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Vodou and the Festival of Lovana

For many decades, filmmakers have perpetuated voodoo stereotypes in films that featured distorted symbols of Haitian religions, history, and culture.

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Vodou and the Festival of Lovana

For many decades, filmmakers have perpetuated voodoo stereotypes in films that featured distorted symbols of Haitian religions, history, and culture. The themes in films such as “White Zombie,” “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” and even director Jacques Tourneur’s sensitive and haunting version of “I Walked with a Zombie” bore little resemblance to Vodou, a religion to many of Haiti’s people. Indeed, the Vodou spirit of Lovana remains in the hearts of genuine believers and practitioners. Those looking for Lovana should search at Habitation Duplaa, located in the Northern area of Haiti near the city of Cap-Haïtien.

One of the country’s few remaining plantations, Dupaa is now overgrown with vines and its brick structures are becoming crumbling remains. However, this is where Lovana—a magic spirit who takes on the shape of a silver fish wearing an earring—resides in a water-filled basin near the mango and calabash trees. Each September 26, a festival is held in Lovana’s honor, and many believers visit this basin, perform rituals, and leave offerings in the hopes that they will see her—and that she will grant them one magic wish. Now, isn’t that a great idea for a movie?

woman photographing the mountains

Take a Hike on Pic La Selle

High above Port-au-Prince, Pic La Selle rises majestically. Also called La Selle Mountain, the peak rises to 8,793 feet, and is the highest point in Haiti. 

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Take a Hike on Pic La Selle

High above Port-au-Prince, Pic La Selle rises majestically. Also called La Selle Mountain, the peak rises to 8,793 feet, and is the highest point in Haiti. Surrounded by pine forests, the air is cooler and fresher than in the city, and it is a favorite spot for hiking. True mountain folk may want to climb to the peak, but most of Port-au-Prince’s visitors and guests prefer hiking around the mountain, and even on the trails that reach the mountain itself.

Those who journey upwards for 1-2 hours will be rewarded by a stunning waterfall, and some of the locals even rent horses for the trek. Local children also offer their services as guides, but be sure to choose only one, and make a firm agreement on a price—usually only a few U.S. dollars for the trip. Some tourists also bike the trail, but be advised, you need to be in good shape if you’re going very far, as the trip up has been measured at 28 miles. Also, be sure to carry plenty of water, as the air can be hot and dry the further up you go. Happy trails! 

Old building made out od stone

Things To See In Port-Au-Prince

Port-au-Prince is a vibrant city, rich in the culture and history of the Haitian people. It offers an abundant array of sights to see and things to do – so much that our guests often need a little help in selecting activities.

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Things To See In Port-Au-Prince

With that in mind, we are offering two suggestions for exploring and experiencing Haiti’s capital city. First, check out the Boutilier Observatory. Located about five miles north of Petion-Ville in Boutiliers, it provides a stunning view of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area, from the breathtaking height of over 3,000 feet.

Visitors can enjoy views of the soccer stadium, the Marine Ports, and more before descending to shop for keepsakes, crafts, and souvenirs from local artists. Next, extend and enhance your experience with a visit to the Iron Market. Built in Paris in the 1890’s, the Marché en Fer sustained extensive damage during the 2010 earthquake, but was rebuilt by Haiti’s largest telecom company, Digicel. The Iron Market is the most-visited public market in the country and offers visitors a unique variety of goods and services, including Vodou priests, fresh produce, and stellar artwork from the iron-working artists.

Woman blowing glitter at camera

A Rara Celebration

Beginning every year on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday, the annual Rara Festival is one that has its roots in Voodoo and the Haitian Creole cultures but retains a powerful link to the Christian calendar. 

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A Rara Celebration

Rara celebrations include a variety of festivities, including dancing and marching in the street during parades, and an incredible array of music that encourage freedom of expression.

Music is particularly important as Rara, being a festival of music, relies on music to relate the tales of mystical rituals, culture, and history. The music is made from a variety of instruments, including cylindrical bamboo trumpets, maracas, metal bells, drums, modern saxophones, and a trumpet-style instrument made from scrap metal or bamboo known as the vaksen. The songs, always performed in Haitian Creole are exuberant and uplifting! Ready to book your Rara getaway? Call us at (877) 810-0975.

