremely closed minded. People that travel the world like myself for both business and pleasure, know that unfortunately most people around the world feel ALL Americans have the "American Exceptionalism"syndrome, i try to work hard to dispel this judgement but this article sums up WHY they think that......
    Shame on you for spreading hate and judgement

  • Jana said

    My mother's best friend went back home to Haiti to attend her mother's funeral a few years ago. She came back to America in a body bag. Once She landed in Haiti got a cab. Moments later she was robbed and killed. The saddest thing ever.

  • Eudi said

    OMG! Where you stay to write this article? There are no "safe" areas (with the exception of Labadee an area leased by a cruise ship company - see our Is Labadee Safe? article). Some areas are worse than others, but there is a very real danger of violent crime everywhere in Haiti...
    Can you tell me why you write this article? That depends on how you define crime, poverty and violence. We’re raised in compounds with common courtyards and we know that what you have, you have to share with your neighbors. You stand in front of your neighbor’s house and you ask, “Did you drink coffee already today?” You know that your success and your family’s success depend on the community’s well-being. That’s the model we have.
    But it’s hard for a little country to rise up, especially in our case. We’re still paying a toll because of the independence we got [from France in 1804] in one of the best revolutions the world’s had. The war against us never ended when we got our independence.
    There are no "safe" areas in Haiti please don’t do this you know is not true because if is true it will be better to say "Haiti is the most dangerous country on earth". May God bless you!

  • Eudi said

    When I finish to read this article and I want to contact them directly I go to the country of residence to choose my country you know what Haiti is not in the list. I can't understand this, you write an article about a country and you don't put it in your list. Why??????? Maybe Haiti is too dangerous you don't put it in your list just to make sure HAITI don't infect the others safe country in your beauty list. I'm strongly agree.

    One day everyone will know and will see the truth about Haiti. Where you are I encourage you to come in Haiti and see the difference between this fucking article and the reality this beautiful island.

  • John said

    I have spent the last 10 years making trips to Haiti including taking groups there for the last several years. This article is complete crap and seems to be based on language from State Department travel warnings, though even those warnings, which are often over-hyped, admit that crime is far less frequent outside of Port au Prince. I have not experienced a single problem in all my years of travelling there. For those interested in touring Haiti, Jacmel and the Cap Haitien area are great destinations.

  • Jameel said

    I am an Afrodescendant in the USA. The alleged life for Haitian citizens sounds like what everyday life is like for me and my people here in the United States of America

  • Laurene Chatelain said

    This is bullshit What do you based your comments on ?! I’ve been living in Haiti all my life, the way you’re taking about my country is like if I go out I’ll get kidnapped. Yes there are some dangerous areas just like ANY countries. And for your information there hasn’t been any terrorist attacks like in the US where people decide to explode bombs anywhere So please shut up and make your research next time you’d like to write about a country!

  • Rebecca said

    You should be ashamed of yourself for writing this article. Your absolutist language is inaccurate almost across the board and at times just flat-out lies. Do not go to Petionville? Petionville is a diverse, vibrant suburb that is home to many affluent Haitians. As a white European or American traveler, you will definitely be in the minority. You may have troubles communicating if you don't know any French or Creole (like most Americans who are shamefully unilingual). You should be careful traveling alone at night, though statistically the problems that are likely to arise are less about violent person-on-person crime and more about lack of adequate infrastructure (not enough street lights, sewer grates, etc., including in many neighborhoods of Port au Prince). And yes, you will have poor Haitians asking you for money, as you would in many poverty-ridden countries around the globe. Haiti has been victimized enough; it doesn't need uninformed "travel writers" like you spouting careless, fear-mongering exaggerations. I have been many times and will return again; it's a shame that Haiti's tourism industry has been decimated, as more foreign travelers would help the Haitian economy in a way that empowers Haitians themselves.

  • Shelly said

    Being somewhat conflicted to comment on this website after reading how great Haiti is and 'safe' it is to travel to. My story unfortunately follows what the US travel warnings describes. I traveled with a mission group of 14 (adults and teens) to Haiti (Port Au Prince) on Dec 17 to do a week of mission work in an orphanage. This has been a regular trip taken by a couple of my friends/teens who have loved the people of Haiti and work they accomplished while there. We were picked up from the airport by two Haitian locals (one of which was the owner of the guesthouse where we were to stay) in two vehicles, some adults with teens in one van/ three of us women, priest and local driver in the other truck. Within 10 minutes of our trek to the guesthouse, our truck was stopped by three Haitian men on motor cycles and robbed at gunpoint. We were accosted, pulled out of the vehicle and searched/groped by men screaming to "give us money", all while pointing their guns at our heads and chests. Obviously this terrifying experience is one I look forward to forgetting. We ended up sending the adults and teens back home that very day with the rest of us needing to stay to get temporary passports the next day from the US Embassy. While at the embassy, we were told that since the UN has pulled out of Haiti, the country has had an increase in violence & crime which has been unsuccessfully controlled. In the couple days we were there, we did meet wonderful Haitian people, and my heart goes out to all those in Haiti, even the desperate, violent men we encountered. Think twice about traveling now, and if so travel with the utmost caution with some sort of emergency backup plan! We lost our passports, phones, prescriptions, id travel credit card, little cash, food etc. We thought we were seasoned on how to travel to Haiti, invinsible of any of these crimes, but clearly and sadly we were not.

