DO YOU KNOW HOW ALL THE WORK THAT GOES INTO MAKING COFFEE? HOW ABOUT CHOCOLATE, BREADFRUIT AND EVEN BANANAS? GET TO KNOW FIRSTHAND FROM THE FARMERS THAT KNOW.
The island is undergoing an agricultural revolution with many small farms popping up. Small producers and established, century-old operations have a unique story to tell and are inviting people to take a tour of their farms and hear all about their efforts and the crops they are growing. They are wholehearted, dedicated
people who have raised the bar in quality. Some of the chocolate producers have been selected in the top 50 of the world and Puerto Rican coffee is recognized as some of the most flavorful and well produced available. Today coffee growing is making a comeback on the Island with an emphasis on high end, gourmet, small batch production. These proud owners are also coffee ambassadors and have opened their doors and farms so that visitors can see first hand the entire coffee growing and producing experience. Some are farms that have been in the same family for centuries so they reflect the history of coffee on the Island, others are recent and emphasize sustainable practices.
We’ve put together a list of great coffee plantation and cacao farm experiences for you to explore. Ideally you would combine a visit to a farm with another experience close by such as a visit to a forest, waterfall, even a restaurant. When the cool mountain air hits, get ready for a “cortadito” or a black coffee cut with a little bit of milk.
Hacienda Tres Ángeles Adjuntas
The Island’s first certified agrotourism farm producing specialty coffee. Tours are offered on Saturday so you must make a reservation. You can visit the restaurant on the weekend without reservations. haciendatresangeles.com
Sandra Farms Adjuntas
Walk through this centuries-old coffee and cacao farm while learning the fascinating history of coffee in Puerto Rico and their eco-friendly growing techniques. Taste farm grown coffee and chocolates. Tours-Tuesday-Sunday. 11am and 2pm. sandrafarms.com
Hacienda San Pedro Jayuya
There are various San Pedro Coffee shops around the metro area where you can sample true single origin coffee. If you want to see how it’s made, head to Jayuya to visit this historic hacienda. A great Coffee Shop at the location is perfect for relaxing. cafehsp.com
Hacienda Tres Picachos Jayuya
This is a good countryside café for brunch or lunch. Along with the coffee farm you’ll find a river that crosses the property and all sorts of farm animals roaming about along with the main house. Look for them on Facebook.
Hacienda Lealtad Lares
This hacienda was begun in 1830 and was one of the most modern and advanced of its kind. It was the first to generate its own electricity via a waterwheel. Now it’s a restored plantation with a restaurant, museum and tours available to learn all about the coffee making process. Most of the furniture is authentic 19th-century making it the perfect setting for interesting travel pictures. For info: cafelealtad.com.
Hacienda Iluminada Maricao
Walk through this immersive farm in beautiful mountains & explore the coffee plantation while learning all about the process of growing, processing and roasting single origin specialty Puerto Rican Coffee. Reserve at Haciendailuminada.com.
Hacienda Buena Vista Ponce
During the coffee boom, the southern part of the Island was the place to be. Most exports left through Ponce and this created great wealth for the area. Hacienda Buena Vista was one of the farms that exported through Ponce. It’s now a restored museum where you can learn the entire process and see how people lived during the 1800’s. It also features a rare water turbine mill. It’s managed by the non-profit Para la Naturaleza and you can book online at paralanaturaleza.org.
Pomarosa Café Tour Ponce
Take this inspiring coffee tour to learn about their coffee’s history and the steps involved in producing gourmet coffee from seed to cup. Tours are Saturdays with a reservation. Call 787 460-8934 pomarosacoffeelodge.com
Hacienda Muñoz San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo is just 30 minutes away from the metro area so this is an ideal quick day trip. They offer a walking tour complete with history and description of the industry. Animals such as peacocks, turkeys, chickens, and even a donkey will accompany you.
No reservations are needed, just show up Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10am (English only), 12pm (Spanish) and 2pm (Spanish). haciendamunoz.com
Other Agrotourism oppotunities
Farm to table is all the rage and if you want to learn more about the first part of this equation, Puerto Rico offers an amazing array of options. There are many sustainable agrotourism projects you can visit from cacao farms to local produce farms. Here we offer a list of certified agrotourism opportunities.
Hacienda Jean Marie Chocolat, Aguada
The farm follows permaculture principles, which simulate or directly utilize the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. Come and learn the story of Jeanmarie Chocolat, their mission and vision of “Proyecto Pais”. This tour includes a guided walk through the farm with the founders, a taste of Jeanmarie’s fine chocolate and other homemade goodies. jeanmariechocolat.com
This is a farm that specializes in cacao cultivation and the making of chocolate. Here you will become a farmer for a day. These tours are once a month and require reservation. Info on Facebook
Finca Gaia Dorado
Just 25 minutes away from the metro area you’ll find a natural forest in the Maguayo neighborhood of Dorado. Here you can learn about agroforestry, forestry and horticultural crops all while walking through a perfect for nature photography setting (there’s even a cavern on the property) Group tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday. fincagaia.com
Hacienda Chocolat Fajardo
This cacao farm is right next to the rainforest in Fajardo. You’ll experience firsthand the harvesting and processing of the cacao bean and obviously taste this top 50 ranked chocolate. haciendachocolatpr.net
Finca El Girasol Guánica
This sunflower farm is the quintessential photo opportunity. Walk through hundreds of sunflowers and other fruit and vegetable crops. It’s open Friday thru Sunday. Look for them on Facebook.
Learn everything there is to know about a super food called breadfruit. Tour the plantation and then check out how they make flour out of breadfruit. Tours are the first and last weekend of each month. Reservation required. amasar.net
Finca Plenitud Las Marías
They offer eco-educational tours where you can learn about sustainable practices and bao-construction. Afterwards you can partake of a delicious farm to table lunch. Reservations required. Plenitudpr.com
María de La Cruz Historic Cave Loíza
This recreational area is centered around an apiary found in a cave. More than 90 thousand bees do their work here. This area also features a museum, a camping area, different cultural workshops, artisan market and food. Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 to 4 pm.
Hacienda Don Carmelo- Vega Baja
Down the cobblestone path lined with the intoxicating fragrance of jasmine, flowering trees and tropical flora, you’ll find a very unique place that features the equestrian art of raising and training Paso Fino horses. Tours are the first Saturday of the month. Reservations required.
This 35 acre forest in Dorado is full native species and offers tours with their forestry expert. There’s even a cave on the grounds and forest bathing experiences are available to sooth your soul.