The best Haitian getaways for a long weekend
Beach at Port Salut, Haiti
Photo: Verdy Verna
Looking for a quick getaway or an island escape?
We’ve rounded up a list of the best destinations for you to kick your feet up, relax, and enjoy the best Haiti’s coasts have to offer!
All of the destinations listed here can be reached by car - it’s easy to hire one in Port-au-Prince, but book ahead if you can. For an adventurous traveller fluent in French or Kreol, a journey via tap-tap to either Jacmel or Cap-Haïtien is an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but for first-time visitors, we recommend hiring a car or driver.
Alliance Francaise in Jacmel, Haiti
Photo: Amanacer / Emily Bauman
For international travellers, Jacmel is famous mostly for its annual carnival. Located in the south, with a vibrant festival and music scene steeped in history, and plenty of bars to choose from, Jacmel might be considered Haiti’s New Orleans.
From beautiful beaches to fantastic festivals and an endless array of artistic expression, this city is the cultural capital of Haiti. Just a two-hour drive southwest of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel is also one of the most accessible destinations.
Around 15km east of Jacmel you’ll find the fishing village of Cayes-Jacmel, where most of the rocking chairs you’ll see around Haiti are made. A few more kilometers east and you’ll come to Plage Ti Mouillage, a stunning white-sand beach framed by coconut palms, with a bar stocked with ice-cold drinks and fresh seafood.
Further east, you’ll find gorgeous Marigot. A coffee-growing town, Marigot has rated several times in Haiti’s top-ten communes. For a very reasonable price, you can wake up in an excellent boutique hotel with ocean views, the sounds of roosters crowing, and the smell of home-grown coffee roasting.
Taino Beach, Grand-Goâve
Photo: Anton Lau
02. Village Taino, Grand-Goâve
Two hours west of Port-au-Prince is a small oasis, nestled among the tall trees of Grand-Goâve. Grand-Goâve is one of the oldest settlements in Haiti - its name dates back to the Amerindians who called it home before the arrival of Spanish colonists in the 16th century.
Village Taino is a set of beachside bungalows that opens up on the powdery sands of Haiti’s southern peninsula. If you like your beach escapes to be secluded and exclusive, you will enjoy the privacy of the bungalows, as well as the daily catered seafood, caught and cooked on location.
Hotel Royal Decameron on the Cote des Arcadins
Photo: Bowerbill, Wikimedia Commons
03. Royal Decameron, Montrouis
Looking for world-class beachside relaxation? Royal Decameron, smack in the middle of the Arcadins coast, is your go-to for an all-inclusive experience in Haiti. With spacious rooms, swimming pools, authentic Haitian food, and recurring activities to keep you entertained throughout the days and evenings, it really is the easiest place to go for a weekend of unscripted relaxation and fun!
People swiming at Amani-y Beach in Saint-Marc
Photo: Franck Fontain
04. Amani-y Beach, Saint-Marc
Looking for something outside the popular beach resorts of the Arcadins coast? Amani-y Beach may be the treasure you seek. Located close by La Colline Hotel, it is one of Saint-Marc’s most picturesque beaches. Surrounded by the tree-clad hills that border Baie de Sant-Marc, clear blue waters stretch out for miles. Amani-y Beach offers all of the island flair with none of the touristic fuss.
Cap Haitien Labadi
Photo: Verdy Verna
Accessible via car, if you’re into sightseeing; tap-tap, if you’re here for adventure; or plane if you can’t wait to get there, Cap-Haïtien is one of those cities you need a couple of days set aside to explore.
The beach of Cormier is one of the most underappreciated on the island – and only about twenty minutes away from the main city by car. The food options on the main boulevard, which you can walk to from most hotels, are mouthwatering and many – Lakay? Boukanye? Cap Deli? Barik? Lolo? Come hungry!
Abaka Bay, Ile-a-vache
Photo: Ricardo Lartigue
06. Abaka Bay Resort, Île-à-Vache
Île-à-Vache is a magical place. Ever wondered what it would be like to live on a small island, just enjoying the pleasures of the sea lapping at your feet under a palm tree? Abaka Bay Resort is the place for you. Between horseback riding, kayaking, and peaceful walks on the shore in the evening, you might even find time to finish your book. This is an enchanting destination for travellers seeking quality rest and relaxation.
Top things to see in Haiti
Bassin Bleu is a series of four cobalt-blue pools connected by waterfalls and guarded by impressive rock formations, just 12km west of Jacmel.
Hispaniola is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, and Pic La Selle is Haiti’s highest peak. A day hike to Pic La Selle offers spectacular views over the dramatic landscape of Hispaniola.
Art & Culture
Get up close to artefacts from a Colombus ship, slave shackles, murder weapons and the bell that rang in independence.
Art & Culture
Every year in January, Haiti’s must-visit Jazz festival transforms Port-au-Prince into one of the Caribbean’s leading music festivals, with over 10 venues across the capital - some of which offer free entry.
Bassin Zim is a spectacular natural landmark in Haiti, with a waterfall, a chain of turquoise-hued pools and a network of glittering underground grottoes.
Art & Culture
Cap-Haïtien is Haiti’s second largest city, popular with travellers because of its proximity to world-class beaches and UNESCO heritage sites.
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