The island is well-known for its exotic beaches and is now known widely for its impressive cave systems. Many of these gigantic subterranean treasures are open to researchers and tourists, however, few of them have been mapped out. The most popular ones are: Bellony cave in Pestel, the Kounoubwa in Camp-Perrin, Saint Martin in Dondon, Twou Bondye in Port-de-Paix, Cave Marie Jeanne in Port-a-Piment.
The caves presented here are located in particular corners of the island, however 70% of the territory of Haiti is made of limestone rocks favorable to the formation of caves. There are therefore cavities in the various departments and there are more than one hundred and fifty known throughout the country.
The picture above of Cave Mary Jeanne was photographed by talented young Haitian man Ludwig Borgella
Bellony Cave is a karst cave located near the city of Pestel, Grand'Anse in the Corail Arrondissement of Haiti. The cave was recently uncovered during a 2009 expedition. Immediately after, trails were installed for guided tours, and gates were emplaced to preserve the more fragile regions of the cave, as a result, the cave remains in a pristine state. The cave is managed by the city of Pestel, despite being nearly an hour away by a combined car and walking journey.
Kounoubwa, a cave to treasure!
The Marie-Jeanne Cave, the longest excavation in the Caribbean, is not the only cave that you can visit in the Department of the South. Kounoubwa, a cave a few kilometers from downtown Camp-Perrin, is visited annually by thousands of people. The cave is the main source of income for Joel Constant and two other guides. It is first-class adventure for those who love excursions. Located up high, this cave is a gem. It deserves to be well known and as a result development work is essential.
Publié le 2014-06-06 | Le Nouvelliste
30 minutes walk from Camp Perrin, the cave is a huge underground void, a place of pilgrimage. Several rooms are visitable, and for the more adventurous, many passages are hidden and to explore with the guide. The atmosphere is speleological!
Unknown heritage, the caves in Haiti such as those of Pestel, Port-à-Piment and Camp Perrin are places of mystery and legend. They attract both tourists in search of adventure than those who just want to admire the wonders of nature. The Haitian public is very sensitive to the caves because of the many legends surrounding these natural heritage.
Although Kounoubwa was discovered more than half a century ago, very little is known about this natural site. The Kounoubwa is located in Camp Perin in the South of Haiti. The entry to Kounoubwa is covered with bushy trees of all kinds, which adds to the natural charm of the place. The cave is covered with stalactites and stalagmites which makes it difficult to enter. These mineral deposits are formed as a result of the flow of water running through inorganic material. Thus, the entrance is slippery. The water flows incessantly and has sculpted more images in the cave. Therefore, visitors and guides have the flexibility to name them. Examples are the cathedral and the statue of St. Christophe, and figures with shapes like snakes and horses. There is also a large stone named Maître Carrefour which shows the exit of the cave.
The Kounoubwa cave is not only a place of entertainment, it is also a place of pilgrimage. Vodou ceremonies are held regularly at the cave, and it is a sacred place for a large number of houngans of Camp-Perrin.
Dondon holds many caves that tourists are able to explore. Getting to the caves involves hiking through mountains and rivers, offering an incredible view of the landscape and insight into rural Haitian life. In pre-Columbian times, the caves were place of pilgrimage for the native Tainos Indians, and you can still see ancient face carvings at the cave entrances. The caves not only have historic significance, but are spiritual sites for many locals today.
Deepest Cave in the Caribbean discovered in Haiti
Grotte Marie Jeanne - Photo by Ludwig Borgella