On the El Trapiche tour in Monteverde you’ll visit a local family farm to see the operation of three different kinds of sugar mills and sample plant-to-table sugarcane products, coffee and chocolate. This approximate 2 hour tour is fun for all ages and includes an optional ride in a traditional ox cart!
You will be picked up from your Monteverde hotel and driven to the El Trapiche farm where you will be introduced to your guide who will show you around the farm. You will walk through coffee, cacao, banana, macadamia and orange tree orchards in addition to the arracache and sugarcane fields. You will also have an opportunity to go on a short oxcart ride over to the working Tilapia fish pond on site.
This farm uses three ecologically sound sugar mills to produce sugarcane juice: a manual sugarcane mill, one driven by oxen and one water driven. You will get a demonstration of how each mill works to extract the sweet liquid out of the harvested sugarcane canes. Children especially love to watch the giant oxen turning the mill to make the sugarcane juice as well as chewing on a piece of cane and sampling the juice themselves!
From the liquid state, the sugarcane juice is converted into different products like brown sugar, ground sugar, sugarcane liquor, and even candy. You’ll get to make your own candy and sample the various products including a shot of pure sugarcane liquor (optional) known as “guaro”, a traditional Costa Rican adult beverage.
On this tour you’ll also get to see how the standard morning cup o’ joe is created. Did you know that a coffee bean grows inside a red coffee cherry? You’ll see the labor intensive process of picking, peeling, roasting and grinding the coffee bean and of course taste it as well. You may also wish to purchase a bag of coffee grown in the cool climate and fertile soil of Monteverde to share memories of your Costa Rican Trapiche Tour with friends and loved ones back home.
Last but not least, one of the most enjoyable parts of the tour is the bean-to-bar chocolate making, allowing you to participate in the details of processing (and sampling!) chocolate. It all starts with picking the cacao pod from the tree when it is ripe, then removing the tasty white pulp surrounding each bean. Next the beans are fermented, roasted, ground and mixed together with simple ingredients like sugar and vanilla. If you have never tasted pure chocolate before, you are in for a treat! And don’t worry about feeling guilty eating this type of chocolate because the mineral and antioxidant-rich cacao bean is chock full of health benefits.
After thoroughly touring the farm operations and taking part in three interactive workshops, the tour will wrap up with a typical snack called, gallos de arracache, a carrot like root vegetable chopped, cooked , seasoned and served on a tortilla. You will also be offered a cup of hot coffee, lemonade or “aguadulce”, a drink made from the cane juice.
Transportation from Monteverde hotels, bilingual guide, entrance fee, snack and a drink are all included in this tour. Transportation can take between 20 and 45 minutes each way depending on your pick up location. Total time of the tour plus round trip transportation can be between 2.5 and 3.5 hours. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring sunscreen, bug repellent, rain jacket plus your camera. This is a fun and educational tour for people of all ages especially if you happen to love coffee, chocolate or sugar!