Several caves in Haiti have now been set up for tourist visits. You can visit the Marie-Jeanne cave in Port-a-Piment, the Bellony cave in Pestel or the Kounoubwa cave, in Camp-Perrin with trained local guides.
• Bellony cave
A small jewel located 45 minutes from the idyllic port of Pestel, this cave offers a variety of exceptional formations. Discovered in 2009, the cavity is still preserved and intact from degradations. A locked gate (keys will be with the guide) protects the access to the most beautiful chamber and a path has been traced inside to canalize visitors. 15 minutes by car and 30 minute walk.
Visit duration: about one hour.
Contact: Pestel City Hall: 37 67 15 87
• Marie-Jeanne cave
Located in Port-a-Piment, it is the longest cave known to this day in Haiti. The cave is a veritable 2.5 mile-long labyrinth with three levels of galleries. Accompanied by a guide, you will be able to explore its depth and discover numerous types of underground landscapes.
Access to the cave is done via a dirt path from the city. Fifteen minute walk.
Duration of visit: between 1 and 4 hours according to your availability.
Contact : Jean Baptiste Eliovil (guide) 36 38 22 92 or 37 82 32 75
• Kounoubwa cave
Located 30 minute by foot from Camp-Perrin, the cave is an immense underground void and a pilgrimage site.
Several chambers can be visited, and for the most adventurous ones, several passages are hidden (to be explored with the guide). The atmosphere is speleological!
Contact: Fresnel or Joel Constant (guides): 36 69 54 58 ou 38 10 50 75
Local guides have been trained, who will accompany you for a safe visit.
The visit fee for each cave has been set at 100 gourdes per person (guide’s remuneration and lent material – helmet with light).
Do contact the guides to check their availability. They will open the locked gates giving access to the cavities.
Beware : a cave is a dangerous natural environment. Do not enter the caves alone and inform someone of your whereabouts. Prepare your visit and bring along with you a working flashlight and spare batteries.
| The other caves...
The caves presented here are all three located in the country’s Southern peninsula, however 70% of Haiti’s territory is made up of karstic terrain that favors the formation of caves. Cavities are therefore found scattered throughout all departments, and a list of more than 150 known caves has been collected.
Just as they played an important role in the Taino culture, caves are an important element of Haitian culture and local populations are very much attached to them. A large number of these cavities are used for mystical gatherings.
These caves have been known locally for dozens of years, but very little systematic exploration has been done to itemize them and discover new ones.
Since 2008 several teams of foreign speleologists have followed one another to study these caves and reveal to the general public this magnificent yet fragile heritage, unrecognized for the most part.
This website is stemming from a program of Conservation and Promotion of Haiti’s underground heritage, started in 2009.