The awe-inspiring mountain fortress of Citadelle Laferrière is a short distance from Cap-Haïtien on the edge of the small town of Milot. Built to repel the French, it’s a monument to the vision of Henri Christophe, who oversaw its construction. A visit here is an essential part of any trip to Haiti, and actually takes in two sites – the Unesco World Heritage–listed fortress itself and the palace of Sans Souci.
The site entrance is at the far end of Milot, next to the huge dome of Église Immaculée Conception de Milot, facing the ruins of Sans Souci. Opposite this is the ticket office. There are many guides and horse wranglers here. One that comes recommended is Maurice Etienne, who also runs the Lakou Lakay cultural center. A reasonable fee for a good guide is US$20 to US$30, plus the hire of a horse.