- Encounters with locals
- Extreme Sports
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
The Alta Verapaz region in Guatemala is famous not only for its coffee, but also the 'fincas' or plantations associated with this industry. Perched high up in a damp climate, the town of Cobán is the epicentre to local coffee businesses. On the outskirts of this urban centre is Chicoj, one of the few coffee plantations which decided to open its doors to visitors. I decided to take advantage of this and went on a tour to learn more about the production process used to manufacture this drink of all drinks.
The visit was made even more interesting due to the fact that Guatemala is currently No.6 in terms of global production, behind Brazil, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and Colombia. Partly cultivated under shady trees, Chicoj grains mature slowly, which means the coffee beans soak up the fertile nutrients in the soil, giving them a superb earthy taste. Whilst at the plantation I was able to take advantage of another activity on offer by this Q'eqchi cooperative - a 'tree top tour'. Comprising of several, long zip-lines, the Canopy Chicoj is a short tour that soars above the finca's coffee fields. It was an amazing experience, well-suited to families on holiday in Guatemala.