Use this interactive map of Tarrazu to explore the local activities, sights, hotels and landmarks. Clicking on any icon will show you more information and, if present, take you to the relevant page on this website.
100% pure Tarrazu coffee is a rare commodity exclusively grown in the highlands around the City of San Marcos Tarrazu, Costa Rica. The high elevation, constant cloud coverage and rich volcanic soil in the upland slopes of the Talamanca Sierra create an ideal environment for harvesting this unique Costa Rican coffee bean.
There are hundreds of coffee farms in Tarrazu, from the small village of San Guillermo to Concepcion, and many offer tours to the public. Visit thriving coffee orchards and learn about the meticulous harvesting process. Then explore the coffee mills and see how the beans are processed. Some of these farms with available tours include the Don Evelio Coffee Farms, La Choza del Cafe roasting Coffee operation, Concepcion Farms, and many more. The Tarrazu Coffee Cultural Festival held during March in Historic San Marcos Village (San Marcos-Tarrazu) is a must-see event for coffee lovers.
At one time, coffee was sold unroasted to big coffee wholesalers in every district of Tarrazu Costa Rica. Today, discriminating growers are reviving the rich coffee roasting tradition of the previous generations. Boutique, award-winning farms can be found in the highlands. So sip a freshly brewed cup for yourself and experience the rich aroma and flavorful taste that makes 100% Tarrazu coffee so highly valued, then sample a cup from every district to see which subtle variety suits you best.
If you enjoy drinking coffee, are interested in locally grown and exported products, or just want to learn a little Costa Rica coffee history be sure to plan a visit to one or more of the Tarrazu Coffee mountain destinations listed below. Following, you’ll know why it is one of the very best in the world!
From Santamaria International Airport to the Tarrazu Coffee growing Area:
56 miles | 1 hour, 40 minutes to more than 2 hours drive time ( See Above Map )
From Quepos Port in the Pacific Ocean to the Tarrazu Coffee region: 30 miles | 1 hour 30 minutes drive time.
You can spend about two hours of time or less visiting one farm, or you can spend an entire day exploring this unique region, and the destinations recommended below.
See each individual recommended destination for hours and tour specifics.
Start your day early. Mornings offer typically the best weather in the Tarrazu Coffee Mountains. Expect sunny, clear skies, and beautiful views of the mountains, coastline and ocean. Afternoons frequently are overcast and hazy, with possible sprinkles, or showers.
Tarrazu is the name of a well known coffee origin from Costa Rica. Most coffee trees are indigenous to the mountains of southwestern Ethiopia, called Coffea Arabica, var. Tarrazu Caturra, Catuai, Villa Sarchi, Villalobos and Geisha. Grown on the slopes of the Talamanca Cordillera, the term “Tarrazu coffee” is specific to coffee grown only in the designated districts around San Marcos de Tarrazu.
Tarrazu coffee’s key characteristic is its rich flavor. Full of complex aromas and taste, Tarrazu typically tastes clean and well balanced with velvet acidity that is common in most strictly hard bean, mountain grown coffees.
Coffee fruit, know as “cherry” is hand picked many times throughout the growing season, followed by meticulous processing procedures.
Tarrazu Coffee is one of the most expensive coffees on earth. Unlike many coffee regions of the world, which are located in vast regions of countries like Brasil or Vietnam, agricultural costs here in Costa Rica are at a premium. This includes everything from the actual cost of the land the coffee is grown on, to the unavailability of low cost housing and labor. Growing areas are oftentimes on steep, volcanic rocky hillsides, impassable by machinery, and require workers to plant, tend and harvest crops all by hand in a continuous growing season.
Dubbed “Tarrazu Snow,” fragrant, delicate white flowers signify a coffee tree’s bloom cycle, typically in March or early April. Next, green berries appear in April. By early November red coffee fruit, called “cherry” because of its resemblance to an actual cherry, begin to appear and indicate it’s time to start picking. Between November and January, as berries ripen, each individual tree must be hand picked approximately 3 to 4 times. Additional work then results, with the crop’s processing in the form of pulping, drying, storing, milling, sorting, roasting, packaging and finally sale.
If you enjoy drinking coffee, the price is pretty reasonable! But, don’t be fooled. Purchase only Tarrazu coffee that is labeled as 100% Tarrazu and is sold directly by farmers in this unique coffee growing region, otherwise you’ll be buying an overpriced blend of coffees that typically includes only about 10% of true Tarrazu grown coffee beans.