Man with sunhat looking at vast field

The Healing Power of Sustainability

Did you know that most of Haiti’s farms are not sustainable, and that its mountains are almost bare, with only about two percent of forest left?

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The Healing Power of Sustainability

The good news is that Wynne Farm is working to change that. Located about hour from Port-au-Prince in Kenscoff, this 30-acre ecological reserve believes that we all have the power and the responsibility to heal our Earth, and offer educational opportunities to visitors, farmers, students and others about responsible land use, including sustainable organic farming, reforestation, and conservation. A paradigm of agro-forestry, Wynne Farm’s ground water feeds the springs of Kenscoff, providing a fresh source of natural water to the village.

In addition to providing a combination nature attraction, ecological park, and environmental school, Wynne Farm also emphasizes the benefits of yoga for the mind, body, and spirit, and offers tours, seminars, and retreats. The day program activities also include horseback riding, bee keeping, bird watching, team building, bamboo construction, biodiversity conservation, and more. With a goal of healing and preserving our planet, Wynne Farm encourages us to remember that our actions, or the lack thereof, will have a powerful impact on the future existence and continuation of life on Earth.

Couple hugging by the water

An Idyllic Valentine’s Day

There are many reasons to visit Haiti - whether you come for Kanaval, the golden beaches, the historical monuments and locations that speak to Haiti’s cultural heritage, or the abundant array of artists and local art in Port-au-Prince, you’ll find all the best of it right here.

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An Idyllic Valentine’s Day

The exotic locale is an idyllic setting for romance, especially a Valentine’s Day getaway. Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your time together during your stay. First, don’t underestimate the time-honored romance of a picnic on the beach.

Prepare to spend some time at one of the local markets in downtown Port-au-Prince selecting tropical fruits, bread, artisan cheese, and wine for your basket, and don’t forget a blanket and/or some beach chairs to set up on the sand. Next, take a tour of any of the city’s unique attractions and historical sites, such as the always-popular Barbancourt Rum Distillery, the gingerbread charm of Maison du Fort, and the many artifacts at the Musée du Panthéon National. Lastly, don’t miss a visit to the Marche de Fer, Haiti’s original Iron Market, and the collection of art and artists represented in Petionville’s galleries.

Close up of hand playing sax

January’s all About the Jazz

Calling all jazz fans – the festival known as PAPJAZZ, a.k.a. the annual Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, will be coming back home this year on January 19-26.

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January’s all About the Jazz

A favorite on the musical circuit, PAPJAZZ attracts over 20,000 fans annually from all over the globe. The week-long festival has become one of the largest in the world and will feature many of the top international jazz headliners along with some of Haiti’s own famous musical artists. The event will be a combination of evening concerts on ten different stages around Port-au-Prince, and after-hours jam sessions at various Haitian restaurants with guest musicians.

Organized by the Haiti Jazz Foundation, this year’s PAPJAZZ will feature a unique program that includes such industry luminaries as America’s Grammy-Award-winning trumpet player Terence Blanchard, Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cecile Mclorin Salvant, fusion jazz violinist Chelsey Green, and Guadeloupe’s Gwo Kaand. Additional international artists include Dam’nco, France’s contribution to jazz/funk, and Spain’s flamenco jazz artist Antonio Serrano. Haitian headliners will include world music singer Phyllisia Ross, and reggae-rasin, rapper-folk performer Paul Beaubrun.

Haitian Holiday Traditions

A Christmas tradition throughout the centuries, the making of festive and fragile fanal lights are thought to have originated in West Africa but have become one of Haiti’s cherished holiday activities.

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Haitian Holiday Traditions

Usually made of colorful tissue paper and cardboard, these heralds of Haiti’s holiday season can be as large as a shoebox, or as small as a cell phone. Depending on the level of intricacy, they can be made in as little as an hour, or as long as a few days. Placed in windows to “light the way,” these fragile lanterns with lit candles placed inside are often the first sign that Christmas is on its way.

Traditional fanals often depict the Gingerbread-style architecture of colonial Haitian homes, while others are small renderings of Victorian-style churches and other structures. Artisan-crafted fanals have been exhibited in some Port-au-Prince museums, and even in a fanals exposition in the Miami-Dade Public Library. It is this tradition, along with drinking Kremas, Christmas Eve visits from Papa Nwel, and pumpkin soup on New Year’s Eve that makes Haiti’s holiday season so unique and hauntingly beautiful.

