This is not just a bed and breakfast: it's also a coffee plantation! My mom and i secured a visit last minute because by chance i found reviews online and the owner sent me instructions on how to get to his Hacienda which were very helpful as we came up the mountain.
You will be told it takes two hours from San Juan to here (and i drive fast) but the reality is more like 3 hours when you are not sure and you hesitate, etc. I was worried about this so we left early and luckily, were the first to arrive. No one arrived on time except us.
This is the only "bad" part: Although the tour takes two hours, this is from start to end and does not include 1) waiting for the late comers to start the tour and 2) waiting for everyone who has arrived to use the one restroom 3) paying for visit/buying coffee; the larger the group the longer it takes. Therefore, you want to be smart, and allocate yourself one day to do this visit. We arrived at 11 am and left at 2:30.. After that, you have to drive down the mountain and by that time, you are hungry! So.. it's not a "bad" part if you were smart and planned well and assumed it would take almost all day.. I was not and therefore missed out on my afternoon activity because after the lunch we had it was almost 4:30 and then we had to head back towards Ponce.. which is another 45 minutes.
*The owner will indicate a good address for you to have lunch at the bottom of the mountain! LISTEN to him! It's a great place with a great view. Some of the people in the group said they would go but did not.. and they missed out. Get good directions though because your GPS will not find it. Its easy though; once you descend the mountain, you take a right towards Adjuntas on route 10 (not left towards Ponce) and you drive a little under ten minutes and on the right hand side; you will see the restaurant on top of a hill.*
Going back to the coffee visit: time was my only regret: i had expected the tour to be 2 hours in and out, and therefore that at the end of the tour i would descend down the mountain and do another visit i had planned, but this was not the case at all. it's partially my fault because in order to enjoy this place: you can't be in a rush anyway.. so i just had to say goodbye to my afternoon plan.
As far as the visit itself and the coffee plantation: it's in a really gorgeous setting. We were greeted very warmly by a German man whom has been living in PR for 42 years and whom is passionate about coffee! He treated us to a special house brew (so good) in his cool outdoor kitchen with tiles imported from Mexico and as guests arrived, we mingled with people from everywhere which was quite fun and makes the experience cooler. Once everyone had arrived, we started the tour.
The tour is composed in two parts: 1) information on the history of coffee 2) visit of the plantation and the process by which coffee is grown.
In the end, we were treated to espresso and were able to pay for the tour ($15 pp) and buy coffee if we wanted -which of course everyone should do because 1) its good and 2) it helps the owner.
The owner is a kind man whom has lived an interesting life, taken a risk and followed his passion! I highly recommend checking this place out when you are in PR for more than a couple days. It's definitely another world up in the lush mountains!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Visit Hacienda Pomarrosa and stay in one of our two "casitas." During your stay, you will be able to admire a very well preserved, cozy, and relaxing "hacienda" in the midst of dazzling surroundings, with the breeze of the fresh mountain air. Also, you will learn interesting facts about the history of coffee in Puerto Rico, as well as all of the aspects that involve growing, roasting and processing coffee. ... more less