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Home > Interests & activities > Coffee Tours
Did you know that Puerto Rican coffee was once the preferred choice of the pope? It’s hard to earn a better endorsement than that! Coffee growing has a rich history on the island; the volcanic soil and moist climate of Puerto Rico’s mountainous interior make for perfect coffee-growing conditions, and its growing artisanal industry produces some of the finest coffee in the world.
The city of Yauco, in particular, has come to be known as El Pueblo del Café, or "The Town of Coffee." Its Café Yauco Selecto brand is one of the best premium blends you’ll find, while the Alto Grande brand has earned the rare super premium distinction, given only to the highest quality coffee in the world. West of San Juan, Ciales is also known for its coffee.
You can sample an excellent cup of Joe all over the island, but we also invite you to visit one of our coffee plantations to learn more about how Puerto Rico does coffee better.
Hacienda Buena Vista
Located between Ponce and Adjuntas, Hacienda Buena Vista is a unique and meticulously restored 19th century landmark, and one of only five working coffee plantations in the world that functions using water power. Guided tours of the plantation will take you to the historic estate of the original owners and show you how coffee was harvested and roasted using the latest technology in the 1800s.
An engineering marvel
Hacienda Buena Vista houses the only remaining, operating model of a Barker hydraulic turbine, named a Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering in 1994.
Know when to go
Guided tours are conducted daily at the Hacienda, but tours in English are held only at 1:30 from Wednesday to Sunday, or by appointment.
Pick your own brew
If you can, plan your visit to Buena Vista in October, when you can participate in the entire coffee-making process, from picking the beans to roasting and drinking the end result.
Hacienda San Pedro
Take a journey back to 19th century Puerto Rico at Hacienda San Pedro, a coffee plantation in the town of Jayuya. A family business now into its fourth generation of coffee-producers, Hacienda San Pedro’s coffee has been grown, picked, dried and roasted the same way for over a hundred years. Today, you can visit the property, immerse yourself in the rich aroma of coffee trees, and sample its smooth, flavorful finished product.
Hacienda San Pedro is located on Route PR-144 in the town of Jayuya, west of San Juan and north of Ponce. It’s an easy daytrip from either city and a lovely drive through Puerto Rico’s verdant and mountainous interior.
San Juan outlet
If you can’t make the trip but still want to taste Hacienda San Pedro’s coffee, visit their shop in 318 Avenida de Diego in San Juan, where coffee is toasted on-site to keep the flavor fresh and smooth.
The finely ground coffee sold at Hacienda San Pedro is best enjoyed as an espresso or a cortadito, which is an espresso with a sheen of steamed milk.
La Ruta del Café
For a total immersion into Puerto Rico’s coffee-growing tradition, spend a day or two on the Ruta del Café, or “Coffee Route.” This tour takes you through the island’s coffee plantation heartland, which includes the towns of Maricao, Las Marías, Yauco, Castañer, Adjuntas, Lares, Ciales and Jayuya.
A cluster of Haciendas
The Ruta del Café takes you past numerous working coffee plantations and haciendas, including Hacienda Gripiñas, Hacienda Patricia, Hacienda Juanita and Hacienda San Pedro. Each offers something different.
Where to stay
If you plan to spend more than a day exploring Puerto Rico’s Coffee Route, consider spending a night at a coffee plantation. Two fine options are Hacienda Juanita and Hacienda Pomarrosa.
What kind of coffee?
The ripe red beans you’ll find at the plantations along the Ruta del Café are of the Arabica species, also known as mountain coffee. The mountainous landscape of this region, coupled with slightly cooler temperatures, is ideally suited to grow this type of coffee.
Ciales is known as the “land of coffee,” and has been producing fine brews for over 200 years. A tour of this region includes a visit to a plantation and workshop where you can experience coffee cupping and sampling, and learn more about how to detect the nuances in the tone, flavor, and aroma of different varieties coffee. For the true connoisseur, the budding expert or simply those who truly appreciate a great cup of Joe, a visit to Ciales is an experience that will give you a grater understanding and appreciation of your favorite morning brew.
The guided tour of Ciales offered by Acampa Tours includes a typical Puerto Rican lunch and a take-home gift of a pound of specialty Puerto Rican coffee.
In addition to its coffee, Ciales is known for its natural attractions, which includes underground rivers and caves. Particularly splendid are the Cave of the Virgin and Cave of the Swallows.
Ciales is home to the Museo del Café, or Museum of Coffee (42 Calle Palmer). It’s a fitting tribute to one of Puerto Rico’s largest and most storied coffee-producing towns.