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Haiti – The Alternative Caribbean
Haiti has a powerful history. The country was the first independent black republic and despite the negative publicity it has received, it’s a distinct and beautiful place. Haiti’s legacy of music, art, and voodoo has a sharp and thrilling flavour. When you add in the largely undeveloped Caribbean coastline, picturesque waterfalls, gorgeous mountains you’ve got an adventure primed to defy expectations.
You’ll begin in PortauPrince, Haiti’s frenzied capital. You’ll visit the atmospheric Oloffson Hotel to see a concert given by a voodoo priest, have a chance to see street artists and metalworkers, and stop by the Boutilliers Observatory to take in the panoramic view. From there you’ll take a 4WD,locally known as a ‘rhino,’ into the wild heart of La Visite National Park. Explore this national treasure on foot for a while before heading to Jacmel, famous for architecture, art and the nearby waterfall of Bassin Bleu.
Up next you’ll board a privately chartered boat to look for dolphins and sperm whales and in in Moulin sur Mer have the chance to swim and snorkel in Caribbean waters. You move on to spend some time exploring the countries central plateau on foot. This rarely visited and unexplored area impresses with its scenery, waterfalls, and welcoming local people. The end of the tour also brings two major highlights: Sans Souci Palace and Citadelle la Ferriere. With 40m walls, La Citadelle is the largest fort in the Caribbean.
- See the famous gingerbread houses of PortauPrince
- Feast on delicious Caribbean cuisine
- Hike from Cote des Arcadins to the lovely village of Kay Piat
- Spend two nights staying with local host families
- Discover the historical ‘second’ city of Cap Haitien
- Experience La Citadelle – the largest fort in the Caribbean
Haitians are a warm and welcoming people and you will feel embraced by them and the unique cultural heritage found here. These 11 days in Haiti will have you talking and reminiscing for years to come. Enquire today.
Day 1: Tour starts in Port au Prince
The tour starts at lunchtime today in Haiti’s frenetic capital, Port-au-Prince. We’ll take an orientation tour around the city to see some of Haiti’s famous “gingerbread houses”.
Day 2: In Port au Prince
A full day including the Boutilliers Observatory with its panoramic view, various street and metalwork artists, and a visit to the atmospheric Oloffson Hotel for a concert headed by a vodou priest!
Day 3: Port au Prince – La Visite NP – Jacmel
In local style 4WDs known as “rhinos” we head up into the wilds of La Visite National Park. We’ll walk for a couple of hours and then head down to Jacmel.
Day 4: In & around Jacmel
Jacmel is famed for its art and architecture which we will admire before heading out to the nearby picturesque waterfall known as Bassin Bleu.
Day 5: Jacmel – Petit Goave – Cote des Arcadins
After boarding a boat to look for sperm whales and dolphins we’ll drive north to the Côte des Arcadins.
Day 6: In & around Cote des Arcadins
This morning we’ll hike up to the small village of Kay Piat and later we’ll head for Moulin sur Mer where there’ll be chances for swimming and snorkelling.
Day 7: Cote des Arcadins – The Central Plateau
We drive through the Artibonite valley the Bassin Zim waterfall before heading up into the Central Plateau for a chance to take to our feet and walk through the impressive scenery in this relatively unvisited part of the country.
Day 8: Walking In The Central Plateau
We have a full day today to explore more of the region on foot. Expect 4-5 hours of moderate walking and lots of encounters with the locals.
Day 9: Central Plateau – Cap Haitien
This morning we’ll have some final time with our hosts before heading north to Cap Haitien, where we’ll check into our hotel and have the rest of the day to explore this compact and historical “second” city.
Day 10: In & around Cap Haitien
Today will surely be a tour highlight as we head to Citadelle la Ferriere and Sans Souci Palace. La Citadelle is the largest in the entire Caribbean and has 40m high walls.
Day 11: Tour ends Cap Haitien
The tour ends with breakfast at the hotel.
As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. On this tour we will use minibuses, local style 4WDs known as “rhinos”, boats and feet! Haiti has a tropical climate and daytime temperatures on the coast typically range from mid-20’s to early 30’s. The rainy season is from April to November and the hurricane season from August to November; naturally our tours are designed to avoid this period. Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, however all participants should enjoy walking if wanting to get the most out of the trip. Please note also that infrastructure in Haiti is still in its infancy in some areas and as such you should be prepared for some bumpy roads and a general sense of unpredictability.
This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in a combination of city hotels, beach resorts and basic homestays.
Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.
Up in the mountains, temperatures can drop quite dramatically but this is still the Caribbean so it’s all relative and an extra layer or two is usually sufficient to combat the cooler temperatures.
As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night.
On this tour we will use minibuses, local style 4WDs known as “rhinos”, boats and feet!
Haiti has a tropical climate and daytime temperatures on the coast typically range from mid-20’s to early 30’s. The rainy season is from April to November and the hurricane season from August to November; naturally our tours are designed to avoid this period.
Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, however all participants should enjoy walking if wanting to get the most out of the trip. Please note also that infrastructure in Haiti is still in its infancy in some areas and as such you should be prepared for some bumpy roads and a general sense of unpredictability.
- 16th – 26th March 2016
- 28th December 2016 – 7th January 2017
Price from: 2,750 GBP per person
This operator is a multi-award winning adventure travel company specialising in small group tours and tailor made holidays to some of the most extraordinary destinations across the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Europe.
We love their unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for tailor made clients – allowing you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region. This operator concentrates on the locations they know and love. They don’t source itineraries from other agents, nor do they run the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region). Instead, they rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and they are on routese they have discovered for themselves, to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.
Haiti – The Alternative Caribbean
- Trip Code: AWA271
- Dates: March & December
- Price: from 2,750 GBP
- Depart: Port au Prince, Haiti
- Arrive: Cap Haitien
- Length: 11 days
- Group size: 5 – 12
- Adventure: This unique tour offers the opportunity to discover the charms of Haiti before the masses come: La Citadelle, Bassin Bleu and La Visite National Park.