Haiti is a pretty amazing island with much to explore. You get the best of both worlds: the cool breezy mountains and the sunny clear beaches. Whether you are looking to spend money or to save some, you can find a good mix of adventurous, cultural, touristic, gastronomic and local activities on this list.
1. Explore the nearest gem
No need to go too far, your new favorite spot might be just a few steps away. A lot of the places I’ve discovered in Haiti have been by sheer curiosity. I wanted to experience something new so I just used the ManmanPemba app, looked at ‘places nearby’ and I just went. It’s cool if you find someone else to explore with but doing it alone is just as exciting.
ManmanPemba is the best local guide to Port-au-Prince and Haiti. You can find great local businesses and natural attractions with people’s reviews. And the best part is discovering events, parties, expo, happy hours, concerts happening that day or later.
2. Food. Food. FOOD. Did I say food?
I love trying different restaurants in Haiti and let me tell ya, I’ve tried numerous. My top 5 places to eat in PAP are: Bon Nan Bouch (traditional), La Coquille (traditional buffet style), Aztec (Mexican), Big Star Cafe (Traditional and Arab) and Chicken Fiesta (Chinese or close enough). You can be sure to get great service at these places and a relatively decent price for the quantity of food you get.
3. Go to free cultural events
The French Institute in Haiti publishes a calendar of activities they’ve got going on every month. On Thursdays they welcome a band or solo artist, sometimes local, sometimes international. They project movies and have forums. The majority of the time it’s totally free. You get to meet locals, it’s generally a great atmosphere. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with their updates.
FOKAL is an institution that does similar cultural events both to educate and entertain. They have a book club. You can go play checkers and scrabbles on Saturdays. They even have a children corner.
Pen Haiti was founded by a writer for writers. They sometimes welcome famous Haitian authors and have seminars for writers. A musician comes to play every weekend. They also have a small library you can rent books from. It’s a magical little spot in Thomassin 32 that very few know of.
4. Go to the beach
Need I say more? Actually I do. I don’t know if I should be sharing this secret. But I love you so much that I will. My current go-to beach is Ocean View because it’s often empty. It’s like having a private beach all to myself and it is the cheapest and one of the first beaches on the way to Montrouis. Their food is average in my opinion but I’m a vegetarian so I have different standards. You are welcome.
5. Go to a concert at Yanvalou
Every Thursday night. On the clock. Don’t bring your sock. It will rock. #Bars
6. Visit Museums
MUPANAH is always a go-to. Aside from the great Haitian historical artifacts, they have different art shows throughout the year.
Museum Ogier-Fombrun in Montrouis/ Moulin Sur Mer is another great one.
7. Art, Thou art Bae
I love human expression; the way an individual can make something their own through painting, sculpture, music, poetry, digital art you name it. So even if someone drew Chewbaca in the worst way I will admire it. That’s just me. Talent abounds in Haiti and it’s great to support it.
Art expos and fests are happening all the time. Check the local newspaper or your trusty trusty MamanPemba app to know where the next one is at.
Artisanat en Fête is a big expo with all sorts of artisanal work that happens yearly. Places like Mupanah, Villa Kalewès, Cafe 36 or that gallery on top of Kay Atizan are always showcasing goodies from pretty amazing artists and artisans.
8. Reconnect with Mama Nature
Thomassin, Kenscoff, Furcy, Obleon… Take me anywhere near the mountains and I’m gooood. For days. The energy up there is just so recharging.
If you have a car good enough to make it up the mountains to Pasteur Wallace or Jane Wynne Farm or to Ozone (formely called Rustik), it is so worth it.
If not, there’s a park in Martissan. The only park I know of in PaP. It’s open to everyone, go check it out.
9. Go to the only movie theater in Haiti
Upgrade date night by going to Rev Cinema’s movie theater. Grab your popcorn. Grab you hot dog. Grab your blanket. And enjoy your movie while you sit comfortably in an air conditioned room. You won’t even know you’re not in the States.
RevCinema only has one theater room and thus the movie showings for the day are pretty limited. The movies are either in French or English. Couples and children get a discount.
10. Play pool at a lounge
Sometimes I just want to spend time with friends and we are not necessarily hungry. La Reserve in petionville or Bamboo Lounge in Turgeau are cool places to do that. You may have to at least buy a drink but still.
The Marriott hotel is another spot to just hang out and even use the free WiFi if need be but you won’t find a pool or baby foot table there, the nice decor shall have to do.
For more information on any of the places mentioned on this post, look them up on the ManmanPemba app or on social media (Facebook or Instagram)
What do YOU do for fun in Haiti ?! Let us know in the comments below ⬇️