Labadee, Haiti - Stein Travel
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An oasis of pleasure in a troubled land, the holiday destination of Labadee is a cordoned off peninsula on the north coast of Haiti, owned and operated by a cruise line (Royal Caribbean) with the aim of providing a safe and secure base for passengers to disembark and be tendered ashore to enjoy the tropical delights of the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti. Labadee is situated in Haiti, a country that is rife with civil unrest, crime and corruption, and although it has plenty to offer tourists, has become something of a pariah on the international travel scene in recent years. The cruise company has picked a beautiful spot as a private holiday playground for those enjoying its Caribbean cruises, and improved upon it. Labadee has five white, powdery beaches, all lapped by crystal clear waters with offshore coral reefs, a water park, restaurants, bars, shops and markets. Labadee resort is more than just an extension of the ship and a place to tread on dry land, though, for visitors can take a number of excursions to experience the local culture and get a taste of the island's rich history. The resort was unaffected by the catastrophic earthquake in early 2010 that devastated the rest of the island.

Information & Facts


There is plenty of fun to be had in Labadee besides just enjoying the beaches. The child-oriented water park is a hit with families, while the more daring can rent a jet ski or indulge in a variety of watersports like parasailing or a banana boat ride. Several excursions can be arranged, including a narrated coastal tour, a kayaking trip to a nearby Haitian fishing village, or a snorkelling expedition to Amiga Island.


Located on Haiti's north coast, Labadee experiences a tropical climate. The weather is constant throughout the year with average temperatures hovering around 80F to 90F (27C to 32C) making Labadee a great destination to visit at any time of year. Brief showers can occur at any time though are mostly short-lived. Travellers planning to visit between December and June should not that this is the Hurricane season.


Creole is the official language, and French is widely used; English is spoken in the capital and at Labadee cruise port.


The official currency is the Haitian Gourde (HTG), divided into 100 centimes, but US Dollars are also widely accepted. Credit cards are welcome nearly everywhere, but ATMs are scarce and the few there are in Port au Prince are often out of order. Travellers cheques are difficult to exchange.


Some visitors find it disturbing to realize that Labadee is fenced off from the 'real Haiti', in a compound surrounded by armed guards. The fence is unobtrusive; those who take a closer look might find it is upsetting to see the exceedingly poor local people begging for handouts as they peer through into the tourist's paradise. Essentially a visit to Labadee is not a visit to Haiti, but simply a relaxing day on the beach for cruise passengers heading to Miami.

Night Life

Since most of the holiday visitors come ashore just for the day from cruise ships, there is no nightlife in Labadee.


Cruise ship passengers on holiday in Labadee are served barbeque lunches at three different beachside open-air venues. There are several bars operating to slake the thirsts of sunbathers, and vendors wander along the beach offering refreshments.


Labadee is a wonderful place for holidaymakers to browse for souvenirs and gifts to take home from your cruise. The Haitian flea market contains shops and stalls offering local arts and crafts, coffee and cognac. Alongside an informal local artisan's market has grown up, the colourful merchandise consisting of everything imaginable from baskets and beads to carvings and clothing. Bartering is expected, and adds to the fun, the norm being to start negotiating at around half the asking price.


Local time is GMT -5.

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