The western half of the island Hispaniola, Haiti welcomes travelers with more than 1,700 kilometers of sandy beaches and sapphire blue waters. Majestic mountains and valleys to experience a real Caribbean adventure. With over a million tourists visiting the sunny shores of Haiti every year, the island welcomes visitors to explore historical sites, beaches, food, and beautiful landscapes. Haiti is one of the most historical islands in the Caribbean cities and is filled with colonial buildings, daring tales of heroism, and authentic local traditions. Whether you plan a trip to the tropical mountains or experience a culinary tour of Haiti’s unique Afro-European blend of cooking styles, Haiti is the place for you. With dozens of hotels and resorts in many cities and along with that never-ending coastline, Haiti has all that you will need to relax and enjoy.
Situated on top of Mountain Bonnet a L’Eveque is the Citadelle Laferrière. One of the largest fortresses ever built in the Americas, the Citadelle was built by Henri Christophe after the successful slave rebellion that won Haiti its independence in 1804. However, the massive structure wasn’t finished until 1820. It served to protect and guard Haiti in the event of a French attack and still stands today as a mark of triumph for the Haitian people.
For those on a history tour, a stop by the Sans-Souci Palace in Nord is a unique experience. This once grand palace, built-in 1813, is now in ruins due to several earthquakes. Also built by Henri Christophe, the first Haitian King, it was one of nine palaces on the island. The palace was also built on the land of a key moment in the Haitian Revolution, the execution of a prominent French-sympathizer.
Because Haiti is such a populated country and the cities don’t always cater to tourists or pleasure, the nightlife is a little bit more difficult to find. However, the nightlife scene is just as lively, vibrant, and joyous as anywhere else you could find in the Caribbean. You’ll have your choice of dance clubs, bars, and cocktail lounges to party until dawn.
In Haiti, futbol (or American soccer) is king. With one national team and, some would say, hundreds of local teams, there is always a game happening. The local villages and urban neighborhoods each have their own team and compete against each other to see who can win various domestic titles. Chances are if you ask someone where the nearest game is, you won’t have to travel far.
With its French and Roman Catholic ties, the nation of Haiti knows how to put on a good fête. With dozens of days of the year earmarked for celebration, there is always a Feast for a Saint, a Revolutionary anniversary, or other events to cheer about. New Year’s is one of the biggest parties of the year because it is also the anniversary of Haitian independence.
If you are choosing to fly into Haiti, you can easily reach the Port-Au-Prince Airport from several major American cities, such as Miami or New York, via several different airlines. There are also several flights operating out of Europe, Central America, and other Caribbean destinations.
Rather than sit on an airplane for hours, you can enjoy the fun and excitement of a cruise to Haiti to explore the country. You can unwind aboard just as easily as you can unwind on the shores of Haiti.
When you find yourself in Haiti, you can get yourself a rental car to explore the beautiful sites and exciting communities of this unique and historic country.
For those who want to go find the hidden gems of Haiti, get yourself on a tour to search out Bassin Bleu. A waterfall feeds this remote natural pool out in the jungle. The bright sapphire waters are mesmerizing and time and time again people say the pictures never do it justice. If you join a tour, a lot of the planning will be handled and you can just enjoy the adventure.
The Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve is home to some of the nation’s last remaining old-growth forests. Located in Kenscoff, about an hour from Port-au-Prince, Wynne Farm welcomes visitors to enjoy the mountain air, stroll around the property, and meet the friendly farm animals. You can even sit down to a fresh farm-to-table meal, proudly grown at Wynne Farm.
Toussaint L’Ouverture: L’Ouverture was one of the leaders of the initial slave rebellion in Haiti. He helped pave the road for the continuation of this rebellion into the Haitian Revolution but unfortunately died while a French prisoner.
Jean Jacques Dessalines: Dessalines took up the reigns of the Haitian Revolution after L’Overture. He went on to lead Haiti and eventually declare its independence from France in 1804.
For those who want to learn more about the glorious Haitian Revolution, you can spend some time at the Musée du Panthéon National Haitian in Port-au-Prince. Here, you will learn about the individual heroes who made independence possible.
Those who are traveling on a cruise ship to the shores of Haiti can enjoy the sights of Labadie. This preserved ecological wonderland has many enjoyments ready for its visitors. You can zipline through the lush greenery, snorkel around the reefs, or soak up the sun on the carefully maintained beaches. The little cove is a great example of the beauty of Haiti’s wilderness.
For those who are not on a cruise who still wish to see some of Haiti’s untamed beauty, you can get a charter boat to Amiga Island. Located on the northern side of the island, this pinprick out in the Caribbean beckons those who wish to experience a simpler life. You’ll feel as though you’re on your own desert island as you enjoy the break from society.
After several natural disasters have taken their toll on Haiti, the people of this great nation need international help as much as ever. Hope for Haiti works to make sure the basic needs of everyone are met during a crisis. During less hectic times, they take their efforts one step further to provide education and ways for economic development within communities.
Food for the Poor works in Haiti to provide emergency relief, sustainable development, and food and supplies for those in need. Haiti has one of the highest poverty rates in the western hemisphere, and so it is imperative that we work to make sure everyone’s basic needs are met so that they can continue to grow and prosper.
National dish: Riz National: Red snapper with red beans, tomatoes, and onions over rice
Motto: “L’Union fait la force” “Unity Makes Strength”
The National Flag:
The top half of the flag is blue and the bottom half of the flag is red. In the center of the flag, there is a white box that has an array of “captured weapons” defending a palm tree, which is meant to represent Haiti’s fight for independence. However, for civilian use, the white box with the coat of arms is omitted, leaving just the blue and red. The blue represents Haiti’s black citizens while the red represents those of mixed race.
Haitian Carnival is a celebration in Port-ou-Prince held over several weeks each year leading up to Mardi Gras and is one of the most anticipated events in the country. Each year, Carnival has a specific theme. The carnival lasts several days and people take to the streets to celebrate. The colorful floats, the costumes, the music and dance, all represent the beauty and richness of Haiti’s culture. (Credit video: AfricaNews)
Fet Gédé is a celebrationtakes over Grand Cimetière de Port-au-Prince but takes over the other cemeteries and temples nationwide. They all honor the Gédé, the Vodou trickster spirits of the dead. Is one of a kind celebration that is deeply rooted in Haitian culture.
The Government of Haiti released a security alert stating that starting with Monday, March 17, Haiti will close its border with the Dominican Republic. Also, restricts will be placed upon all flights to and from Haiti and destinations in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Latin America and Europe. You can read more here.
UPDATE April 16, 2020
Until now, there are 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti. Three deaths have also been reported. To limit the spread of coronavirus, the government has placed a curfew from 8pm-5am. Schools, universities, vocational centers and factories have been shut down until further notice. Gatherings of more than 10 people have been prohibited. Read more here.