Cap-Haitien,Haiti

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Cap-Haïtien often referred to as Le Cap or Au Cap, is a commune of about 190,000 people on the north coast of Haiti and capital of the Department of Nord.

Cap-Haïtien (Haitian Creole: Kap Ayisyen; English: Cape Haitian) often referred to as Le Cap or Au Cap, is a commune of about 190,000 people on the north coast of Haiti and capital of the Department of Nord. Previously named as Cap‑Français, Cap‑Henri and historically known as the Paris of the Antilles, displaying its wealth and sophistication through its beautiful architecture and artistic life.[4][5][6][7] It was an important city during the colonial period, serving as the capital of the French Colony of Saint-Domingue from the city’s formal foundation in 1711 until 1770 when the capital was moved to Port-au-Prince. After the Haitian Revolution, it became the capital of the Kingdom of Northern Haiti under King Henri Christophe until 1820.

Cap-Haïtien’s long history of independent thought and its relative distance from Port-au-Prince have contributed to making it a legendary incubator of anti-establishment movements. For instance, from February 5–29, 2004, the city was taken over by militants who opposed the rule of the Haïtian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. They eventually created enough political pressure to force him out of office and the country.

Cap-Haïtien is near the historic Haitian town of Milot, which lies 12 miles (19 km) to the southwest along a gravel road. Milot was Haiti’s first capital under the self-proclaimed King Henri Christophe, who ascended to power in 1807, three years after Haiti had gained independence from France. He renamed Cap‑Français as Cap‑Henri. Milot is the site of his Sans-Souci Palace, wrecked by the 1842 earthquake. The Citadelle Laferrière, a massive stone fortress bristling with cannons, atop a nearby mountain is 5 miles (8.0 km) away. On clear days, its silhouette is visible from Cap‑Haïtien.

Economy

Cap-Haïtien is known as the nation’s largest center of historic monuments; it is a tourist destination. The calm water of the bay, picturesque Caribbean beaches and monuments have made it a resort and vacation destination for Haiti’s upper classes, comparable to Pétion-Ville. Cap‑Haïtien has also attracted more international tourists, as it has been isolated from the political instability in the south of the island.

It has a wealth of French colonial architecture, which has been well preserved. During and after the Haitian Revolution, many craftsmen from Cap‑Haïtien, who were free people of color, fled to French-controlled New Orleans. As a result, the two cities share many similarities in styles of architecture. Especially notable are the gingerbread houses lining the city’s older streets.

Higher education

A union of four Catholic Church private schools have been present for two decades in Cap‑Haïtien. They have higher-level grades, equivalent to the lycées that feed the Écoles Normale Supérieure in France. They have high standards of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and generally their students come from the social and economic elite.

  • Collège Notre-Dame du Perpetuel Secours des Pères de Sainte-Croix
  • Collège Regina Assumpta des Sœurs de Sainte-Croix
  • École des Frères de l’instruction Chrétienne
  • École Saint Joseph de Cluny des Sœurs Anne-Marie Javoue

The new Universite Roi Henri Christophe is nearby in Limonade.

Transportation

Airports

Cap-Haïtien is served by the Hugo Chávez International Airport, Haiti’s second busiest airport. It is a hub for Salsa d’Haiti. American Airlines has recently started international flights into the enlarged airport.

Seaport

The Port international du Cap-Haïtien is Cap-Haïtien’s main seaport.

Roads

The Route Nationale#1 connects Cap-Haïtien with the Haitian capital city Port-au-Prince via the cities of Saint-Marc and Gonaïves. The Route Nationale#3 also connects Cap-Haïtien with Port-au-Prince via the Central Plateau and the cities of Mirebalais and Hinche. Cap-Haïtien has one of the best grid systems in Haiti with its north-south streets were renamed as single letters (beginning with Rue A, a major avenue), and its east-west streets with numbers. The Boulevard du Cap-Haitian (also called the Boulevard Carenage) is Cap‑Haïtien’s main boulevard that runs along the Atlantic Ocean in the northern part of the city.

Public transportation

Cap-Haïtien is served by tap tap and local taxis or motorcycles.


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