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Honduras’ Coffee Region enters the nature, adventure tourism fray

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras, Central America’s leading coffee producer, is transforming the scenic farms where that crop is grown into a domestic and international tourist attraction.

The Coffee Tourist Route, an initiative centered on several farms in the western provinces of La Paz, Intibuca, Lempira, Santa Barbara, Ocotepeque and Copan, is offering prospective tourists coffee tasting, adventure sports and nature tours, among other services.

One of the farms in Intibuca, Santa Elena, offers visitors cabin stays, a restaurant, bird watching, a heated pool, adventure sports such as kayaking and paintball, as well as a pine forest hike, assistant manager Gabriela Hernandez told EFE.

The Capucas Coffee Cooperative (COCAFCAL), based in Copan and named after a palm tree species common to western Honduras, also is offering tourists an experience that combines natural beauty and adventure sports.

Capucas is made up of 800 members who grow coffee using an organic fertilizer they produce themselves and sell to other farms.

The cooperative offers tourists a welcoming climate and tranquil natural surroundings, as well as comfortable accommodations at a complex of two-bedroom cabins that feature jacuzzis and other services such as hiking trails and swimming pools, COCAFCAL member Jose Luiz Estevez told EFE.

For its part, the tourist offering of the Montecristo farm, also located in Copan, includes horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, camping and coffee farm tours, its manager, Noel Quiñones, told EFE.

Visitors to Montecristo also will learn to milk cows and have the chance to tour more than 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres) where more than a dozen coffee varieties, including Pacamara and Maragogipe, are grown, he said.