Haiti - Where to go and how to get there

cjp2010

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I'm looking to visit Haiti for the first time. I want to go to a big enough city that will have a lot of choices for restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping. I want to be in an oceanfront town or at least close to the ocean. I want to be relatively safe. I'm not timid and have travelled many parts of the world including many places considered very dangerous so I'm not going to scare easy but I don't want to be an idiot in the middle of somewhere where everyone is looking to kidnap you for ransom. So what are some good places to consider going?

And the next part, how do I get there? I've done the CaribeTour thing around the DR several times and know that is an option and I am open to that, but depending on the destination it may not be the best option.

Any suggestions and past experiences are welcomed.
 
Apr 13, 2011
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I'm looking to visit Haiti for the first time. I want to go to a big enough city that will have a lot of choices for restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping. I want to be in an oceanfront town or at least close to the ocean. I want to be relatively safe. I'm not timid and have travelled many parts of the world including many places considered very dangerous so I'm not going to scare easy but I don't want to be an idiot in the middle of somewhere where everyone is looking to kidnap you for ransom. So what are some good places to consider going?

And the next part, how do I get there? I've done the CaribeTour thing around the DR several times and know that is an option and I am open to that, but depending on the destination it may not be the best option.

Any suggestions and past experiences are welcomed.

I could understand the curiosity to travel over to Haiti from the DR in order to understand better about how things are different between the two countries...
But why do you want to go there just for a big city experience of bars, restaurants, hotels and shopping???
 

mountainannie

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Dec 11, 2003
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Jacmel - Lonely Planet

need not fear the kidnappings really as they were for the majority of Haitian Americans and some NGO workers.

You can always contact http://voyageslumiere.com/haiti/

this article was written before the Quake.. and some of the sights, like the Episcopal Church, are gone, I think

but I know that Jaqui is still in business.

If you do speak any French, it would be prudent to at least hire her to make some reservations for you.
 

cjp2010

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I could understand the curiosity to travel over to Haiti from the DR in order to understand better about how things are different between the two countries...
But why do you want to go there just for a big city experience of bars, restaurants, hotels and shopping???

Part of the trip is culture and just seeing yet another place on the long list. That will be daytime stuff. But I don't want to be too far from an enjoyable night and I always look to shop everywhere I go. Almost every place has some unique stuff to offer.
 

cjp2010

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There was another not too many weeks ago mentioning the same thing. I have an older gua gua and would be interested in driving if we can get several to share the expenses. It has seats for 8 including the driver, but could hold at least 15 Dominicanos without anyone feeling crowded.

Der Fish

If you are serious I would be interested but I don't know anybody else that is interested in going at the moment. I don't have a set time for the trip so maybe I can dig up some folks.
 

cjp2010

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Jacmel - Lonely Planet

need not fear the kidnappings really as they were for the majority of Haitian Americans and some NGO workers.

You can always contact Haiti : Voyages Lumiere

this article was written before the Quake.. and some of the sights, like the Episcopal Church, are gone, I think

but I know that Jaqui is still in business.

If you do speak any French, it would be prudent to at least hire her to make some reservations for you.

Thanks. Jacmel seems like a very good option.
 

Pablo29

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Mar 23, 2013
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Thanks. Jacmel seems like a very good option.

Jacmel is one of the best places to visit in Haiti, for several reasons: It has a beautiful beach, it is away from Port-au-Prince, therefore it is safe. However, it is not a big city, and there are not many options for shopping.
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Pablo29

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If you want to experience the city life in Haiti, and do some serious shopping, head to Petion-Ville. It is uptown from Port-au-Prince, and about a 45 minutes drive.
 

cjp2010

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If you want to experience the city life in Haiti, and do some serious shopping, head to Petion-Ville. It is uptown from Port-au-Prince, and about a 45 minutes drive.

Thanks. The idea will be to stay in a place like Petion-Ville but to visit Jacmel for a day or two.
 

LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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Curiousity killed the cat. As a gringo you it would be a wise choice to back off your plans to go to Haiti. There is a lot of tension between the DR and Haiti and this is really not a good time to go and play tourist. It is a hassle just to get across the border. There are plently of great bars, beaches and shopping all over the DR. Stay in the DR. You are just asking for trouble.
 

mountainannie

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Curiousity killed the cat. As a gringo you it would be a wise choice to back off your plans to go to Haiti. There is a lot of tension between the DR and Haiti and this is really not a good time to go and play tourist. It is a hassle just to get across the border. There are plently of great bars, beaches and shopping all over the DR. Stay in the DR. You are just asking for trouble.

How do you know that there is a hassle getting across the border, Steve? There are plenty of buses that do it daily. I have never found it any hassle. Just pay the exit fee in the DR, cross over, pay the entrance fee, and there you are. Flying is even easier. Have you heard of anyone who had any trouble?
 

Chirimoya

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Cap-Haitien and the northern region are also worth a visit. In my experience Cap, which has some lovely colonial architecture, is much more laid back and safer than Port-au-Prince and there are good beaches nearby - Cormier and Labadee.
 

LTSteve

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Jul 9, 2010
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How do you know that there is a hassle getting across the border, Steve? There are plenty of buses that do it daily. I have never found it any hassle. Just pay the exit fee in the DR, cross over, pay the entrance fee, and there you are. Flying is even easier. Have you heard of anyone who had any trouble?

Yes, I've read on Dominican today many times that there have been problems at the border and the new immigration laws being implemented in the DR certainly will not help that situation. If this poster decides to go he should proceed with caution.
 

cjp2010

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Yes, I've read on Dominican today many times that there have been problems at the border and the new immigration laws being implemented in the DR certainly will not help that situation. If this poster decides to go he should proceed with caution.

I'm not sure exactly when I will go. At this point I'm just gathering information. If there are that many border issues I will just pull back and plan another time. I have full Dominican citizenship so the immigration stuff isn't a concern for me. I do know Caribe Tours still runs buses across the border and they "assist" with the crossing. Seems like they can probably expedite the process. I'm not sure if that will be my method but it is something to consider.
 

cjp2010

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Cap-Haitien and the northern region are also worth a visit. In my experience Cap, which has some lovely colonial architecture, is much more laid back and safer than Port-au-Prince and there are good beaches nearby - Cormier and Labadee.

Thanks. I will check into it. I definitely won't stay in Port-au-Prince. Pablo29 mentioned Petion-Ville which looks like a nice option a bit outside of the capital.