The best Hiking Eco-cultural and Historic speleoturism Destination in Haiti
Dondon is at the heart of Haiti National Historic Parc which includes the Citadel, the San Souci palace and Ramiers, a UNESCO world heritage since 1982. An idyllic town with spectacular views, encircled by huge mountains, Dondon is the ideal place for eco -tourism. It counts more than 10 caves, notably the historic “Voute a Minguet” with Indian handprints. Dondon's recorded history begins on September 11, 1698 when this paradise was given to filibuster surgeon André Minguet. Its mountains display sloping rocks that sometimes lean on each, which are tangible manifestations of major earth agitations and changes. And Moreau de Saint -Mery was right to say, "there is perhaps no place in the colony with a more picturesque site than this parish."
Here all the touristic sites of Interest in Dondon:
1. Circuit Carrefour Seize : Citadelle, Forts Ramiers
2. Circuit La paire 1: Cave Michel I & II
3. Circuit La paire 2 : Cachot d'Arnaud &Coopérative Gabard le Vaillant, cacao plantation
4. Circuit Cotard: Cave Cadélia / Cotard waterfall
5. Circuit Vaseux : Cave Adrien (Trou la Fimen) / Grand Gouffre/La Porte St. Jacques
6. Circuit Pont des Dames : Cave Des-Dames & Cave Marc Antoine
7. Circuit du Bourg : Cave Saint-Martin &Fort Moise
8. Circuit Bassin Caïman : Colonial "borne" de Bassin-Caïman/Calvary
9. Circuit Matador: Habitation Vincent Ogé/Mahogany Forest/Coopérative Vincent Ogé, coffee plantation
10. Circuit Laguille : Voûte à Minguet / Deux-Rochers
11. Circuit Haut du Trou : Hiking to 1028 meters above sea level
The village, situated at an altitude of about 425 m above sea level, is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Some of Dondon's mountains are part of the"Bonnet a L' Eveque" mountain chain which houses the Citadelle Laferrière. The highest point of the municipality is located in Haut-du-Trou at 1028 meters above sea level. In general, the air is cool, temperate and healthy. Dondon is located in the department of Nord, about 30 km south from Cap- Haitien, and 290 km from Port -au- Prince (106 km by plane). Dondon is adjacent to the following municipalities: the Grande Rivière du Nord to the east, Saint-Raphaël (east and south) , Saint-Michel de l'Attalaye (south and west), Marmalade (west ) Acul North, the Plaine du Nord and Milot (north). Dondon was a gateway between the north and the rest of the country and played a leading role in the war of Independence. Dondon is most well-known for being the birthplaces of Vincent Oge and Gabart Le Vaillant. Ogé is recognized as one of the first martyrs of freedom and Gabart Levaillant as one of Haiti's Independence War heroes.
History tends to associate Dondon with these two heroes and the "Voûte a Minguet" cave, which in pre-Columbian times was a place of pilgrimage for the Indian Tainos of the island. Some lesser known historical facts about Dondon include:
The Jesuit, Le Pers who provided Charlevoix most of the information of his "History of St Domingo," died in Dondon.
Father Hague, after being arrested and accused of promoting and organizing the slave insurrection in the north, was drowned by order of Rochambeau in the Cap Haitian harbor. He was Dondon's priest in 1792.
In 1791 , Jean-Francois and Biassou, leaders of the slave rebellion, attacked Dondon and killed hundreds of white slave owners.
In 1794 , Toussaint Louverture attacked Dondon, took it from the Spaniards, and made it a French territory. This feat greatly contributed to the increase of Toussaint's influence.
Roume was prisoner in Dondon.
After the arrival of the St-Domingue Expedition, General Hardy attacked Dondon and Christophe was forced to retire in disorder in Marmelade after leaving a portion of his troops to delay Hardy.
In 1802, the Dondonnais, after removing Christophe as commander of Dondon after accusing him of having terribly hunted them as a French officer, were visited by Dessalines. Dessalines wanted to convince them to accept Christophe. Dessalines worked out a deal with the Dondonnais by sending Christophe to Milot .
It is the history, geography, and small stories mixed with the landscape and hospitality of its residents that has inspired (ODID) to work toward the betterment of Dondon, to create a recognition its history and natural resources.