Thursday, 16 January 2014

San Juan - Bacardi Distillery Tour

I'd read so many mixed reviews on the Bacardi Distillery tour that I wasn't sure whether I wanted to venture over to the other island, but I'm glad I did. From Old San Juan you can catch the ferry across to Catano, where I met a share taxi (they leave from a carpark about 2 minutes walk from the ferry)which takes you to the Bacardi Distillery. 
On arrival you book in for either a Spanish or English tour.  You are given 2 drink vouchers that you can use anytime during your visit.  This is the bar area under a big tented canopy offering shade.

Bacardi Bar

I tasted two ‘newer’ flavours, which were a pineapple fusion and dragonberry. Refreshing and tasty.  This is the Dragonberry Bacardi cocktail

Dragonberry Cocktail
All aboard the Barcadi Express!
Boarding trams that take you around the site, we started off here with the history of the family and how the Bat became the symbol of Bacardi.

Through parts of the tour, especially where they have set up a replica of the old distillery (from Cuba) and all the original documents, photos of the family, orders and old bottles and labels of the past are on showcase you can't take photos but I did manage to grab this one....barrels to boxes of bottles ready to ship!

Unfortunately you don't get to actually see any of the current distillery (which would make this tour much better) but it's still educational and enlightening enough.  There is a section where you get to smell the different stages of the rum making and how they make the flavours of their new rums.
and at the end......I'm confronted with walls of Bacardi....I'm in heaven!  Hello Bacardi! 
yeah, you can get a photo taken and email it to yourself (or others as a postcard) for free too!
Of course you are dropped off at the 'visitor's centre, aka gift shop, where you can shop up a storm for all your Bacardi needs - I restrained myself this time.

It's an interesting tour and seeing that it's free (apart from the $7 for ferry and taxi) it's not a bad deal.  Give yourself at least 2.5-3 hours (including travel and wait time for the tour). 

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