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“Sans Souci also impressive.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers

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South Caicos
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Sans Souci also impressive.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

The ruined Sans Souci apparently rivaled Versailles before it was destroyed by an earthquake. I'm not sure about that, but I enjoyed our guided tour. Lots of nature at the site too, including many hummingbirds. It's great this is included in the ticket price for the world-class attraction of the Citadel.

Visited May 2014
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Cincinnati
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Fascinating Snapshot of History”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The Citadel built shortly after Haiti's Independence is an amazing site and place to visit. It is definitely worth the trip if you are anywhere near Cap Haitien. You must remember that you are in Haiti so at every turn, you will be asked or begged for money or to buy something you probably don't want or need. BE PREPARED, lots of small bills so you can contribute. We drove to the second parking lot where we met up with our horses and the horse guides, there were 4 of us. Walking this would be quite the task, doable, but at the temperatures and altitude, the horses are a good choice. Water can be purchased at the base or at the top, again along with many other goodies. The cost was $30 pp and that included a guide (recommended) the horse and the horse guides. Along the way the guides made certain we were separated so they could go over their tales of woe and why they needed an additional tip. Of course the guide recommended against giving money out individually and collected the tips. Of course, I gave a few bucks anyway. The horse guides were cordial and although I have had harder sells in Haiti, they were good kids and the horses seemed well taken care of.

I recommend the few minutes it takes to visit Sans Souci at the base of the approach to The Citadel, another fascinating piece of history.

Visited September 2012
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Léogâne, Ouest, Haiti
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Ruins of the Haitian Past”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

Haiti isn't a place for tourists, but if you are here and have transportation and can handle a lack of facilities, this is a must. One of the most amazing sights in my life, and I'm a heavy traveler.

If you go by yourself (not with a tour group or mission trip that has everything already arranged) be prepared to be hassled by a billion people wanting to be your guide. You have to say no several times, and even then they might try to guide you around, later asking for money.

It's super eerie to see such ancient grandiose in these rather rural areas, as modern Haiti is about as rough as it gets when it comes to third world countries.

Visited July 2012
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Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Excellent! (and here are some tips to not get conned)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

All the comments are correct here about the wonderful views and great experience.

A couple pieces of advice: You don't HAVE to take a horse or walk to the top. There is a paved road that is fully accessible to any 4WD vehicle (and probably any car in good condition). The tourist office will tell you it is impossible to walk up there or drive but that is not the case.

We paid 2600ish goude for everything (admission, guide, and horse wranglers.) The Lonely Planet says you will pay lots more. The folks who lead your horse told us that they needed tips to eat, that all the money went to the owners of the horses. You can buy 5 mangoes for 25 goude so do with that what you will.

There is a toilet in the citadel now which is perfectly serviceable.

Visited June 2012
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Indiana
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
198 helpful votes 198 helpful votes
“Citadel and Sans Souci are Amazing. Don't miss them”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

I have already written a long review of the Citadel -- with info about to Cap Hatien. To see it, go to "Things to do" in Cap Hatien, and click on the "Citadelle" option. There you will find my review and many others. Here I will only write about the amazing Palace of Sans Souci. Though it is certainly not as mind-blowing as the Citadel, this skeleton of an ornate palace, located as it is at the base of beautiful mountains in a Hatien tropical forest, is truly amazing. Indeed, this odd juxtaposition of European-style luxury and tropical exuberance inspired the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier to pen his famous 1943 essay "De lo real maravilloso americano" (On the American Marvelous Real), the text that is credited with giving birth to Latin American Magical Realism. Read the essay and the novel for which it originally served as a prologue (The Kingdom of this World) before you go to Haiti.

As you have to pass the palace on the way up to and down from the Citadel, you will certainly get a good view from your vehicle, but don't let this suffice. Be sure to spend plenty of time walking through the ruins and soaking up the magical aura.

As I mention in my review of the Citadel, be sure to read up on Sans Souci before you go -- there are no interpretive signs, no museum, no gift shop (thank God!) -- just the ruins. We also saw no other tourists when we were there, which made for a very enjoyable and private experience in these fascinating ruins.

One last thing: be sure to bring a camera with fully-charged battery and plenty of space for lots of pics.

Visited December 2011
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