Caribbean Islands Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Trip Report: Haiti

Jump to last reply

I finally got to go to Haiti a few weeks ago. I’ve loved the country from afar for some time now - long before the earthquake. I’ve read books about the place, studied its history, studied Voodoo (or Voudoun, depending on your spelling preference). I’d actually been to the cruise ship port of Labadee in the north (although I know that doesn’t really count) so, when the chance came to participate in a missionary trip there, I leapt at the chance.

The first thing that may surprise people who have not been there is that I didn’t feel in danger of physical violence while I was there. Yes, the people are poor - really, really poor - but they were very friendly. Having said that, I have to point out that I was part of a large group and I didn’t wander around Port-au-Prince alone at night. Whenever people are that hungry, there will be crime. I am told however, that most of the kidnappings are directed at wealthy Haitians.

If you’ve never been to Haiti before, prepare yourself to see poverty like you’ve probably never encountered before. Port-au-Prince is still a disaster after the earthquake - there is rubble and destroyed buildings everywhere. Many of the people in the group had done missionary work before but none of them had seen a place as devastated as this. We stayed on the Arcadian Coast and the feeling one gets traveling there is that you leave a slum to travel through another slum to travel through another slum.

The Arcadian Coast was lovely. We stayed at the Kaliko Beach Resort. This would be a modest resort on another island but it is extreme luxury on Haiti. The Arcadian Coast is where the other beach resorts are and it is the most tourist-friendly area. I still wouldn’t necessarily recommend Haiti for a purely recreational beach vacation. If you go, you are probably going to lend a hand. You can go there for a vacation, I guess, but it would be best not to go alone or to hire a full-time guide. After all, why go to Haiti if you are not going to experience its culture and just sit on a beach - you can do that anywhere.

The hotels in Port-au-Prince are like fortresses. I stayed at Le Plaza, which was serviceable but anonymous. I was told not to go out after dark but I hired a guide and went for a rum punch at the famous Hotel Oloffson - it is just as beautiful and charming as I imagined. My guide then took me for a ride around Petionville - a vibrant, wealthy city full of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. (We saw the Karibe Hotel there, which looks truly exceptional.)

Haiti has so much to offer. I hope it becomes a place that people feel free to go to in the future.

7 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Writers Needed for Japan
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Mar 26, 15 at 02:38 PM
View all Caribbean Islands activity »
  1. 1 Seek Advice on 9 days in Samana and possibly Cabarete
  2. 2 Bahamas girls trip
  3. 3 Barbados or St. Lucia in late August
  4. 4 We've done it - we've bought our flights to Cuba. Now the planning begins!
  5. 5 Need help deciding which resort/island to vacation at in September
  6. 6 Snorkeling
  7. 7 Trip Report ST Thomas trip report with kids at Frenchman Reef and Morningstar
  8. 8 fish fry on Curacao
  9. 9 mosquito problem in Curacao
  10. 10 Place to stay and dive in Curacao for new divers
  11. 11 Trip Report Sailing in the Abacos, Bahamas
  12. 12 One night in Nassau - hotel help
  13. 13 2 Weeks in Caribbean
  14. 14 10 days in Cuba - HELP
  15. 15 Restaurants in Aruba
  16. 16 Questions about Moving to the Carribean
  17. 17 Young couple planning June/July trip to Caribbean..where should we go!?
  18. 18 St. John vs St Thomas with kids (7 and 9) for New Years week?
  19. 19 Good place to hear music- San Juan
  20. 20 Trip Report Solo backpacking in Cuba
  21. 21 Honeymoon with beaches plus hiking
  22. 22 Trip Report I got robbed in St Maarten - St Martin on the French side
  23. 23 Planning a honeymoon for middle of August
  24. 24 Puerto Rico Information Needed Please
  25. 25 Trip Report USVI St John trip with kids and Westin St John stay
View next 25 » Back to the top