Petionville in Port-au-Prince is one of the most important and classiest places in Haiti. For many tourists and expats, it is simply the place to be.
The place is a suburb and commune at Port-au-Prince. It is located east to the hills. You can get there by Port au Prince Airport (PAP). From there, you can take a taxi. There is also a bus from Santo Domingo going to the suburb. You can also reach the place via buses or passenger pickup trucks.
What to See There
The Petionville in Port-au-Prince is filled with several nightclubs, French restaurants, fitness gyms and beauty salons. There are also business establishments that cater to tourist needs. It is not unusual to see get-togethers in the evening. The renowned El Rancho hotel is also in the area. The commune is known for its palatial homes.
The place was named in honor of Alexandre Sabes Petion (1770–1818). He was a former president of Haiti. The island was known as Taino, but it was christened Hispaniola by Christopher Columbus. Columbus arrived on the island in 1492 AD. But the original inhabitants had been on the island since 2600 BC.
The Spaniards would rule the island until 1606. In 1650, French pirates settled on the coast. The island would eventually become a French colony.
Flight ticket costs differ. The typical taxi fare is $20, but you can bargain for a lower price. A one way bus ticket will set you back $40 USD. There is an extra $26 USD for a two way ticket plus 100 Dominican Pesos. Hitching a ride on passenger trucks is cheaper, but the ride will not be as comfortable.
The climate is tropical and some areas are semiarid. Very strong storms take place from June to November. The central plain is flat while the rest of the area is mountainous. The highest peak is Chaine de la Selle (2777 meters).
Parts of the city and suburb were destroyed by the 12 January 2010 earthquake. Following the calamity, several establishments were converted into relief and medical facilities. Petion-Ville Club was converted to a tent city. The golf clubhouse was changed into a hospital. The “Muncheez” pizza restaurant was turned into a soup kitchen.
Although Petionville in Port-au-Prince was heavily damaged by the earthquake, several buildings are now being repaired. Also, many of the tourist sites are still intact.