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Don Juan Coffee Tour Monteverde Review – Is it Worth it?

Don Juan Coffee Tour Monteverde Review – Is it Worth it?

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Costa Rica is not only a major producer of coffee, I think it also makes some of the best coffee in the world in terms of flavor. So much work goes into producing these top-quality beans that seeing it for yourself is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica!

Although Monteverde may be most famous for its cloud forest, there are lots of other amazing things to do here – including taking a tour of a coffee plantation. While there are a lot of coffee tours to choose from, when we were trying to narrow it down the Don Juan coffee tour in Monteverde kept coming up again and again. It’s a well-rated tour and offers a glimpse (and a taste!) at three major exports here: coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane.

The Don Juan coffee tour is one of the most well-known, but is it worth it? Well, we’ve done plenty of coffee tours all over Costa Rica while living here, and on our many visits to Monteverde, the Don Juan coffee tour is one of our most memorable, so keep on reading to find out how it measures up to the rest!

About the Don Juan Coffee Tour in Monteverde

Grinding Cacao Beans on the Don Juan Coffee Tour Monteverde
Grinding cacao beans on the Don Juan Coffee Tour Monteverde
Traditional coffee brewer in Monteverde
Costa Rican coffee brewer!

The Don Juan coffee tour is a 2-hour tour of a working coffee plantation in Monteverde. It’s located about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) outside of Santa Elena, which is the town where most tourists stay.

Although this is marketed as a coffee tour, the Don Juan plantation also produces chocolate and sugar cane. So don’t worry if you’re not a coffee drinker, because there’s plenty here for you to enjoy!

You’ll need to drive in a rental car or take a taxi to the coffee plantation, but it’s only a 10-minute drive. You can choose to start the tour at either 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm, or 3 pm, so it’s easy to fit into your Monteverde itinerary. 

Once your tour starts, your guide will take you around the farm and teach you how the coffee, sugar cane, and cacao beans are grown and produced. These products are shipped all over the world, so it’s pretty cool to see where it all begins. It’s also a really interactive tour and you get to help your guide with demonstrations as you tour the farm. 

And of course, you’ll also get to taste the coffee and chocolate that’s made right here on the plantation for a true bean-to-cup (or bean-to-bar) experience! I know it will come as no surprise that this was my favorite part!

And speaking of bean-to-bar, you actually get to make your own chocolate on this tour – how cool is that? So if you’ve always dreamed of being Willy Wonka in your own chocolate factory … this is it!

The farm itself is also really beautiful so it’s nice to get to walk around and explore. The trails are paved and you walk pretty slowly, so it’s not physically demanding. In fact, it’s a nice break if you’re sore from hiking, rafting, ziplining, and all of the other adventurous activities on offer in Monteverde

The tour is really informative and it’s a lot of fun thanks to the amazing guides! We’ve done more coffee tours than we can count at this point, but this one didn’t feel repetitive and it really stood out from other experiences we’ve had on coffee plantations. 

The tour costs $52 USD which includes your guide and all the tastings, but you’ll need to organize your own transport to and from the plantation. 

Pros of the Don Juan Coffee Tour in Monteverde

A chocolate and coffee tour in Monteverde
Drying chocolate!

Knowledgeable guide

As we mentioned, the guides on the Don Juan coffee tour are super knowledgeable and make the experience very engaging. They know so much about the history of coffee, the production process, and the significance of Costa Rica’s beans in the global market. We learned so much! 

Affordable tour

At $52 USD per adult, this tour is one of the most affordable experiences on offer in Monteverde. It also compares pretty favorably to the prices of other coffee tours we’ve seen and done. We really think the price is worth it because the experience is so fun and engaging. 

Learn about and make chocolate

One of our favorite things about this tour was that we got to make our own chocolate. We learned so much about chocolate while we were touring the farm which was super interesting, but getting to make our own bars was even better. You learn how to grind the beans and temper the chocolate to make sure that it sets properly, and then you can eat your creation afterward – yum! 

Get to help press sugar cane

Another cool interactive experience on this tour is pressing sugar cane. Raw sugar cane is pressed in order to extract the juice. The juice can then be sieved, decanted, and processed to make sugar! 

