Saint-Marc Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Saint-Marc, Haiti? This detailed travel guide covers everything you need to know - from must-visit attractions, hiking trails, and local culture to dining options, transportation, and safety tips.

Introduction to Saint-Marc

Welcome to Saint-Marc, a city located in the central region of Haiti. Founded in the late 17th century, this charming place has a rich history and is home to some of the most beautiful vistas and attractions in the Caribbean. Whether you’re a history buff or an adventurous traveler who loves outdoor activities, Saint-Marc won’t disappoint.

List of Places to Visit in Saint-Marc

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Palace of Sans-Souci: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this majestic palace is a must-visit for anyone interested in Haitian history and architecture.
  • Fort des Oliviers: This historic fort dates back to the early 19th century and offers stunning views of the Bay of Saint-Marc.
  • Saint-Marc Cathedral: A beautiful cathedral with neo-Gothic architecture, this religious landmark is an important part of the city’s cultural heritage.

Natural Attractions of Saint-Marc: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Parc National La Visite: This park situated to the west of Saint-Marc is perfect for treks, bird-watching, and observing nature’s finest.
  • Cascade 5-Étages: For a refreshing dip or a picnic in the lush greenery, head to this stunning waterfall located just a short distance from the city.
  • Presqu’île de l’Ouest: Translating to ‘Western Peninsula’, this tranquil spot offering stunning coastal views and beaches, it’s a perfect getaway for beach-lovers.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Saint-Marc

  • Morne Michel: A challenging hike that rewards you with views of the stunning scenery of the Gros-Morne region
  • La Visite: A wonderfully scenic hike that’s perfect for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike.
  • The Fort: Trek through a jungle forest to reach Fort des Oliviers, a secluded historic fort perched on top of a mountain peak.

Best Things to Do in Saint-Marc: Activities and Tours

  • Horse Riding: Canter through the lush greenery with private horse riding tours, available at various operators around Saint-Marc.
  • Boat Tours: Explore the coral reefs and crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean on a guided boat tour.
  • Cultural Tours: Delve into the rich cultural history of Saint-Marc with local guides that arrange tours to historic landmarks and neighborhoods.

Week-Long Itinerary for Saint-Marc

Here’s a week-long itinerary to help you plan a trip to Saint-Marc.

Day 1 Arrival and City Exploration
Day 2 Visit Saint-Marc Cathedral and nearby historic sites
Day 3 Trekking in Parc National La Visite
Day 4 Beach day at Presqu’île de l’Ouest
Day 5 Take a boat tour around Saint-Marc
Day 6 Explore Cascades Les 5-Étages
Day 7 Departure

Food and Drink Scene of Saint-Marc

Must-Try Dishes

  • Griot: Fried pork that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
  • Stewed goat: Slow-cooked goat served with spices, vegetables, and rice.
  • Accra: Fried fritters made with shredded codfish or shrimp.

Local Beverages

  • Kremas: A creamy, sweet drink made with rum, coconut milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  • Prestige: Haitian lager beer that is popular in the region.
  • Papye or passionfruit juice: Freshly squeezed from locally grown fruits.

Where to Stay in Saint-Marc: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Le Club Napoléon: A charming colonial-style hotel with lush gardens and an outdoor pool.
  • La Colline Hotel: A contemporary hotel with comfortable and affordable rooms, close to the city center.
  • Auberge de Saint-Marc: An affordable guesthouse with basic amenities and clean, comfortable rooms. Ideal for budget travelers.

What to Buy in Saint-Marc: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Artisanal crafts: Handmade baskets, carved wooden figurines, and hand-painted ceramics make great souvenirs to bring back home.
  • Haitian coffee: Delicious coffee beans grown in the surrounding mountains.

Local Culture and Customs of Saint-Marc

Saint-Marc is a city rich in cultural heritage and customs deeply rooted in Haiti’s history. Due to its geography, the city has a predominantly Creole-speaking population. Visitors are advised to respect local customs, such as dressing conservatively when visiting religious sites or traditional neighborhoods.

Best Time to Visit Saint-Marc

The best time to visit Saint-Marc is from December to April when the weather is mild and mostly dry. The rainy season is between May and November when it can be hot and humid.

Do’s and Don’ts of Saint-Marc


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites
  • Respect local customs and traditions
  • Try to learn a bit of Creole to interact with locals


  • Wear revealing clothing
  • Assume that everyone speaks English

Safety and Health

Safety in Saint-Marc

As with any foreign destination, visitors should take standard safety precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night and not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables. It is recommended to inquire about any areas which are off-limits to tourists

Health in Saint-Marc

Travelers to Haiti are recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Check with your local health authorities for any other required or recommended vaccinations.

Getting to Saint-Marc: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Saint-Marc

The nearest airport to Saint-Marc is the Port-au-Prince International Airport, located about 60 km southeast of the city. From there, you can easily access Saint-Marc by taking a bus or hiring a private taxi.

Bus Stations Near Saint-Marc

The Saint-Marc Bus Station is located in the city center and is easily accessible from the surrounding cities.

Other Options

Visitors can rent a car or take taxis to get around the city. However, taxis are known to be more expensive in Haiti, so it’s advisable to set a price before taking the ride.

How to Get Around in Saint-Marc

Walking around the city can be pleasant but can be tiring for longer distances. Taxis and buses are readily available and can be hailed almost anywhere in Saint-Marc.

Where to Go Next from Saint-Marc: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Jacmel: A charming small city located in the south of Haiti that is known for its vibrant art scene, architecture, and carnival.
  • Cap-Haitien: A coastal town in the north with a rich history and culture, known for its French colonial architecture and the UNESCO World Heritage Citadelle Laferriere.


Saint-Marc is a stunning destination that offers something for everyone. Above all, it is the warmth and hospitality of the local people that make it an unforgettable journey. With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to plan your trip and explore all this enchanting city has to offer.