Welcome to Haiti – The side you rarely see or hear about!

Welcome to Haiti
The side you rarely see or hear about!

Haiti is literally a hidden jewel, even to amateur and seasoned world travelers. Ask anyone what would be their ideal vacation, and you would probably get a variety of answers like Jamaica, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico and even the Dominican Republic, the thriving, predominately Hispanic neighbor of Haiti. It seems like the only time Haiti is on anybody’s radar is when there is a political uproar, a natural disaster, a widespread epidemic, or Hollywood’s best are visiting the country for charity. But Haiti is more than the overused narratives that popular cable news networks care to share.

The stunning waterfall backdrop of Bassin Bleu is both breathtaking and refreshing. Located in Jacmel, this oasis is where many tourists enjoy spending time. You can enjoy a scenic hike on your own or take advantage of the naturalist-guided tour. In addition to getting a view of the plant life, you will have an opportunity to dive into the crystal blue waters below you to cool off—that’s if you are adventurous! Otherwise, you can just behold both the grandeur and mystique of this attraction (according to folktales, angels and mermaids have been spotted here) and snap a few pictures.

If you are interested in all of the wonderful historical facts about the country, Musee du Pantheon National Haitien is another landmark you should visit. It is located in the capital and the tour itself is about 30 minutes long. There are paintings and sculptures, including artifacts that all the tell the story about the island in it’s prosperous state many moons ago.

The Cathedrale Notre Dame in Cap-Haitien is just as majestic in stature like its European counterpart in France. Though it is not open for tours,  the public square nearby offers authentic Haitian cuisine, shops and sometimes,  live music performances.  If there is still light outside, you can also enjoy a horseback ride to Sans-Souci, where Haiti’s first king built Citadelle Lafierriere. This towering fortress serves as a storage for 17th-century cannons.

There are many other attractions, including state-of-the-art resorts for your vacationing pleasure. However, you will need an open mind and a passion for new undertakings to truly bask in the splendor of the island, get lost in the soulful and rhythmic music, indulge in the spices and delicacies of favored dishes, and appreciate the richness of its history.

by Ifonia Jean

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