  • Cassandra said

    Wow. What a racist & extremely prejudiced blog on Haiti.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for even putting this up. Beyond disgusting AND SO INCREDIBLY UNTRUE!

    I hope people take the time to scroll down & read these comments. The country is not as dangerous as people/media would like you to believe. I don't believe it's even in the top 10 in the Caribbean! And certainly not in the top 5.

    I hope you can re-write this blog and the other articles/blogs you may have regarding Haiti. You're further reinforcing stereotypes about a country who's beautiful & friendly people do not deserve this.

  • Cassandra said

    Wow. What a racist & extremely prejudiced blog on Haiti.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for even putting this up. Beyond disgusting AND SO INCREDIBLY UNTRUE!

    I hope people take the time to scroll down & read these comments. The country is not as dangerous as people/media would like you to believe. I don't believe it's even in the top 10 in the Caribbean! And certainly not in the top 5.

    I hope you can re-write this blog and the other articles/blogs you may have regarding Haiti. You're further reinforcing stereotypes about a country who's beautiful & friendly people do not deserve this.

  • Phil Sylvester said

    Cassandra, which part in particular is racist, what are the words that are racist? In what way does anything written say that one race is superior in some way to another race? Without a doubt Haiti finds itself in a position of great poverty brought about, chiefly, by colonialism, slavery, corruption, geography and meteorology. None of this is the fault of anyone living there, and there is no suggestion their 'race' has anything to do with the terribly unfortunate circumstances, and as you say the people of Haiti don't deserve it. But that doesn't change the reality of the current situation.

    Sadly it IS as bad as "the media" say, and this statement by the Overseas Security Advice Council of the US State Department - based on its own research - is critical of statements that paint an inaccurate picture. OSAC says: "Crime statistics are woefully underreported by the Haitian National Police (HNP), and reports indicating that Haiti is statistically safer than other countries in the Caribbean are inaccurate."
    I urge you to read the travel warnings of 4 seperate foreign governments, none of which contradicts anything said in this article.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/haiti-travel-advisory.html
    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/haiti
    https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/haiti
    https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/haiti

    There may well be other Caribbean places far worse than Haiti - and I promise you we do so say so - but "there are other places that are worse" is no argument for not issuing warnings about threats to travelers.

    As I have stated previously in this thread, I am very happy to accept your article on the situation on Haiti and we will publish it alongside this article. Any submission must not be here-say and must be backed up by verifiable credible sources (as this one is - see the 4 government advisories for a start). It doesn't matter if you don't consider yourself a "writer", send us what you have and we will commission an independent writer to polish it and turn it into a publishable piece.
    Submit it to [email protected]

  • Christiana Smith said

    I was in Haiti in March for two weeks. Several days into the trip, while us 7 white Americans and two Haitians were traveling at night back to PaP, from way up North, we were shot at, the passenger's window was bashed open, and 3-4 men were yelling, slapping a few of us in the face, being crude, and grabbing for anything they thought valuable. They pulled the driver out, and bashed one white over the head with the revolver, and were making motions like they were going to kidnap or rape one or more of the women. It was absolutely terrifying and we were almost sure someone would lose their life.

    We were praying throughout it, and I started saying, "Jesus! Jesus!" To the man who was nearest me. He got ansy, and soon was running away with the others, as we told him, "Thank you".

    A man pulled up in a big van, and asked if we knew we had an injured man. He followed us to the police station, where they again robbed us, charging way over the correct amount for a police report!!! Then they lied on our report, saying our passports were lost!!!!

    Yes, crime is very high, even among so-called "police".

  • Becca said

    I totally disagree with this article. As a US citizen, I have traveled to Haiti and have found that it is not as dangerous as most people in the US and other countries suggest. I had lots of fears when I traveled there for the first time in 2016, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how docile most areas were. I believe these reports are to further stifle the country's progress because tourism is the main source of economic stability for most island countries. This is an ongoing agenda of some to prevent tourism to Haiti. With such articles and reports from civilians and government agencies Haiti continues to get s---tted on. By the way, research TSA and airlines such as Air France, Spirit, American Airlines etc. also as they are earning billions of dollars per year from travel to Haiti alone! Yes thousand of people fly to and from Haiti per day and they are still alive and well and they continue to travel there frequently. I work at the airport!

