We did it! Two days. Too many miles to count. Caribbeans girls went hiking across the Haitian mountains. And it was everything
Im fortunate that I had two friends living in Haiti who knew how to navigate the country and organize the details of the trip. But it also wasn’t impossible to do this with little knowledge of Haiti. The three most important things: who will take you to the start location, where will you sleep overnight, who will pick you up in Jacmel?
I arrived in Haiti the night before the hike and my friends and I had some dinner and drinks before heading out. None of us were experienced hikers. I purchased a bag off amazon HERE and some cheap comfy hiking sneakers HERE. In the morning we hired a car to take us to the starting point in Furcy which is a bit outside the city. The hike is so popular that if you tell most people, they will know where to drop you.
We had a ‘guide’ through Lakay Winnie who found us as we were walking from Furcy. Honestly the guide wasn’t 100% necessary. The path is pretty straight. He also seemed frustrated by our pace. He came in most handy the second day as the road get more populated as you get closer to Jacmel and it’s helpful to have a man looking out for you just in case. We stayed a Lackay Winnie overnight which was great. BRING WARM CLOTHES. Its cold one you get to the top of the mountains. If you have any food restrictions, bring a meal replacement shake or something. Lunch was lamb and veggies. Dinner was just a soup (no meat). Breakfast was eggs and toast.
The second day of the trip is all downhill. How this was hardest that going up I still don’t know. I didn’t feel pain in your quads like Day 1 but somehow I felt slow AF. Our guide frequently stopped to speak to friends, eat, etc and was still able to keep up with us. This hike was over Easter weekend and so ‘ra ra’ (Easter carnival celebrations) were in full effect. We were stopped by ra ra and had to pay $500 to pass. Do they demand the money? No. But when the parade dances in front of you, you know what they want. Make sure to budget instances like these into your budget. Also budget the fact that Haiti is not cheap. Hotel rooms etc are priced only a bit lower than the US.
Once we got to the end of the trail, there was tons of ‘ra ra’. Here is where using your wits and instincts is important. I stood at the side and didn’t saw a word as my friends navigated through the crowd and found a tap tap. Sure, people can look at us and know we are Blan (literally: white but used for all foreigners) but I wasn’t going to confirm by opening my mouth. Once of the tap tap it was a 30 minute ride to the Hotel.
Hotel Florita was beautiful and everything I love about the Caribbean. We stayed in the overflow house which was nice and spacious but not as decorated as the main Hotel. It was super easy to walk out onto the broad walk and get food. Restaurants close a bit early–just a warning.
The next day was just perfection– beach day. The hotel staff drove us to the beach and picked us up. We ate fresh lobster by the beach. So relaxing for our tired muscles! Later that day we caught a bus back to PaP.
A few tips in terms of what to bring:
Packing light is BAE
If you are a woman, long running leggings work perfectly. I know others wear running shorts, but you will fit in better with pants. I just brought a pair of running leggings and loose shirt for each day.
You can’t really over pack water
As we got higher in the mountains, we saw fewer and fewer opportunities to purchase water. It’s kinda annoying (and heavy AF) to carry at first, but all the water will be gone by the end of the trip.
Trail mix is the perfect snack
If you don’t have a person in your group who speaks Kreyol, be extra careful. And wherever you stay for the night, make sure to lock up your room and belongings tight. We heard rumors of robberies at Lakay Winnie. We also heard some guest sleep with the door open (WTF? Really? SMFH!). We didn’t play games: locked all doors and window and put or money and phone in our PJs. We didn’t have any problems and didn’t hear anyone during the night. Haiti is an amazing place to visit and I have been four times without problems. But you make things harder for yourself if you aren’t always aware of your surrounding and being extra cautious.
Haiti is such goals.