One of the most beautiful Haitian lyrics ever and one of the best videos about Haiti!
Ayiti se bèl lanmè,
se bèl montay ak bèl rivyè,
Se bèl plaj ak pye kokoye,
bèl peyizaj ak bèl koulè.
The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Directions to and history of the fortress are provided by self-appointed guides from the town of Milot. Near the entrance to Sans-Souci Palace, which is at the start of the trail to the Citadel, visitors may be asked to pay a small fee. Visitors are also encouraged to rent a horse for the uphill trek.
About three-quarters of the way up from the parking lot, visitors must complete the final portion on horseback or on foot. The entire 7 miles trail, starting in Milot, is almost completely uphill, but can be walked by experienced hikers who carry plenty of water. Most of the interior of the Citadel fortress itself is accessible to visitors, who may also climb the numerous staircases to the fortress's roof, which is free of guardrails.
The Citadelle Laferrière located in northern Haiti, approximately 17 miles (27 km) south of the city of Cap-Haïtien and five miles (8 km) from the town of Milot. It is the largest fortress in the Americas and was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site in 1982—along with the nearby Sans-Souci Palace.
The Citadel was built by Henri Christophe, after Haiti gained independence from France at the beginning of the 19th century. The massive stone structure was built by up to 20,000 workers between 1805 and 1820 as part of a system of fortifications designed to keep the newly-independent nation of Haiti safe from French incursions.
Built several miles inland, and atop the 3,000 ft (910 m) Bonnet a L’Eveque mountain, to deter attacks and to provide a lookout into the nearby valleys. Cap-Haïtien and the adjoining Atlantic Ocean are visible from the roof of the fortress. Anecdotally, it is possible to sight the eastern coast of Cuba, some 90 miles (140 km) to the west, on clear days. The Haitians outfitted the fortress with 365 cannon of varying size. Enormous stockpiles of cannonballs still sit in pyramidal stacks at the base of the fortress walls. Since its construction, the fortress has withstood numerous earthquakes, though a French attack never came. (Arold Estime)
The Citadel is located at an altitude of 900 meters and is on top of the mountain called Bonnet a L’Eveque. The military compound is 10,000 square meters in size and, in some places, has walls that are up to 40 meters in height, and up to 4 meters thick. Armed with 365 cannon, the enormous size can be explained by the fact that it was considered to be the administrative capital of Haiti and included a printing shop, garment factories, a hospital, schools, a distillery, a chapel, and military barracks. It was also built to hold King Henri’s royal family and up to 5,000 soldiers for a year if the French had ever attacked.
The Citadel is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Directions to and history of the fortress are provided by self-appointed guides from the town of Milot. Visitors are encouraged to rent a horse for the uphill trek. The first portion of the seven-mile (11 km) trail is navigable by 4WD vehicle, although infrequent landslides and construction projects sometimes make this unreliable.
From the mid-level parking lot, the second portion must be completed either on horseback or on foot. The entire seven-mile-trail starting in Milot, almost completely uphill, can be walked by experienced hikers who carry plenty of water. Most of the interior of the Citadel fortress itself is accessible to visitors, who may also climb the numerous staircases to the fortress's roof, which is free of guardrails. On a clear day, the city of Cap-Haïtien and the Atlantic Ocean can be seen to the north.
The Sans-Souci Palace was the royal residence of King Henri Christophe I of Haiti, the self imposed monarch who as a former slave had fought in the American Revolutionary War alongside George Washington. He then went on to be a key leader in the Haitian Revolution in 1804, when the small nation gained independence from France.
Built in 1810 and completed in 1813, the Sans Souci Palace is located in the town of Milot, Nord Department. Before the construction of Sans-Souci, Milot was a French plantation that Christophe had been in charge of during the Revolution. Infamous for his cruelty, and it is unknown how many laborers perished during construction of the palatial building. Now a ruin, the palace was once a bustling whirlwind of feasting and dancing, with grandiose gardens, artificial springs, and a system of waterworks. Enjoyed by many overseas guests, it had “the reputation of having been one of the most magnificent edifices of the West Indies.”
