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Chicago to Okap

Chicago, Illinois
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8 posts
45 reviews
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Chicago to Okap
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Has anyone flown Chicago to CapH?

I’m looking for the best itinerary to stay in CapH for ~4 days.

So far the best I’ve found is Chicago - Santiago, DR , Santiago - Okap via bus.

Any suggestions?

Flights are expensive and 1+ nights duration.

I’m looking for 1 day travel, ~ 4 days CapH. I have ~ 10 days total so I can manage some travel time.

Thank You

5 replies to this topic
Brooklyn, New York
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2,457 posts
18 reviews
35 helpful votes
1. Re: Chicago to Okap
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santiago to okap via bus sounds like the least expensive, most straightforward option.

if you haven’t already, you could research flying into port au prince then taking a sunrise airways flight to okap. that would be more expensive and your flight times might not line up, but that’s the next most straightforward option.

Chicago, Illinois
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45 reviews
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2. Re: Chicago to Okap
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Thank you for your suggestion.

I am guessing that finding a car/guide to get to la citadelle/sans souci would be possible, easy enough from a decent hotel in the city? Also, I know okap generally does not have the same kinds of problems that pap has but, if you’ve been, how have you experienced walking around, exploring, and being around the city? Everything I know tells me that okap is the most ‘stable’ city in Haiti but I am white and pretty much expect to stick out while there. Do you foresee any kind of issue? I’m imagining a typical large foreign city w some impoverished areas, ppl, etc but is there anywhere I should avoid out of an abundance of caution? Similarly, how are the bus services, taxis, etc. I’m excited in that nervous way you get before going somewhere new.

Thanks again!

Brooklyn, New York
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2,457 posts
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3. Re: Chicago to Okap
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your main challenges are that you've never been to haiti before and that you don't speak kreyol. you're not going to be able to go anywhere by yourself.

outside of when you're at your hotel, you will need to go around with someone haitian everywhere you go.

if i didn't know haiti, had never been to okap before AND was not going to be traveling with someone from haiti, this is how i would plan a visit to okap:

1. i would stay at one of the following hotels:

hotel roi christophe- it's located in the city proper, near the waterfront

hotel satama- located in the hills directly outside of the main part of the city

2. i would speak with the hotel concierge to arrange a driver to get me to the citadelle. you don't need to hire a guide through the hotel- they have state trained guides AT the citadelle and you'll have to hire one of them once you're there. so, all you'll need from the hotel is to arrange a driver to get you there and back.

3. the only city/large town i ever walk around in in haiti is jacmel. i don't walk around in port au prince. i don't walk around in okap. we drive everywhere, even if it's only 5 minutes away. if you want to explore the city, i highly recommend you speak with your hotel concierge to arrange for an english speaking driver/tour guide to take you on a day tour of the city. 4 to 6 hours should be enough. it will probably cost you between $20 and $50 usd per hour, depending on what you can negotiate.

4. taking a bus from the dr to haiti will be no problem- the luxury buses are comfortable. re: getting around okap- if you've never been to haiti before, i don't recommend you use the local jitney service (called "tap tap") and if you need a cab to get somewhere, you're going to (same as my advice above) want to arrange it through your hotel.

start watching videos on youtube! look up the hotels i recommended. look up "okap," "cap haitien," "stuff to do cap haitien," "ile a rat" "cormier plage," and "la citadelle."

let me know if you have any other questions.

Chicago, Illinois
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8 posts
45 reviews
28 helpful votes
4. Re: Chicago to Okap
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This has been very helpful!

I’ve looked into the Roi Christophe before and that’s top of the list of places to stay. I’ve read a lot about Haiti, love the history and culture, and I’ve wanted to go for a while. I know it’s a difficult place but I like to be outside my comfort zone so long as I can do it safely.

I’m glad to that hotels offer some of these services. I’m particularly interested in art so perhaps setting up some tours or meetings with artists would be something for me to look into. I’d love to get to the southern/western coasts like Jeremie and Jacmel but I’d be more comfortable being in country first in a larger city like Okap and then checking my comfort level. I also don’t want to go through NGOs or volunteer orgs bc I know they can take away from the real people and have different agendas that I’m not sure I support.

I’m kinda sad to hear that wandering/exploring isn’t much of a thing. My favorite thing to do in new cities is sitting in cafes/restaurants, people watching, and getting a feel for a place.

I’ll take your suggestions and see what kind of itinerary I can build. I’m only looking at staying for ~3 days to dip my toes in and see how it goes.

Thanks again! Please don’t be annoying if I reach out to you again. You’ve been very helpful.

Brooklyn, New York
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2,457 posts
18 reviews
35 helpful votes
5. Re: Chicago to Okap
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you won't be annoying if you reach out again!

i'm going to pm you the link to my youtube page- i have a lot of videos i took at la citadelle and at roi christophe.

in okap, you'll be able to sit in cafes, visit local markets, check out the cathedral (it was being renovated while we were there, so we weren't able to visit- i'm so disappointed), and all that other good stuff, but you'll just have to have a driver/guide with you. it may sound weird/awkward, but it will be fine.

i was actually going to suggest you explore the ngo volunteer option but got the vibe that's not really your thing. it's the path of least resistance for folks who have no existing ties to haiti, but i agree with your reasons for not wanting to go that route.

re: where to visit- jacmel is actually the easiest "entry point," to haiti, culturally, as it's a very small, arts oriented city and it has a ton of blan (white people/foreigners). it's also one of the few places you can safely/comfortably walk around in on your own. if you haven't booked your trip yet, you might want to seriously consider changing plans to go to jacmel (as opposed to okap). hotels to consider there are colin's, florita and l'auberge du vieux port- they're all located on the same quaint pedestrian street, rue de commerce. we actually just got back from spending a few weeks in jacmel- it was my first time there in 10 years. mototaxis have taken over the city- you could definitely get around via mototaxi as a tourist in jacmel.

jeremie is one of the few cities i still haven't visited- it's on my list, but it's a long trip from port au prince, and the roads are pretty bad, so it keeps getting pushed to the back burner.

port salut and ile a vache are two other places for you to research for future trips. ile a vache is incredibly gorgeous and the people are so warm.

i have videos of all these places on my youtube page.

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