  • Dan said

    This is an awful article. I'm an affiliate for World Nomads, and reading this fear-based kind of writing has lead me to decide to delete my account and no longer promote your company. This is pure garbage.

  • AmeliaMcGrath said

    Hey Dan,
    We're currently going through many of our old articles auditing existing content, and this one is at the top of the list.
    Have you been to Haiti recently, by any chance? If so, we'd love to hear from you about your personal experiences.
    Regards,
    [email protected]

  • Phil said

    Hi Dan,
    I'm sure you've read my previous response above, but in case not:
    I urge you to read the travel warnings of 4 separate foreign governments, none of which contradicts anything said in this article.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/haiti-travel-advisory.html
    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/haiti
    https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/haiti
    https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/haiti

    And I also extend an invitation to you to write a fact-based commentary of your own. No matter if you don't consider yourself a "writer" we can craft it into an article for you.
    As Amelia has said, we are reviewing all our safety content at the moment and would appreciate a wide variety of submissions which we can review and incorporate.
    You can email me at [email protected] and we can discuss any potential submission.

  • Al said

    This article is exactly what I would expect from someone selling travel insurance.

  • Jennifer said

    I went to Haiti two years ago and felt completely safe. I'm blonde and stick out like a tourist everywhere I travel, and no one ever bothered me. I speak French and loved learning Haitian Creole! The people were so friendly. Whoever wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves! Poor does not equal violent. Yes Haiti is a very poor country but I walked alone all the time, all over the country and always felt safe. Please delete this awful article!

  • Jennifer said

    Wanted to also say that I'm planning to travel for 18 months and was actually planning to use world nomads as my insurance, but now thanks to this article and your closed minded views I will be happy to spend my money with another company. This article is disgraceful!

  • Lev said

    Reading your article and looking at the picture you posted lead to think that you must have written it right after the 2010 earthquake, the most devastating natural disaster in haiti's history. Of course haiti was in a desperate situation. Haiti today is one of the safest countries in the Caribbean, but old articles such as yours help to keep people away from the Americas first free country, the first to abolish slavery. Haiti is rebuilding and haiti will survive despite detractors like yourself. People like you help to keep haiti in poverty.

  • Ervens said

    Shame on whoever wrote this article. Haiti is one of the safest country in the Caribbean. The inaccuracy in this article is repugnant. Visit Haiti! It is a beautiful and safe place to be. You will enjoy it.

  • Fernando said

    Haiti is a cursed land...it is a land where racism is prevalent everyday, & not by whites...but by the have and have nots...The whiter shade of your skin, which is the exclusive stamp of the rich & educated...which determines your fate in Haiti....less than half of the population literate and thus, remaining oppressed by their own people...their ruling elite..it is a land that was once a paradise on earth to its native TAINO race, but cursed with their blood in it’s soil...due to the genocide caused by the Spanish,....cursed with the spilled blood of innocent blacks, brutalized by the French elite....the blood and the screams of Vincent Ogé...publicly having his bones broken on the rack..while still alive, on a public square... a land cursed with the blood of about 3,000 to 5,000 innocent whites...men, women & children..massacred in cold blood...pregnant women having their bellies sliced open alive, with machetes...their fetuses ripped from their bodies and thrown to the hogs....in 1804....by order of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a devil in human form, who once walked on the face of this earth. And this once beautiful land continues, sadly, to be a place of hopelessness & despair.

  • Karen said

    Fernando, your entire paragraph PERFECTLY describes YOU and your entire ancestor. You are the worst of humanities and savages to the core. You are the devil incarnate and the world would be a better place without you in it. Oxygen is being wasted on you because you are such a worthless scum.

  • Roudy said

    Haïti Is The Best Safe Country Too Be I Love That About Those People Overther They Very Helpfull They Enjoy To Helped You. Haïti Is Fitting I Know American People Live In That Caribbean Over 40 Year One Love Welcome To Haïti

  • Karen said

    Not to be confused with the previous Karen, I love Haiti so much I’ve opened a company to help create jobs through tourism. Your updated article is better. Situations in every country change, sometimes by the hour. It’s always wise to be vigilant no matter where you travel. Basic advice like not carrying expensive items, jewelry, staying away from atm’s are true as in many countries.

    With a good Kreyole speaking guide who has good reviews on FB, you can have a wonderful time. If you speak French you can travel independently. Ask locals about walking alone or at night. The Brandt guidebook has excellent advice on most areas in Haiti.

    Or contact me! I’d love to share Haiti with you :) it’s a beautiful place with wonderful people. An unforgettable adventure.

    Www.HaitianVacation.com


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