Destinations

Winter in Haiti: Top destinations for December and January in Haiti

Amiga Island, (Ile-a-Rat) close to Cap Haitien

Photo: Anton Lau

In the heart of the Caribbean...

...Haiti is warm all year round. December and January are in the middle of Haiti's dry season, and with as few as three rainy days each month, gorgeous weather is almost guaranteed.

 

With lower humidity and little rain, these months offer the best conditions for surfing, snorkeling, diving and trekking. This is when the seas are at their calmest (and most photogenic).

 

December and January are far and away the most popular time to visit Haiti, making it a little bit tricky, and sometimes expensive to secure a flight to get here. But everything’s relative; Haiti is still only just starting to show up on the international tourist map, and even in the busier months of the year you’ll be able to find a secluded getaway on a remote bit of island or peninsula, and maybe even a beach all to yourself.

 

Ready to treat yourself to some tropical Christmas cheer? Or ring in the new year Caribbean style? Here are the very best places to see and be in Haiti during your holiday vacation.

Sunrise over Ti Mouillage beach, Jacmel, Haiti

Photo: Anton Lau

01. Ti Mouillage, Jacmel

The coastal city of Jacmel has no shortage of beaches, but some outshine others. Ti Mouillage has the finest sand the city has to offer, and the softest slope down into crystal clear blue waters. Fresh seafood is available here as well.

 

About ten minutes from Raymond les Bains and  twenty minutes away from the city of Jacmel itself, Ti Mouillage is a great place to swim, paddle or even surf!

Taino Beach, Grand-Goâve

Photo: Anton Lau

02. Taïno Beach, Grand-Goâve

While most people think of the Arcadins Coast as the reference for beaches in Haiti, the South of the country is just as rich in gorgeous stretches of beach.

 

Just a two-hour drive west of Port-au-Prince, Taïno boasts some of the finest soft sand, some of the clearest waters, as well as some of the tastiest food on the island.

Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve

Photo: Franck Fontain

03. Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, Kenscoff

If you came to Haiti to escape winter, but your idea of indulgence is less beach and more great outdoors, Wynne Farm is the place to go, and not far from Port-au-Prince. If you're a nature enthusiast, nutrition student, or visiting Haiti on a group adventure, Wynne Farm is a great place for a day trip.

 

From guided ground tours to workshops and horseback riding, there are plenty of activities to experience at Wynne Farm.

PAPJazz festival in Port-au-Prince

Photo: Josué Azor

04. Jazz Festival, Port-au-Prince

PAPJAZZ happens every January across a cluster of venues in Haiti’s capital. Each year brings individuals and bands from Haiti and across the world, including Guadalupe, Guyana, the U.S., Canada, Chile, Germany, France and even as far away as Sweden.

View from Boutilliers, Haiti

Photo: Franck Fontain

05. Boutilier, Port-au-Prince

Time for a fresh perspective! A mountain neighborhood a few minutes outside of Pétion-Ville, Boutilier is home to one of the best views of Port-au-Prince in the country. With plenty of artwork to purchase and a great place – l’Observatoire – to grab a bite to eat, Boutilier is one of the closest places to take a quick break and deep breath outside of the city.

 

If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate New Year’s Eve over a rum cocktail or a glass of bubbly, this is it.

Souvenirs at Village Noailles

Photo: Franck Fontain

06. Village Artistique de Noailles, Croix-des-Bouquets

Want to immerse yourself in Haitian art? There is no better destination than the artistic village of Noailles. It is the birthplace of iron art in Haiti, and the most popular place to get your hands on any form of Haitian art.

 

The artisans are friendly, some of them know a few words of English, and there are endless styles of artworks to choose from, merchant to merchant.

Ice cream truck on Champ de Mars

Photo: Franck Fontain

07. Champ-de-Mars, Port-au-Prince

A series of public squares divided by large boulevards, Champ de Mars is a cluster of markets, businesses and theaters. During the holidays, there are special performances at the Occide Jeanty kiosk, and a customary Christmas tree is put up and adorned with lights close to the Museum of the National Pantheon.

 

A great place to walk around on afternoons and evenings, and put your finger on the pulse of Haitian city life.

Snorkelling

Photo: Franck Fontain

08. Snorkelling in Montrouis, Arcadins Coast

Experienced snorkelers will find a wealth of seascapes to explore right around Haiti, but even beginners can go snorkelling in Montrouis, thanks to a gentle introduction on offer at the Moulin sur Mer resort.

 

Marina Blue Haiti runs a diving and excursion center within Moulin sur Mer, with activities ranging from day tours of the islands off the Arcadins coast to PADI night diving. Montrouis is a great place to find guidance and safety the first time you dive into snorkeling. Another advantage of snorkeling with a Marina Blue tour is that they can take and guide you to their very own coral reef house, with both shallow and deep reefs.

Snorkeling

Photo: unsplash

09. Île-à-Rat

Île-à-Rat is a tiny island off the beaches west of Cap-Haïtien. This little paradise is a microcosm of what makes Haiti one of the greatest little countries in the Caribbean, with fine white sand beaches, shady palm trees, warm turquoise waters, incredible fresh seafood - and fewer crowds. The swimming is superb, and snorkelers can find half-buried colonial artillery and anchors.

 

For USD $40 a boat taxi from Labadee will take you to Île-à-Rat, and for an extra USD $15 they'll cook you up a fresh lunch of lobster, octopus, crab or fish, all caught locally. Make sure you take some ice-cold bottles of rum and Prestige with you for the trip!


Written by Kelly Paulemon.

 

Published November 2019