Les Cayes, often referred to as Aux Cayes (Haitian Creole: Okay), is a commune and seaport in the Les Cayes Arrondissement, in the Sud department of Haiti, with a population of 71,236. Due to its isolation from the political turmoil of the capital, Port-au-Prince, it is one of Haiti’s major ports, with export trade concentrating on mostly coffee and sugarcane. As the world’s largest supplier of vetiver, it exports 250 tons annually of this ingredient of perfume and fragrance manufacturing. Minor exports include bananas and timber.
Les Cayes plays a significant role in the still under-developed Haitian tourism industry, with pleasant sights such as: Gelée Beach: one of the longest and most visited beaches in Haiti. The white sand beach of Gelée beach is very popular in Haiti, not only for its restaurants which serve typical southern Haiti dishes such as tonm-tonm, grilled-conch, grilled-fish and lobster, but also for hosting an annual music festival around mid-August which usually features some of the best Compas music bands. Many visitors both from within Haiti and neighboring USA will come spend the weekend in Les Cayes. As the number of tourist continues to grow, several new hotels and restaurants continue to pop up.
The Botanical Garden of Les Cayes (Le Jardin Botanique des Cayes, in French) which is located in Bergeau, at the northern entrance of the city. The site occupies an area of eight (8) hectares. The nearby Île à Vache, Pic Macaya, Saut-Mathurine falls and Kounoubois cave in Camp-Perrin, Pointe-de-Sable beach in Port-Salut, Marie-Jeanne cave in Port-a-Piment.
Les Cayes has an airport, Antoine-Simon Airport. As of February 1st, 2013, the first stone on the expansion project of the Antoine-Simon Airport in Les Cayes has been laid. The project to make Antoine-Simon a viable international airport is part of broader efforts aiming at ramping up infrastructure development in Haiti’s South department.
The expansion project will add a new 3,000-metre runway strip and a new terminal to the airport. Haiti officials (Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Tourism Minister Stephanie Villedrouin) suggest that the airport would open up completely the southern region as the country sees tourism as one of the promising sectors capable of creating thousands of new jobs in the region.
Another airport project is also planned for the neighbouring island of Île-à-Vache.
Les Cayes has some training centers of which The American University of the Caribbean, Haiti; The Public University of The south in les Cayes, (UPSAC); and The Law and Economics School of les Cayes (EDSEC.).
Les Cayes Hospital is a small hospital in the commune, it is overused by people coming to seek help. .