Skip to content

Haiti, Once in a Lifetime Experience

February 20, 2015

haiti

The first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about Haiti may very well be that awful earthquake that shook the island back in 2010. You may say, well, that’s not my number one choice when it comes to travel destinations, no sir! I don’t need to risk life and limb just to travel to exotic destinations in third world countries.

Well, I must admit that Haiti can be regarded as a relatively dubious place as a travel destination, at least at first sight. But don’t let the appearances to make your prejudiced against the country. Because Haiti is actually an incredibly beautiful place to be in, a true “shock and awe” travel destination if you’re that kind of a person that doesn’t play by the “majority rules”. I mean, a journey to Haiti may change your views about life and the universe, it may make you appreciate your own life more, I am being philosophical and that’s not the point of the article.

Starting with the basics, Haiti is a Caribbean country occupying a third of Hispaniola Island. With a population of approximately 10 million people and a land surface of 27,750 square kilometers, this relatively small insular country has a troubled past and an uncertain future.

But I can guarantee you the “shock and awe” part when it comes to travelling here. First, the nature was generous to this former French colony. The island has it all : bragging with its verdant mountains and beautiful white sandy beaches,  Haiti’s natural beauties are a once in a lifetime experience.

With lots of luxurious hotels opening up everywhere in the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, it seems like the tide is turning at last for Haitian people.

Port_au_prince-haiti

What to do, what to see in Haiti

As a former French colony, Haiti prides with its old school colonial charm and you can admire the Haitian creativity while visiting the town of Jacmel, especially when exploring the Boulevard du Bord du Mer. Spreading on the ocean front, this boulevard is filled with beautifully colored murals and mosaics. After admiring this beauty you can have dinner and take a swim in the Caribbean sea.

Haiti’s architecture is heavily influenced by Voodoo patterns and features nicely decorated wooden shutters, the houses look like they’re made of gingerbread or something.

jacmel

The untouched waters of Haiti, its virgin reefs and  the almost total lack of tourists make for the perfect place to visit if you’re into nautical sports, like snorkeling or scuba diving; but only if you’re the adventurous type. There are also almost no scuba diving companies operating in Haiti, so you’re basically on your own, but the experience is magnificent. It’s just you and the unspoiled nature, and that’s something rare nowadays when every cool place on Earth is “infested” with tourists. If you’re the lone wolf type, Haiti is waiting for you.

Citadelle Laferriere is a beautiful fortress built by Henri Christophe on the top of a mountain and it’s in the UNESCO patrimony, the biggest structure of this kind in Americas.

citadelle_laferriere_haiti

You can visit art galleries and have dinner in Petionville, a suburb of the Port-au-Prince. Here’s the ground zero of Haiti’s nightlife, but it’s a bit dangerous so you must pay attention .

Haitian art has heavy African and European influences and if you’re an art buff you can always take a peek visiting the Museum of Haitian Arts that harbors the many talents of indigenous artists : crafts and paintings  imbibed in Haitian spirit.

La Visite and Parc Macaya are Haiti’s national parks offering awesome opportunities for tourists fond of hiking .

Cap Haitien is the place where it is said that the wreck of Christopher Columbus flagship Santa Maria lies underneath the ocean.

The Iron Market in Port au Prince is another tourist attraction, as it was build back in 1891 in France and now it’s home for over 900 traders who use as a flea market, selling anything, from souvenirs to fruit and what not.

Port-au-Prince-Iron-Market

Food and drink

Haitian cuisine is a melting pot of French, African and Caribbean skills and recipes. Specialties include fried pork, coleslaw, plantain( fried), grilled goat/beef/turkey, conch in creole sauce, conch fritters, rice and mushrooms(black ones), rice and beans, various pastries. Regional drinks include Barbancourt rum and a local beer, namely Prestige.

Visa Requirements

A passport is required for visiting Haiti but fortunately no Visa, if you’re an US/EU/British/Canadian citizen.

cuisine

Advertisements

From → Travel

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: