Northern Haïti and Cap-Haïtien

History is everywhere in north Haiti. It is the crucible of the heroic revolution that gave birth to the free black republic. For many visitors, the Citadelle la Ferrière, the immense fort near Cap-Haïtien is one of their first stop as it considered one of the most amazing site in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean. However, northern Haiti is more than the Citadelle. Cap-Haïtien is a fascinating destination in its own right, as well as being close to some great beaches along the Atlantic coast. It is less densely populated than southern Haiti, but with so much to explore, from the colonial and Vodou sites leading from the Plaine du Nord to Fort Liberté and  to the little-visited gem of Môle Saint-Nicholas in the far northeast, a truly underrated corner of the country.

 

Cap-Haïtien is Haiti’s second largest city.  Locate near the historic Haitian town of Milot, which lies 12 miles to the southwest along a gravel road. Under French colonial rule it was the richest and grandest city in the Caribbean. The centre of Cap-Haïtien follows the gridded street pattern originally laid out by the French.  At its northern end, the city runs into the hilly district of Carrenage with a string of old defensive forts that are worth visiting. To the south, a bridge crosses a stream at Pont Neuf and the road leads to nearby Milot and north Haiti’s biggest tourist draw.  Milot is the site of  The Citadelle Laferrière, a massive stone fortress bristling with cannons, atop a nearby mountain and Sans-Souci Palace, wrecked by the 1842 earthquake. On clear days, its silhouette is visible from Cap-Haïtien.

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