Dessalines: The Father of Haiti

Parties, parades, and historical reenactments are only a few of the festivities that will take place on October 17 in celebration of Dessalines Day.

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Dessalines: The Father of Haiti

On this day, the Haitian people gather to honor the man whose efforts helped free them from slavery. Jean-Jacques Dessalines is often referred to as the “father of Haiti,” and it was he who actually gave the country the name it still bears to this day. Additionally, it was primarily his leadership that allowed Haiti to become the first republic to be ruled by those of African descent, and also to become one of the first independent countries in the Americas.

Dessalines was born a slave, and grew up to strike a major blow against slavery and colonialism. He was, ultimately, one of the crucial players in the Haitian Revolution. The success of the revolution, the first of its kind in the history of the world, was pivotal to Dessalines’ military success, which was also one of the factors that lead to his downfall. In a burst of arrogance, he announced himself Emperor, and ruled as a despot until he was assassinated. However, the country and its people still recognize Dessalines on his death day as the man who proclaimed, “We have dared to be free. Let us dare to be so by ourselves and for ourselves.”

Looking for Lovana

To many Haitians, Vodou is not a superstition, but a religion of the people, and genuine believers and practitioners would advise those in search of Lovana, the Vodou spirit, to look for a magic fish in the northern area of the country at Habitation Duplaa.

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Looking for Lovana

Located near the city of Cap-Haïtien, Dupaa is one of the few remaining plantations, and its brick structures are crumbling and overgrown with vines. Among the nearby calabash and mango trees lies a basin, and it is within its waters that Lovana resides; her magical spirit assumes the shape of a silverfish who wears an earring.

When visiting the basin, visitors will find a whitewash-walled pool decorated with ritual symbols and the leavings from ceremonies, such as food crumbs and blackened stubs of candles. The story is that one cannot take the waters without being possessed by her spirit. A festival to honor Lovana is held annually every year on September 26. If you opt to attend, remember to watch carefully for a fish with a silver earring – it is said that if you see her, she will grant you one wish.  

Beautiful Haitian Beaches

Looking for a tropical paradise? Come join us on the beaches of Haiti! 

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Beautiful Haitian Beaches

Crystal-clear blue waters are ideal for swimming and most other water sports, or there’s plenty of golden sand to laze around on if you just want to relax and soak up the sun. Haiti’s beaches are renowned as some of the finest in the world, three of which are listed here. First, check out Wahoo Bay Beach just north of Port-au-Prince. Surrounded by mountains, its romantic setting makes it an ideal destination for honeymooners and couples of all ages. You can lounge on the beach with a tropical cocktail, snorkel, kayak, or even go mountain-climbing.

If you’d like a little shopping and entertainment to go with your beach-bumming, visit Port-Salut, where boutiques offer luxury shopping, and local establishments offer food, drink, and entertainment alongside a cool blue ocean. Lastly, divers and snorkelers won’t want to miss a jaunt to Chouchou Bay Beach in the northern part of the country. Within driving distance of Cap-Haitien, this beach is less populated, and its stunning coral formations at the beach’s west end make it a must for snorkeling and diving.

Party on the Beach at Sumfest 2018

Join the crowd at Wahoo Bay Beach on July 29-30 for one of the hottest music events of the year.

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Party on the Beach at Sumfest 2018

A combination of live concert and beach party, Sumfest has been hosting cutting-edge musical acts for over 20 years. This year’s lineup includes the ever-popular singer and winner of the Haiti Music Awards ‘Male Solo Artist of the Year,’ Roody Roodboy. Also performing will be Enposib, Kreyol La, and DJ Bullet. A Sumfest 2018 kickoff party will be held on Friday, July 27, at the Ritz Kinam in Petion-Ville from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., during which the above entertainers will also perform.

After the kickoff party and pre-Sumfest, indulge yourself in all things art-related by touring the many galleries and art exhibits of both Petion-Ville, the Marché de Fer, and the marketplaces of Port-Au-Prince. The marketplace is also a terrific place to stock up on supplies, such as suntan lotion and/or sunscreen, a pair of chic sunnies, some snacks, and cold drinks. Don’t forget your camera, and be sure to recharge your devices before you go!

