Your excursion begins when you are greeted at the port by your knowledgeable guide, before climbing on to your air conditioned bus for a relaxing drive through the rich countryside. Along the way, your guide will provide you with fascinating information regarding Costa Rica´s culture and history, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions during the 90 minutes drive to Doka State Coffee Plantation. Doka is located in the coffee capital of Costa Rica, Sabanilla, Alajuela. The farm belongs to the Costa Rican Vargas Ruiz family, pioneers of coffee production for more than 70 years. In 2000 and 2001 Doka Estate was awarded as the best Estate coffee of Costa Rica.
The main objective of the Coffee Tour is to educate and inform the local and international population with regard to the whole production and processing of coffee. The tour takes place on the Doka Estate, where you can learn about the production, the harvesting, the processing plant and the roasting of the grain. The tour begins in the seedbed. There you will observe and hear about the development process of the plant up to the point of recollection of the ripe grain. You will also learn about the history of the estate, its owners, the production and varieties of plants, the geography of the area and the traditional ways of cultivating the grain.
The second station is the oldest humid coffee processing plant, In the receiver you can see the first classification of the grains. Then you will see the process of de-pulping of first and second quality coffee which takes place in the grinders. Next, the natural honey of the grain is cut in the fermentation tanks and a process is carried out that is significant to the taste of the coffee. The coffee that has been dried in the Guardiola or on the patios under the sun, is stored in the warehouse. This grain is ready to be peeled, and then exported or roasted in the country. Finally, the roasting plant is visited, where you will be explained and can observe the different types of roasts.
Your next stop is a visit to the Butterfly Garden, were hundreds of colorful butterflies will be flying around you. In Costa Rica there is a great diversity of tropical habitats; this diversity is reflected in the great variety and abundance of butterflies. Approximately 90% of the butterfly species in Central America exist in Costa Rica, nearly 66% of neo-tropical butterflies and about 18% of all butterfly species of the world. The butterfly garden allows our visitors to see the female butterfly mating and depositing her eggs on the leaves of her host plant. In addition, our extensive butterfly educational signage explains the life cycle and metamorphosis in simple terms and allow our visitors to see firsthand the various stages of the life cycle.
Later, at the estate's delightful La Cajuela restaurant, surrounded by the beautiful gardens and mountain views, you will enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch. You will also have plenty of time to visit their souvenir shops and take home many special coffee products, before boarding the bus for your return to the ship.