What Are the Physical Features of Haiti?

Haiti is a mountainous, tropical island with long coastlines and very rugged terrain. Haiti encompasses the western third of Hispaniola Island in the Caribbean Sea and is primarily made up of two peninsulas separated by the Gulf of Gonave.

There are three main mountain ranges in Haiti: Massif Du Nord, Massif De La Hotte and Massif De La Selle. Massif De La Selle is the largest of the three mountain ranges and is home to the highest peak in Haiti, Pic La Stelle, which stands more than 8,700 feet above sea level.

In addition to the main island, Haiti also contains numerous smaller islands. The two largest and most important of these are La Tortue and La Gonave. The latter is located in the middle of the Gulf of Gonave and is separated from the main island by two channels, the Canal de Sud and Canal de Saint-Marc.

Although Haiti mostly has a moist, tropical climate, there are only a few major bodies of freshwater in the country. The only major river in Haiti is the Arbonite River, which flows into the Dominican Republic. Parts of Haiti have a very dry, arid climate, as the mountain ranges block moisture from reaching some of the eastern regions of the country.