The first trapiche (sugar mill) came to Monteverde in 1948 when Mr. Higinio Santamaría (grandfather of the present owner), moved from San Ramon of Alajuela to Monteverde. The journey was done with oxen carts, to the area we know now as Santa Elena and lasted about 15 days, and then it was installed and started working regularly.
Approximately 13 years after the arrival of the family to Monteverde, Mr. Juan Santamaría Campos (father of the present owner) creates a partnership buying a diesel-powered mill, but close to 28 years after the current owner Juan de Dios Santamaría Hidalgo together with his family starts again after several years of being unused.
The idea of turning it in to an agro-tourism farm was created with the aim of showing to visitors a representative part of Costa Rican culture where they can appreciate the process of sugar by the old way making brown sugar (tapa de dulce) and processing of fresh coffee cultivation in educational and cultural tour, which began on 2005.
El Trapiche tour, is owned by a costarican family, which offers a guided tour of about 2hours. It begins with a tour around the farm which may have an opportunity to observe the different plantations located therein, besides crossing a small patch of forest where occasionally wildlife can be found.
During the tour of the farm there is a small tilapia pond, plantations of bananas, plantains, arracache, macadamia, oranges, sugar cane and coffee.
In the span of the walk around the farm, we explain the process involved in sugarcane cultivation, natural history and also the opportunity to taste the sugar cane and its derivatives.
Finished this interval will display the coffee process, which starts showing from planting and continues with the process of crushing, peeling and roasting by our machinery.
To finish the tour of the plantation, you’re invited to make a short trip in a oxen cart (not obligatory), it starts from sugar cane plantation and finishes at the building where the cocoa process is shown.
There are step by step through the process of cocoa from different stages: starting with a brief explanation of how the tree develops, pollination of it, how to get the fruit, seed fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding cocoa and in addition brief explanation of how to obtain tasting chocolate.
Right after finishing the cocoa process, it will show the “guaro“process (cane liquor).
Next thing on schedule is the demonstration of the different types of the typical trapiches(sugar cane mills) there are three types in the farm, a manual one, an oxen mill and a water mill. You will see all of them running!
The tour culminates at the place where artisanal sugar cane candy is done. various derivatives are made(brown sugar, traditional costarican “perica” or “sobado”(fudge like) and caramel.
It is a great opportunity to interact and make your own candy.
To finish the tour is given the opportunity to taste a “gallo de arracache” chopped with an exquisite cup of coffee, lemonade or aguadulce.