Visit Haiti

During our first day in Haiti, our guide posed the question, “Why Haiti?”—an ask echoed by the friends and family of several fellow travelers. Yet, my counter is, “Why not Haiti?” Despite its challenges from natural disasters and human actions, my 10-day journey across Haiti—from the northern reaches of Cap-Haitien to the southern charms of Port Salut, the southeastern vibrancy of Jacmel, and the central heart of Port-au-Prince—revealed a nation truly deserving of a visit. The resilience, hard work, and warmth of its people are palpable. One only needs to approach with respect for their beliefs and values. While Haiti has its difficulties, I choose not to focus on these, as the media already casts a sufficient shadow over the country.

For those considering Haiti as a destination, consider these tour operators:

I Tour Haiti for their exceptional service and for taking us beyond the planned itinerary during my stay from July 1 to July 10, 2016.

Here’s a brief overview and a map of the journey we embarked on.

map of trip

Day 1 Port-au-Prince

Today was arrival day, so there were no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.   We stayed at Le Plaza Hotel.  The hotel was nice and I enjoyed the pool

Day 2 Cap-Hatien

Flew to Cap-Haïtien, on the northern coast. Visited the famous Citadelle Laferrière and the sugar cane fields. Learn to make famous Haitian rum with a “guildive”. This traditional rum distillery (utilizing sugar cane juice) comes from an old French word derived from mispronouncing “kill devil”, a welcomed side effect of drinking the rum.

We stayed at the Auberge Du Picolot hotel which is across from the ocean.  Just beautiful and breathtaking.  In the morning, you can watch the Haitian people play futbol (soccer).

Day 3 Cap-Hatien

Explored the city on foot to learn more about the area. With free time in the afternoon, opt to visit the beach on this northern shore.

Day 4 Jacmel/Bassin Bleu

Flew back to Port-au-Prince and continued (a 2-hour drive) to Jacmel. This town is known for its vibrant art scene, carnival celebrations, and sandy beaches. Take a city tour focused on the art community here.  We stayed at the La Colline Enchantee Hotel which is very rustic.

Day 5 Jacmel

Visited the most famous attraction in the area, Bassin-Bleu. This is a series of waterfalls and pools in the hills above Jacmel. The water is turquoise blue due to the minerals in the rocks. After a fun ride and a hike downhill, arrive at the pools and dive in! Jump off the rocks and cool off in the fresh pools.

Day 6 Port-a-Piment/Port-Salut

Visited a local grassroots project, the Art Creation Foundation for Children. The program teaches at-risk children different types of traditional art while providing meals and a “second home”. Enjoy a homemade meal here and learn about the great work this organization is doing. Continue to Port-Salut.

Day 7 Port-Salut

Visited Grotte Marie-Jeanne caves in nearby Port-a-Piment. Explored the cave with a guide and discovered unique underground landscapes and massive caverns. In the afternoon, return to Port-Salut for sunset.  We stayed at the Aub du Rayon Vert Hotel.  This hotel is across from the beach.

Day 8 Port-Salut

Enjoyed a lazy morning in Port-Salut before traveling back to Port-au-Prince.

Day 9 Port-au-Prince

Included a city tour focusing on the history, unique culture, and vibrant local arts scene. See the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake alongside colorful arts, crafts, and traditional goods at the artist community of Atis Rezistans, where, out of the rubble, artists began to create new life, spawning an entire community. Visit the Iron Market (Marché en Fer) for artifacts related to the traditional Vodou (Voodoo) culture in Haiti. Meet a Voodoo priest and find beautiful metal art treasures in the fascinating iron-working community of Noailles at Croix-des-Bouquets. Fill up on delicious Creole cuisine and unique cultural experiences along the way. With time, opt to get a bird’s eye view at the Belvedere on Boutilliers Hills, scanning the Bay of Port-au-Prince and the city below.  Stayed at the Le Plaza Hotel

Day 10 Port-au-Prince

Leisure and Departed in the afternoon.

Ayiti ou pral wè m ‘ankò (Haiti you will be seeing me again)

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