Jacmel

Jacmel is a Haiti destination that more and more travelers are targeting. There are several reasons for this. Among them are the city’s Old World charm and its historic town center. Jacmel has actually been tentatively accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage site because of these things. Another reason to visit Jacmel Haiti is the charming and laid-back atmosphere. Situated a fair distance south of Port-au-Prince, the town is rather removed from the political tensions of the capital city area and is known for its relative tranquility. Jacmel is also widely considered to be one of the safest destinations in Haiti, and due in part to its coastal location, it offers plenty of scenic appeal.

Jacmel History

Jacmel Haiti was founded in 1698 and has a rather rich economic and cultural history. Trade and commerce were prominent in the past, and the city became well established as a port. Among the industries that created prosperity in Jacmel were coffee and precious oils. Culturally, the city has turned out some of Haiti’s most famous writers and painters, and it is still known for its vibrant art scene. Efforts are being made to restore the coffee industry, not to mention the once flourishing cigar industry. Foreign investment is largely responsible for the overall forward progress that is planned for Jacmel, and many signs point to this city becoming one of the Caribbean’s hottest new travel destinations.

Historic Town Center

The historic town center of Jacmel Haiti boasts plenty of French colonial architecture and offers plenty of Old World charm. You might liken it to the French Quarter in New Orleans. In fact, the architectural design of the historic town center of Jacmel was largely influential in the development of New Orleans’s French Quarter. Unfortunately, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti caused considerable damage to Jacmel and its historic structures. The Town Hall was actually damaged to such extent that it had to be demolished. Other buildings fared better, and thanks in part to international relief efforts, the town center is being restored. The Capponi Construction Group, which is based in Miami, is among the major players when it comes to the revitalization of Jacmel. The main intent overall is to get the city back on its feet and to help it develop a self-sustaining tourism industry. Care is being taken to maintain the city’s artistic and cultural traditions, so its historical relevance should remain intact.

Beaches

In and around Jacmel, gorgeous beaches with plenty of soft sand and lush vegetation, can be found. Some of the beaches are more secluded than others, and regardless of which one you visit, you can expect to bask in beautiful scenery. Haiti tours that include diving and snorkeling off of the Jacmel beaches can be arranged. While the surf is often calm, surfing is another activity that can be enjoyed when visiting the Jacmel beaches, and if you wish to take in the beach scenery from the water, you can also arrange boating excursions. Jet skiing is just one more way to stay busy when visiting the Jacmel beaches, though nobody will fault you if you simply prefer to kick back and relax. These are some of the most tranquil beaches in Haiti, after all. Haitian food and drinks are available at several beachside outlets in Jacmel for those who with to take advantage.

Hotels & Lodging

Hotels & Lodging
Hotels & Lodging

There are currently a good number of Jacmel hotels to select from, and thanks to new development projects, the accommodation choices are only set to increase in number. Among the new developments are the Saline Beach Resort, which is an eco-resort with various lodgings, and the 4 star, boutique resort that is being built in Le Village de Port-Jacmel. The Hotel Florita is a small and charming lodging establishment that figures among the most popular Jacmel hotels. Other highly recommendable places to stay include the Hotel Cyvadier, the Cap Lamandou Hotel (pictured), and the Hotel Kabic Beach Club. These are some of the best hotels in Haiti.

Top image: alexpolotsky (flickr)

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