Sarchi, Coffee and back to San Jose

Sarchi Travel Blog

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Tin Church

We left Jaco and off to Sarchi for tourist souvenior shopping!  We have been putting off buying the big stuff until now because we were told that this is THE PLACE to buy the goodies! 

We had about 2 hours to shop in Sarchi - I was disappointed in the stores.  They definitely had a large selection of souveniors, but the prices were much more (about 50% more) than other places we has seen.  So, word to the wise - if you find some good deals ... get 'em!  We didn't buy too much here, we had found some little shops in downtown San Jose that we'll head back to later tonight or tomorrow morning before we leave.

On the way to Sarchi
  I accidentally booked our flight home for Monday instead of Sunday - so we have an extra night in town anyway. 

The stores here were very well organized and they had some beautiful handiworks.  Their wooden pieces are incredible!  There are wooden pieces that have upwards of 10-15 different types of wood in the project.  We wandered around town and milled around the stores for a while.  We had lunch at one of the restaurants in town and then headed back to San Jose.

We stopped in a little town to take photos of the center of attention - a red church that is made from all tin.  It's beautiful!!  Once we got back to San Jose, we went to the Cafe Britt Coffee Plantation.

Cafe Britt
  We were planning on taking a tour of the plantation to see how coffee is harvested, roasted and sold.  Since it started raining when we got there, they went with Plan B and acted out a skit instead.  It was GREAT!!  They told us all about the history of coffee in Costa Rica and that particular plantation. 

The talked about the competition from other coffee plantations, other countries and also the government.  They asked for some people from the audience to help them out - and one of the very quiet guys opted to help out because he loves coffee ... then one of the guys on the trip who was the epitome of extroverted also volunteered. 

After the skit, we had some time in the gift shop to try all of their different flavors, and I fell in love with their Organic Shade Grown variety - so I picked up several bags of coffee for gifts (and several for me) since they had a bulk deal :-))   (guess what people are getting for Christmas this year!!)

One of the guys that was working in the skit was wandering around the gift shop and I complimented him on a great training event (since that's what I do and all) - they got across all of their main objectives, asked for participation from the audience and even asked questions at the end to make sure people were paying attention!  .

Cafe Britt
.. and got across all of the information in a fun, creative way.  He was grateful for the compliment and said that he was originally a teacher, but came to work for Cafe Britt because he needed to support his family and the coffee plantation paid more than teaching did locally.  I told him ... "Well, you're doing a great job - and still teaching!"

I have signed up for the Cafe Britt website - and they send some great coupons and promos regularly.  If you buy 10 bags of anything (mix and match, coffee, chocolate goodies, etc.) they offer free shipping, so if you don't need your coffee TODAY, it's a great alternative to Folgers - better flavor and all Free Trade too. 

We headed back to the hotel, got out of our wet clothes and headed into town to hit the tourist shops there before dinner.

Caravan Group Photo
  We got a TON of great souveniors here.  I got a hand sewn wool bag - but better than the ones I've seen elsewhere, because this one is lined - so your stuff doesn't get snagged on the inside.  I also picked up several wooden bowls, a hand sewn wool bag that is the perfect size for a passport holder, some gifts for friends and family for when I get home.   It's a good thing I brought the big bag, and left it half empty - knowing I would be buying goodies! 

We got back to the hotel for our farewell dinner in the hotel - we had a private, catered, plated dinner (much better than a buffet with rice and beans!) and it was a great time to exchange names, addresses and emails with everyone on the trip.  There were many people that made some close friendships - and two couples were already planning another vacation together!  We had a leisurely dinner, took our group photo and retired for the night. 

A great trip overall!

 

Day 9 • Handicrafts, Coffee Plantation

Morning drive to the Central Valley. Time to shop for colorful handicrafts, including painted oxcarts. Enjoy lunch. Then, visit a coffee plantation. Pick a few beans when in season. Sample fresh Costa Rican coffee and learn about the history of the coffee bean. Return to San José. Farewell dinner. BLD

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Tin Church
Tin Church
On the way to Sarchi
On the way to Sarchi
Cafe Britt
Cafe Britt
Cafe Britt
Cafe Britt
Caravan Group Photo
Caravan Group Photo
Sarchi
photo by: walterman9999