A considerable part of the palace was destroyed in an 1842 earthquake that also leveled a good part of the nearby city of Cap-Haïtien, and the palace was never rebuilt. Once considered the Versailles of the Caribbean, the ruined shell of the palace is rarely visited due to the instability of the area politically. However, today it is fairly safe to visit and taxis will take you right to the steps of the ruins. Local tour guides who are trained in the history of the region hang around the foot of the palace waiting to be hired. There are also plenty of stalls set up to sell you souvenirs. After you explore the ruins of the Sans Souci palace, you can hire a taxi to take you up the mountain where you can then hire a pack horse to take you to the Citadelle.
Palace of Sans Souci in Milot
The museum is an architectural gem with beautiful underground circular spaceship with ceramic embellished light wells poking out of the garden fountains. Interior is pleasant as well soft round shape draws you in. Displays give a good succinct overview of the History of the Island starting with the indigenous inhabitants, the arrival of the French and the horrible conditions of the slave population and its subsequent rebellion.
Post independence is not so enlightening as it merely shows a quick succession of heads of states. There are some nice artifacts displayed belonging to Toussaint Louverture all the way to Papa Doc ephemera. Fairly complete overview of Haitian Art. Tops for me was "Dechoukaj" showing the bloody aftermath of the fall of Baby Doc. No photos allowed. Cheaper to pay in Gourdes.
More people need to visit this museum to learn the harsh yet triumphant history of the Haitian people. I was moved from tears of sadness to tears of jubilation as the museum discusses the aboriginal origins, the trans Atlantic slave trade, the Haitian revolution, to current day Haiti. We requested a tour guide to give us additional insight to what we saw which was very helpful. It is not a large museum and can be seen in less than 2 hours. Near the museum there is a small area where you can buy nice souvenirs such as hand made art work and wood crafts. This is a must see if you visit Port-Au-Prince.
This was a surprise as it is housed in a modernist semi-subterranean building constructed in a vernacular style with striking mosaics. There are the tombs of a number of the Haitian founding fathers in a circle and round the outer walls is a display in historical sequence of Haitian history from the original landings by the Spanish. It is a good introduction to Haiti. There are artifacts from various periods on display although I was rather doubtful about the provenance of one or two. As Port-au-Prince is not blessed with a wealth of museums, this should be a must for visitors.
Rue de la République , Place des Héros de l'Indépendance, Port-au-Prince
Every year, thousands flock to Saut d’Eau Waterfalls on a religious pilgrimage to bath in the waters, asking for favors and praying for healing from the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.
Tucked into the mountains 12km northwest of Jacmel, Bassin Bleu is a series of three cobalt-blue pools linked by waterfalls that make up one of the prettiest swimming holes in Haiti.
The three pools are Bassin Clair, Bassin Bleu and Bassin Palmiste. Bassin Clair is the most beautiful of the three, deep into the mountain at the bottom of the waterfall, sheltered and surrounded by smooth rocks draped with maidenhair and creeper ferns.You’re sadly less likely to see the nymphs that, according to legend, live in the grottoes, although be warned that they’ve been known to grab divers attempting to discover the true depth of the pool. While the mineral-rich waters of Bassin Bleu are a delight at most times of the year, they turn a muddy brown after heavy rainfall.
Hidden in the hills above the picturesque of one of the most stunning and popular town of Haiti, Jacmel; is the breathtaking, isolated and unique waterfall " Bassin Bleu."
Bassin Bleue consists of a series of natural rock bassins arranged in cascade, successively pouring water into one another. The cool and crystal clear water is great for a swim. Jump from the waterfalls, swim in the cool basins, enjoy the cool cover of the lush vegetation in your own private grotto.