Fort Liberte Haiti Travel Pictures
Dajabon Dominican Republic & Ouanaminthe Haiti area, Hotels pics
Fort Liberte, Haiti (see map link): I'd come by road from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on my way to Cap-Haitien. On the way back, still on the Haiti side, we turned off the main highway to go about 4 km (2 1/2 miles) into Fort Liberte, a small village that was busy making improvements to its public areas. See below for hotels pictures.
How to get to Fort Liberte
A daily bus service that goes between Santiago DR and Cap-Haitien crosses the border here at Dajabon, Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Contact Caribe Tours, Rue 28A, Carenage (same zone as the Hotel Roi Christophe). See Hispaniola.com page for schedules.
Check with a travel agent: Agents in the Dominican Republic cities like Puerto Plata or Playa Dorada, or Santo Domingo often have the most up to date information for tours to Haiti or about renting a vehicle. The travel situation changes rapidly, and you will get the most current information from a local agent. Travel Information, map link at Haiti country page; Haiti books, Haiti art and Labadie photos.
Dajabon DR - Ouanaminthe Haiti Border Bridge Over Riviere Massacre
This bridge crosses the Massacre River (Riviere Masacre) at Dajabon, DR to Ouanaminthe, Haiti.
There are no hotels in Ouanaminthe, but tap taps run from here into Cap-Haitien.
On the Haiti side, vendors were selling bottles of the renowned Barbancourt rum, reputed to be the world's finest.
The price varies depending on the quality -- the number of stars on the label -- but is around $10 USD per 750 ml (25 ounces) bottle.
The border fees (at the time I was here) to cross from the DR to Haiti (and back, each way) were $40 USD for the Haitian portion and 650 DOP (about $20 USD) for the DR portion.
Highway From DR Border to Cap-Haitien Haiti
The marked contrast between the lush and tidy Dominican Republic and the poverty of Haiti shows dramatically at the border crossing.
The DR seems positively First World compared to the bleakness of Haiti.
The paved roads to Dajabon, in the Dominican Republic, gave way to this typical Haiti road at Ouanaminthe.
I found this very disorienting, as if I'd crossed not only the geographical and political border, but also a border that divided the modern era and pre-Industrial Revolution era.
These young boys by the highway were running out with small buckets of gravel and sand they were using to fill potholes, in the hope that passing drivers would show their gratitude with a tip.
Highway near Fort Liberte
This is as good as it gets, and it is much better on the stretch of the highway shown here than it was in others.
It's 70 kilometres (43 1/2 miles) from Dajabon to Cap-Haitien, but it takes several hours, if the roads are good, and not washed out from rains. (See more Haiti highway.)
The Dominican Republic had paved roads, North American bank branch offices (I changed money at a Scotiabank in Dajabon) and Codatel offices with pay phones.
Haiti didn't. There's no way you can stay in your lane on the right hand side of the road; you drive slowly, and try to avoid pot holes and washouts by meandering from one side to the other, and sometimes into either ditch.
Fort Liberte on North Coast Hispaniola
Fort Liberte is sited on the north coast of Haiti, on a peninsula that allows sweeping views to the horizon.
The fortress dates back to 1756, and was built by the French. The town was the venue for a world anti-slavery meeting in the 1860s, says my guide book.
Fort Liberte sea wall crumbling stone
The fort lies mostly in ruins, and though it would be interesting to wander through, I never got the chance.
With the driver quite some distance away and out of sight, and the persistent children who came rushing up to beg,
I didn't want to go further from sight by heading down into the ruins.
It was just too isolated. I was told there was an orphanage near here that welcomed visitors, but I couldn't make arrangements at the time.
Fort Liberte fortifications ~ Overlooking the ocean
A closer look at the fortifications along the sea wall of Fort Liberte, and a row boat anchored just offshore.Originally inaugurated as Fort Dauphin in 1731, it became Fort Liberte in 1796, when Toussaint L'ouverture took the town.
Fort Liberte Children Pose For Camera
A wide field lies between the fort and the road, and this is where my driver had parked, still some distance from the fort.
They were quite clear they wanted pesos or dollars only, not Haitian gourdes.
Fort Liberte Photo Op Group of Children
These youngsters spoke Creole, and a bit of French and Spanish; as border kids, they learn to beg in many languages.
It was quite touching how the oldest girl fussed over the younger ones, smoothing their hair and wiping off their faces before posing them for the photo that they insisted I take.
Please don't offer them candy or sweet treats, I was advised: Hungry children in many poor, hot countries already have sugar canes to chew on.
Cavity-causing sugar cane and candies are empty nutrition; you are only adding to their plight.
Fort Liberte municipal building
This colourful building is not far from the arch (below). I recall it being a town building with a small museum. partly laid new interlocking-style brick walks in this area gave evidence of the town's getting a bit of a makeover.
From here, it's 18 kilometres (11 miles) from Dajabon. Leaving Haiti, the border guard was smiling and winking at me while chatting with my driver in Creole.
Fort Liberte Archway
This archway is much photographed by those who travel this route.
The mounds of earth beside the road were being used to install a new brick paver sidewalk.
Paradis Hotel in Ouanaminthe Haiti
Jean Cleantus Junior sends this photo of the Hotel Paradis in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.
Jean took on a visit to the area.
This view is from the front of the hotel, at street level.
Ideal Hotel view of swimming pool
This second Jean Cleantus Junior photo of the Ideal Hotel shows the back view with the swimming pool.