Attractions from Haiti

Cap Haiten and the Northern Coast

Fort Liberté

When you arrive in Fort Liberté, a sleepy little one-phone town in the Bay of Mancenille, it is hard to believe that it was once a strategically important military post. You enter the village through a great yellow arch, and following the road to the sea get to Fort Dauphin. Built by the French in 1731, the fort is newly restored and worth a visit.



The city of Gonaïves is an excellent base for the Voodoo festivals Soukri and Souvenace. Both festivals are held on the road between Cap Haïtien and Gonaïves. In this small village, president Jacques Dessalines declared the independence of Haiti in 1804, and his wife lies buried in the local cemetery.


Croix des Bouquets Livestock Market

To the east of Port-au-Prince is Croix des Bouquets, home to the largest livestock market in Haiti. Every Friday pigs, goats, cows, and horses are brought in to the market, and the air fills with sounds of bellowing cattle and bargaining farmers. The city also has a strong tradition for Voodoo, and several secret societies reside here.

La Navidad

The first European fort to be built in the New World, many of the materials for La Navidad came from the wreck of the Santa Maria, which sank off the coast of Hispaniola on Christmas Eve of 1492. Not much is left of the fort today since it was razed by Arawak Indians, but in the city of Limbé there is a fascinating display of both European and Arawak artefacts.

Museum of Art

In the capital is the Musée d'Art Haïtien, which boasts a splendid permanent collection of Haitian art. Among its treasures are great works by Hector Hyppolite, Phliomé Obin, and Robert S. Brice. In addition, the museum holds various exhibitions of photographic art.

Sans Souci Palace

Built by order of Henri Christophe, the palace was finished in 1813. The ambition was to outshine the Versailles outside Paris in terms of splendour and magnificence, and during its prime the palace was a serious contender. In the end, the palace was destroyed in the earthquake that Cap Haïtien in 1842. Today, the beautiful ruins provide an excellent glimpse of palace's glory days.

The Citadel

It took Henri Christophe 15 years to complete this fortress. Built to withstand possible new attacks from the French, the astonishing structure sits at 900 metres atop Pic la Ferriére. When the Citadel was finished in 1820 more than 20,000 men had worked on it, and many had died in the process.

The National Parks

In Parc la Visite outdoor enthusiasts will find the one of the most spectacular trekking routes in Haiti. The six hour hike through Massif de la Selle is tough and rugged, so it is not for beginners or the faint hearted. The path peaks at 2000 metres - sufficient supplies of food, water and warm clothes are strongly recommended.

Trou Caïman Swamps

The best place to spot waterfowl in Haiti is at Trou Caïman. The name originally meant, "alligator-hole", but these days there are no alligators in the swamps. Instead there are over 50 species of birds, including the fabulously coloured flamingos.


Voodoo Temples

The tradition for voodoo is strong in Jacmel, where numerous Voodoo temples can be found. Some are more difficult than others to get access to, and it is recommended that you bring a local guide. When visiting a Voodoo temple, be sure to treat priests and priestesses with the proper respect.

Jacmel and the Southern Coast

Bassins Bleu Area

A twelve-kilometre trek through the mountains to the northwest of Jacmel takes you to the Bassins Bleu, a series of connected azure lakes. Minerals in the water give it the striking blue colour.

Macaya National Park

The mountains of this national park are covered in rain forest and hikers will discover some magnificent treks through the rough terrain. Probably the most demanding route is the four-day trek to the summit of Pic Macaya at 2347 metres.



Jérémie is the most isolated town in Haiti. To get to it, you have to go via an exceptionally difficult route. The town is no beauty in itself, but still worth a visit for its interesting history and unique atmosphere.


Maison Défly

In Port-au-Prince is the Maison Défly, a grand example of 19th Century Gingerbread architecture. It houses a small museum of Creole furniture.

Museum of Art

In the capital is the Musée d'Art Haïtien, which boasts a splendid permanent collection of Haitian art. Among its treasures are great works by Hector Hyppolite, Phliomé Obin, and Robert S. Brice. In addition, the museum holds various exhibitions of photographic art.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Catholic Cathedral is located in the capital of Port-au-Prince. The largest cathedral in town, it was completed in 1915. It stands tall in rose and yellow brick with its two large towers at the western end.

Pathéon National Museum

The Musée du Panthéon National in Port-au-Prince is a modern, partially underground museum. The names of the men that fought for Haitian independence are engraved into the walls of the museum. A permanent exhibition chronicles the history of Haiti and the struggle for independence.

Port-au-Prince Cemetery

The cemetery in Port-au-Prince is an immense sea of pastel tombstones. Some of the high-lying mausoleums are larger and more lavishly decorated than most houses in the slums. Note that you sometimes come across tombs that have been left open by graverobbers.

Sainte Trinité Episcopalian Cathedral

From an architectural perspective this church is not very exciting, but inside the walls are covered with fabulous biblical paintings by Haitian favourites like Philomé Obin, Vilson Bigaud, and Castera Bazile.

The Iron Mosque

The Marché de Fer was built in 1889 from scrap iron. The architectural style has strong Eastern inspiration; it looks like an Arabian mosque complete with minarets. It was made in Paris and declared open in 1891 by president Florvil Hippolyte. It originally stood in Les Halles, the Parisian markets.

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