Treat Dad to the Art and Culture of Haiti

This June, give Dad the gift of unique experiences and priceless memories with a Port-au-Prince getaway.

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Treat Dad to the Art and Culture of Haiti

He’ll be captivated by the island’s natural, beauty and charmed by the joie de vivre displayed by most Haitians. A visit to any of the markets, galleries, churches, or the street vendors of Port-au-Prince reveals their love of song, dance, music, and art. Locals and tourists alike are rapt with attention during a drum circle performance, and the city is chock-full of art galleries, private art studios, museums, music venues, historical sites, and spiritual centers.

Dad will have a blast schmoozing with the crafters and artisans at the Marche-de-Fer, checking out the voodoo-themed and political art made from found objects at Artis Rezistans, or visiting the numerous galleries and private artist’s homes of Pétion-Ville. The Barbancourt Rum Distillery and the Musée du Panthéon National are must-sees, but be sure to squeeze in a night at El Rancho Casino, where Dad can indulge in some frivolous gambling and some serious people-watching. Finally, don’t forget to return to the Le Plaza for a relaxing poolside session with an exotic cocktail or two. Dad will thank you for it!

Indulge Yourself with a Spa Break

Port-au-Prince is chock-full of fun and fascination. The city offers much to see and do, from the colorful and bustling marketplaces, the amazing talent and variety of the local artists and galleries, and the many historic and cultural sites.

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Indulge Yourself with a Spa Break

However, hours or days of shopping, sightseeing, and exploring can leave you exhausted and ready for a break. You need time to recharge and relax before diving back into the Port-au-Prince experience. With that in mind, why not check out several of the many spas available here?

Pétion-Ville is one of the most popular locations for many of the city’s spas. Of these, the Yanick Schmid Spa is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. They offer everything from facials to massage. Other spas in the area include KaGe Esthetique, Serenity Cove, and Blush Beauty Bar. Or, you may want to visit Aktiv, Centre de Kinésithérapie, located at number 42, Rue Darguin, in Port-au-Prince. Most of these spas offer a variety of treatments to soothe and pamper tired tourist and will provide the respite you need.

Your Perfect Day in Port-au-Prince

Your day begins with a long, lazy stretch in the soft sheets of your comfy bed in your perfectly-appointed room.

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Your Perfect Day in Port-au-Prince

There’s no hurry – this day is all yours. It’s time now for coffee and breakfast selected from the inviting buffet at La Terrassa, where you savor your meal, accompanied only by cool breezes on the terrace. As you quietly enjoy a second cup of coffee, you ponder your options – museums, art galleries, shops - so much to see and do! After a bit of reflection, you head over to Pétion-Ville, where you explore the market, browse artist’s wares, and decide on an outdoor pickup lunch.

Afterward, you return to the hotel, change, and head for the pool, where you spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, lounging, and sipping exotic cocktails poolside. After returning to your room to change for dinner, you wander around for a little while, soaking up the beauty and mystery of the hotel’s display of Haitian art. A sumptuous dinner at Kanel is followed by a bedtime cognac and the return trip to your room for the night. Sleep well, and join us again in the morning for yet another perfect day.

The Art of Vodou Flags

With a history long grounded in Haitian Vodou culture, Vodou flags that were originally used in ceremonies and dances have now taken their place in the art world, often selling for thousands of dollars to art collectors and wealthy tourists.

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The Art of Vodou Flags

Due to the increase of their popularity as objets d’art, Haitian Vodou flags are experiencing a revival of interest in their past cultural uses. Two of the more prominent Vodou flag artists are Jean Baptiste Jean Joseph, also known as JBJJ, and Antoine Oleyant. Oleyant is primarily responsible for the popularity in Vodou flags as art, as he was the first Haitian to use these religious artifacts as mediums of artistic expression.

JBJJ’s flags are shown at his own Isador Gallery, along with his intricately hand-beaded items in Croix-des-Bouquet. He is also well revered as a Vodou priest. While Vodou has been mistakenly portrayed as violent and darkly superstitious by Hollywood films and other media, this complex belief system was recognized as an official religion in 1991, and is currently practiced by about 90 percent of Haiti’s population. JBJJ hopes to continue to use his art to honor the culture and history of the Haitian people.