Sugar cane juice is also a popular drink in many countries, and you get to try it after you help your guide press it. And, fun fact, this juice is the main component of guaro, which is Costa Rica’s national alcoholic drink. 

Related Read: If you’re trying to figure out when to plan your trip, read this to find out the best time to visit Costa Rica!

Cons of the Don Juan Coffee Tour in Monteverde 

Making chocolate on a tour at Monteverde
Making chocolate!
Daniel touring the farm at Don Juan Coffee Tour Monteverde
Cacao!

Does not include transportation

Honestly, there is only one downside to the Don Juan coffee tour, and that’s that it does not include transportation. You need to get yourself to and from the plantation. It’s only a 10-minute drive from Santa Elena, which is where most people stay in the Monteverde region, so this is not a deal breaker. 

You can easily drive yourself if you’ve rented a car in Costa Rica, or take a taxi from Santa Elena, which should cost $5-$10 USD each way. That’s not too bad if you’re in a group or traveling as a couple.

Do I recommend the Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate Tour in Monteverde?

A small coffee sprout grows in a pot for demonstration purposes in Monteverde, Costa Rica
A small coffee sprout!
Coffee beans on the plant in Costa Rica
Can you believe this is coffee?

Yes, I loved it! 

We had such a great time on the Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate Tour. It was informative and fun throughout the entire experience. Our guides were absolutely captivating and they were great with kids. In fact, this experience is absolutely perfect for families because kids love getting to help with demonstrations and trying all of the sweet treats, even if they’re too young to like coffee! 

This tour stands head and shoulders above the other coffee tour experiences we’ve had in Costa Rica. In fact, there’s only one other tour that could rival it, but that’s in a different part of the country! So while you’re here in Monteverde, don’t miss the chance to visit Don Juan. 

Plus, when you book online with Viator, you get free cancellation, so you can secure your spot without worrying about losing money if your plans change.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Related Read: Another must we love doing here is exploring the hanging bridges in Monteverde. It gives you an incredible vantage point of the rainforest!

Other Things to do While You’re in Monteverde

Spotted on our night walk!
A lady ziplines through the trees in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Zipping through the trees in Monteverde!

While enjoying some of the best coffee in the country is definitely a must-do, don’t forget to explore the rest of this area. There are so many fun activities in Monteverde, that you could spend your entire vacation here! These are just a few of our favorites:

  • Night walkTours of Monteverde Cloud Forest are awesome, but there are some animals you can only see at night! Guided Night Walks in Monteverde are a great way to (safely!) explore the jungle after dark. This night tour is a small group of up to 8 and you’ll have a naturalist guide to help you spot all the nocturnal creatures. It’s also super affordable at only $33 USD including round-trip transport.
  • Selvatura Park – Selvatura Park is a nature and adventure park located inside 850 acres of protected rainforest. This park has a network of hanging bridges above the tree canopy that give you incredible aerial views of the rainforest. Get the chance to explore all the bridges, go ziplining across 15 different lines, and try out the thrilling Tarzan swing on this Selvatura Park Combo Tour!
  • Go bungy jumping – Bungy jumping is one of the fun Monteverde attractions you have to try … if you’re brave enough! The Extreme Bungee Jumping in Monteverde Tour has a daring jump from over 460 feet (140 meters). That’s the highest in Costa Rica and all of Central America! 
  • Horseback riding – This is a great way to give your feet a break and explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest! This Monteverde Cloud Forest horseback riding tour lets you cover a lot of ground as you trek through farmland and the surrounding landscape in Monteverde. Keep an eye out for toucans, parrots, monkeys, and other critters as you experience the rural side of Costa Rica, far from any crowds or traffic. 

Where to Stay in Monteverde, Costa Rica

The hot tub at Chira Glamping in Monteverde, Costa Rica
How magical is this?! Photo credit: Chira Glamping

Monteverde may be a small tourist town but there are a surprisingly large amount of great hotels in all budget ranges.

Selina Monteverde – $

If you’re a budget traveler or backpacker, there are lots of nice hostels in Monteverde. If you like modern features and outstanding facilities, Selina Monteverde is the best option. The hostel is beautiful, has great reviews, and lots of activities including yoga.

