Named after a 17th century French explorer, Labadee is both a beach and a port located on the north side of Cap Haitien. Owned by the Royal Caribbean cruise line, Labadee is oriented for tourists looking to soak up the sun and enjoy breathtaking ocean views. Here, visitors can soar down the ‘Dragon’s Tail’ zip line, or play on multiple water toys such as trampolines and slides. Labadee also offers visitors a range of snack bars and drink spots.
Sitting atop a lush green mountain south of Cap Haitien is the notable Citadelle Laferrière. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a large fortress dating back to 1805. The Citadelle is often viewed as a symbol of Haiti, as it was built by one of the country’s most prominent leaders, Henri Christophe. Visitors can rent a horse or hike the small trek up to the fortress by foot, stopping for drinks or souvenirs on the way. Once reaching the Citadelle, visitors can learn about the history of the structure along with the general history of Haiti while taking in magnificent views of the north coast.
Cathedral Notre Dam de Cap Haitien
Situated in the center of the Cathedral Square, Cathedral Notre Dam de Cap Haitien is one of the most beautiful buildings in Cap Haitien. Finished in the early 20th century, the cathedral serves as an icon of the Christian roots in Haiti. The cathedral boasts a massive white façade, stained glass windows, light blue painted cupolas and an airy arched ceiling above the pews. Visitors can enter through the entrance on the church’s right side.
Visitors looking for somewhere to eat should look no further than Lakay. This Caribbean restaurant is a popular hang out spot for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant’s bright yellow exterior cannot be missed and is perfectly located across the street from the Oceanside. Enjoy gorgeous seaside views and live entertainment while dining in the restaurant’s half indoor, half outdoor dining room. Decorated with blue table clothes, painted white wooden chairs and classy lanterns, Lakay is a wonderful balance between casual and suave.
Lakay, Boulevard du Carenage, Cap-Haitien, Haiti, +509 3188 6881
Visitors can take a short water taxi ride from Labadee to Paradis, a small and alluring cove. Paradis feels much more secluded and remote than Labadee and is a great escape from more touristy beaches. Here, visitors are able to lay out, lounge and enjoy the relaxed sandy cove set amongst a lush green tropical landscape. Also, there is a small bar and café for visitors craving a snack or beverage.
Kokiyaj Bar & Grill
This seaside bar is a fun and causal restaurant to stop by at for an easygoing yet delicious meal. Known for being a vivacious and entertaining restaurant, previous visitors often talk about the smiles on both the staff and the diners’ faces. The restaurant offers a Creole American menu with dishes such as conch and pumpkin soup with fish dumplings, lobster tails and a range of sandwiches. Although Kokiyaj is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner it is recommended that diners come in the early evening in order to enjoy stunning views of the sunset.
Kokiyaj Bar & Grill, Rue 26, Cap-Haitien, Haiti, +509 22 60 4433
By Alana Tabak