Karnaval in Haiti
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jan 23, 2013 8:31 PM Last Post By: parryander
Jan 20, 2013 1:33 PM
Karnaval in HaitiDear fellows travellers!
I am planning to have vacation in Puerto Rico, starting on February 8.
I am thinking to go to Haiti for Karnaval for 2-3 days, and comeback to Puerto Rico. I read that it is in Cap Haiten this year, not in Jacmel, on February 12.
What is the correct information?
Geographically , it is so close, but I am still thinking how to do it: or flying to Port Au Prince and from there take a bus to Cap Haiten VERSUS the idea of flying to Santo Domingo and from there rent a car and driving via the northern Domenican Republic border to Cap Haiten directly, which is just an 1.5 hour from border.
Is there buses between Santo Domingo and Port Au Prince?
I am traveling alone. Speak only English. Thinking that hire a guide will be a good idea, but HOW and Where? Is it safe to hire the giude on the border? And how much it can cost?
What would be your advice?
Jan 20, 2013 8:35 PM
1don't rent a car - you won't be able to cross the border. There are buses in the DR - Caribe and Capital. Caribe will get you to Cap Haitian. You can also get a bus from PaP to Cap Haitian - less hassle I think.
The kanaval is always held in many towns - the 'national' kanaval is in Cap Haitian this year, but Jacmel will have one also.
You need to get a room to stay in. May be impossible now - few rooms avail in that town, actually, and camping is not a good idea.
A guide is a good idea, yes - and don't hire one at the border unless you plan on getting him a room and paying for all his meals too. The border is a distance from Cap Haitian. The guides there may not know much about the city you are going to.
A guide can cost from $25 on up per day. If they are not driving too.
Jan 21, 2013 1:54 PM
Jan 21, 2013 1:55 PM
really NEED and appreciate your help!!!!! vise
PLEASE, advise me :
I just bought the airplane ticket, I will fly from Florida to PaP on Monday February 11, arriving at 9 am and guess, shell going toward Cap Haiten right away, because the Kanival will be next day, on February12.
There are Tortug Air flight at 11.45 am to Cap Haitien with arrival time on 12.15 pm. 100 $ one way ( probably, they will charge something for a bag too. I have 1 carry on and 1 back pack). Shell I get it or use a bus ( it is much cheaper?????) I mean, how hussle it is going to be to move to bus station, if I do not spealk French, and speak only English? On line ,somebody advise to avoid the PaP city at any expenses, others wrote that it is good and interesting experiense.
In case of taking the bus, when I will arrive in Cap Haitien and will it be possible to see the Citadel at the same day for sunset?
Right after Kanival I am planning to go to Puerto Rico.
Will you advise to come back to PaP on Wednesday morning and fly to Santo Domingo (and from there already fly to San Juan , my real destination for vacation), OR go on Wednesday morning from Cap Haitien to the DR border by car and from there take a bus or rent a car to Santo Domingo?
If I will be back to PaP on Wednesday, it is good idea to visit Jacmel too for a short time, and later already comeback to PaP and go to Santo Domingo ( there are late afternoon flight) ? How long it will take to go there by bus Jacmel by bus? It look like close on the map...
I mean, is Jacmel really deserve to be seen even for short time????
In these present circumstanses when I am travelling alone for just 2-3 days in Haiti, should I better minimize the all buses/cars trips, directly fly to Cap Haitien for Kanival and fly back to PaP? Or based on small size of country and relatively short distanses, using the bus and going to Jacmel is going to be very interesting additional experiense too?
Thank you for yout time!
PS: Wish I have traveling friend in this particular case!!!
Fellows, If anybody have the similar travelling plans, please, let me know! :)
Jan 21, 2013 2:00 PM
4Oh, wish I read you second post early, I was typinng the answer.... But I bought the ticket already for February 11 anyway.... In this case if Kanival starting on 10 th, I better fly PaP, in order to save time..... Correct????
When the Kanival in Jacmel ? Is it will be much difference with Kanival in Cap Haitien?
