After a visit to Puebla, which was way too short and warrants a return visit, our Gate 1 Travel group headed off to the port city of Veracruz.
The drive is just a few hours and about 280 kilometers. Our tour had a stop scheduled at Hacienda de Pacho that was nothing short of magical.
Our tour bus made its way up a narrow rural road outside the village. We passed acres and acres of thick foliage and coffee bushes.
We arrived at the end of the road to a small gathering of rustic, one-story cinderblock buildings. The lane was filled with chickens, small children playing, and dogs.
Just past the row of houses was a high white stucco wall with a huge wrought iron gate. As the gate opened, we were greeted by a couple in traditional clothes and several musicians. The music was incredible, and the couple was gracious to pose for LOTS of pictures with the tourists.
We entered the courtyard of Hacienda de Pacho for a delicious lunch and more music.
Lunch At The Hacienda
The courtyard was set with several tables around the covered walkway.
For lunch, we enjoyed a very hearty soup with lots of fresh local vegetables and a main course that included a small salad with avocado, tomato, and fresh griddled masa topped with chicken, cheese, and crema. For dessert, we were served some of the coffee produced at the hacienda and a gelatina dessert, very popular in Mexico, that was also made with the hacienda’s coffee.
As Chuck is not a coffee drinker, Mark enjoyed TWO desserts.
The musicians had moved to where we were having lunch, and we really enjoyed the entertainment. The couple was performing local folk dancing and even got some of our group to join.
Check out our good friends and travel companions, Casey and Candi!
Touring the Hacienda
After lunch, we got a chance to explore Hacienda de Pacho. The kitchen, dining room, and several bedrooms were set as they would have been during the height of operation.
While the hacienda is currently occupied by the descendants of the family who owned it in 1840, it has also been used as the set for several films and documentaries.
We saw long trays of coffee drying in the sun, bins of recently harvested beans that would be dried, and we learned a bit about the environmentally friendly practices used in making their artisanal coffee.
Hacienda de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
The property’s original or formal name is Hacienda de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.
José Julián Gutiérrez y Fernádez and his wife Damiana bought the hacienda in 1840. When they married in 1826, Damiana was just fifteen and went on to have a huge family. A portrait of them with their first twelve children hangs in the hacienda.
Our understanding is that one of the three children born after the painting of the portrait continued the legacy of the hacienda.
Sugarcane and Cattle
While the property has been occupied since the pre-Hispanic times, it was established as a sugar cane hacienda with cattle during the 16th century.
Hacienda de Pacho occupies 20 hectares or approximately 50 acres, and in the early 19th century, it switched to growing coffee.
Going To The Chapel
Just beyond the walls of the storehouse that initially housed sugar cane and barrels of molasses and up a set of stairs is an incredible chapel.
The recently retired wedding planner in Mark was in his glory. This tiny chapel was incredible, with beautiful statues, working bells, and amazing acoustics!
The owners of Hacienda de Pacho have permitted weddings on-site. However, while the chapel is on their property, all arrangements must be made through the local parish.
We’ll Take Coffee To Go
Mark, an avid coffee drinker, was sure to buy a kilo of coffee beans and local honey from the hacienda, which was delicious.
In full transparency and disclosure: Mark reached out to the hacienda on social media to discuss purchasing more coffee to be shipped to us. Living in Mexico makes that pretty easy to do. Unfortunately, after a few short chats, they seem to have ghosted him.
Overall our visit to Hacienda de Pacho was one of the highlights of our trip, a great lunch and a beautiful property.