Dream destinations for coffee lovers
Coffee beans in Panama’s countryside
If you’re looking for a holiday with a twist, Panama is a real gem. It has the most amazing sandy beaches, you can learn all about indigenous tribal communities and you can even make your own coffee.
Our Boquete Coffee Beans in the Countryside trip will awaken your senses with a steaming cup of the finest and first-class views of the lush landscapes. Boquete is often referred to as Panama’s Napa Valley of coffee. Nestled amongst green valleys in the North, the humid climate and rich volcanic soil here makes for the perfect coffee-growing spot. After a night in a cosy hotel and discovering an explosion of smells and colours, from eucalyptus trees to orchids, you’ll meet your guide for a stroll around the coffee farm. There’s even a chance to roll up your sleeves and get to work at roasting your own beans to take home as a tasty memento of your trip!
Top tip: If you’re thinking of heading to Boquete, January to March is the best time to go.
Wandering through plantations in Java, Indonesia
With carpets of sweeping plantations, East Java is home to some first class tea but also coffee. An island packed with spiritual temples, castaway islands and smokey volcanoes, Java is full of possibilities. If you’re the kind of traveller that enjoys a good brew and jaw-dropping scenery, this one is for you.
Java’s Arabica coffee is famous for being smooth, not very light full-bodied and a bit chocolaty. If you’re after an immersive, meaningful coffee experience we’d recommend a trip to Kalibaru, a small but welcoming village in East Java surrounded by scenic plantations. You’ll explore the fields with a local English-speaking guide, learning all about the area, how cocoa and rubber are grown and you’ll visit a working coffee plantation and a small rubber factory – it doesn’t get more authentic than that!
Top tip: Don’t forget to save some room in your bag for some coffee souvenirs!
Picturesque adventures in Brazil
Another great destination for coffee lovers is Brazil. Did you know that almost one third of the world’s coffee is grown in Brazil? Yup. Brazilian coffee is mild, nutty, low on acidity and far from bitter, hence why it’s so popular.
We recommend getting off the beaten track and getting a taste of colonial Brazil in picturesque Paraty- a beautifully preserved town surrounded by hills and hundreds of beaches ready to be explored. Paraty is full of great restaurants and bars, as well as museums and artisan shops to explore. The historic centre is also car-free, so very chilled and perfect to stroll around and grab a delicious cup of local coffee.
Top tip: We love going to Brazil between March and November, as they are dry months!
Wake up and smell the coffee in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is famous for its coffee production, which is exported throughout North and South America, Europa, Asia and Australia. Their coffee industry supports 45,000 families who own and run independent, small coffee farms, so coffee it’s definitely a driving force for the country! If you’re wondering what’s like? Ceri, our Nicaragua Specialist describes it as “very nice! quite light, sweet and a bit nutty”.
With our Wake Up and Smell the Coffee bite-sized trip, you’ll visit the Matagalapa region, nestled in a green valley in-between mountain peaks and home to a large indigenous Indian community. The area has a cool climate which is perfect for growing coffee, and as well as beautiful cloud forests. After your first night staying in our mountain view hotel in the Cerro Arenal Nature reserve, you will embark on your Nicaraguan coffee tour. First stop, a cup of local coffee before you learn the process and see the production in action!
Top Tip: Make sure you visit in the zafra, as this is when the coffee can be harvested (between November and March).
Unveil Peru’s colourful flavours
You might not necessarily associate Peru with being a coffee Mecca but we can assure you, it’s definitely one to try out. With a medium-body and a sweet finish, Peruvian coffee has been grown since the 18th century. With over 110,000 coffee farmers in Peru (most of them from ethnic minorities) Peru’s coffee scene has developed a lot over the years, especially in Cusco.
With a Spanish colonial style and its own brand of flair, Cusco will have you at ‘hola’. We recommend visiting the San Blas district where artisans and locals watch the world go by. In our Explore The Cobbled Streets of Cusco bite-sized trip you’ll go on a historical walking tour with an English-speaking guide and learn all about the secrets of the Inca Empire.
Not into coffee? Explore Darjeeling, India’s tea capital
Strung along a Himalayan ridge, Darjeeling is India’s tea capital; famous for its vast emerald plantations which streams in ribbons down the cool hillside against a backdrop of mountains. With a total of 78 tea estates and over 17,000 hectares, Darjeeling’s Tea Industry is the foundation of the economy in this region and well worth a visit if you’re planning a trip to the North East.
Our ‘Tea time in Darjeeling’ trip takes you on a journey through Darjeeling’s tea hills, where you’ll chug your way through the valleys on the legendary toy train before ambling through the tea fields and watching the pickers fill their woven baskets!
Top tip: If you’re after the best mountain views, visiting Darjeeling in October/November is ideal, though the rhododendrons are at their most beautiful in March and April.