It’s easy to get lost in the headlines about Haiti: widespread poverty, crippling droughts, economic depression. But as the country continues its post-2010 earthquake reconstruction efforts, it’s witnessing a small tourism boom. Leading the way are companies like Marriott, which opened a hotel in Port-au-Prince last March, and outfitter G Adventures, which rolled out a 10-day tour this year. In 2014, the Inter-American Development Bank asked the outfitter to assess whether Haiti was ready for tourism. Jeff Russill, G Adventures’ Vice President of Innovation, spent 12 days exploring the country’s potential as an adventure travel destination. “With a job like mine you can get jaded,” he says, “but after a few days in Haiti, it dawned on me that this was the best travel experience I had had in years.” He was so taken by experiences such as visiting Citadelle Laferrière, a mountaintop fortress that’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, and meeting kids at the grassroots Art Creation Foundation for Children, which teaches a variety of traditional arts, that he pressed his company to include them in a trip. $2,499.
For more on Haiti, read about how the country put a spell on photographer Nina Dietzel here, or plan your trip using this guide.