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Fajardo/Culebra/Vieques Ferry Update (Wed, 16 Apr 2014 @ 8am AST/EDT) The PR DTOP ATM ferry situation between Fajardo, Culebra, and Vieques is improving. At this moment, the Cayo Blanco passenger ferry (capacity 600 people), and a cargo ferry, are servicing the Fajardo ↔ Culebra route. There is a combo cargo/passenger ferry servicing the Fajardo ↔ Vieques route. They seem to have implemented a better-organized passenger-loading procedure, which gets people into seats quicker. Expect long lines at the ferry terminal during Semana Santa (Holy Week), during which lots of people head to the beaches in Culebra. If not being able to get onto the ferry between Fajardo and Culebra/Vieques will ruin your day, consider flying instead.

A Visit to the Hacienda Buena Vista Coffee Plantation

Posted on Jul 8th, 2007 by • Updated on Mar 20th, 2014

Hacienda Buena VistaPuerto Rico is known for many things, and great coffee is just about at the top of the list. Because of Puerto Rico’s rich soil and cool mountain regions, coffee grows very well here, and it has been a major agricultural crop for the last 150 years.

Located in the lush mountains above Ponce, Hacienda Buena Vista is a beautifully restored, 19th century coffee mill and plantation. There is a main house, slave quarters, farm buildings, and processing areas. Powered by water from a waterfall, the processing equipment is still in working condition.

Restored and operated by the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust, Hacienda Buena Vista provides a glimpse of living and working conditions in times past. They run guided tours of the plantation, during which your guide will explain all the aspects of growing and processing coffee, and the corn grinding business of the last century.

At the beginning of the tour, you are given a brief history of the original owners, and tour the farm house. Many of the furnishings have been donated by the original family. Then you take a walk to see the waterfall that runs the machinery. Along the way, the guide will explain coffee growing process and point out other interesting trees and plants. The waterway, which carries water from the falls to the processing equipment, is visible all along the path.

As you return to the processing area, you are told about the coffee process – drying, cleaning, roasting etc. It is very interesting how nature came into play in the process – they used the sun to dry the beans, but the drying racks roll into a specially designed building in case of rain.

Hacienda Buena Vista Corn MillNext, you go into the corn processing area, which is – you guessed it – powered by water. The your guide will start the machinery, and you can watch the whole process of how they used to produce corn meal and prepare it for market.

The farm still has many acres planted with coffee and cacao. The best times to visit the plantation are during March for the cacao processing, and during the fall for the coffee harvest and processing. During coffee and cacao seasons, guests are permitted to assist in the process, and get a taste of the end product. Call ahead for their exact schedule.

The admission fee for adults is $10.00, and $7.00 for children. Either use their website to make reservation online (it is very easy!), or call for reservations.

You can visit the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust web site for more information.

Tours are conducted Wednesday through Sunday, by reservation only.

Tours are available in English only at 1:30pm, or Spanish at 8:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm,and 3:30pm.

787-722-5882

Take Road 52 to Ponce; exit on Road 10 north towards Adjuntas, then get on RT 9 and then right onto RT 123. Hacienda Buena Vista is on RT 123 at K 16.8, about 7 miles from Ponce.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid ... then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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6 comments
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  1. I have been busy and not checking you web site lately. You are really doing a great job, and I keep adding day trips to my list for next February. I have wondered if cacao is grown on the island, and it seems that it is. Thanks Gwen.

  2. What is cocao? Should it be cacao?

  3. Lydia- you are correct- I fixed my typo! Thanks.

  4. Nice info, especially for those that live outside of the island and love to know about their roots.

  5. I took this tour recently and loved it!! Be sure to book the 2 hour tour where they take you through the river. The place is amazing and both adults and kids will love it. If you are an engineer or love nature, this tour is a must. It is amazing how all engines were powered by water from the waterfall. It is truly a model for all of us to follow. The place is spectacular!!! I really loved it a lot.

  6. yeah, they have some nice tours. I like the immersion tour in Cañon de San Cristobal. It’s a level 4 but amazing. If you like waterfalls you’ll love it. reservaciones.fideicomiso.org

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