The only downside is Selina is a high-end backpacker hostel. Prices begin at $97 USD for a one-night stay. You can book Selina on Booking.com or here on Hostelworld.

Camino Verde B&B Monteverde – $$

For those well past their backpacking days who can spend a little more, I love Camino Verde B&B Monteverde Costa Rica. This boutique hotel has beautiful rooms, a deck with magnificent views, and includes breakfast. It’s a comfortable hotel that comes at a great price.

Rates begin at $176 USD/night. You can check availability and book a room online here.

Chira Glamping Monteverde – $$$

If you’re a luxury traveler I highly suggest choosing what we call a “destination hotel”. These hotels are an attraction in themselves because of the unique experience they offer. In Monteverde one of the best is Chira Glamping Monteverde which offers luxury camping with the option to have your own private hottub surrounded by nature.

The view from the property is incredible! Rates begin at $375 USD/night. You can check availability and reserve a room on Booking.com.

Getting Around Costa Rica

Bailey with our rental car near Rio Celeste Costa Rica
Our rental car!

How you choose to get around Costa Rica is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your holiday here! How you do it depends on your budget, travel style, and comfort level. 

Renting a Car

Without a doubt, the number one way to explore Costa Rica is in a rental car. We book rental cars on the Discover Cars website as we have had good experiences with them in the past.

One of the things you need to watch for when renting a car in Costa Rica is the mandatory insurance that the government requires you to have. There are a lot of very cheap rentals that don’t include this mandatory insurance (TPL) in the original booking price, but there are also ones that do. To avoid additional surprise charges when you pick up your rental car, be sure to rent a car that includes the mandatory insurance when you book.

Thankfully, on Discover Cars it’s easy to tell apart the companies that include the mandatory insurance and those that don’t. The trick is you can’t pick any car on their website. In the picture below, you can see this rental car, with pick up in Jaco, includes the TPL. That means the mandatory insurance is included in the price. Any cover you get above that is extra.

Of course, I still suggest getting the full coverage offered by Discover Cars, which covers you even more.

You can browse cars on Discover Cars here.

TPL Cover Costa Rica
TPL Cover Costa Rica

Book Shuttles

If renting a car isn’t in your budget, you don’t feel comfortable driving in Costa Rica, or you just don’t like driving, shuttles are the next best option. There are hundreds of shuttle routes available all over the country, and they are very affordable.

Shuttles in Costa Rica are specifically for tourists and often include pick up and drop off at your selected hotels and airports. The drivers also speak some English, and the vehicles have air conditioning. You’ll also be guaranteed a seat when you book a shuttle (which isn’t the case with the public bus system.)

To get the best price, use the website Bookaway. They compare all the offers and prices of shuttle companies in Costa Rica so you get the best price! Honestly, we have saved so much money using Bookaway! 

You can search for shuttles online on Bookaway here.

Public Bus

Lastly, you can use the public bus system. On short journeys, such as from San Jose to La Fortuna or Uvita to Manuel Antonio, this system is great. However, the longer the journey the more hassle and time spent on a bus. It’s undoubtedly best to save the public bus in Costa Rica for short and straightforward trips!  

The public buses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Costa Rica, but they are not always very reliable and schedules often change without notice and delays are to be expected. The buses can also be very crowded and hot – so just be prepared!

It’s also good to speak some Spanish if you plan on riding the public bus since most drivers and ticket booth operators don’t speak English.

Pura Vida!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie ona coffee tour in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Thanks for reading!

If you’re considering taking the Don Juan coffee tour in Monteverde, I hope we’ve helped convince you it’s worth doing! I’m still thinking about that amazing coffee and chocolate we had on our tour. It was really cool to see the whole process that goes into making the products and our guides were so amazing at explaining everything and making it fun too.

Before you book your flights, take a browse around our other blogs about Costa Rica. After living and traveling right across this country, we have tons of tips and local secrets to share. Here are a few related articles to get you started:

10 BEST Restaurants in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Best Activities for One Day in San Jose, Costa Rica

9 BEST Tours of Costa Rica (Multi-Day Guided Tours) & How to Pick One!