National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers

National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers

National History Park - Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers
4.5

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles38 reviews
Excellent
21
Very good
15
Average
2
Poor
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Terrible
0

ViajeroIndiana
South Bend, IN380 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Friends
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.
Written May 5, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travelbee77
Fort Lauderdale, FL2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was a very good experience. Getting there is a little hectic but it's worth it. I never thought such sites even existed in the Caribbean. A must see.
Written July 6, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel Harder
Charlottesville, VA57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
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.
Written June 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EsAyJay
Chicago, IL3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I have been to La Citadelle on two occasions. Once in 1997 and again in 2007. Both trips were amazing and a reminder of the beauty of Haiti. It is a long walk from the town of Milot at the base of the hill up to the top of the mountain, and you need to be fit to do it. You can rent a horse to get up there as well.

There will be plenty of "guides" who offer you help. My advice is to negotiate up front what their "tip" will be. They will insist it is free or for friendship, but trust me, they want a little something after the guided tour. Some guides actually know the history and others don't know anything or can't explain in English, so it may not be worth is unless you speak Creole.

In 2007, it was a 45 minute to 1 hour drive from Cap Haitian to Milot. It really depends on the condition of the road.
Written January 21, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CinciVick
Hervey Bay, Australia120 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Friends
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.
Written September 24, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex in Ecuador
Léogâne, Ouest, Haiti81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Friends
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.
Written August 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Odyssey143784
Pelham, NY21 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
This place is majestical! This is my second time going there. Each time I learn something new. Haiti is rich in history and this place captures Haiti's history like no other place in Haiti. The hike up and down is brutal, so make sure you train your body 2 to 3 months in advance if you are not an active person. I used music to motivate me. The downside to this trip is the constant begging from those who either live in the area or staff that works there. They cluster around me in a way that was uncomfortable. They don't mean any harm and they backed off when I told them "no thank you," but for a tourist location I do expect less harassment. Another thing that bothered me is the treatment to the horses that transports customers to and from the Citadel. They constantly whipped their horses, so I decided not to use the horse because of this. Other than those 2 things, I would strongly recommend going to this place. There you will see that Haiti is not a "@#$thole," it's the "Pearl of the Antilles" of the Caribbean. A must see if you go to the north side of Haiti. The proof is in the pictures.
Written August 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DC_girl77
Washington DC, DC230 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Friends
The ruined palace was interesting to visit, but expensive, because we were told that we had to hire a guide (my sister, who lives in Haiti, seemed to think this was legit). His English was okay, but he clearly had memorized specific phrases and kept repeating the same thing over again.

Note - we were unable to visit the Citadelle because they had had a lot of rain. The roads were too wet for the jeeps to make it up the hill and my parents were not fit enough to hike themselves...and none of us are horse/mule riders. So keep that in mind if you visit during the rainy season...
Written May 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marieostensson
Atlanta, GA51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
We visited in March and the place is RICH in history and BEAUTY!!! The guide was wonderful and very knowledgeable..
Written April 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

michael c
Stockholm, Sweden1,081 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Solo
Whatever you do don't leave Haiti without having seen Palace Sans Souci and the Citadel. absolutely amazing sites.
Written October 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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