Let’s Go Haiti: The PAP Marathon and Half

One of the most anticipated annual events in Port-au-Prince and around the country, the Let’s Go Haiti Port-au-Prince Marathon and Half Marathon is Haiti’s only international marathon.

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Let’s Go Haiti: The PAP Marathon and Half

The purpose of these two races is threefold: first, the organizers wish to provide the country’s young people with an athletic alternative to soccer. Considering the country’s high unemployment rate, many of Haiti’s youth see soccer as the only way to make a living. Second, to continue to promote running as a popular activity in Haiti and to encourage healthier lifestyles.

Third, to promote sports tourism and ecotourism by attracting international runners and other tourists, and to keep them returning for future visits on holiday and/or for other events. The races always take place on the Sunday following the Haiti Carnaval, and the 2018 Marathon will take place on Sunday, February 25. The marathon has a required maximum net finish time of eight hours, and all participants must be at least 17 years old. For additional information and tickets, click here.

De-Stress With an Exotic Haitian Vacation

After a fun-filled, frantic, and often stressful holiday season, most of us really need a vacation.

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De-Stress With an Exotic Haitian Vacation

Although any time is a great time to visit beautiful Port-au-Prince, the city provides an ideal escape from post-holiday pressure. Before you know it, you’ll leave the stress behind and find yourself in tune with the rhythm of the island, under the spell of its charm and its friendly and fascinating people.

There is much to see and do, and you can do as much or little as you like – lounge poolside with a cool beverage, or explore the local markets at your leisure. Visit the city’s historic Musee du Pantheon National Haitien, the Presidential Palace, or snag some fabulous contemporary art for a song at Atis rezistans or Petionville.

Afterward, return to the hotel to indulge your palate with some of the island’s finest Haitian Creole cuisine before retiring for a blissful night of rest. No time for a week-long vacation, or got to get back to work? Check out our special weekends-only rates for the perfect mini-getaway.

Jwaye Nwel to All

"Jwaye Nwel" means "Merry Christmas" in Haitian Creole, and is the standard holiday greeting here.

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Jwaye Nwel to All

Christmas in Haiti is much beloved, and like many nations, the Haitian people have their own rich traditions. Trees and branches hold small ornaments and strands of holiday lights. Delicately cut and ornamented paper lanterns, known as fanals are crafted and placed in windows, doorways, or porches. Fanals are often replicas of Victorian-style churches and houses, and are lined with colored tissue over the “windows,” and a lighted candle to recreate a light through the window effect.

Like many children around the world, the little ones anticipate a visit from Santa Claus, known as Papa Nwel, on Christmas Eve. They stuff their clean shoes with straw and place them under the tree for Papa Nwel to find. In the morning, the straw is gone and in its place is a toy or other holiday gift. Parents often threaten naughty children with Papa Fwedad, who leaves lumps of coal instead of toys. Children and their families often follow midnight mass with parties during which everyone stays up late, drinking Kremas (a spiced coconut concoction), playing games, and lighting sparklers. it's a joyous occasion for all! 

Come for Le Festival Du Rhum

Since 2014, Le Festival Du Rhum has become a popular annual event, and the 2017 event promises to continue the tradition of pairing great rum with great food.

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Come for Le Festival Du Rhum

For the entire month of November, visitors and guests of the Le Plaza Hotel can take advantage of tastings, cooking demonstrations, and workshops from the experts in the art of making rum. The festival will be ongoing until November 30, and the Rhum Barbancourt Distillery, usually shut down for three months of the year for maintenance, reopens in November, making this the ideal time for a tour of the premises, and a taste of the product.

Set in Petionville, the beauty of the facility is unexpected – gardens abound with greenery and brilliantly colored flowers, fountains flow with music of their own, and barrel warehouses of stone are lovely accompaniments to the painstaking and time-honored process of distilling excellent rum. From the cutting, collecting and crushing cane to the careful production and bottling process, this 150-year-old tradition always yields an end product that is truly exceptional. Samples are served at the end of the tour, and guests are welcome to savor a variety of the finished product.

