Coffee tours in Costa Rica

Susan Wesley-Vega | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Coffee tours in Costa Rica are a fun activity, worth your time/money --even if you do not drink coffee.  A coffee tour will introduce you to some very delightful aspects of Costa Rican culture and way of life. 

During a coffee tour you will learn first-hand about coffee agriculture and probably be astonished at the labor-intensive production process. A lot goes into making the coffee you buy so easily in your local stores or cafés.

© Flickr/Neesh Charles Kas

Coffee production is important for many Costa Rican families who depend on coffee as a livelihood.  Finally, it is another very pleasant way to observe how Costa Rica prioritizes co[nservation]( and care for the environment.

© Flickr/mojocoffee

Ecotourism, green energy, or coffee in Costa Rica

It is difficult to know if Costa Rica is more known for Ecotourism, Green energy, or Coffee. Maybe Costa Rica interests you because you read that Costa Rica is one of the world’s best locations for ecotourism.  Well, that is true.  In Costa Rica, you can experience beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and the tropics all in one location and in one week.  You may have also heard that Condé Nast Traveler named Costa Rica as one of the world’s most beautiful countries.  That is also true. For sure, all of these are great reasons to plan a vacation in Costa Rica.

© Flickr/Luis Eduardo Mejia

Or, possibly, you saw that Costa Rica is a world environmental leader by producing 99% of its own renewable energy. This is true, too.  Renewable energy means that the energy-generating processes in Costa Rica use sources of energy will never run out. In other words, no fossil fuels. Costa Rica is well on its way to achieving its goal of carbon neutrality by 2021. In fact, Costa Rica was named a United Nations World Champion of the Earth, the U.N.’s highest environmental honor. 

© Flickr/Ryan and Shannon Gutenkunst

Finally, there is the very famous and very delicious Costa Rican coffee! Even non-coffee drinkers know that Costa Rican coffee is one of the most popular quality coffees anywhere, including at Starbucks.  As a result,  Costa Rican coffee is a premium, luxury coffee outside of Costa Rica.  Some of the best (& cheapest) souvenir gifts people take home are packages of Costa Rican coffee.  Do not leave Costa Rica without coffee


A short history of Costa Rican coffee

Interestingly, coffee was first introduced in Costa Rica in 1798. It quickly became a critical part of not only Costa Rica’s agriculture, but also its culture, daily life and diet. Visiting coffee country --which is nearly everywhere in Costa Rica-- is a great (not) hidden treasure in Costa Rica.  Before you leave, be sure to go on a coffee tour to see a beautiful coffee plantation or family farm.

© Flickr/Stephan_Tepper

People love coffee all around the planet

It is amazing to learn how much coffee impacts the world.  A quick search on the Internet reveals interesting trivia. First and not surprisingly, tea and coffee are the two single most popular beverages in the world.  While more people around the planet (especially in Asia) drink tea, consumption of coffee is growing fast (even in Asia).  It is estimated that about 1.4 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day!


Costa Rican coffee producers respond to the demand for quality coffee working tirelessly to grow high-end coffee. They use environmentally friendly methods, including meeting rigorous organic coffee standards.  New varieties and roasts have converted coffee drinking into an upscale, classy activity --like an affordable luxury.  Having coffee in the morning, mid-afternoon or socially at any hour has become an essential part of peoples’ daily routine.

© Flickr/Christopher Williams

9 coffee tours to explore

There are many coffee tours in Costa Rica, so find one near where you are visiting.  Most coffee tours in Costa Rica take only 2-3 hours, so you can combine a tour with other activities. These 9 coffee tours are in the Central Valley and near San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Atenas, and Cartago. Try to visit at least one while you are in the area. Some of these tours are less well known than others; they are listed alphabetically here. By clicking on each one, you can get the link to their site with information on tour times and location. 


Café Britt Coffee Tour

The Café Britt Coffee Tour includes an amusing comedy performance that combines Costa Rican history and culture with coffee production facts.  It is very enjoyable and performed in English or Spanish. 

Café Cedral Coffee Tour

The Café Cedral Coffee Tour is only 3 ½ hour drive south from San José at the (hotel) Hacienda AltaGracia (High Grace). The coffee tour is an activity coordinated through an organized coffee cooperative that is managed by several member farm families. Note: This tour may be limited to guests staying at Hacienda AltaGracia.

Doka Coffee Tour

The Doka Estate Coffee Tour is a complete coffee production and plantation tour. It also includes an invitation to visit three gardens: the hydroponics orchard, Bonsai and butterfly gardens. It is north of Alajuela near Hacienda Alsacia. 

Don Juan Coffee Tour

The Don Juan Coffee Tour is located in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, one of the most famous cloud forests in the world. It offers nature hikes in a very unique ecological destination and a view of a slightly different local culture in Costa Rica.   This tour gives you a closer look of the production of Don Juan’s coffee as well as other food staples of Costa Rica, such as cheese, cocoa and sugar processing. (And… Yes!, there are samples and tasting included.)

El Toledo Coffee Tour

The El Toledo Family Coffee Farm Tour is just outside the town of Atenas, not far from Alajuela and the Juan Santa Maria International Airport.  It is an informal tour and a chance to meet real family farmers on their own prospering farm.  

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Tour

Finca Rosa Blanca is a boutique-style hotel that will host you while giving you the chance to discover a coffee farmer. Learn how organic coffee is grown, harvested, dried, and processed. During the harvest season – from October to January – you can even participate in the picking! A demonstration of how experts test and rate gourmet coffee is included and you can make coffee at the coffee bar. Note: This tour may be limited to guests staying at Finca Rosa Blanca Inn.

Hacienda Alsacia (Starbucks Coffee Farm) Coffee Tour

The Starbucks’ Hacienda Alsacia Coffee Tour shows you a modern coffee production facility in 90 minutes. Stop by the on-site café and enjoy the Starbucks coffee drinks and fun foods you love. Be sure to notice the amazing murals illustrating typical sights in Costa Rica.

Hacienda Espíritu Santo Coffee Tour

Located in the town of Naranjo, right outside of San José and on the way to Zarcero, the Hacienda Espíritu Santo coffee tour starts with the growing aspects of coffee crops and ends in their showroom or casita with a traditional Costa Rican brewed coffee – or café chorreado.  Visitors are introduced to the coffee production process, coffee in Costa Rican culture, and the symbolic Costa Rican oxcart.

Santa María de Dota Coffee Plantation Tour

The Santa Maria de Dota Coffee Tour is a full day experience in the mountain ridge of Fila Chonta, in Tarrazú. This tour takes you behind-the-scenes to observe what it takes to make a world-renowned, gourmet coffee at Dota. During the tour, you will feel the rural charms of Costa Rica as see the importance of the local cooperative in the community. Like most tours, there is a delicious typical lunch after the tour.  Note: This tour may be limited to guests staying at Santa Juana Lodge. 

Coffee tours in Costa Rica have extras  

Small as it is, Costa Rica is a world leader in 1) conservation and 2) the production of coffee/coffee beans. This makes coffee as essential for the national economy as it is for daily life in Costa Rica. As such, coffee tours in Costa Rica are much more than typical tours.  They are a fun way to witness coffee agriculture, processing, and production; while also learning about Costa Rican traditions. Costa Ricans are proud of their coffee products and produce them with national pride for the world’s enjoyment.  


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