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Old 12-31-2009, 09:56 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,364,616 times
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So, has anybody gone there? It is an unusual travel destination, I will grant you, but I have always had a desire to go and see it for myself.

I am, understandably, worried about safety issues. I know people who have gone there as missionaries and they never mention any fear of crime.

Anybody?

20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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I've been to Royal Caribbean's private beach in Haiti. The armed guards around the chain link fence around it was enough to make me not want to go back.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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I know that there are safety issues as the poverty in Haiti is very high.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Haiti is the most dangerous and poverty stricken place in the Western Hemisphere. Why you would want to go there I do not know. If you want to go there with a charity org or something thats great. But besides for that I suggest you do not go there. I think there are a few high class resorts in the northern area.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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I haven't been in over 15 years b/c of the craziness down there, though I plan on visiting family down there this year. no, it's not a common trip destination. most travel guides about the Caribbean just skip over it, or briefly mention it. people tend not to visit Haiti unless they have very specific reasons, i.e., visiting family or volunteering. pity since a lot of the country is beautiful. I hope w/in my lifetime, it become a viable tourist destination on par w/ the Dominican Republic. according to my relatives, it isn't has bad there as it was in the past, though there are obviously still issues. most of the chaos is centered on the capital and the rural areas tend to be much quieter. if you're still set on visiting, I would suggest Jacmel as a destination, which is actually quite developed (by Haitian standards) and pretty calm.

Jacmel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and of course there's Labadee, which, as mentioned, is a stop on the RC cruise lines:

Labadee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

there are also some old ruins and historical sites from the Revolution and a lot of scenic spots (Haiti has got some gorgeous waterfalls). never been here (hope to visit this summer), but I heard this is a popular tourist spot:

Žle * Vache - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

obviously, if you want to plan a trip, avoid hurricane season at all costs. and obviously go in knowing that it's a pretty rough country (don't expect to find electricity or even decent plumbing every where you go). but on the bright side, the cuisine is awesome (mangoes right off the tree, fresh sugar cane, roasted goat meat, tons of rum drinks) and the people, despite the poverty, are pretty nice (at least in my experience, though I've heard similar from even white visitors). just go in there w/ an open mind and some commin sense
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,364,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eevee View Post
I haven't been in over 15 years b/c of the craziness down there, though I plan on visiting family down there this year. no, it's not a common trip destination. most travel guides about the Caribbean just skip over it, or briefly mention it. people tend not to visit Haiti unless they have very specific reasons, i.e., visiting family or volunteering. pity since a lot of the country is beautiful. I hope w/in my lifetime, it become a viable tourist destination on par w/ the Dominican Republic. according to my relatives, it isn't has bad there as it was in the past, though there are obviously still issues. most of the chaos is centered on the capital and the rural areas tend to be much quieter. if you're still set on visiting, I would suggest Jacmel as a destination, which is actually quite developed (by Haitian standards) and pretty calm.

Jacmel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and of course there's Labadee, which, as mentioned, is a stop on the RC cruise lines:

Labadee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

there are also some old ruins and historical sites from the Revolution and a lot of scenic spots (Haiti has got some gorgeous waterfalls). never been here (hope to visit this summer), but I heard this is a popular tourist spot:

Île * Vache - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

obviously, if you want to plan a trip, avoid hurricane season at all costs. and obviously go in knowing that it's a pretty rough country (don't expect to find electricity or even decent plumbing every where you go). but on the bright side, the cuisine is awesome (mangoes right off the tree, fresh sugar cane, roasted goat meat, tons of rum drinks) and the people, despite the poverty, are pretty nice (at least in my experience, though I've heard similar from even white visitors). just go in there w/ an open mind and some commin sense
Well, to be honest, I am trying to find someplace that has not been messed up by American influences. In the past we have been to the Bahamas and Grand Cayman islands, but frankly, I am really tired of being in a tourist environment. I would like to go someplace where people are still real and experience how other people live and think and celebrate living. I had considered Africa or India, but since I do not fly, I have to consider what locations are available to me by other means of transportation. That pretty much limits my excursions to the Americas and the Caribbean.

A friend of mine mentioned that he and his then-girlfriend enjoyed the non-tourist areas of Jamaica, although they got some interesting "looks" from the natives. But they said that they never felt in danger since appearance-wise you would describe them as unkempt hippies, rather than the typical 'touristy looking" types. They did mention, however, that they did not go out into these areas at night, just to be on the safe side.

