Date of Trip: April 2007
Jacmel, Haiti is a very picturesque town in southern Haiti. We went there for 11 nights/12 days. We chose this place because a few months before we went to Haiti also and pretty much stayed in Petionville with a trip or two to the capital, Port au Prince. Jacmel allowed us to really experience Haiti as a whole and enjoy it!!
First of all, we flew to Port au Prince (PAP) on American Airlines, and had a two + hour drive to Jacmel. We stayed at the La Jacmelienne Hotel for two nights, which was supposed to be a full-time stay; however, the place was in such disarray that we then moved to the Cyvadier Plage Hotel, which is a really great place to stay.
The La Jacmelienne says that they are right on the beach, which they are. The beach is completely and totally covered with trash, I mean hardcore!! Along with the trash, there were pigs and goats running about eating from it. Frankly, I felt that we were misled, due to the fact that the beach was pretty much not able to be used.
The swimming pool at the hotel was nothing to brag about either because they did not keep it clean. The hotel also had a restaurant which was way overpriced. Simply, we checked out early, and dealt briefly with an unfriendly staff. Actually, the staff was even unfriendly when we checked in. I do not recommend this place for accommodations in Jacmel. The Cyvadier Plage was wonderful.
In Jacmel, it is very safe. We were sometimes walking around as late as 2:00 am, and never felt threatened in any way. There are several decent places to enjoy Haitian beer (Prestige). We found this one place on the main street by the name of Guilanno’s which also served food, and had a hardware store in there also. The people at this place were very friendly, and glad to see us any night that we arrived.
There are several places to purchase items to bring home. Many family operations that sell Haitian artwork, place mats and coasters with beautiful Haitian artwork on them. We also were able to find some Haitian carved statues, which are also quite a novelty to take back home. There are several restaurants to go to while you may be vacationing in Jacmel. A couple a bit pricey, but for the most part all reasonable and good food. Avoid drinking the tap water in Jacmel, there is plenty of bottled and filtered water always available, and able to be purchases quite inexpensively.
The town is a beautiful place to just walk around, and admire that gingerbread homes and architecture. The people were always very friendly. We went to Bassin-Bleu, which is a series of natural waterfalls, and go for a great swim and good soak. Although, it is a hike of about one and a half to two hours from Jacmel by horseback. No trip to Jacmel would be complete without visiting this site. It is truly amazing. The price is FREE, the horses are not, about $40 US for the duration of the trip. A guide will assist you with this, by the way, $20US will take care of him also.
On your next vacation, you may want to think about Haiti. It is an inspiring and eventful time, lots to see and do for the adventurous traveler. You can visit our personal Haiti homepage, which is non-commercial. In other words no revenue is accrued from it. http://www.freewebs.com/jamesandshayneinhaiti/