Jacmel and Bassin Bleu
Jacmel in Haiti © Rich Bowen
The southern port city of Jacmel is both historic and picturesque. Tentatively accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site despite sustaining extensive damage in the 2010 earthquake, it is known for its elegant 19th century homes and buildings, a vibrant art and music scene, and stunning white-sand beaches. The destination is also considered one of the safest and most interesting cities for tourists exploring Haiti. Travellers should make a point of visiting the waterfalls and deep natural pools of Bassin Bleu. Hiking to the pools is an option, though most choose to drive rather than tackle the long trek. Visitors can expect splendid views along the way. Once they arrive at the village drop-off site, they will need to hike for 15 to 20 minutes to reach the main pools. There are always plenty of eager local guides to show the way and help the less fit along. The pools are a glorious turquoise and the water is cool and refreshing, with some thrilling rock jumps for the adventurous to attempt. It is best to take along swimsuits and a picnic and spend a day leisurely exploring the area.
Admission: Free, but local guides will expect a tip.