Coffee Travel Heaven in Puerto Rico
🇵🇷Puerto Rico

Coffee Travel Heaven at Hacienda Lealtad, Puerto Rico

How much do you love coffee? Do you simply enjoy a casual  cuppa or two on the regular, or does your love go deeper? Do you obsess about the beans, maybe even going so far as to roast your own? Have you dabbled in different brewing techniques? Most importantly, have you engaged in coffee travel? That is, travel centered expressly on visiting a specific place renowned for crafting great java? If so, then Hacienda Lealtad is for you!

That is to say, it gives off every indication that it is. I haven’t actually visited Hacienda Lealtad just yet. As a coffee fan myself, though, this place is high on the wish list for my next visit to Puerto Rico.

Imagine strolling among these palms with a fresh cuppa

What is Hacienda Lealtad

Hacienda Lealtad (also Hacienda La Lealtad) is one of Puerto Rico’s oldest and largest coffee plantations. It was originally founded as Hacienda La Esperanza in 1830. The plantation is located in La Torre, a district of the municipality of Lares, which sits in the western third of Puerto Rico. Its founder, Juan Bautista Plumey, was of French ancestry. He emigrated to Puerto Rico with 32 enslaved African people, eventually growing the plantation to a size of 583 acres.

Size, though, wasn’t the only impressive thing about Hacienda Lealtad.

Back in time at Hacienda Lealtad

In the mid-1800s, electricity was scarce in the world’s largest cities. London, Paris, New York – all were largely dark. Hacienda Lealtad, though, was generating enough power to light the property and operate its machinery. 

Coffee’s Rise and Fall in Puerto Rico

As the images in this post make clear, coffee travel lovers can revel in the grandeur that attended Hacienda Lealtad in its earliest days. Less apparent, I imagine, are any hints of decline of the coffee business in Puerto Rico.

Following the abolition of slavery in 1873, coffee actually became Puerto Rico’s #1 cash crop, outpacing sugar. Prosperity in the sector, though, didn’t last very long. The industry took a massive nosedive after the United States took control of Puerto Rico in 1898. 

Likewise, Hacienda Lealtad closed and fell into ruin, though you wouldn’t know it today.

Local Lares Boy Does Good

The man responsible for the rebirth of Hacienda Lealtad is Edwin Soto. A successful millionaire businessman, Soto hails from Lares. As a boy, he developed more than a passing fascination with the plantation; he actually used to pick coffee beans there.

His deep-seeded feelings for Hacienda Lealtad spurred Soto to purchase the property. Initially, he was intent on restoring the plantation and maintaining it as a private second home. Eventually, though, he pivoted toward developing the property into a mixed use agritourism attraction.

Coffee travel heaven: Hacienda Lealtad
On the grounds of Hacienda Lealtad

Equal parts museum, coffee shop, restaurant, hotel, and educational center, Hacienda Lealtad offers an intimate and immersive look into the history of coffee production in Puerto Rico. In other words, it’s heaven for coffee travel enthusiasts.

Coffee Travel Lovers Want to Know: How’s the Coffee?

It all sounds great for me, of course. Rich history, lush surroundings, quaint and cozy boutique accommodations…

At the same time, though, I’m really curious about the coffee.

Cafe Lealtad
Cafe Lealtad

Is it true to Monsieur Plumey’s original 19th century standards?

I can’t wait to visit this special spot to find out!

How to Book Your Stay at Hacienda Lealtad

Accommodations at Hacienda Lealtad are comprised of four guest rooms, two VIP rooms, and one guest house known as La Casa del Mayordomo (The Butler’s House). Guest rooms and VIP rooms are double occupancy, while La Casa del Mayordomo sleeps four.

For reservations, visit the Hacienda Lealtad website.

If you just want to make a day of visiting, guided tours are also available.

Oh, and as you may have noticed in the video above, you can follow in Mr. Soto’s footsteps and make your stay at Hacienda Lealtad more of a permanent thing. The property is for sale. Price tag: US$16 million.

If you think it sounds too steep, remember: the place comes with everything you need to enjoy an endless supply of amazing coffee. You can’t put a price on that if you really, really love coffee, right?

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

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