An Adventure to Discover Shade Grown Coffee Plantations in Western Honduras

I had read about the Origenes Cabins in Capucas on several occasions. The truth is that is seemed like a nice place, but I could not quite pin point the location. Their web site and facebook pages have nice pictures and a good description about the facilities. But instructions on how to get are sketchy at best.

Taking advantage of the fact that I was in Santa Rosa de Copan, I set out on a quest to get to this spot. I got a contact phone number, called and was given very basic instructions: Drive west from Santa Rosa de Copan to Cucuyagua. From there, head south towards the town of Corquin. Take the detour at San Pedro de Copan and then ask the locals. A friend warned me that I would get lost, but I set out anyway.

Using Modern Technology to Traverse Rural Mountain Roads to Coffee Plantations in Western Honduras

Coffee plantation in Western Honduras
A shade grown coffee plantation in Capucas

Instinctively, I got my smart phone out and searched waze for the location. I found COCAFCAL, the cooperative that functions in Capucas and decided I would head in that direction. Since I was traveling in my pickup truck, I gave different people a ride in the truck bed. When they signaled they had arrived to their destination, I asked if I was on the right direction. The road led up to the mountain into forested hills. I was really surprised to find that instead of the regular adobe homes you see in rural Honduras, I was seeing large luxury homes in the middle of nowhere!

The area is home to some of the best coffee producing land in Central America. Sitting at altitudes between four and five thousand feet above sea level, the climate is ideal for coffee. The area is next to Celaque National Park. The plantations here are all shade grown coffee. This means that a good part of the forest is intact. Landowners have a good steady income because of coffee, and have built these nice homes I was seeing.

For a while, it like I was on a wild goose chase. I was following rural dirt roads up the steep mountains in Central Honduras. It seemed I was getting farther and farther away from civilization. If it weren’t for the waze app in my phone telling me that I was on the right track, I would have given up and turned around.  Just when I least expected it, I reached a junction and turned right, drove half a mile and there I was.

A Unique Destination Hotel in the Middle of a Coffee Plantation in Western Honduras

coffee plantations in Western Honduras
Lovely manicured gardens at Capucas Cabins

This is a destination hotel. What a magnificent setting on a mountain top overlooking the surrounding coffee plantations. If you are into coffee, community tourism or bird  watching, this is just for you. It took me about 1 ½ hours to travel from Santa Rosa de Copan, but it was well worth while! My only regret was that I did not have time to spend the night. But I will be back!

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Coffee plantations in Western Honduras
One of the cozy cabins at Capucas Origenes Coffee

Don Pedro and Dona Norma, the administrators are splendid hosts. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and fantastic people. The property has a couple of small heated pools, plus a total of 9 cabins that have a capacity to sleep up to 60 persons. Nearby is a zip line canopy tour with a total of 6 cables.  A variety of tours are available. You can visit the farms, the processing plants and even the local communities. Relax and enjoy the rural, mountainous setting. Or get involved with the coffee production during the harvesting season. Best of all, meet friendly people and breathe fresh air.

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Access Routes to Capucas

Once there, I found that there are three different routes to get to Capucas, which by the way, is the name of the village. One access is through the town of San Pedro de Copan, and another is via the small city of Corquin. This area had a strong German immigration about a century ago.  Because of this, you will find that most locals have fair skin and even blue eyed! Corquin even has a neighborhood called “Berlin”.

Corquin Copan
Corquin’s Colonial Church is a little gem!

There are several nice rural villages and towns in the area. Corquin, San Pedro de Copan and Belen Gualcho are the three largest and most important. Looking to discover the real Honduras? This is a great opportunity to visit an area that is far from the large cities that do not have a good reputation. If you decide on renting a car to explore the area, make sure you get a four wheel drive vehicle. I suggest a crew cab pick up. That way, you can give locals a ride in the back and make sure that you are in the right direction.

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Corquin’s town hall is typical of old time rural Honduras.

Do take note that locals will not speak a word of English here.  A bit of Spanish will take you along way! On my way back to Santa Rosa de Copan I took another route, towards Corquin. I drove into town and found it to be every bit as charming as I recalled it was. A lovely colonial church, a nice city hall with a unique belfry next to it, and a well maintained park are all there for your enjoyment. Make sure you bring your camera!  You will find a nice restaurant in Corquin:  Casa Grande. They offer a variety of local dishes and a great cup of coffee.  The restaurant is in an old home with many different tales and legends that you will enjoy. This is the best spot to enjoy a meal in Corquin.