A Visit to the Hacienda Buena Vista Coffee Plantation

Hacienda Buena Vista

Puerto 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 Mill

Next, 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.


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 →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 6 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

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.

Comment by Martha on 19 Jul 2007

What is cocao? Should it be cacao?

Comment by Lydia on 27 Apr 2008

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

Comment by Gwenn on 28 Apr 2008

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

Comment by Axel on 10 Jul 2008

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.

Comment by Bea on 07 Jan 2009

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

Comment by nature lover on 01 Oct 2012

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