I have an aunt-by-marriage who has done some missionary work in Haiti and never mentioned anything about danger or guns or violence. I will have to read more about it before making any decision. Thank you (and the other responders) for your input.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:15 AM
 
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So if you don't fly, how were you planning on getting to Haiti or anywhere else? You can't take a cruise there and just get off and then catch another cruise ship back a week later. I know a guy who travels there a few times a year. He speaks Haitian Creole, and is there on business. He feels that he is in at least some degree of danger the entire time he is there, even though he's accompanied by locals who are known and respected by the local community. The level of corruption there is staggering--it's not unheard of for a police officer to be bribed to walk down a different street so that a crime--even a violent crime--can be carried out.

By the way, a friend of mine was murdered during a robbery Jamaica--it's not a place I would suggest visiting without a local guide.

You might be better off taking a driving trip into Canada. There are plenty of places untouched by "tourists" up there. I would suggest visiting Calagary execpt during the month of July--which is when it fills with tons of tourists. Go in may, it's warm and totally not tourist season. You'll find warm, fun people with a huge enthusiasm for life. It's safe (as long as you use common sense) and within a few hours drive of several major UNESCO sites.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Yes if you do not fly how will you get there? How would you get anywhere? Charter a boat??

Maybe go to the Bahamas but go to an out island not an island the cruise ships stop at. Stay at a small hotel enjoy the empty beaches. Thing is unless you can charter a boat you need to fly to these islands.

It will be very hard to find a boat that will take you to Haiti, American Airlines Air France and Spirit Airlines fly to Port Au Prince from the States.

And the non-tourist areas of Jamaica are very dangerous and again how would you plan on getting there without flying?

My suggestion drive to Miami find a boat to take you to a Bahamas Out Island. Or just take a short 25 min flight from a Miami Airport to an Island. A flight to the Bahamas is done before you know it.

Being from Miami I know a decent amount about what is going on in Haiti there is plenty of Violence and Drugs etc.. Not a place an American wants to be just walking around. Something might happen to you. It has been better the past year or two but it is still a dangerous place that people just do not travel to for no reason.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:54 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,364,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
So if you don't fly, how were you planning on getting to Haiti or anywhere else? You can't take a cruise there and just get off and then catch another cruise ship back a week later. I know a guy who travels there a few times a year. He speaks Haitian Creole, and is there on business. He feels that he is in at least some degree of danger the entire time he is there, even though he's accompanied by locals who are known and respected by the local community. The level of corruption there is staggering--it's not unheard of for a police officer to be bribed to walk down a different street so that a crime--even a violent crime--can be carried out.

By the way, a friend of mine was murdered during a robbery Jamaica--it's not a place I would suggest visiting without a local guide.

You might be better off taking a driving trip into Canada. There are plenty of places untouched by "tourists" up there. I would suggest visiting Calagary execpt during the month of July--which is when it fills with tons of tourists. Go in may, it's warm and totally not tourist season. You'll find warm, fun people with a huge enthusiasm for life. It's safe (as long as you use common sense) and within a few hours drive of several major UNESCO sites.

My husband is Canadian. I was hoping for something tropical. I'd like to eat some avocados and maybe a papaya or guava off the tree and wear some very minimal clothing. It's starting to look more and more like Mexico for me. Which is good, I like Mexico, but again, it is harder and harder to find some place there that is unsullied by the US influences. But at least, except perhaps for border towns, the crime and violence is not a huge concern. Maybe I need to start brushing up on my Espanole... Buenos Dias, gracias.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,021 posts, read 13,546,329 times
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well, what do you mean by "US influences"? I can tell you that a lot of spots in the Caribbean aren't exactly flush w/ McDonald's and Walmarts. some spots are more developed than others, but that's not really a "US influence" just a typical technological advance. obviously, you may find some locals who've heard of the US and certain aspects of the US (ie, very basic politics or pop culture news), but these shouldn't stamp out whatever local experience you're hoping to find. there are quite a few tropical islands in both the Caribbean and the South Pacific that aren't really typical American vacation spots (ditto places in Central and S. America), but since you don't fly, you may be hard pressed to travel to these places
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