See what others have to say about Expedition Ayiti! We have had people from all walks of life participate in an EA hike, including current expatriates living in Haiti. EA has also been featured in BACKPACKER Magazine and the Financial Times. You can see Expedition Ayiti in the media here.
Expedition Ayiti has put together one of the most impactful week long excursions I have had the pleasure of experiencing. First, I felt safe. The hiking was wonderful and I feel as though I came away from Haiti with great friends. The solitude of each hike was filled with reflection on the myriad contradictions that each day brought: the poverty amid incredible entrepreneurship, the intense focus of the youth on educa- tion with limited educational opportunity, the beauty of the countryside despite cen- turies of forest destruction and soil erosion. The complexity of Haiti is so compelling that I found myself wanting to be a part of its future in some way. It is impossible for this experience to be anything but intoxicating and enlightening for the curious and adventurous.
As someone who genuinely loves to learn about the places I travel, nothing beats Expedition Ayiti's ability to immerse you in Haitian culture. I'm not going to claim that I came away from Haiti as some kind of expert of Haitian culture, but the holistic understanding you can begin to develop about this beautiful country through Expedition Ayiti's trips is just about the best you can hope for out of a short-term trip. My experience made it to clear to me that Expedition Ayiti believes that Haiti is a country worth learning from and soaking in, and I'm so glad they showed me how true that is!
My experience showed me the difference between being a tourist and being a traveling, humble student of culture. I'm so thankful for the rich, honest, holistic perspective of Haiti that I gained through every hike, home, and new friend I made during my trip. Expedition Ayiti changed my view of traveling forever!
I wanted a backpacking trip that would be unusual. After 5 trips to Haiti working, I wanted to meet the people in a non-oppressive atmosphere, not in an operating room. Austin Taylor and his team provided a trip way beyond expectations. This was truly a cultural immersion. The hiking part was good and fun - moderately strenuous for a 72 year old. The guides were both professional and friendly. The help they provided was invaluable, especially when fording two rivers, which I had never done in my life. Staying in the homes of basic Haitians was an eye opener. The kindness and generosity was amazing. Seeing how they live, and living how they live, is something unforgettable. Bedding was clean. Food was basic, nutritious and well cooked. No one was sick. Actually, too much food. Entertainment with local singing and dancing was just plain fun. And the scenery was beautiful. Yes, I will do it again.
The founders of Expedition Ayiti have created a sustainable tourism model that allows backpackers to navigate across Haiti’s stunning and curious landscape while forging friendships with local guides through humorous banter and cultural exchange. At the end of each day’s hike one is rewarded with the smiles and hospitality of a Haitian family that converts its home into a welcoming homestay providing an authentic and educational experience.
During the rainy season, the guides react quickly to the unexpected creating unforeseen adventures that add to the fun, excitement and uniqueness.
Expedition Ayiti provides an exclusive and genuine experience of Haiti accommodating the needs of backpackers while respecting and empowering the local communities.
Landing at the airport in Port au Prince provided me with a view of a country that had much to offer. With a sneak peek of the mountains we would shortly be facing, I grew very anxious to begin this journey. That anxiety continued to grow, but once we started hiking, I realized that I had an amazing support team and we would face any obstacle together. I never felt alone or discouraged when facing these challenges because of the encouragement that everyone offered. The people we met along the way were incredible and so welcoming. Staying with locals allowed our team to immerse ourselves with the culture and traditions Haiti has to offer. This trip ended up being one of the most challenging things I have done and I would do it again in a heartbeat! As we walked through the mountains, enjoyed the beautiful beach, and interacted with the locals; I grew to love this place and knew that leaving would be difficult but it's not goodbye, it's see you soon!
St. Louis, Missouri
This was my fourth trip to Haiti, but my first time as a tourist. This was also my first-ever backpacking experience. Hiking the South Route was challenging and painful and exhausting, but completely worth it! Pre-trip, Austin was great answering any questions I had and that really put me at ease (I was nervous, having never done anything like this before). Junior was our hike leader, and he is one of the kindest and most genuine people I’ve ever met. He also totally lived up to his nickname. Austin, Junior, and Gerald did a great job leading and coordinating the whole trip.
The South Route is breathtaking – the views are stunning and the mountains are steep. There were moments where I wanted everyone to see what I was seeing and, at the same time, no one to see it. During some particularly challenging inclines I was thinking, “Never. Again.” But I hope to hike the Central Plateau next and do the South Route again, si Dye vle. Haiti is beautiful and I can’t stay away.
Expedition Ayiti created an amazing and culturally authentic experience for us on our recent hike in the Central Plateau. The scenery and terrain were breathtaking. The guides and hosts we had were exceptional. They cared deeply about showing us the best of their country and have become good friends in the process.
It is clear that Expedition Ayiti has put alot of effort into creating a unique experience that most outsiders to Haiti would never have. The exposure we had to how some Haitians live, and what they are doing to move forward despite the conflicts and obstacles they face is inspiring and a contradiction to how the rest of the world reports on this nation.
If you are looking for a challenging adventure that allows you to form your own opinions on what you read and hear - then this is the trip for you! An open mind and a sense of humor are also helpful :)
November 2016 I went with Expedition Aiyti on a backpacking trip to the Central Plateau of Haiti. I can only call this trip life changing. The sheer adventure and joy of the trip ultimately overcame the objections of my feet. Such cultural immersion cannot be found in any other type of tour, and it was the winning factor at the end of the day, to feel one with the people, living in their homes, eating and conversing with them, seeing the details of their lives first-hand. The vistas were breath-taking, the sense of accomplishment at the peak of the third day’s hike was gratifying.
I can’t say enough about Austin, Junior and Gerald. We never had to worry about safety, food, or clean water. We were encouraged to ask questions and they all helped me understand life in Haiti better than I could have imagined. I would not hesitate to recommend Expedition Aiyti to anyone seeking to hike and learn about Haiti from a perspective one cannot get elsewhere. I feel privileged to have been part of this experience and it has changed my life for the better.
Expedition Ayiti obviously made a great deal of effort to make my wish to visit Haiti after 43 years possible. For that, I am grateful. EA's staff in PAP, Marie-Ange and Junior were exceptionally accommodating, knowledgeable and protective.
For me, I had a super time, seeing a part of Haiti that is well hidden. Who knew the temperature could go as low as 60 degrees F in the mountains? Or there was a pine forest that reminds you of Maine? The other two fellows were the perfect hiking companions. In fact, they made my 60th birthday challenge more interesting for this was the most strenuous hike I have ever done.
Thank you for helping me make this wish happen.
These are testimonials from people who live and work or who have lived and worked in Haiti.
Before going on an Expedition Ayiti trip, I had worked in Haiti as an intern for three summers and traveled to the country multiple times in between. Even having worked and temporarily lived in-country, my trip with Expedition Ayiti was one of the most interesting and exciting adventures I have had in Haiti. Expedition Ayiti manages to capture the incredibly beautiful and unique aspects of Haitian culture and people in a distinct way. From the food to the foliage, EA offers an expansive introduction to Haiti and moves well beyond the typical tagline of “impoverished nation” to the richness of Haitian culture. If you are looking for an adventure and to understand Haiti in a deeper way, even having visited multiple times, Expedition Ayiti is a great opportunity.
I speak Haitian Creole and have been involved in Haiti for the last 16 years. My trek with Expedition Ayiti gave me an in-depth look at life in rural Haiti, which my previous travels had not afforded me. I loved staying with different families each night, hearing their stories and learning about their villages. EA does a great job of educating hikers and respectfully promoting intercultural understanding. (Sleeping in schools and homes and listening to the rain fall on the tin roof was a lovely experience. Hiking through sugar cane fields and getting to tour a small Clairin/kleren distillery and see how it's made from sugar cane was very interesting. Walking through fields of "pwa kongo"-Congo beans- or manioc; and then eating them for dinner helped integrate my knowledge and experience of Haitian cuisine.)
I'm so grateful that EA makes a point to showcase the beauty of life in Haiti--the gorgeous terrain of the Central Plateau and the beautiful hospitality of her people are truly unmatched. This hike enriched and deepened my love and appreciation for Haiti (which I didn't think was possible!)
Los Angeles, California
I have spent a considerable amount of time in Haiti over the last decade. As an avid hiker/backpacker, I've always been mesmerized by the mountains surrounding Port-au-Prince and eager to explore them by foot. Expedition Ayiti was everything I had hoped for and more. It was a challenging hike, with scenery that was quite literally jaw dropping, and the people we met along the way were nothing short of inspiring. Each day was completely different, but equally wonderful. Austin was so helpful and patient in getting me connected with another group of hikers and I thoroughly enjoyed having Junior as our guide. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Haiti, but I have never been in such awe of the county, it's culture, and it's people, and I have EA to thank for that. I look forward to doing the Central Plateau route with them in the near future!
Rochester, New Hampshire
I have lived in Haiti for the past year, and I have not experienced what I experienced with Expedition Ayiti during that time. The experience fills you with awe from the natural beauty of the country, warmth from the genuine Haitian hospitality, and growth from listening to the stories and experiences of the people you meet. If you want a 5-star experience defined by air conditioning, non-Haitian food, and service at your every beck and call, Expedition Ayiti is not for you. If you want a learning experience defined by authenticity, hospitality, and personal growth, contact Expedition Ayiti now. You won't be disappointed with the experience. You only need to be armed with an open mind, and you will enjoy every aspect of the trip!
My husband and I have lived in Haiti for over a year and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Expedition Ayiti. We were able to get away from the urban area we live in and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the rural areas the Central Plateau has to offer. This trip allows you the rare opportunity to literally live the life of a Haitian family...eating their food, sleeping in their beds and showering as they do. You are also able to learn about their community and way of life.
We have been living in Haiti for over a year and there isn't too much time to go out and explore the beautiful country, so when we heard about Expedition Ayiti's hike through the Central Plateau we knew this was something we wanted to do. The scenery that we encountered as we walked through the Central Plateau was picturesque. We are so thankful we had some photographers on our trip that were able to capture a little bit of this, but if we are being honest, pictures still don't do it justice. You have to see it to appreciate its beauty. Along with the gorgeous landscape we were also able to experience the culture and day to day lives for the Haitians. Although we are more familiar with this, we greatly enjoyed watching our new friends immerse themselves into the experience. We would highly recommend this trip to those who have never been to Haiti and also missionaries or expats currently living in country.
Chelsea Steiner and Aggie Klassen
My recent trip with Expedition Ayiti on the Central Plateau was an AWESOME adventure that I would recommend to anyone who has done some backpacking and is flexible and easy-going by nature. The countryside is beautiful and the people are welcoming and generous. The hike was an experience I will not forget and I look forward to doing the "Southern Haiti" trip through Expedition Ayiti in the future.
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Unless I have lived somwhere for many months, when I travel I usually feel that I am looking in on another culture. Expedition Ayiti gave me an experience in one week that I would take months to achieve on my own. Listeing to Doug and the other Kreyol speakers talk with our hosts gave me a windo into Hatian life that would not have been accessible to me as a visitor on my own.
Now weeks after arriving home, it’s the dusty landscape of PAP, the kind embrace of the Central Plateau, and the vibrant energy of the Haitian people that seem to hang thick in my memories. I’d been told before I left that I was about to get infected with Haiti. The truth of that statement has great implications on a life. To get infected requires action, it implies a promise of change that can’t be ignored or trapped away as a distant memory. Haiti stirs my deepest thoughts and longings to make a difference in my lifetime and demands a response. Haiti has undoubtedly only just begun to shape my thinking and perspective. I will forever be indebted to Expedition Ayiti for the opportunity to have my eyes opened to the reality of this world.