Haiti, the first independent nation in the Caribbean and the world’s oldest Black Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with its easterly neighbour the Dominican Republic. Haiti has a proud and often troubled history. Travellers from around the world have ventured here over the past few years to assist in the massive rebuilding effort underway following the devastating earthquake in 2010. And as some of them have discovered, there is far more to this enthralling country than ruin, for the visitor willing to explore its many offerings.

Whether you have come to Haiti to help in the rebuilding effort, or as a visitor, you will find opportunities during your stay to recharge yourself. The spa and health and wellness scene is concentrated mainly in the capital of Port-au-Prince with a few outstanding day spas dominating the segment. But to find your wellness centre in Haiti, you’ve got to open your mind and venture out.

The streets here provide a literal smorgasbord for the senses. Haitian art is known worldwide for its vivid colours and unique subjects. Art for sale literally jumps out at you on nearly every street corner accompanied by the pulsating sounds of the native music while the smells of the fusion of African and French cuisine hang heavy in the air.

For outdoor activities, nothing beats a trip to Haiti’s most well-known landmark, the Citadelle Laferrière. Head to Haiti’s second city, Cap-Haitien and then about 12 miles south you’ll find the town of Milot. From there, it is an invigorating hike or horseback ride up a mountain to the largest fortress in the Americas. Built by 20,000 workers in the early 1800s, The Citadelle and the nearby Sans-Souci Palace are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Your visit to Haiti will leave you with a lasting impression of the indomitable spirit of the warm and friendly people of the country. You’ll soon realise that, thanks to the determination of the people and the abundance of natural resources, this part of the paradise region of the Caribbean will soon take its place among the premiere health and wellness destinations in the world.