Experience Haiti’s culture, heritage, arts, and traditions
Cultural tourism refers to a type of tourism that focuses on experiencing and understanding the culture, heritage, arts, and traditions of a particular destination. It involves traveling to places with the intention of immersing oneself in the local customs, history, architecture, cuisine, arts, festivals, and other cultural elements. Cultural tourism is driven by the desire to explore and appreciate the unique aspects of a destination’s cultural identity. Travelers engage in activities such as visiting museums, historical sites, monuments, art galleries, theaters, traditional performances, and participating in local cultural events or workshops.
Tourists indirectly support the preservation and conservation of our cultural heritage sites, artifacts, and intangible cultural expressions. Visitors contribute to the maintenance and restoration of historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural traditions through their visits and financial support. They also gain a knowledge and appreciation of our proud heritage and our place in the Diaspora.
Cultural tourism also has significant economic benefits for the people of Haiti. It stimulates local economies by creating employment opportunities, supporting local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, artisans, and craft industries. It also encourages the development of infrastructure and services necessary to accommodate tourists’ needs.
Learn how you can strengthen Haiti’s economy and workforce.
Southern Ontario, Canada
(approximately 40% of Canada’s population)
United States – East Coast
United States – Midwest
Texas (3 of top 10 largest cities in US)
Major European Cities are within 10 hour flight radius including:
Tortue Island is located off the northern coast of Haiti, opposite Port-de-Paix. European adventurers settled Tortue in 1629, with the goal of establishing a foothold on the neighboring island of Hispaniola (now comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic). The island was then populated with filibusters and buccaneers, and these “Brethren of the Coast” harassed Spanish shippers. The English, French, and Spanish in turn dominated Tortue until the French gained permanent possession in 1665.
The island has a rich history with pirate legends, and many sunken ships can be found off the coast. But most tourists are attracted by the beautiful nature of the island. Clean sand and coconut palm beaches border the mountains. Visitors are offered a variety of activities – hiking, beach volleyball, kayaking, or lounging on the beach.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular among visitors’ entertainment. The island boasts a large variety of marine life, including stingrays, dolphins, and even sharks.
Founded in 1670 by the French, the city was then known as Cap-Français and gained early renown as the “Paris of the Antilles.” It served as capital of the colony (then known as Saint-Domingue) until 1770 and was the scene of slave uprisings in 1791. U.S. ships used its harbor during the dispute with France (1798–1800) and during the American Civil War. Haitian and French troops razed the city in 1802. Henry Christophe, self-proclaimed king of Haiti, rebuilt much of it, but an earthquake in 1842 and a hurricane in 1928 destroyed many historic buildings; its colonial parish church survived.
The modernized harbor handles about one-ninth of Haiti’s import-export trade. Cap-Haïtien is also a market for local produce, including bananas, pineapples, sugarcane, coffee, and cacao.
Some of the most popular destinations near Cap-Haïtien include Labadie beach with its attractions, Laferriere Citadel, the only African-derived military fortification in the New World, and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale Notre Dame de Cap-Haïtien.
Port-de-Paix is situated on the Atlantic coast opposite Tortue Island. It was founded in 1665 by French pirates, fomenters of insurrection who had been driven from Tortue Island by the British. The site of the first black slave revolt in 1679, Port-de-Paix was for a time capital of the colony and prospered during the 19th century.
Coffee, bananas, tobacco, rice, and cacao are cultivated locally. A major import is dried sea-snail meat from the Caicos Islands, an inexpensive and popular source of protein. In the 1990s Port-de-Paix gained notoriety as a center for contraband trade, specializing in smuggled goods from Miami.
The beaches or Port de Paix boast sugary white sand, sparkling blue water and a host of beautiful offshore reefs and islands to explore. The people of Port-du-Paix are friendly and exude that famous Creole hospitality. A majority of the famous artists, intellectuals, writers and poets come from the city of Port-du-Paix, so do not miss the chance of checking this area out when you are in Haiti.
Situated on an inlet of the Windward Passage, it is the site where Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas, which he named La Isla Española (taken into English as Hispaniola). Saint-Nicolas was named for the saint on whose feast day it was discovered. Fishing and charcoal production are the main industries of the village.
The town is rich with history, evident in the many fortresses you can visit, such as La Batterie de Vallière, and the iconic Catedral Saint Nicolas. Much of the town is bathed by a clear and bluish sea, with corals where multitudes of multicolored fish live. Its exotic and luxuriant panorama, its streets and colonial vestiges, its fine gastronomy, and its caves make this city a vibrant destination for most tourists. It is also central to many other highlights of Haiti, making it an ideal vacation hub.
Compared to larger cities like Port-au-Prince, Jacmel offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It provides an authentic Haitian experience with its friendly locals, slower pace of life, and an opportunity to connect with the local community. The streets of Jacmel are lined with beautiful colonial-style buildings adorned with colorful facades and intricate ironwork. Walking through the historic district allows one to appreciate the architectural charm and immerse yourself in the town’s rich history.
If looking for an exciting and memorable vacation, Jacmel hosts one of Haiti’s most famous carnival celebrations. The Jacmel Carnival, known as “Carnaval de Jacmel,” is a lively and colorful event featuring parades, music, dance, and traditional masquerade performances. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness and participate in Haiti’s vibrant carnival culture.
Home to several stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters and picturesque surroundings, as well as natural beauties like Bassin Bleu, a series of turquoise waterfalls and pools hidden amidst lush vegetation, Jacmel is a hidden gem for any tourist.
Île-à-Vache is renowned for its stunning, untouched beaches with white sands and clear turquoise waters. The island offers a tranquil and idyllic setting for relaxation, sunbathing, and swimming. You can bask in the natural beauty and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere away from crowded tourist destinations. The island is largely undeveloped, preserving its natural landscapes and allowing visitors to experience the raw beauty of Haiti.
The island is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. You can indulge in activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. The pristine waters provide excellent visibility and a chance to explore vibrant coral reefs, underwater caves, and marine ecosystems.
Île-à-Vache has embraced community-based tourism initiatives that benefit local residents and support sustainable development. By visiting the island, you can contribute to the local economy, support local businesses, and experience a more authentic and responsible form of tourism.