Calling all travelers, it’s the New Year & most of the NY resolutions I’ve come across sound a lot like “travel more,” “Plan Girls Trip” or “visit XYZ.” With young black travelers changing the traveling game -it’s about time we shed light on the beauty of this culturally rich country.
There is a dark cloud that seems to appear when people talk about visiting or going to Haiti, and I am here to set things straight. As a young Haitian millennial who spends most of my PTO hours and summer vacays collecting stamps on my passport, I have been traveling to Haiti since I was 7 years old, and between then and now, at 23, Haiti sits at NUMBER 1 on my favorite places to visit. There is nowhere that compares to the people, the food, the beaches, music, and culture – PERIOD.
This post should also encourage Haitian-Americans to visit, Haiti. What other way to get to know your family heritage than going into where your parents and ancestors grew up. There are many people who were born in Haiti and have never been back since they were babies. NOW is the best time to visit, plan a trip.
Despite what the media has depicted before and even after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, here are some of my favorite reasons on why your next trip should be planned to Haiti.
If you don’t have a Haitian friend or don’t know any Haitians, I suggest that you go out and find one NOW. Even with high poverty rates and the daily struggle, the native people are sure to welcome you with bright smiles and a helping hand. Haitians are amongst some of the friendliest people you will meet, and while visiting you will be sure will feel like you are at home. Locals will always give you a reason to return.
Haiti is one of the Safest Destinations in the Caribbean
Traveling into any foreign country is scary! Whether you are alone or with a group, going into unfamiliar territory calls for major anxiety. The Haiti that we all see on TV is the Haiti the world wants you to see. The good news is, Haiti is ranked 4th safest in all of the Caribbean and Central America. When it comes to high crimes, compared to its neighboring countries, Haiti Is amongst the lowest crime rate. Don’t believe me check for yourself here and on the Global Peace Index 2017 So do not fear, and join the countless foreigners who travel to Haiti every year.
After booking your flight, you will, of course, need somewhere to lodge during your stay. Whether you want an all-inclusive resort like Wahoo Bay Beach Club or The Royal Decameron Beach Resort and Spa, a location that sits on almost 2 miles of white sand, crystal blue waters, and enjoy live entertainment by the hour. You could be more interested in a more traditional stay like the Marriot Port-au-Prince Hotel which gives you a more modern like city stay. Located more inland, it is a 13-minute walk from the Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien museum and leaves you in the heart of the country. If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, the Karibe Hotel Haiti gives you just that. “Where beauty and nature combine”, this historic building filled with vintage art and intricate architectural designs is located minutes away from all the action in the capital and not too far from Toussaint Louverture Airport.
You can also find your perfect humble abode outside of Haiti’s capital. In Jacmel, find Hotel Inoubliable, 10 miles from Haiti’s beautiful Bassin Bleu waterfalls, or find your stay in Cap-Haitien at the Habitation Des Lauriers overlooking the bay or a boutique style hotel like Lepicolet located directly next to the famous Lakay Restaurant. Your options are based on what it is you’re looking for, and In Haiti, the options are endless.
Haiti Night Life
The last thing people are thinking about when traveling to Haiti is the nightlife, and it is one word, LIT. The island is filled with bars, lounges, and cafés that are open all night and some even until the next morning. There is always something to celebrate, every night! Watch the sunrise with a magical beach party which is also really popular. Smoke Hookah on rooftops, sip on tasteful Haitian Rum cocktails and end every night (or morning) on a good note.
Authentic Haitian Food
Don’t get me started on the fresh and flavorful Haitian dishes that are available to you no matter where in Haiti. It is just something about authentic HAITI MADE Haitian food which is high key what brings visitors back! A mix of French, African and Spanish food – Haitian cuisine does not compare to any dish you would find anywhere else. Round up your troupe and enjoy the Diri Kole (Rice and beans), Poisson frit (Fried fish), or grab an authentic Haitian breakfast espaghetti avec Ze, Spaghetti, and boiled eggs.
Sandy Blue Water Beaches
Looking for an intimate location to discover hidden waterfalls and boat rides across beautiful blue waters serve as the backdrop for your group photo. Haiti is by far one of the places where you will be captivated by its natural beauty. With plenty of beach resorts to choose from, travel to Haiti to experience a real “beach life” including boat tours and water sports.
Haiti’s History and Tours
History pop quiz: Who was the first country to declare independence and free themselves from slavery? If you guessed Haiti, you are correct. Haiti is filled with a captivating past. History nerds and all those who are interested in the black revolution. It all started with Haiti who led a revolt against its then ruler, France. 214 years later, we celebrate the fight, resilience, and courage our ancestors took to set the tone for countries around the world. A must see for tourist, Heros de Vertieres (Freedom Monument), in Cap-Haitien is among the many historical statues on the island.
The list can go on, Haiti is the heart of the Caribbean. A place where people come with a predetermined thought, more than likely based on what they’ve seen on TV and heard on the news, but leave with a totally changed mindset. Beauty is found throughout the island, the mountains, the culture, the art, and the experience people leave with is enough to keep them coming back. I hope that in this New Year, you and your set of “flossy posy” set it in your schedule to book the next trip to Haiti.
Blogger Irma Sera
A lover of traveling, exotic foods, and anything beauty related. Irma is a 22-year-old, Haitian-American Miami native with a love for everything beautiful in life. An avid reader and writer, her exuberant personality, love for meeting new people, and learning new languages – are all an inspiration towards her success.