Quantcast
Adventure
The mountains of Haiti. PO2 Daniel Barker / DVIDS

Haiti’s Most Popular Ecotourism Destinations

The tropical Caribbean island of Haiti is a paradise with a rich, fascinating history, natural wonders and diverse cultural offerings. It has also been named by some as the next big thing in regional tourism.

But ecotourism in particular could become important for Haiti, with its rich land and sea biodiversity. Globally, the business of ecotourism generates more than $600 billion a year and is connected to hundreds of thousands of jobs.


Haiti's botanical diversity was described as "one of the richest" in the Caribbean by the U.S. Forest Service in a report for USAID in 2010. It's also under tremendous pressure and the clock is ticking. Less than 2 percent of Haiti remains forested. Endemic species of Haiti's fauna—about 75 percent of their animals—are on the "brink of extinction," according to USAID.

Ecotourism could help turn the tide for Haiti's 35 protected areas. The country's coastline of 1,100 miles (1,775 kilometers), coastal shelf of more than 1,900 square miles (5,000 square kilometers), and five main offshore islands makes for a rich, biodiverse and varied regional ecology.

Here are a few popular ecotourism options in Haiti:

1. Waterfalls and Natural Pools

Bassin Bleu near Jacmel.ExperienceHaiti.org

One of Haiti's numerous waterfalls, Bassin Bleu is particularly stunning and popular. Just outside of a town called Jacmel, it is the finale in a series of three waterfalls after Bassin Palmiste and Bassin Clair.

The series of cascading turquoise pools and waterfalls are steeped in the depths of Haiti's tropical forest and local legends, and are only accessible by foot. The journey also requires making river crossings and using ropes to descend.

Mountains

The mountains of Haiti. PO2 Daniel Barker / DVIDS

A good portion of Haiti's 10,714 sq miles (7,750 square kilometers) of terrain is made up of mountains. In the north, the highest point in Haiti can be reached by hiking along a wide central plain, the Chaine de la Selle. It is perched at 9,100 feet (2,777 meters) above sea level.

Haiti is about the size of Hawai'i, and there are numerous options for hiking, mountain biking and exploration. The country has 10 national parks, several of which were just recently established.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Labadee, Haiti.Brian Holland / Wikimedia Commons

Haiti is home to 11 ports, and is a diving and snorkeling paradise. There are 17 marine reserves, many of which are popular scuba diving, snorkeling and boating destinations. Overall, there is captivating variety of human and natural wonders to explore—from shipwrecks to coral reef.

Security concerns may have contributed to the health of some of the reefs in the area by keeping away more cautious visitors. Much of Haiti's coral reef seems to have escaped the coral bleaching affecting surrounding locations in the Caribbean.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, seen here speaking to the press about the Flint water crisis in 2016, will be the highest ranking official to stand trial over the public health disaster. Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

Judge Orders Michigan Health Director to Face Trial Over Flint Water Crisis Deaths

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon will be the highest ranking official to go to trial so far as a result of an investigation into the Flint water crisis, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Judge David Goggins ruled Monday there was probable cause for Lyon to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of Robert Skidmore and John Snyder that prosecutors say were due to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that Lyon was aware of a year before he alerted Michigan's governor, Michigan Live reported. Lyons is also charged with misconduct in office.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Coal-fired power plant near Becker, Minnesota. Tony Webster / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Trump's 'Dirty Power Plan' Could Cost More Than 1,000 Lives a Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled on Tuesday its long-anticipated replacement of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The new coal pollution rules will increase planet-warming carbon pollution and could cost more than a thousand American lives each year, according to the EPA's own estimates.

EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" today under President Trump's directive. The new plan encourages efficiency improvements at existing coal plants to ensure they operate longer and allows states to weaken, or even eliminate, coal emissions standards. That's a clear difference from former President Obama's plan, which was aimed at phasing out coal and transitioning to cleaner power sources to avoid dangerous climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Two workers in protective gear scrape asbestos tile and mastic from a facility at Naval Base Point Loma in California. NAVFAC / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Why Asbestos Is Still a Major Public Health Threat in the U.S.

Reports surfaced this month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos in June, requiring anyone who wanted to start or resume importing or manufacturing the carcinogenic mineral to first receive EPA approval.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Rklfoto / Getty Images

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Wants to End EPA’s Cruel Animal Testing

By Justin Goodman and Nathan Herschler

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress recently pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its "questionable" and "dubious" animal tests. The lawmakers' demand for information on "horrific and inhumane" animal testing at the EPA comes on the heels of a recent Johns Hopkins University study that found that high-tech computer models are more effective than animal tests.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
Wikimedia Commons

Strongest, Oldest Arctic Sea Ice Breaks Up for First Time on Record

The Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and now the region's thickest and oldest sea ice—also known as "the last ice area"—is breaking up for the first time on record, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

The breakage has opened up waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen-solid even in the peak of summer.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Climate Justice Edmonton

These Giant Portraits Will Stand in the Path of Trans Mountain Pipeline

By Andrea Germanos

To put forth a "hopeful vision for the future" that includes bold climate action, a new installation project is to be erected along the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion route to harnesses art's ability to be a force for social change and highlight the fossil fuel project's increased threats to indigenous rights and a safe climate.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
A worker inspects recycled plastic in a plastics factory. Getty Images

The Plastic Waste Crisis Is an Opportunity to Get Serious About Recycling

By Kate O'Neill

A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called "National Sword" policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials. As a result, piles of plastic waste are building up in ports and recycling facilities across the U.S.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Aaron Teasdale

The One Thing Better Than Summer Skiing

By Aaron Teasdale

"There's snow up here, I promise," I assure my son Jonah, as we grunt up a south-facing mountainside in Glacier National Park in July. A mountain goat cocks its head as if to say, "What kind of crazy people hike up bare mountains in ski boots?" He's not the only one to wonder what in the name of Bode Miller we're doing up here with ski gear.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!