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 ()
Sponsored
Sam Murphy

Got Nondairy Alternative Milk?

By Sam Schipani

More and more, ecologically minded milk consumers are turning to nondairy products to minimize their carbon hoofprints. Sales of almond milk shot up by 250 percent between 2011 and 2016. Meanwhile, consumption of dairy milk has plummeted 37 percent since the 1970s, according to the USDA.

Keep reading... Show less
A burger made with a blend of beef and mushrooms. Mushroom Council

'Blended Burger' Allows a Simple Shift to More Sustainable Eating

By Richard Waite, Daniel Vennard and Gerard Pozzi

Burgers are possibly the most ubiquitous meal on Americans' dinner plates, but they're also among the most resource-intensive: Beef accounts for nearly half of the land use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the food Americans eat.

Although there's growing interest in plant-based burgers and other alternatives, for the millions of people who still want to order beef, there's a better burger out there: a beef-mushroom blend that maintains, or even enhances, that meaty flavor with significantly less environmental impact.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Old White Truck / Flickr

The Last Straw? EU Official Hints Ban on Single-Use Plastic Across Europe

A top EU official hinted that legislation to cut plastic waste in Europe is coming soon.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, made the comment after Britain's environment minister Michael Gove, a pro-Brexiter, suggested that staying in the EU would make it harder for the UK to create environmental laws such as banning plastic drinking straws.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Flare from gas well. Ken Doerr / Flickr

Court Orders Trump Administration to Enforce Obama-Era Methane Rule

A federal judge reinstated a widely supported methane waste rule that President Trump's administration has repeatedly tried to stop.

Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled Thursday that Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) decision to suspend core provisions of the 2016 Methane and Waste Prevention Rule was "untethered to evidence."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
On Jan. 24, 2017 President Donald Trump signed a memorandum to expedite the Keystone XL permitting process. Twitter | Donald Trump

Inside the Trump Admin's Fight to Keep the Keystone XL Approval Process Secret

By Steve Horn

At a Feb. 21 hearing, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Trump administration must either fork over documents showing how the U.S. Department of State reversed an earlier decision and ultimately came to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, or else provide a substantial legal reason for continuing to withhold them. The federal government has an order to deliver the goods, one way or the other, by March 21.

Keep reading... Show less
Health

New Black Lung Epidemic Emerging in Coal Country

In a study released this month by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), federal researchers identified more than 400 cases of complicated black lung in three clinics in southwestern Virginia between 2013 and 2017—the largest cluster ever reported.

However, the actual number of cases is likely much, much higher as the government analysis relied on self-reporting. An ongoing investigation from NPR has counted nearly 2,000 cases diagnosed since 2010 across Appalachia.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
Dennis Schroeder / NREL

The Facts About Trump’s Solar Tariffs – Who Gets Hurt? Who Gets Helped?

By John Rogers

The solar-related shoe we've been expecting has finally dropped: President Trump recently announced new taxes on imported solar cells and modules. There's plenty of downside to his decision, in terms of solar progress, momentum and jobs. But will it revive U.S. manufacturing?

Keep reading... Show less
Energy

Japan Confirms Oil From the Sanchi Is Washing Up On Its Beaches

By Andy Rowell

The Japanese Coast Guard has confirmed that the oil that is being washed up on islands in the south of the country is "highly likely" to have come from the stricken Iranian tanker, the Sanchi.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

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