The 7 hour bus ride from Port-au-Prince is relatively straightforward, but you have to choose your poison; shall you go with the public transportation that’ll cost you no more than a few dollars for a nary a bench space on a vehicle without shock absorbers? Or a more private company for $20 USD for some cushion on your tush?
While waiting for our bus to Cap-Haitien, we noticed something was going on by the United Nations plane:
Once you find your bus, these are the views you’ll get along the way:
The rest stop food was actually pretty delicious:
Buses will drop you off about a few km west of Cap Haitien, where you’ll have to find a tap tap public van for less than a $1 USD or a taxi for $10 USD (they’ll charge you much more initially, from where you’ll have to haggle down) in order to get into Cap Haitien itself.
There you’ll arrive at Cap-Haitien: Haiti’s “second city” and the assumed location of La Navidad, which is where Christopher Columbus landed on his voyage to the New World. Cap-Haitien was relatively untouched by the 2010 earthquake but still suffers from the issues of being in a third-world country and a lack strong infrastructure. Nevertheless, Cap-Haitien boasts a well organized grid system (Avenues go from A to Z from east to west; Streets go from 1 to 30 from south to north) that is very easily walkable.
You’ll notice as you go north, the streets become less chaotic and more orderly. Then you’ll hit the U.N. buildings at the very north where it’s most peaceful.
You can also hug along the eastern part of town, which you’ll appreciate unhindered views of the Atlantic Ocean.
What’s unusual is that this is the first developing country I’ve been in where I’ve seen a large number of people regularly exercising: there are gyms packed with weights and weightlifters, runners in jerseys jogging along the ocean as early as 7am in the morning….usually you’d associate a populaton who have the privilege of exercising with more developed nations. Haiti is an exception.
Go have a beer or even a dinner at popular La Kay, where if you’re brave enough, teach the kids on the dance floor how to dougie or Gangnam style.
Cap-Haitien seems to have a more popping nightlife than Port-au-Prince as everywhere on the streets there will be live music and DJs playing into the wee hours of the night. It was like every corner was a small block party. Take advantage of this!
- At time of posting in Cap-Haitien, it was 25 °C - Humidity: 85% | Wind Speed: 8km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear