The unassuming hills outside of Jacmel hold one of Haiti’s most precious jewels: Bassin Bleu. Bassin Bleu is a series of turquoise freshwater wading pools that consists of Bassin Cheval, Bassin Palmiste, and Bassin Clair.
Getting to Bassin Bleu is not easy; but well worth the trip. The easiest way to get there is to hire a jeep to take you across the Petite Rivière that connects to one of the most beautiful roads in Haiti.
The unpaved road is full of overlapping palm trees and vendors selling bundles of kinep. Everything about the road screams unspoiled paradise. This path leads to a road that winds through the mountains; providing a spectacular unobstructed views of the beaches of Jacmel and the countryside.
The further you go, the clearer the stunning beauty of the beaches of Jacmel becomes. About midway up, the view is so compelling that it’s impossible not to stop for a panoramic photo and breath of crisp, fresh air. At the end of the road, travelers must park their cars and travel the rest of the way by foot. Local guides lead the way all the while, pointing out cocoa plants, helping travelers cross brooks, and sharing stories about life nearby.
The first pool is Bassin Cheval; a series of shallow clear blue ponds. As the hike continues through the hills, Bassin Palmiste – a combination of pools and shallow falls – appears. The last part of the hike requires climbing a series of narrow tiny steps carved into a rock. Travelers must remove their shoes, then propel themselves down the other end of the rock with a rope. The experienced guides help tourists navigate each part carefully, ensuring the utmost safety.
Once across the last and most breathtaking pool, a stunning waterfall appears. The unspoiled beauty of Haiti is before you in all of its glory!
This basin consists of a series of three pools with depths ranging from approximately four feet on the shallow end to over eight feet deep. The water is refreshing; it is just the right temperature and pressure. The rocky bottom of the pool is smooth and easy to walk on.
You can bathe in the cool waters, take a swim in a deeper pool, and, for those bold enough, a jump from the falls.
Did I mention you can do all of this almost for free? There’s no fee to go to Bassin Bleu; but, make sure to leave a generous tip for the great help the guides give.
Marlynne Bidos is a Haitian-American attorney who lives in the New York City area. Her other interests include food, travel, and humanitarian work.
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