If you’re a coffee addict, then consider the new tourist route exclusively dedicated to it that the state of Honduras has prepared.
The Central American state is one of the world’s top producers of coffee, and the Honduras Coffee Route plans to take visitors deep into six different coffee-producing regions to learn how the beans are harvested and turned into the sweet fuel of our mornings. “The variety of coffee regions within our country – from rich volcanic soils to fertile, humid grounds – provides a gateway for tourists to explore the unique corners of Honduras,” said Emilio Silvestri, Director of the country’s Institute of Tourism, which designed the tour together with the Honduras Institute of Coffee.
Tourists will be able to visit coffee farms and so a whole range of activities there. “Activities will differ from farm to farm, of course,” a representative of the Honduras Institute of Tourism told Lonely Planet. “But they will include tasting coffee grains, learning roasting methods and the best way to brew a coffee cup, picking coffee seeds, and also non-coffee related activities such as hiking or birdwatching.”
The region of Opalaca is found in western Honduras, and it hosts the ESCAFE graduate school, one of the many research facilities in the country with five different programs that go from coffee tasting to farm management. The Opalaca coffee is known for its flavor with tropical fruits undertones mixed with grapes and berries.
The Copán region forms, together with Opalaca, the Honduran Western Coffee area and it’s “the best choice for visitors who have never been to Honduras because it offers the most well-rounded experience,” according to the Institute of Tourism’s spokesperson. Not only do its two most famous coffee farms, San Rafael and Fica Santa Alena, sit at almost 1000 metres above sea level, giving their coffee sweet undertones of chocolate and caramel, but the region offers so much more in terms of archaeology and architecture.
The Mayan ruins of Copán have often been called the “Athens of the Mayan world,” and include stone temples, altars, and hieroglyphs, all built between 400 and 800 AD and part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The region also hosts the Macaw Mountain Bird Park, home to over 300 birds native to Honduras. And the region’s capital, Copán Ruinas, has maintained its colonial and neoclassical architecture, which makes walking down the cobblestone streets incredibly picturesque.
Other regions the tour will touch are Montecillos, where the most famous sustainable, organic and fair trade farm COMSA is; and then the high-altitude regions of Comayagua, El Paraiso and Agaita, all sitting at 1600 metres above sea level.
If you want to travel the world in pursuit of your next great cup of joe, check out the best destinations for coffee lovers.