Being neighbours with the surf-rich Dominican Republic ensures there is no doubt that Haiti gets surf and on both coasts of the western extremity of the second largest Caribbean island, Hispaniola. It's probably easier to fly to the Dominican Rep. and connect overland to Haiti's north coast where shallow reefs greet the winter NE swells. It really takes real determination to check Haiti's empty surf since economically, the country has become the poorest nation in the northern hemisphere. Being the first and only successful slave revolt leading to free nationhood, Haiti has a tradition of collectivism, activism and military coups. Recent history has been marked by the repressive dictatorship of Francois Duvalier, 'Papa Doc.', who ruled for 14yrs until his death in 1971, backed by the dreadful 'Tonton Macoutes' paramilitary group. Former liberation theology priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overwhelmingly elected president in 1990, in the first democratic elections in Haitian history. Aristide was quickly overthrown by a coup, but the military junta backed down in the face of imminent U.S. military intervention; some 20,000 U.S. troops landed in September 1994, allowing Aristide's return to power. Since the U.S.-led Multi National Forces withdrew in 1995, there have been 5 UN peacekeeping missions to Haiti and the turmoil mainly affects the capital city, Port-Au-Prince. Security improves in the coastal towns and there is plenty to explore for the curious trailblazers who fancy some empty Caribbean juice.