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Cap-haitien Travel Guide, Haiti

Cap-haitien, Haiti - Overview 

Located in the northern province of Haiti, Cap-haitien is a port city with a vibrant local market culture filled with varied historical flavour (with the former capital Milot just 12 miles away, which holds the ruins of the Sans-Sourci Palace razed to the ground in a 19th century earthquake and the site for the famous Citadelle Laferriere besides other interesting sites of historical importance in close proximity) providing tourists a stunning glimpse into ideals of prosperity and realisms of poverty existing almost side by side within the city walls.

  Lifestyle and cultural ethos 

The population of this port city is roughly estimated at 130,000 people. Cap-Haïtien enjoys the tags of being both a highly frequented budget tourist destination as well as a private resort destination program for the cream of Haitien society.

Also, due to the recent political skirmishes in the neighbouring capital of Port-au-Prince (also referred to as PaP by travel agents), there has been an influx of tourist traffic into Cap-haitien’s lush, green mountainside enclosing the heart of the city that lies beyond the Bay area.

While rows of urban slums primarily dominate the western hilly landscape of Cap-haitien, narrow, grid-like arrangement of inner streets accommodate weekly bazaars, small churches, apartment structures typically housing 3-4 floors, with each having balconies on their upper floors that typically offer a view into the congested streets below. This compact planning encompassing domestic life with urban purposes creates an intimate communal ambience during the evening hours for travellers to Cap-haitien’s core areas, especially at dinnertimes.

  Shopping: what to scout for and where 

Haitien artists cluster around various mutually agreed upon (among themselves) zones of the tourist market in the main town, selling anything from colourful paintings depicting native coastal life to hand-made leather products and wood carvings, souvenirs made from shells and the famous voodoo dolls, which one seriously needs to bargain over considering these are mostly high-priced.

 Connectivity by air and what brings people there 

There is a small Cap-Haïtien airport, situated on the southeast side of the city, which has several domestic airline programs serving its needs; due to the earlier mentioned political instability factor, Chilean UN troops patrol it all times. As far as International flight services are concerned, these are connected to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (5 days a week) via Lynx Air International. While a lot of foreign tourist numbers have dwindled since the post 1990-insurgency reports about the capital’s various military coups coupled with grinding poverty factors, Cap-haitien still receives more than its fair share of global visitors.

Freedom of the Seas venture is weekly docking here pulling tourists by the droves besides of course, the cultural value of the Cathedrale de Notre Dame in Cap-haitien.
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