Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica
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Meals not included
Coffee and cacao production play a key role in Costa Rica's economy and its history. A delightful ride through rustic countryside brings you to the highlands of Naranjo, where the secrets of pouring a real cup of coffee and using cacao to make chocolate are revealed.
Passing through rich farmland and lush forest, you'll visit the Espiritu Santo Cooperative Coffee Plantation -- 640 acres of prime agricultural land. See the different stages of the coffee plant's growth and learn how coffee berries are dried under the sun. You might see workers picking the berries and others preparing and packing the coffee for exporting purposes. Centuries-old methods produce a top-quality product.
Visit a replica laborer's house to see how rural Costa Ricans lived in the past. Your guide explains how the coffee used to be brewed and why the local people still use a handmade chorreador instead of an electric coffeemaker.
Stop at the chocolate station to see how cacao is toasted, ground and turned into delicious chocolate -- a process dating back many centuries. You can spend a few minutes browsing in the gift shop.
In Sarchí's main square, take a memorable picture of the largest oxcart ever built. You will visit the Eloy Alfaro Oxcart factory. They still use a waterwheel to power their cutting and boring machines to make oxcarts -- an integral part of Sarchí's history. Watch the artisans at work and enjoy a fruit snack before returning to the pier.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Suitable for guests using a collapsible wheelchair with a companion to assist. Terrain includes some inclines at the factory. Minimum age is 8 years.