Spending a few days on the coast, in Puerto Escondido, during our trip to Oaxaca we came upon an interesting excursion – a visit to a coffee plantation. Felix was our guide, taking us to Finca las Nievas (Snow Plantation) , in the Sierra Madre Oriental north of Puerto Escondido. He was a great host, offering us -fresh- coconut right from the tree, a tour of the facilities where the coffee beans receive their first processing, and a hike up into the forest and the coffee “trees”.
After touring the facility where husks are removed from the freshly picked ‘cherries’, we started up a short incline into the forest. The trail was easy, and certainly we were going into a tropical forest. About a third of a mile in, Felix led us to a beautiful waterfall. There was quite the stream of water coming down 70 or 80 foot rockface. From here we continued on up the trail where Felix introduced us to many different kinds of coffee plants that they grow here at Nieves. They produce only -shade grown- coffee; in the forests the plants are diminutive, a few stems each less than 2″ in diameter, no taller than 10 feet or so. We picked a few of the cherries and chewed on the husks; they have a nice sweet flavor.
Upon return, Felix served us 3 types of their coffee and guided us through the coffee afficianodo’s tasting regimen. Then he served a delicious lunch. Although it was short, this was a great hike. I will post more information about our coffee plantation visit on a travel blog that I will start soon.
Total Distance: 1.33 miles
Elevation: start 4,214 ft, maximum 4,512 ft, minimum 4,176 ft
Gross gain: 336 ft. Aggregate ups & downs: ascending 483 ft, descending 479 ft
Maximum slope: 33% ascending, 37% descending, 12% average
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.
Alliance for Coffee Excellence: Finca las Nieves
Viva Puerto: Finca las Nieves: Reviving Local Coffee Production
The Coffee Vine: Popping my Coffee Farm Cherry in Mexico
For more hikes, and links for this one, visit our Journal – Hiking in New Mexico