Coffee is grown in over 50 countries around the world. The Bean Belt, according to National Coffee Association (NSA) is located between 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South of the Equator. Which means, if you’re visiting coffee farms, you’ll be in places with warm temperatures year-round and constant exposure to the glorious sun. But you won’t experience the oppressing humidity because Arabica coffee beans grow best in high altitudes (between 650 to 2,000 meters above sea level or 2,130 to 6,500 feet). High altitude means slightly lower temperature and less humidity.
Looking for coffee farm tours where you can meet coffee farmers, see the crops, touch the coffee cherries, witness the coffee producing processes and sample lots of coffee? Here are 10 as suggested by Trippy users:
1. Costa Rica
Trippy user, Sarah F from New York, asked for coffee tour suggestions in Costa Rica:
Best coffee tour in Costa Rica?
Looking for a coffee tour near Monteverde. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Rocio Acevedo from Costa Rica wrote:
The most famous and classic coffee tour in Costa Rica is provided by Cafe Britt (they are running coffee tours since 1991). However, the coffee plantation is in the highlands of Costa Rica Central Valley.
Back in 2012 when I visited Monteverde, I remember about another coffee tour managed by Café Monteverde in association with the Monteverde (Santa Elena) community. This is a very sustainable process as the water from the processing plant is recycled, and organic waste is used to produce organic fertilizers among other initiatives they have. Very interesting community and a unique Cloud Forest.
I am sure you will enjoy the visit to Monteverde considered a major ecotourism destination in Costa Rica as it hosts the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Café Monteverde has a two and a half hour coffee farm tour that covers seed germination, farming, harvesting, processing, and roasting. And at the end of the tour, all guests are invited to the coffee lab to sample the coffee and buy the fresh beans to bring home.
Ever heard of Panama Geisha or Gesha coffee? An article by The Perfect Daily Grind, referred it to the crown jewel of the coffee world. Panama Geisha coffee is rare and does fetch a high price tag. It has the aroma of blueberries and taste like Earl Grey.
For organized coffee farm tour, I suggest going to Finca Lerida. Started in 1924 by a Norwegian engineer Toleff Bache Monniche and his wife Julia, Finca Lerida is also providing accommodation to guests. Choose from 21 rooms in the property and some with fireplaces – yes, a fireplace is a plus in the mountains of Boquete.
Trippy user Sofia Forsberg from Sweden asked:
What to do and where to eat on Kaua’i?
My boyfriend and I came to Kaua’i today, and we’re staying for two weeks!
What should we do and which restaurants are worth visiting?
Is there a particular meal/food that is unique for Kaua’i that we should try while here? We don’t want to miss anything!!
Elizabeth Way from Florida suggested:
If you’ve never visited a coffee farm, you might also enjoy a tour of Kauai Coffee Co. It’s touristy, but you learn a lot about coffee, one of Kauai’s largest crops, and can sample in the tasting room until you shake.
Hawaii is the only state in the US that is suitable for coffee plantations. Besides Kauai, Kona coffee in the Big Island also dominates the coffee scene in Hawaii. Per GoHawaii, the 100% pure Kona coffee is grown exclusively in the higher elevation land of the north and south Kona. The environment is ideal because of the constant cloud coverage and rich volcanic soil.
There are hundreds of small coffee farms in Kona and GoHawaii suggested Kona Coffee Living History Farm, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, Greenwell Farms, Hula Daddy Coffee among many.
Colombian coffee is well-known throughout the world. The Colombian Supremo, according to NSA is the highest grade with delicate and aromatic sweetness.
Trippy user Kira Nichols was contemplating between Panama and Colombia. She asked:
Panama VS. Colombia for a romantic getaway?
My husband and I are planning a much needed honeymoon/first anniversary getaway. We’d love a bit of classic honeymoon beach relaxation but are also interested exploring a bit. We aren’t on a backpacker’s budget, but we aren’t going all out either.
We only have 9 days next month (December)…which would be best Panama or Colombia? Highlights please – HELP! We need to book our tickets asap.
This is an answer from Felipe Gomez from Medellin Colombia:
I can talk about Colombia, and for sure It would be a great destination for you, go to Cartagenaan amazing colonial city with great restaurants and night life, you can also try Santa Marta and visit Tayrona National Natural Park.
Try Colombia I know you would love it. If you decide to spend more than a week go to Planes Eje Cafetero, the most important coffee region in Colombia, there you can stay on a typical coffee farm.
