After an intense first week in Haiti with G Adventures, we headed for the southwest coast for some sun, sand, warm Caribbean beaches in Port Salut. And thunder and lightning!
The drive from Jacmel to Port Salut takes you most of the way back to Port-au-Prince, up into the mountains, and back down toward the sea. The long drive was broken up with a couple of fun stops, including lunch at the famous La Cayenne restaurant in Les Cayes, which is the best place to try phoscao, a decadent Haitian chocolate drink which tastes like chocolate pudding. More please!
Port Salut: The Haitian Vacation Destination
After the hustle of other parts of Haiti, the vibe in Port Salut is decidedly different. This place is chill, borne out by its reputation as the place Haitians go to get away from it all. The beaches are plentiful and quiet, and the warm water had me making room in my schedule of napping and eating for as much swimming as possible.Before this trip, I had never been to the Caribbean. Beach time on the North Atlantic normally consists of submerging yourself in 12C water until you stop feeling it. Having gotten a taste for swimming in warmer water in both Cap-Haitien and Jacmel, I took full advantage of the beach right across the street for swims and dazzling sunsets.
I stayed at Auberge du Rayon Vert, a beachfront lodge named after the mysterious “green flash” that is sometimes visible as the sun sets on a wide horizon. Conditions didn’t conspire in favour on this trip, but I did get to see this honey of a sunset.
Port Salut is also where we had our one day of inclement weather. A rager of a thunder and lightning storm blew threw just as we were sitting down for lunch. The dramatic clouds and abundant lightning provided terrific lunchtime entertainment, and was a great backdrop for a terrific nap.
With so much of day-to-day life for Haitians dependent on what they can sell, trade, fish or otherwise gather, I was impressed every single day with the national hustle of Haiti. No more so than on my last morning in Port Salut, where it looked like most of the neighbourhood turned out to pull in the fishing nets.
It was a busy day on the beach, with a grazing cow competing for attention with a goat tied up at an actual cemetery. With those three things, I feel like I managed to see all of the noteworthy beach sights in my last hour in town before hitting the road for Port-au-Prince.
The Family Plot
Speaking of that goat in the cemetery… Visiting cemeteries always provides interesting insight into a society’s perspective on life and death. In the cities, large cemeteries are the norm, but far outside of the dense cities it’s both common and legal to bury loved ones at home. The tombs are generally modest concrete, but often decorated with crosses, hearts, and vodou symbols. I loved how the tombs themselves were brightly painted and lovingly decorated, and was also impressed by how they were integrated into the surroundings.
My short time in Port Salut was like a Haitian rum punch: breezy, refreshing, and like a vacation on my vacation. Well, refreshing until I climbed up a hill to descend into a cave. Coming soon!
All about my trip to Haiti
For more about my G Adventures trip to Haiti, check out my Haiti travel section:
If you’re extra curious, explore my detailed Google Map of everywhere I visited in Haiti:
If you enjoyed this post, please take a moment to leave some feedback in the comment section. If you really, really enjoyed this post, you can subscribe to the blog to receive notifications for new content or follow my blog with Bloglovin. I share travel news on Twitter at @bitesizedtravel, pictures of travel, food, craft beer, and cats on Instagram, and I hide from Facebook. Okay, I don’t.