Photos: Haiti

Old Oct 14th, 2009, 05:47 AM
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Photos: Haiti

I recently made a brief visit to Haiti, and while I have seen very few posts about that country in this forum, there may be some interest in photos from my trip.

Link to photos


Trip arrangements -- I made arrangements with Jacqui of Voyages Lumiere ([email protected]), who had been recommended to me. Since my trip would be short (arriving on Saturday morning and departing on Monday afternoon), I worked with Jacqui to prepare a busy itinerary that would get me into the countryside so I could see more than Port-au-Prince.

Hotel -- I knew that I wanted to stay at the Hotel Oloffson, the most historic hotel in Haiti, and one of the most historic in the Caribbean. It has hosted the likes of Mick Jagger, Charles Adams (who its claimed based the look of the Adams family home on the hotel) and Graham Greene, who wrote The Comedians while lodged in the hotel (the Hotel Triannon in the book is based on the Oloffson).

Saturday -- I arrived late morning, so we set off immediately to visit Port-au-Prince, including the monuments in the city center, ending at the Marche de Fer (Iron Market) (see photos).

Sunday -- we departed very early for the 2-1/2 hour drive south to Jacmel, a port on Haiti's southern coast, which took us through the mountainous countryside (evidence of deforestation was apparent, but it was more attractive than I had envisioned). Many of Jacmel's 19th-century merchant houses look similar to many of the buildings found in New Orleans' French Quarter, with wrought-iron facades. After visiting Jacmel, we ended with lunch (excellent lobster) on a beachfront hotel a few kms from Jacmel.

Monday -- I was departing at 1:00pm, so Jacqui arranged for a guide to meet me at 6:30am to visit the cemetery (again, very similar to New Orleans' historic cemetaries with above ground tombs).

Safety -- While I spent most of my time accompanied by a guide, I did wander around Port-au-Prince on Sunday morning w/o a guide, and I had no safety concerns. No one (not one person) hassled me, asked for money, made me feel uncomfortable, etc. There are less secure areas outside the city center, like Cite Soleil, which had wanted to visit but was told its too unsafe even for visits by the police or the UN.

Food -- excellent, especially the seafood (e.g., creole conch at the Oloffson and lobsters near Jacmel).

Art -- if I had more time I would have spent more time in the galleries and museums, but since my time was limited I only visited Sainte Trinite Episcopalian Church, the inside of which was covered in murals in 1950 by Haiti's leading artists

thit_cho is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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amazing pictures.

So what made you pick Haiti for a visit?
blamona is offline  
Old Oct 14th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Is there a way to view the pictures without having to join and sign in?
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Old Oct 14th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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Thanks for posting these photos. Looks like you had a good quick trip. Of course, I like the usual market and license plate photos.

Did you sense that the economic and political situation was improving? I ask because I have a friend who lives in Jacmel and I haven't heard from her in awhile. It was particularly interesting to see photos of her area.
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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cw, this was my first visit to Haiti, so I have no reference point for comparison, but, based on a single, short visit, the situation didn't seem as dire as I anticipated. In fact, Jacmel is very pleasant and tranquil (again, based on my few hour visit), with very nice beaches.

I only visited the capital and Jacmel, so I saw very little of the country, and I did not make it to the poorest and less safe areas, like some of the slum areas outside the capital.

Thanks for the compliments on the photos.

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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Hey Michael -

A friend and I are still hoping to get down there before year end when our schedules permit, but we'd talked about taking public transportation to Jacmel - I know you usually go local but didn't have time on this trip - any thoughts though on whether you'd have felt comfortable taking a local bus there?

was the beach in Jacmel clean? Did you hear anything about or meet anyone that had spent time in Port Salut? I know my friend wanted to go there for a few days.

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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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Linda, there are buses that run frequently from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, but they are very crowded, but I was told are safe and reliable, albeit a very tight squeeze. While I generally prefer to take local transport, there are some places in the world (like some countries in West Africa and Haiti) where I was more comfortable in a hired vehicle, especially on my trip to Jacmel where I was lucky and able to split the van with four other travelers, so it was reasonable. The agent I mentioned above is popular with the expatriates and there were three in the van with me, so if you contact her you may be able to join others and drive down the price.

After visiting Jacmel, we had lunch and spent time at Cyvadier Plage hotel (, which had a small beach on a bay. I understand there are much nicer beaches though than the small one at Cyvadier. It was clean, though.

Port Salut is a bit further from P-a-P than Jacmel, so couldn't be visited as day trip. I'm sure you could get info from Jacqui -- she was very well informed and spoke very highly about the beaches throughout Haiti.

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