Travel inspiration for World Coffee Day

Ah… coffee! The elixir that many of us rely on to get into our days, is celebrated on October 1 – World Coffee Day. What better reason do you need to explore the coffee-bean-producing countries, and whilst there, make a difference? Develop your palate as you discover new coffee varieties whilst exploring fascinating parts of the world.

Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Costa Rica

Embark on a Fair Trade coffee tour to discover how coffee is grown and harvested in sustainable ways that benefit the growers. Blend this (excuse the pun!) with the zip lines, hot springs, volcanoes, and lakes of Arenal, wildlife, and spectacular beaches of Manuel Antonio, Corcovado, or other gems.

Luxury volunteer Costa Rica

Make a difference: Enrich your time in Costa Rica by assisting at a wildlife rescue center: preparing meals for monkeys, parrots, and more, feeding them, maintaining their enclosures, and assisting the vet on his daily rounds. You and your family will learn an enormous amount about the animals.

Where to stay: Arenal Nayara Tented Camp.

Best time to visit: November to March.

Belize

Belize, whilst a small producer of coffee beans, has one place where coffee is grown and cultivated organically under the Mayan rainforest shade at the Gallon Jug Estate in western Belize. Gallon Jug Coffee is Belize’s leading coffee brand, producing superb 100% Arabica coffee beans. Chocolate-making sessions are also on offer in Belize, as are wildlife spotting, diving, snorkeling, Mayan ruins, kayaking, and much more.

Belize luxury volunteer travel

Make a difference: Make your trip to Belize meaningful by installing an eco-friendly stove for a rural farming Mayan family. These stoves are incredible; here’s why:

they are enclosed, and replace the open flames and thus reduce burns, especially prevalent with young children running around; they have a chimney to expel the smoke, reducing respiratory problems such as asthma; and they are much more efficient, consume less fuel, and are better for the environment.

Where to stay: Copal Tree Lodge.

Best time to visit: November to March.

Peru

From citrus to chocolaty tasting, Peru’s coffee is some of the finest in Latin America. Peruvian coffee is becoming recognized as one of the best coffee-growing regions in the world. Peru’s microclimates in the Andean regions, with their variations in altitude, humidity, sun, and heat allow coffee plants to develop individual flavor profiles unique to Peru.

Head to Peru for your luxury family vacation in August, and you’ll have the chance to visit coffee fairs, tastings, and barista competitions all celebrating coffee. The main coffee-growing regions are Amazonas, Cusco, Cajamarcas, San Martin, and Puno (home of Lake Titicaca). Combine saving fine coffee with Machu Picchu, biking in the Sacred Valley, spotting condors in Colca Canyon, kayaking on Lake Titicaca, whale watching on the coast, and wildlife spotting in the Amazon.

Luxury volunteer vacation Peru

Make a difference: Make your trip to Peru meaningful by building a bathroom block for villagers in the Sacred Valley. Roll up your sleeves, take your shoes off, and start by making the adobe bricks – its muddy, and so much fun!

Where to stay: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.

Best time to visit: June to September.

Guatemala

Coffee in Guatemala is grown at altitudes of over 5,000 feet (1,650 m), which accounts for its robust and special flavor. Guatemala’s unique growing region, with a mild subtropical climate, combined with nutrient-rich volcanic soil, create an ideal environment for growing some of the most delicious coffee beans around. Antigua and Atitlan are primary growing regions, and these match the tourism highlights of colonial Antigua and Lake Atitlan, with fascinating villages dotted around this spectacular lake. Other highlights for a luxury family vacation in Guatemala include the colorful markets of Chichicastenango, and the breathtaking Mayan ruins of Tikal.

Make a difference: Be fulfilled on your trip to Guatemala by helping build a home for a family in need of a decent place to live. Base yourself in charming Antigua as you build.

Where to stay: Villa Bokeh

Best time to visit: November to March.


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Indonesia

Home to perhaps the most bizarre coffee beans in the world: Kopi Luwak coffee beans pass a civet cat, whose digestive enzymes partially digest the coffee cherries, leaving lightly fermented coffee beans in the cat’s poop. These beans are then handpicked, washed, dried, and roasted.

Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and East Timor. The problem is that the civet cats are typically caged and force-fed in appalling conditions. An ethical travel company can take you to those few producers who use 100% wild-gathered beans,. Bali is our top pick, where the best hotels are, along with cooking classes, sublime beaches, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, white-water rafting, and arts.

Make a difference: Fund and build a disabled-accessible bathroom for a paraplegic in a remote village in Bali. As Bali is a Hindu-island, babies born disabled are considered bad karma, and often grow up in isolation, hidden from the community. By building these accessible bathrooms, you are providing the recipient with a hitherto unknown degree of autonomy and independence – immeasurably improving their quality of life.

Where to stay: Amankila

Best time to visit: May to September

Wherever you decide to go, enjoy your coffee…and make a difference!

Christopher Hill is Founder and CEO at Hands Up Holidays. Hands Up Holidays is an award-winning travel company specializing in tailor-made luxury family trips that combine sightseeing with hands-on service projects.

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