Location: La Citadelle, Cap-Haitien, North Department —
First off, I’d like to give a huge shout out to Haiti Tourism for having the cutest welcoming houses at the entrance!
Aren’t they just cute?!
There’s also a really small fancy store to grab snacks and drinks close by. It reminded me of Starbucks. Way to go 😉
This trip was AMAZING for a number of reasons. I’m so happy I get to share it with you.
Get excited. Are you excited? It’s okay I’m excited for the both of us (that’a girl!)
I had so much adrenaline flowing in me by the time I got to the top, I was smiling on the inside like a fool.
It’s no wonder that The Citadel is rated #1 on Trip Advisor‘s ‘Things to do in Haiti’ !
La Cidatelle Laferrière (also called Citadelle Henry Christophe) was built under Henry Christophe over a 15-year period to keep newly freed Haiti protected from any future attacks by the French army. It was part of a system of fortifications which included the building of other forts throughout the country such as Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre in the West Department. The architecture is one of a kind, the defensive strategy is astounding and it is so huge! I can easily see it housing thousands of soldiers as it used to in the past.
You can tell Henry Christophe was either super meticulous or a little paranoid because he would have his cook watched by soldiers and before eating, a soldier had to try it first to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. How ironic is it, that it wasn’t the food that killed him.
Nope. He committed suicide with an infamous silver bullet.
So naturally the question we all ask is….Was the food really that bad..?
All jokes aside, I respect the man. He built more in his lifetime than any other Ieader I can remember right now. That deserves praise. (clap clap)
Now, the most challenging part about going to La Citadelle is getting to La Citadel. It does take some time to get up there because the fort sits on a super tall and steep hill. My uncle –who is in good shape- chose the option of lightly jogging uphill. For those of us who are up for the challenge that might be the option for you. Coralie and I, on the other hand, knowing where our strengths lie, decided very early on to get a horse. But don’t worry you can always grab a horse along the way if / when you get exhausted or lightheaded. The catch is that you still have to pay the full price for renting the horse (~$10).
I had a fun time Patience, my horse. The ride was a little intimidating especially heading back down because you as if you’re about to tumble over head first. But fear not my fellow friends! There are two men escorting you by foot on each side and they coach you very well on what to do to make it easier on the horse. Man, I was feeling so bad for Patience. He is so strong. Bless his heart. We were bonding the whole time. So I know he forgives me.
The guide who gave us a tour of Palais Sans Souci, is the one who led us to La Citadelle and gave us a tour there as well. He was very informative and patient with us as we interrupted him so many times to take pictures. Please don’t do that, you can always go back and take pictures. I wish I had kept his name. Oh well next time because I’m definitely going back. I recommend this place to everybody and anybody. Please remember to tip the people who have served you. I’m excited to see what it will look like after the renovations are complete. Here’s what they had going on so far along with a store where you can purchase posters, shirts and baseball caps all featuring La Citadelle:
Peace & Love & Keep on Greening!
Check this awesome video out about paragliding over La Citadelle!