Celebrate With Us: Dessalines Day

Often referred to as the father of Haiti, Jean-Jacques Dessalines is honored every year on October 17, the anniversary of his death.

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Celebrate With Us: Dessalines Day

Born on a plantation near Port-au-Prince, Dessalines joined the country’s struggle for independence in 1791, and played a key role in the success of the Haitian Revolution – the first successful slave revolt in the history of the world. He became a general, and later declared himself Emperor Jacques I, and ruled autocratically until his death by assassination.

It was Dessalines who renamed the country Haiti. Ultimately, Haitians celebrate this day as a day against slavery and colonialism, and are proud that their country was the first republic to be governed by people of African descent. Dessalines’ death anniversary is widely celebrated throughout the country with parades and parties, as well as historic reenactments of his life, and other patriotic activities. In spite of his brief totalitarian rule, the Haitian people still celebrate their hero’s death as a man who liberated them from slavery and gave them their freedom.

Three Great Places to Visit in Port-au-Prince

September is an ideal time for a visit to Haiti, and its capital city offers many unique and interesting places of interest.

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Three Great Places to Visit in Port-au-Prince

First, the Boutilier Observatory is located in Boutiliers, about five miles north of Petion-Ville, and stands over 3,000 feet above Port-au-Prince. It was constructed in 1981, and the view from here is stunning, featuring unique peeks at the bay, the Sylvio Cator soccer stadium, the National Palace, the Digicel Tower, and many other sites and attractions of Haiti’s bustling capital city.

Next, the Marché en Fer, aka the Iron Market, was originally built in Paris in the 1890s, and is one of the city’s iconic landmarks. The Iron Market is also one of Port-au-Prince’s busiest and most popular markets. Here, visitors can purchase almost anything, including the spiritual ministrations of Vodou priests. Finally, the Guahaba Museum is one of the best sources for Haitian history. The museum provides detailed information about the country’s earliest inhabitants, to the colonization by the French and Spanish, the lives of slaves and the effects of slavery, to the island’s struggle for independence.

The Beauty and Simplicity of a Haitian Wedding

For the bride-to-be searching for a unique experience with traditional customs for her special day, a Haitian wedding is the answer.

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The Beauty and Simplicity of a Haitian Wedding

The city of Port-au-Prince provides lovely surroundings, but the event itself is made even more special by traditions that have been handed down throughout the ages. Once forgotten, these simple customs are once again becoming part of the wedding ceremonies of modern couples around the globe, many of whom wish to reconnect with their Haitian roots, or simply show reverence for ancient island customs.

Formal invitations are unnecessary, as guests are invited through word of mouth. The groom leads his bride, accompanied by her bridesmaids, to the church, and sits opposite her. The maid of honor, the best man, and the witnesses sit beside and behind the couple, as all of the bridal party will sign the marriage certificate. There are bible readings and singing, and the entire wedding party dances their way up the aisle of the church, marking the end of the ceremony. One of the most interesting traditions concerns the wedding cake - is not eaten at the reception. Instead, the newly married couple eat the cake in their marriage home a few days after the wedding.

Haiti: The Ultimate Travel Experience

Want to inspire, challenge, and motivate your organization’s highest achievers?

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Haiti: The Ultimate Travel Experience

Reward them with a Haitian getaway! Haiti offers the ultimate incentive travel experience: one that includes an element of the unexpected and the special, the unique and the authentic, and one that will create priceless memories for years to come. The incentive travel market has increased 80% over the past few years, and Haiti is becoming a preferred destination for a good reason. Your employees can immerse themselves in Haitian culture and history, savor the Haitian Creole cuisine, and get to know the real Haiti through its warm and friendly people.

There is so much to do in and around Port-au-Prince – strolling through the Croix-des-Bouquets and interacting with the metal artisans at work, exploring the many and diverse food and artist markets downtown, and learning about the county’s history and heritage with a visit to the many nearby historical sites. At the end of the day, a return to the hotel brings a respite from the crowds, and provides elegant cuisine, luxurious surroundings, and modern amenities for the discriminating travelers. If you’re looking for the best incentive travel destination for your business, Haiti is an ideal choice.

