Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Guatemala is known around the world for its excellent coffee. A recent trend in Guatemala’s growing list of recreational alternatives is the opportunity to stay on a working coffee farm in comfortable accommodations.
The farm provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of the country’s principal economic activities and an industry that largely shaped Guatemala into the nation it is today. Guatemala’s coffee farms are largely centered in the Western Highlands, though coffee is also grown on the Pacific slopes, the Verapaces, and the Eastern Highlands.
If you’ve always wanted to see the origins of the potent potable that provides the pep in your step, you’ll want to check out one or more of Guatemala's many coffee farms covered in this travel guide, including:
- Los Tarrales, near Lake Atitlán
- El Retiro, near Lake Atitlán
- Reserva Patrocinio, near Retalhuleu
- Takalik Maya Lodge, near Retalhuleu
- Finca Filadelfia, near Antigua
- Centro Cultural La Azotea, in Jocotenango
- Finca El Cisne, near Copán, Honduras
Activities include touring the coffee plantation as well as observing the process from harvest to roasting. Some properties are on large private reserves and combine bird-watching, hiking, and other outdoor activities with the visit to the coffee farm.
For a fascinating read on the myriad ways in which coffee cultivation has affected Guatemala’s history and societal relations, including events in the civil war as they took place on a plantation caught in the crossfire, check out Daniel Wilkinson’s excellent book, Silence on the Mountain.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com