While Haiti may not be for the faint of heart, the country certainly has more to offer than the mud cookies and violence that all the horror stories portray. My 15-year-old son and I have been there twice: 2017 to volunteer at an orphanage; and in 2018 to attend the wedding of a local friend we made during our first trip.
Full disclosure: Our first trip could be described as something close to a horror story (with a happy ending). I was simply not mentally prepared for what we were about to experience. Coming over from the Dominican Republic and crossing the border by bus (to volunteer at an orphanage on the side of a mountain) was mind-blowing, to say the least. So unless you already have experience traveling to vastly impoverished countries, I recommend flying in.
Our second visit was spent mainly at the all-inclusive Royal Decameron Haiti. This was from a totally different experience than the first trip. We experienced the luxury of Haiti. And because this side of the island is not constantly congested with tourism, we were able to have complete privacy and serenity. So, I’d like to shed a bit of positive light on Haiti and encourage others to choose this destination. And I hope to see more articles about what the country has to offer its visitors.
Travel lovers can visit Haiti to have a great time while helping to improve the economy, creating a win-win situation. Here are five reasons to visit Haiti (at least once).
1. Affordable All-Inclusive Hotel Packages: There are several lodging options available depending on the type of experience you are looking for. All-Inclusive adult vacations (bars/music) at Royal Decameron Haiti can be as low as $65/night per person. Extreme water fun and sports at Wahoo Bay Resort. Or for a more traditional Haitian experience, you might try La Colline Enchantee Hotel in Jacmel (the staff dress in traditional clothing and some rooms are individual bungalows made to look and feel like Haitian homes). Note: Please be sure to make your transportation arrangements through your hotel!
2. Experience the Culture and Food: You won’t need to book any special excursions to see the country and how the locals live, as most of the hotels that are equipped to serve American standards are at least an hour away from the airport. The ride over will be plenty of exposure to satisfy one’s need for an authentic experience. You’ll see the city, local farmers markets, Haitian homes, government buildings, the countryside, goats, and more.
3. Contribution to the Economy: Tourism creates jobs and helps to build the local economy. And Haiti needs this! You can create memories while knowing you contributed just by going.
4. Volunteer at an Orphanage: For those travelers who prefer to contribute by being involved with the community, consider applying as a volunteer for Beraca – Hogar de Ninos Haiti.
5. Eccentric Beaches and Scenery: If you’re looking for more immersion, I recommend visiting the public beach. There are more people there and food, drink, and gift vendors. Lots of socialization amongst the locals, and soccer games. The hotel beaches are private in case you prefer to enjoy a more serene experience. Note: Beach/water shoes highly recommended. These are not your typical Caribbean fine grain white sand beaches. The grain is coarse. I promise you will have an unforgettable and possibly life-changing experience!
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Source: Travel – Travel Noire