Jan 21, 2013 2:02 PM
5PS: I meant, fly from PaP to Cap Haitien, not taking a bus... Sorry for typo :)
Jan 21, 2013 4:35 PM
6okay - yes, fly to Cap Haitian. The bus takes a day, you will be tired and miss some fun.
I cannot figure out the dates for Jacmel's Kanaval - it is usually the week BEFORE the national one - but! I simply have not found the dates ...anyone else out there?
I actually prefer Jacmel's - it is different and quite nice.
No - you will not be able to do the Citadel, it really is not an easy haul there, and most folks plan a day for the trip. Distances are not the problem in Haiti, the roads and other issues are. All travel within the country can be slow to impossible at times, so planning side trips have to be made with plenty of cushion. Because you are really going to see Karnaval, and are flying in in the middle, I would focus on finding a room to stay.
From Cap Haitian you can get a bus through the border and the DR - they are daily and easy. Or you can fly. Or yes, you could go back to PaP and hang out there for a day or two. Getting to Jacmel is about a 3.5 hour drive - count on delays! - and should not be done at night. So - Jacmel is a 1.5 day jaunt at a bare minimum. Some folks do it faster...not sure how or why.
again - I can't stress enough - you have to find a room. If you can't you will be stuck. Cap Haitian has very few hotels...
Jan 22, 2013 7:21 PM
7Dear Parryander !
So thankfull for all your advise. I spent some additional time on videos on Youtube, read more information on line about Haiti and rent book on Haiti from the library.... Everything in your messages, every sentense make sense!!! I wish I knew all this information in advanse, maybe would plan my vaction little differently on dates ( : Shouda, coulda, woulda :).... But originally, I actually planned and I am still going to Purto Rico :), so it it just by chance I found out about the Kanaval in Haiti and spontaniously decided to " incorporate" it in my trip, even for a few days :)
Per your advice, I bought one way airplan ticket from PaP to Cap Haitien, ( sure, it is look so close on map, but takes 7-8 hours by bus !!!! Plus, the time from the airport to the bus terminal- almost an hour. Unbelivable!
Citadel is the MUST, it is one attraction that keep my interest to Haiti since the last year, when I was in DR close to the northern Haiti border and I could not make it because of the time issue ( the closing of the borders at the early hours).
According to the videos, the view is fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!
So, I would postpone with buying the return airplane tickets from C. H. and probably, per your advice, will stay one day longer... The two separate 25 and 45 minutes flights ( plus, few awaiting hours- in both PaP ans C.H airports to Santo Domingo ) would cost almost 300 $! ( my several hours trip from the US cost less than 200 :),
Disagree that it worth 300 :) , so, I will play "by air " :), and somehow anyway will make my way back to DR .... may be even, as you said, a day later, but I could see and learn more about the country travelling by bus, instead of sitting the same ammount of hours in the airports waiting halls :)
Sincerely thank you again for advise to book hotel in C. H. and will do it ASAP.
I agree, ( per Youtube videos) that Jacmel Kanaval ( quite different) deserves the another trp to Haiti in the future :)
PS. Appologize for keeping writing it to you it as a public post, sorry, they cancel for some reason, all individual messages.
Jan 22, 2013 10:20 PM
Jan 23, 2013 2:34 PM
9here is a link to some more info - with possible contacts for lodging : http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-7703-haiti-social-2nd-sunday-of-carnival-activities-in-cap-haitien.html
Jan 23, 2013 4:53 PM
Not sure why I read article on the internet which said that the Kanaval days are February 11 afternoon and February 12. Probably, for me now it is not very wise to change ALL tickets and come early one day, but still, please tell me if usually during the Kanaval are ALL days pretty similar to each other, or the first ot the last one of them are more important and interesting?
On that article you sent me there is an email for room booking from the official tourist center for guest accomodation , I just sent them a message. Hope to find something. Because, I read the Lonely planet book yesterday, it is just few hotels in whole city with tonns of visitors,
You was absolutely right.
Jan 23, 2013 6:38 PM
Jan 23, 2013 8:31 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$109.00 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$125.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$165.33 per night