Give Dad the Gift of a Haitian Vacation

This year, forget the ties and the campy boxers, and give Dad something he'll really love – a Le Plaza Hotel getaway right in the heart of beautiful Port-au-Prince.

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Give Dad the Gift of a Haitian Vacation

Dad will appreciate the combination of our exotic surroundings and historic building with the comfort and convenience of luxurious accommodations and modern amenities. There’s so much to see and do here – Dad can immerse himself in Haitian heritage and culture with a visit to the Bureau of Ethnology. Rebuilt after the earthquake of 2010, the Bureau’s grounds contain monuments, commemorations, and comfortable benches beneath shady old trees. The exhibits inside are easily accessed, and offer a deeper understanding of the country’s historical potpourri of African, Taino, and Haitian peoples.

Haitian art history comes to life at the El-Saieh Gallery, with its impressive collection of art in many mediums and price ranges. Dad will also enjoy browsing the artisanal craftwork at Galerie Marassa, the metalwork at Comité Artisanat Haitien, Moro’s Gallery for souvenirs and trinkets, and books at Asterix. Food, fabrics, and artifacts can be had at Marche de Fer, along with memorabilia and curios. To book your Haitian holiday, email: reservations@plazahaiti.com, call (877) 810-0975, or visit: http://www.plazahaiti.com/.

Celebrate Haitian Heritage Month with Krik? Krak!

Krik? Krak! is a rich tradition of telling stories via Haitian folktales and songs, with the goal of connecting children and families with their rich oral heritage.

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Celebrate Haitian Heritage Month with Krik? Krak!

When Haitians tell a story, they will ask “Krik?”, and the enthusiastic listeners answer “Krak!” – thus the story, or stories, begin. Usually held in May, the Krik? Krak? Festival celebrates Haitian folklore, and there are tales of mystical beauty, songs and music. Stories of magical fish, young lovers, and other characters evoke the wonder and heartache of Haiti, and the imagination, courage, suffering, and endurance of its people. Excellent examples of the elements of Krik? Krak! can be found all over the country, but are especially rich in Port-au-Prince. The markets, the Musee du Pantheon National Haitien, and the Petion-Ville area would all be terrific places to learn more about the history of the festival, and where public performances can be found. Book your Krik? Krak! stay today by calling (877) 810-0975, visiting us online at www.plazahaiti.com/specials, or email: reservations@plazahaiti.com.

Celebrate Rara With Us

Strongly linked to the Christian calendar, but firmly rooted in Haitian Creole and Voodoo culture, Rara is primarily a festival of music, as it depends on music to tell the stories of the country’s history, culture, and mystical rituals.

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Celebrate Rara With Us

Rara celebrations begin on Ash Wednesday and end on Easter weekend. Parades are frequent during the annual Rara Festival, and their jubilant atmosphere is enhanced by drums, metal bells, maracas, and the vaksen, a trumpet-style instrument made from scrap metal or bamboo. Rara’s themes are sometimes considered risqué, as the music satirizes Catholicism and political topics, and has themes running throughout of gender and sexuality. However, the majority of Rara celebrations are joyful, exuberant expressions of the reconciliation between the individual’s Haitian cultural beliefs and Christianity. This year’s Rara Festival begins on April 9th and ends on Easter Sunday, April 16th. Book your Rara stay today by calling (877) 810-0975, visiting us online at www.plazahaiti.com/specials, or email: reservations@plazahaiti.com.

Haiti Sauvage

Famed photographer René Durocher's exhibit "Haiti Sauvage" is currently on display at the Institut Francais d'Haiti (IFH).

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Haiti Sauvage

The 65-photograph show is a first for Durocher, whose theme for the show is the country’s wild flora and fauna. Each photograph represents plant and animal life from Durocher’s treks through the country’s forests and mountains, as part of his ongoing quest to safeguard Haiti’s natural heritage by capturing the beauty of the country’s plants, trees, and endangered animals. His goal is to raise awareness of the need to protect the environment, particularly in light of recent ecological disasters.

