Number Seven: The Real Pirates of the Caribbean
Jack Sparrow and his fellow pirates spent most of the first movie (and part of the second) trying to get to Tortuga to recruit new sailors. Most of the locations shown in the movie are fictitious, but Tortuga is not; Tortuga is a real, tiny island that belongs to Haiti. In fact, it was one of the major hotspots for real-life Caribbean piracy in the 17th century! However, the sequences taking place on the island weren’t really shot there—they were filmed entirely in St. Vincent.
One of Haiti’s main attractions are its incredible natural beaches. Haiti one of the few nations in the Caribbean where most of its coastline remains intact. Around 70% of Haiti’s beaches are virgin and almost completely deserted.
Number Five: Discovering Haiti with José Andrés
José Andrés is one of the most renowned chefs in the world. He owns five restaurants in Washington D.C., along with a dozen more internationally. And he’s responsible for every dish served on NBC’s Hannibal! The Spanish chef led a tour around Haiti to discover the country’s best kept secrets and, most importantly, its food. Ex-president Bill Clinton joined Andrés in his Caribbean adventure too. Andrés’ culinary route was shot and aired on PBS.
Number Four: Biggest Variety of Mangos
Haiti is a fruit paradise. The country has the finest and biggest variety of mangoes, with a total of 143 varieties. Although they only export 10% of their production, it’s still the largest mango exporter in the Caribbean and the 16th largest in the world.
Number Three: Haiti’s Impressive Cave Systems
As we mentioned in part one, Haiti is a rocky, mountainous country. However, it also has an impressive cave system, one of the largest in all of the Caribbean. Most of these caves have not been mapped out, but a good few caves are open to visits, like the Marie-Jeanne cave, in Port-a-Piment. It was discovered in 2009 and, due to the lack of human activity in the area, it remains very well preserved. It’s a 2.5-mile long labyrinth with three levels of galleries. Most importantly, it bears strong evidence of pre-historical human activity, such as pictographs and pottery, making it an Archaeological goldmine. It’s one of the few Archaeological sites that can be visited daily without any control.
Number Two: Just Four Radio Stations
Haiti counts with four radio and five TV stations only. Surprisingly, Haiti proved to be the most advanced Caribbean country in terms of analog to digital transitioning, according to Jean Marie Guillaume, Director General of CONATEL, the country “is the most advanced country in this process of transition throughout the Caribbean, both technically and economically.”
Number One: Haiti’s Street Art
When we think of Haiti, we think of beautiful, virgin beaches and torn down houses. Did you know that Haiti has an incredible street art scene? Lots of graffiti artists walk around Port-au-Prince drawing their worries and social commentaries on every wall. Haiti counts with a surprising amount of art galleries and museums, but its best art can be experienced outdoors. We hope you enjoyed our 15 little-known facts about the Caribbean country!