We recommend that you fly through the Dominican Republic and not through Haiti! The best way to reach us would be from Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo has an International Airport (SDQ) reachable from most parts of the world.
The reason we recommend flying through Santo Domingo is because of your comfort and safety. Getting to Sadhana Forest Haiti from Port-au-Prince can be very long and complicated.
Please bring your own mosquito net or tent and let us know when you plan to arrive.
The address of Sadhana Forest Haiti is below, however this is not a postal address as there is no postal service in the area:
Sadhana Forest Haiti
Kay Mer Lasaline,
It is best to fly into the Santo Domingo Airport (SDQ). There will be a $10 USD tourist card charge (this serves as your visa) in the airport when you go through customs. If your flight arrives early in the morning, you can go straight to the bus station, which is located on a street called Calle Duarte. There are two streets called Calle Duarte so tell your taxi driver you are going to the “bus station (La Parada) on Calle Duarte”. Let your taxi driver know which bus you will be taking (Pedernales), and he will drop you off right in front of it. The cost for the taxi varies between 1500- 2000 Dominican Pesos.
Buses leave about every hour from 7 am to noon. The buses do not leave right on time, and have left up to a half hour early/late. The cost ranges, from 300-500 Dominican Pesos, and if you have a lot of luggage, you may be asked to pay for an extra seat for your bags. You must be on the 7 am bus to reach Pedernales before the border closes. If you take a later bus, you may have to find accommodation in Pedernales for the night.
The bus moves rather slowly and will take about 7 hours to arrive in Pedernales, making frequent stops where you will not get off the bus. It will have one main stop where you can get food and go to the bathroom. (a note on bathrooms in the Dominican Republic: sometimes you will need your own toilet paper or tissues, which go into the trash after use and not down the toilet.) The bus stops at a fast food restaurant and there may be food stands with fruit, crackers, etc nearby (making a purchase here may give you a further opportunity to exchange your bills for smaller ones). Changing money to smaller bills and coins will be needed for when you get off the bus. This stop will last about 15 minutes and may leave without you, so be aware of this.
When you reach Pedernales, get off at the stop “La Parada” (which literally translates into The Stop). If you can give us notice, either before you leave the bus station in Santo Domingo, or use someone’s cell phone (it is courteous to offer some compensation of around 50 Dominican Pesos). If you call ahead of time then we can meet you at La Parada. If not, grab a Concho (a motorcycle taxi), and say you are going to “La Puerta” which is the border. It costs 25 pesos for you and 25 pesos per big bag on the Concho. This is the correct price and you should not pay more than this.
Once you arrive at the border, you will go to the immigration office on the left hand side of the road to stamp out of the Dominican Republic. This does not cost any money! You will next cross the bridge, (WELCOME TO HAITI!), and on the right hand side is the immigration office to enter Haiti. You will pay USD $20 to be stamped into Haiti. This is very important to do, so even if you get offered by a concho driver to ‘skip’ the immigration office you must refuse as he will then ask you to pay him money in ‘exchange for his help’. Once you are stamped into Haiti, you can get another concho. They are waiting by the border, and ask them to take you to Sadhana Forest. If they do not know where Sadhana Forest is, ask for Ecole Amsai. It will cost 25 pesos for you and 25 pesos per big bag. If you get off the concho in front of the school gates, our entrance is straight ahead (if you are facing the correct direction the school will be on your left). Look for the yellow columns and follow the yellow columns along the path, you will then see our main hut in front of you!
Remember, if you need to be picked up from the border or bus stop, then please call us (you can ask people on the bus to use their cell phones and you may need to offer them a small compensation) to tell us which bus you are on and when you expect to arrive. It would also help us if you ask the driver to tell you when you are one hour away before arriving and try to call us again at that time.
These are all the numbers to reach us: 809-787-2233 and 509-4738-4860! Please write them down!
If you don’t arrive to Pedernales before 16:00 please stay the night in Pedernales and come to join us on the next day. In Pedernales you could stay at Hostal Doña Chava, which is a two-minute walk from the bus station and doesn’t require a concho.
5 Calle Segunda
If you are staying in Santo Domingo before coming to Haiti, only exchange a little money at the airport and then exchange the rest in the city because there you will get better exchange rates.
There is an ATM in Pedernales where you can get more money in the future. There is little need to exchange or arrive with Haitian Gourdes. Due to our proximity to the Dominican Republic, all money transactions in Anse-à-Pitres are preferably done with Dominican Pesos. Please bring enough pesos to pay your food contribution upon arrival. There is an ATM in Pedernales though it is not open 24 hours a day, and only accepts MasterCard credit cards that have a four-digit pin. However this machine is also unreliable, so it’s best to bring enough cash for your stay.
If you arrive to Santo Domingo after the last bus has left or wish to rest from the flight in Santo Domingo you could take a taxi to Plaza Toledo
Calle Isabel La Catolica no. 163,
Esq. Luperon, Plaza Maria Toledo
Zona Colinal, Santo Domingo
This is a hostel run by Betty Marshall, a very friendly expatriate from USA. There is a shared room and private rooms that could accommodate a family. The cost of the shared room is $12 US (503 Dominican Pesos). It is clean, includes a free (not necessarily vegan) breakfast and has a kitchen where you can prepare your own food.
Betty also has a trusted taxi driver named Mr. Perez who is cheaper than other taxis. We highly recommend arranging a taxi through her, as it will cost $1000 peso (the cheapest taxi you may find).
Or you can stay at:
Calle Isabel La Catolica 155
Phone:1-809-688-4263, 954 636 2089, Mobile: 809 519 4865
The cost is $30-40 USD a night. You get your own room with television and A/C if you like.
Both Plaza Toledo and Hotel Freeman are in Zona Colonial, which is a safe area, and they are the cheapest accommodations we have been able to find for their convenience and safety.