 

When asked about the exhibit’s subjects, Durocher answered, “We are still in the concrete jungles and in the urban areas. We forget that there are creatures of nature, little wonders that we do not know; that inhabit our environment. Wild Haiti is to raise consciousness about biodiversity. It is these animals that keep our forests, our nature - if we continue to participate in their degradation, future generations will not know that they existed." “Haiti Sauvage” will remain on display until 11:00 p.m. on March 20. For details, contact the Institut Francais d'Haiti at +509 28 13 0014.

Le Plaza Haiti Partners with Guests for Hurricane Matthew Relief Project

Dear guests,

Thank you for helping out!

Following Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the South of Haiti’s peninsula last October, Le Plaza partnered with YOU, our guests, to raise funds for Food for the Poor Haiti and Prodev! 

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Le Plaza Haiti Partners with Guests for Hurricane Matthew Relief Project

We are proud to say that through our $1/night matching process (Le Plaza matches every dollar contributed by guest), we were able to raise a total of $5,774.76 for the above organizations over the last 4 months.

We cannot thank you enough for being our partners and taking a real interest in Haiti!

Chers clients

Un grand merci pour votre support !

Suite a la dévastation causée dans la péninsule du Sud par l’Ouragan Mattieu, Le Plaza a organisé une levée de fonds pour Food for the Poor Haïti et Prodev en s’associant a VOUS, nos clients !

C’est avec joie que nous pouvons annoncée qu’a travers le programme de contribution a part égale, client/Le Plaza, de $1/nuit sur 4 mois nous avons pu récoltés $5,774.76 au profit des deux associations

Encore un grand merci d’avoir été nos partenaires dans une telle initiative et  contribuer au  développement d’Haïti !

Pour plus d’informations sur Food for the Poor et Prodev et les actions entreprises post Matthew, nous vous encourageons a visiter leurs sites web.

For more information on Food for the Poor and Prodev and their amazing relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew, please visit their websites

Food for the Poor, a pour mission de nourrir et fournir un logement de base aux communautés les plus démunies des pays de la Caraïbes et de l’Amérique Latine

Prodev est une organisation locale promouvant l’accès a l’éducation primaire dans les communautés les plus pauvres

Food for the Poor Haiti works throughout the Caribbean and Latin American to help provide food and basic lodging to the poorest communities http://www.foodforthepoor.org

Prodev is a local organization, focused on developing primary education in underserved communities

http://www.prodevhaiti.org

Let Kanaval Month Begin

Come Kanaval with us! February is Kanaval Month, and the party is already underway. We are offering special Kanaval rates at the Le Plaza hotel this month, beginning at $109. Check in for a complementary T-shirt and cocktail upon your arrival.

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Let Kanaval Month Begin

The Haiti Kanaval party will be ongoing over the next few weeks until Shrove Tuesday. The entire country celebrates Kanaval, but the largest parties are always right here in Port-au-Prince. You’ll witness a joyful, colorful, month-long celebration, punctuated with parades full of marchers decked out in brilliantly-hued, extravagant costumes.

At the Le Plaza Hotel, you’ll be right in the heart of Port-au-Prince, and can experience all the festivities just a few blocks from the comfort of your well-equipped guest room. You can easily arrange to be part of the celebration, and return to the Le Plaza when you’re ready to wind down. Our on-site taxi service, ATM, and currency exchange are at your disposal, along with free and secure parking if you rent a vehicle.

Call (877) 810-0975, or visit us online at www.plazahaiti.com/specials, or email: reservations@plazahaiti.com.

Explore Haitian History at the Citadelle Laferriere

Often referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World," the Citadelle Laferriere has become a must-see experience for anyone visiting Haiti.

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Explore Haitian History at the Citadelle Laferriere

From its perch on the Northern coast of the island, and overlooking the bay of Cap-Haitian, this mountaintop fortress and UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most popular tourist sites in the world.

Built by Henri Christophe after Haiti gained its independence from France, the fortress was designed and built between 1805 and 1820 with the intention of keeping the country safe from further French aggression. Christophe was an instrumental leader during the country’s slave rebellion, and amassed a workforce of about 20,000 while the structure was being built.

Guests of Le Plaza Hotel wishing to visit this historic landmark will first have to travel from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien. Depending on the mode of travel, this can take anywhere from 3 ½ hours by taxi, to about 40 minutes by flying. Once in Cap-Haitien, tours are available to the Citadelle and the Sans Souci Palace ruins.