Huatulco, Oaxaca is an amazing place but maybe you’re ready to get off the beach and see some of the surrounding area? A trip up to the jungle to the famous Pluma Hidalgo coffee plantation is a must.
The coffee from Mexico cultivated here is grown in harmony with nature and tradition to produce organic coffee and a true coffee culture. It can definitely rank with some of the best coffee in the world. It has been family-owned for three generations and has been one of the most famous coffee producers on the west coast of Mexico since the 1920s.
Pluma Hidalgo produces a medium body coffee with low acidity, a thick syrupy body, sweet chocolate notes and caramel undertones.
So if you’re a coffee connoisseur and would like to see how this delicious coffee is produced, you need to go to Pluma Hidalgo.
How to Get to Pluma Hidalgo coffee plantation
If you’re travelling from Huatulco, the route is not too difficult. It takes about an hour to travel to the town of Santa Maria Huatulco. Once past the Huatulco airport the route is beautiful and highly recommended.
Although you can definitely rent a car and do your own tour, the highway can be in disrepair and it’s much easier to take a tour with a guide and a driver who knows the area and the highway.
If you do want to go independently, a taxi should be able to take you all the way. Just make sure you negotiate the rates before the trip.
The coffee plantation is located in the town of Santa Maria la Asuncion Llano Grande, Oaxaca. It can be reached by turning from highway 175 onto 126 to Coatepec Harinas and then onto an unmarked dirt road for about 12 kilometers. The coffee plantation is next to a Biosphere Reserve with abundant birds and wildlife.
Be prepared for a change in temperature once you arrive at the coffee plantation, as it is 1,000 meters above sea level. And for heavens sake, make sure you take bug spray with Deet!
How Coffee is made in Pluma Hidalgo
The coffee beans are roasted in big drums over charcoal fires by the coffee farmers themselves. They then pound the coffee with wooden mallets and separate out any debris.
Pluma Hidalgo’s coffee beans are sold in local markets. There is also a coffee shop next to where you can buy fresh coffee direct from the source or other products like honey and lip balm made from coffee oil (this is apparently good for chapped lips).
Pluma Hidalgo Coffee Plantation
The best way to sample this coffee is by buying it directly from the source locally. But different areas in Mexico also stock these coffee beans.
The coffee shops in Mexico City stock beans from this Pluma Hidalgo too. Pluma Hidalgo is well known for the high quality beans due to its ideal climate conditions. These include cool mornings followed by warm afternoons where the sun’s rays shine directly onto the coffee plants allowing them to grow faster than they do elsewhere in Oaxaca state.
How to get to Pluma Hidalgo
Pluma de Hidalgo coffee plantation is about a 20-minute walk from the town of Santa Maria Huatulco. You can also take a taxi which costs between 70 and 80 pesos (about US$5) per car load up the hill. The coffee plantation has signs that are posted as you drive towards Santa Maria Huatulco, however if you do get lost, locals are happy to direct you as long as they don’t have to leave their coffee crops to help!
There are actually two coffee plantations close to one another. There is Pluma Hidalgo and also Finca El Pacifico which also hosts a butterfly sanctuary.
The coffee plantations offer a wonderful view across Santa Maria and beyond to the ocean in the distance.
The Town of Santa Maria Huatulco
The town of Santa Maria Huatulco is about a 45 minute drive from Huatulco. This is a small Mexican village town and there isn’t a lot to do here if you are not into coffee.
You can walk around the street market stalls and into the zocolo to check out the area. This town has a very old history way back from the 16th century. The large church dominates the zocolo and you may or may not be able to view the inside depending on whether there is renovation going on.
If you can’t view the church you might want to look at the murals at City Hall. The murals have difference themes that depict the history of the region. This wasn’t a boring area, there were pirates, iguanas, and Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña who was one of the leaders of the Mexican War of Independence. Although the mural does make him look a little bit like Elvis Presley!
Where to stay in Pluma Hidalgo
Although there aren’t a lot of options to stay over in Pluma Hidalgo, Finca Don Gabriel is worth staying at.
The rooms are simple but the added bonus of being in the jungle with beautiful views. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, a temazcal (similar to a sweatlodge) and pure relaxation. You can also check out the many hiking trails and waterfalls in the area. Being in the jungle and waking up to the jungle sounds certainly has its appeal.
Why is Pluma Hidalgo coffee so good?
Pluma coffee is so good because coffee beans are rare. Coffee production in the region of Pluma Hidalgo is limited due to the dryness of the coffee plantations. Coffee plantations are usually steep and treeless, but coffee bean quality is best when grown on lower-altitude higher-elevation coffee plantations.
Why coffee beans are dry
Coffee beans go through a process where they ferment inside its outer skin after picking (not inside the fruit). Fermentation causes water loss, which yields a dryer coffee bean. Latitudes with less humidity like Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula contributes to this drying process as well .
The Best Tour to Take to Pluma Hidalgo
If you do decide you would like to take a tour I highly recommend Homie Tours. Alberto España Chavez is a Mexican government certified guide and highly rated. You can reach out to him on his website or at his email email@example.com.