Port-Au-Prince: A Miraculous Revival
Haiti was virtually destroyed by an earthquake in 2010 and has been rebuilding ever since. The capital, Port-Au-Prince, has shown a brave face, and a renewed energy has come back to the city. Through it all, the people have remained warm and proud.
The design of these homes tends to make them look like gingerbread houses, but unique building techniques have made them far sturdier than their sugary lookalikes. High ceilings aid with warding off the Caribbean heat while a special four-sided roof helps defend from oncoming hurricanes. Most importantly, specialized carpentry allows the buildings to flex: imperative during an earthquake.
The Pétionville neighbourhood in Port-Au-Prince is home to restaurants, nightclubs and shops, making it a destination for visitors and Haitians alike.
Built to fend off a possible French attack in the early 1800s, la Citadelle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti. Few fortresses like it exist in the Americas and its size is impressive, but the hike to get to it takes some energy.
Marche de Fer
Haiti is one of the few places where travellers can see voodoo up close, and the Marche de Fer is the place to do it. This packed market is full of vendors selling a wide range of voodoo crafts, statues and paraphernalia — lucky visitors may even see the occasional demonstration. Travellers can also find an assortment of fresh Haitian food here, including spiced fish, vegetables and more. Be forewarned, its popularity among tourists also makes it a prime working spot for thieves, so market-goers are advised to keep a firm grasp on their wallets and purses.
Cascading waterfalls join three spectacular pools, coloured a vibrant blue by the minerals in the surrounding rocks. It’s definitely a popular destination but the otherworldly nature of the scene makes it worthwhile.