A coffee farm tour is always a good idea for anyone wanting to explore more of a destination. As Felipe suggested, go to Eje Cafetero and visit Finca El Ocaso, located in the town of Salento. Finca El Ocaso provides four rooms that can sleep up to 10 people. Coffee farm tours are available daily in English and Spanish. The three-hour tour covers all aspects of coffee – from seed to cup.
Trippy user Nick Gory from Cleveland was interested in visiting Guatemala. He asked:
Know of any cool, un-touristy places in Guatemala?
I have friends staying at Lake Atitlan, 2 hrs west of the airport. I will visit them there and then, not sure…
I kinda HATE really touristy spots, unless it’s cool enough. But it has to be REALLY really cool – and spread out. Know what I mean?
Details: I’m on a budget, I like water, nature, and adventures, and I’ll be here at least 10 days.
Whatever budget you have, there is a coffee farm in Guatemala that may cater to your needs.
Mary Beth Heydt wrote:
Antigua is a beautiful colonial city. You can also go horseback riding, hike the volcanos, check out coffee farms. It is also Spanish school central, so there’s a lot of backpackers from all over the place. Could be easy to connect with other people to travel with from there.
Finca Filadelfia in Antigua has three guided tours a day. It ranges in price from $10 to $34 per person. The farm also offers luxury accommodation, and activities like camping at 7,000 feet above sea level, mountain biking tour and one-hour coffee plantation mule ride.
Mexico has over 100,000 coffee farmers, and most of these farms are in the southern states – Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. Chiapas is the top producing state among these three states, and the state has established a coffee route that leads to 13 coffee farms located between 600 to 1,250 meters above sea level.
If you have time for just one coffee farm, go to Argovia in the Sierra Madre Mountains. With over 130 years of coffee history, Argovia is one of the oldest plantations, and it is also a resort with 15 cabins, an outdoor pool, a spa, a restaurant and a bar. This farm has spectacular landscapes in the mountains and is run by the fourth-generation Swiss family.
Coffee plantations like Suan Lahu offer coffee farm tours for those visiting Chiang Mai and the northern mountains of Thailand. Run by the Lahu tribe, a visit to this organic coffee farm will also introduce visitors to the Lahu culture. The Lahu hill tribe migrated from the Tibetan plateau to Yunnan and settled in northern Thailand in the late 1800s.
Thailand is not a big coffee producing country compared to neighboring Asian countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. A tour to the Suan Lahu coffee plantation is readily accessible through tour companies in Chiang Mai.
8. Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic started planting coffee in 1723 and coffee was planted on slopes in the mountains ranging from 600 to 1,450 meters above sea level. The farms are small and for coffee farm tours, Go Dominican Republic suggested two coffee farms in Jarabacoa mountains – Ramirez and Café Altagracia.
Cabarete Coffee Company in Cabarete offers a full day tour that includes Café Altagracia farm and Jarabacoa Coffee Cooperative.
9. Puerto Rico
In the late 19th century, Puerto Rico was a major player in the coffee world but not anymore. Higher production costs and losses due to hurricanes make this island’s coffee production less competitive than other Latin American countries.
However, there are a couple of coffee farmers located in the Cordillera Central region of Puerto Rico. Coffee farm tours are available in the mist-covered mountain central region. You can visit Hacienda San Pedro and Hacienda Pomarossa.
Owner Roberto Atienza is a fourth-generation coffee farmer in Hacienda San Pedro. Located in Jayuga, besides offering a coffee tour, this over 100-year-old coffee farm has a coffee museum, a coffee shop and a cabin for rent.
I’ve visited Hacienda San Pedro, and the macchiato prepared by Mr. Atienza was one of the best I had ever tried – naturally sweet to taste and velvety and soft flavor coffee is hard to beat.
South of Hacienda San Pedro is Hacienda Pomarossa, a small eight-acre farm run by a father and son team. Located at 1,338 meters above sea level, Hacienda Pomarossa is ideal for anyone looking for a bed and breakfast place on a coffee farm, and just minutes from the tropical beaches.
Tanzania is the best destination for those who like to add coffee, comfort and creature sightings in a vacation. At the Arusha Coffee Lodge, guests will stay inside one of Tanzania’s largest coffee farms. Located in the hills of Mount Meru just outside Arusha, the lodge offers coffee farm tour, Arusha National Park tour, and a day trip to Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania’s most exciting park to see zebra, wildebeest, and lions.
Article and photos by Claudia Looi