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Haiti

Main attractions

Pestel - small seaside town in Haiti
Pestel - small seaside town in Haiti / Ken Bosma, / CC BY 2.0

Haiti – the state of rebelous slaves – for centuries is going through gruesome pains of development.

Too often it is too dangerous both to its own people and its guests and thus the interesting natural and man made heritage remains little known to the outside world.

Highlights of Haiti are its historical cities with French colonial architecture, vodou related monuments, karst formations – beautiful caves and waterfalls with tufa formations.

Natural landmarks

Caves

  • Bassim Zim Cave – Centre. Large cave with Taino petroglyphs, used for vodou rituals.
  • Bellony Cave – Grand’Anse. One of the most beautiful caves in Haiti, 46 m deep.
  • Dondon Caves – Nord. Group of magnificent caves with stone carvings of stalagmites and petroglyphs made by Taino people. Caves still are used by vodou priests.
  • Gouffre Sejourne – Sud-Est. Deep cave, which starts with 125 m deep pothole, explored depth 167 m.
  • Kounoubwa Cave – Sud. Large cave with huge hall in it.
  • Marie-Jeanne Cave – Sud. Longest known cave in Haiti, some 4 km long and 41 m deep, rich with beautiful speleothems.
  • Trouin Sene – Sud. Large cave, explored length is 1,668 m, depth – 92 m.

Waterfalls

Saut-d’Eau Falls, Haiti
Saut-d’Eau Falls / Jstplace, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
  • Bassins Bleu – Sud-Est. Group of three blue lakes, linked with waterfalls.
  • Bassin Zim Falls – Centre. Impressive, fan-shaped falls, some of the largest in Haiti.
  • Saut-d’Eau Falls – Centre. Large waterfall with interesting tufa formations. Important pilgrimage site of mixed Christian and vodou rites.
  • Saut Mathurine Falls – Sud. Large, some 27 m tall waterfall on Cavaillon River, interesting tufa formations.

Other natural landmarks

  • Pic Macaya cloud forest in Massif de la Hotte – Grand Anse and Sud. The last remaining cloud forest in Haiti, area with numerous unique species of plants and animals, mostly amphibians. Pic Macaya is 2 347 m high.

Man made landmarks

Historical cities

  • Cap-Haïtien – Nord. Historical city with well preserved French colonial architecture.
  • Jacmel – Sud-Est. City with well preserved French colonial architecture, little changed since the 19th century. Suffered major damage in earthquake in 2010.
Citadelle Laferrière - largest fortress in Americas, Haiti
Citadelle Laferrière - largest fortress in Americas / Alex E. Proimos, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Fortifications

  • Citadelle Laferrière – Nord. Largest fortress in Americas, built in 1805 – 1830 in order to protect Haiti from French. Very well preserved, originally had 365 cannons, many still preserved. Very interesting are the stockpiles of cannonballs. Walls rise 40 m high.
  • Fort la Boque – Nord-Est. One of three local forts in this area.
  • Fort-Liberté – Nord-Est. One of historical fortifications.

Other man made landmarks

  • En Bas Saline – Nord. Site of large Taino town, which existed sometimes around 1200 – 1530 AD.
  • Sans-Souci Palace, Haiti
    Sans-Souci Palace / Rémi Kaupp, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
    Grand Cimetière De Port-au-Prince – Ouest. City cemetery, site of gruesome legends. This place has recent tragic history when the bodies of deceased after the earthquake of 2010 were dumped here, among the living people who were using the graves as shelters after the earthquake. Countless stories about terrible apparitions are told now.
  • Haitian National Museum of Art – Ouest. Museum with rich collection of pre-Columbian art from the whole Haiti.
  • Hotel Oloffson – Ouest. Hotel in ornate Victorian mansion from the 19th century.
  • Sans-Souci Palace – Nord. Royal residence of the first king of Haiti, King Henri I. Constructed in 1810 – 1813. Now in ruins, but once it was one of most splendid buildings in Americas.

List of described attractions by departments

Haiti is divided into 10 departments:

Artibonite
Centre
Grand’Anse
Nippes
Nord
Nord-Est
Nord-Ouest
Ouest
Sud-Est
ArrowJacmelCities and towns
Sud

Map of Haiti

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