Often overlooked in favor of its more sedate neighbors, Haiti still draws in curious visitors from all around the world. It’s home to extraordinary and interesting sights as well as vibrant and lively culture, this is the Caribbean but a much rawer version than its luxury resort dotted rivals. You’ll also find plenty of gorgeous scenery as Haiti is home to peaceful beautiful beaches, cascading waterfalls, and towering mountains galore. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Haiti…
Labadee – one of the most attractive beaches to explore in Haiti
Taking a cruise with Royal Caribbean is worth it just for a visit to Labadee, a peninsula on the scenic northern coast of Haiti leased privately to the cruise company.
In this private paradise, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery on secluded, pristine beaches. There are several gorgeous options with sandy shores, free beach chairs, and extra amenities including kayak trips. If you want even more privacy, Labadee is the home base for excursions to remote coves, reefs, and sandbars.
Those looking for a little more adventure can take advantage of an overwater zipline (the world’s longest), an alpine coaster, a water park, snorkeling excursions, and more.
Amiga Island – home one of the finest beaches in the region and one of the best places to visit in Haiti
Amiga island is a stunning tropical island just a short boat ride away from Labadee and Cap-Haitien. Visitors on private excursions can relax on pure sandy beaches, explore the green island interior, and of course take advantage of the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean. The island is surrounded by coral reefs (some have dubbed them the best reefs in the whole country), which makes for exciting snorkeling and swimming.
Despite being a remote island, Amiga Island also offers excellent amenities for tourists. All visitors get a complimentary drink to enjoy the strong flavors of Caribbean mixology.
Cathedral Notre-Dame – a popular attraction to explore in Haiti
Although not as famous as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Port-au-Prince (a site that is now in ruins and impossible to visit), the Cathedral Notre-Dame in Cap-Haitien is an underrated jewel in Haiti’s crown. The first building on this site was built in 1670 by the French colonists but it has undergone multiple reconstructions since then. It was the site of several important events in Haiti’s history, including the official proclamation liberating enslaved people in Haiti on August 29, 1793.
Visitors today can enjoy the gorgeous colonial facade and sizable nave. The square in front of the cathedral also offers excellent views of the sea and Cap-Haitien.
Bassin Bleu – an attractive natural water site
Located just a few kilometers outside the city of Jacmel, Bassin Bleu is one of the most beautiful sites in Haiti. This natural getaway consists of several waterfalls pouring over Haiti’s rocky terrain that forms three pools with stunning, mineral-rich turquoise waters. Visitors can swim right up to the waterfall for an unforgettable experience.
The natural area has a small parking lot a 10-minute hike away from the pools themselves. Those just looking for a relaxing adventure can swim in the top pool around the waterfall. Others who are more adventurous can rappel down the boulders into the lower lakes with the help of local guides.
Cadras Beach – one of the most stunning places to visit in Haiti
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Haiti, Cadras Beach is one of the most stunning locations on Haiti’s northern coast. Located near Grand Doco and only a short ride away from Labadee, it is a convenient excursion for many visitors to this region of Haiti. Visitors can enjoy clear blue Caribbean waters and sandy shores.
The hinterlands of Cadras Beach are just as beautiful as the seashore. The area is surrounded by gorgeous forests and verdant green areas. Cadras Beach is not fancy, but it offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy the beach as the locals do. Take advantage of activities such as snorkeling and swimming.
Jardin Botanique des Cayes – a popular scenic attraction
Haiti’s tropical location means that it is home to stunning biodiversity and plant life. One of the best ways to experience that biodiversity is by visiting the Jardin Botanique des Cayes, on the country’s southern peninsula. A popular venue for weddings and other events among the locals and the site of important scientific research, the botanical garden is also a stunning experience for casual visitors.
Wander the perfectly sculpted hedgerows with a certified tour guide, who offers a tourist or scientific tour. Visitors are also free to wander the site on their own and explore the themed gardens, including the Ethnobotanical Garden, the Arboretum, and more.
Kokoye Beach – expect beautiful clear water and white sand
One of Haiti’s most stunning beaches, remote Kokoye Beach is worth the trip. It is near Petit Goave, a small commune in the west of the country. Visitors can only get to Kokoye Beach by taking an organized boat excursion from the town or hiking up by themselves.
Once visitors make it to Kokoye, they realize that all the trouble to get there is worth it. The stunning beach is surrounded by rocky outcrops, which makes for excellent snorkeling and even cave exploring. Besides the natural wonders, Kokoye Beach is home to great restaurants that even host live music.
Citadelle – one of the most popular tourist destinations to explore
The Citadelle (full name: Citadelle Laferrière) is one of the most important sites in Haitian history. The Haitian revolutionary Henri Christophe, along with thousands of newly emancipated Haitian people, built this fortress on the northern coast in 1805 as part of a defense strategy against a potential French invasion.
Architecturally, the Citadelle is one of the few examples of Afro-colonial architecture in the New World and is worth visiting just for its unique architectural features and awe-inspiring size. The fortress, located on top of the Bonnet a l’Eveque mountain, also offers stunning views of Cap-Haitien and the northern coast. Visitors often combine a visit to the Citadelle with an excursion to nearby Sans-Souci Palace.
Macaya National Park – features the country’s last stand of virgin cloud forest
Unfortunately, most of Haiti’s primordial wildlife has been cut down over the centuries, starting with French plantation agriculture and moving on to modern development. Macaya National Park preserves Haiti’s last primary cloud forest which still has not been touched by modern development. Nestled in the Massif de la Hotte mountain chain that runs through the southern peninsula, Macaya is well worth the trip out.
Besides the old-growth forest, Macaya National Park is home to many species of indigenous plants, including rare orchids, and animals, including the world’s largest concentration of native amphibians. Visitors can hike up the Macaya and Formon mountains, explore the forest, and take photos of the stunning vegetation.
Gelee Beach – the longest sand beach in Haiti
Gelee Beach, near Les Cayes, is one of Haiti’s most popular beaches for a reason. Locals come here for excursions, and it is a great place for visitors to soak up nature and the lively atmosphere of Haiti.
Gelee is a gorgeous beach with access to the stunning ocean, but that is true for most of Haiti’s beaches. What sets Gelee apart is the liveliness of the area. The beach is home to many restaurants that offer locally caught seafood and traditional Haitian cuisine.
Don’t forget to try fritay, the traditional Haitian fried platters of food. At night, the beach turns into an open-air music festival, particularly in August around the festival of the Lady of the Assumption, the area’s patron saint.
Saut-Mathurine Waterfall – a stunning natural destination to explore
Haiti’s southern region is home to Saut-Mathurine, the country’s largest waterfall and one of the best places to visit in Haiti off the beaten path. The pristine waterfall is perfect for nature lovers looking for a destination that has not been touched by development. Getting there is a bit of a trek, with long drives along back roads, but is worth the trip.
Visitors can swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall and take in the magnificence of the cascading water. The really brave can jump from the top of the waterfall.
Anse d’Azur – a beautiful beach destination with a sunken German U-boat
In a country of stunning beaches, Anse d’Azur, with its turquoise waters and white sands, still stands out. The beach is nestled in a protected cove on the Haitian coast, making for an excellent swimming experience. Visitors can also explore the caves and grottos that were formed due to erosion, and the really adventurous can check out the abandoned wreckage of a German submarine nestled in the water.
Anse d’Azur is only a short distance away from the city of Jeremie on the southwestern peninsula.
La Visite National Park – one of the best places to visit in Haiti
Located in the Massif de la Selle, a mountain range just south of Port-au-Prince, La Visite National Park is one of the most pristine destinations in the country. Although Haiti is best known for its tropical cloud forest, La Visite shows another side of the country’s natural diversity. The park covers grasslands, pine forests, and broadleaf trees.
Visitors to La Visite can hike through protected natural landscapes and try to spy some of the 80 bird species that call the park home.
Cormier Plage Resort – lush beach-front property in Haiti
For visitors looking for a bit of pampering in a gorgeous natural setting, Cormier Plage Resort near Cap-Haitien is the place to be. It is one of the only beachfront resorts on the northern coasts. Visitors can go on excursions to nearby Labadee, Amiga Island, and the Citadelle.
Those looking for more relaxation than adventure can lounge on the resort’s beaches, go for leisurely swimming and snorkeling excursions in the clear waters, and eat delicious seafood in the resort’s restaurant.
Wahoo Bay Beach – a gorgeous beauty spot to explore
Wahoo Bay Beach is another stunning resort and beachfront club, located just a few minutes north of Port-au-Prince. Visitors can enjoy excellent amenities and activities, including tennis, kayaking, lounging on the beach, and excursions to nearby mountains for hiking and climbing.
Wahoo Bay Beach also hosts lively events and nightlife with live music and DJs, adding a little life to the pristine beachfront location.