#1 Most Authentic Trapiche Tour in Costa Rica Costa Rica (And It’s Free!)

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You want your kids to have an authentic tour experience in Costa Rica, but you don’t necessarily know where to start. There are so many options, it can be hard to pick the best tour. If you follow our advice, curated after multiple visits to the area with our kids, you’ll be sure to have an exciting and unique experience with your family. Let’s dive into this recap of the best trapiche tour in Costa Rica- and don’t forget it’s totally free!

Editor’s note- the trapiche is currently closed due to fire damage. We will update here once it reopens. In the meantime, you can still visit some great restaurants in the area.

Visit Trapiche Hermanos Arias

The Trapiche Hermanos Arias has been working in a small district outside of San Ramon called La Paz for over 60 years. This family-run operation turns sugar cane into what is called tapa de dulce. It’s similar to a Mexican piloncillo but with a distinctly Costa Rican flavor.

There are very few trapiches still working in Costa Rica, and this is the only one in the greater South Central Valley of Costa Rica. If you are looking for an extremely typical Costa Rican experience, especially with kids, this is a great free stop. Kids can participate in every step of the tapa de dulce making process, and everything is in Spanish as no English is spoken here.

The tapa de dulce is like a brown sugar block used to make agua dulce (sweet water), agua de sapo (sweetened ginger and lime tea) and a ton of different candies. It’s basically like a block of brown sugar.

To make the tapas de dulce, first, the juice is extracted from the sugar cane.

Next, the juice is sent to boil into the caramel water.

The water is sent to a trough and mixed with a wooden paddle to thicken it.

Some of the thick mixture is put on a wooden table and mixed into a sobado candy that is widely popular throughout Costa Rica, and also very hard to find.

The rest of the mixture is poured into the tapa de dulce olds and left to cool.

Once the molds cool the tapas are removed and packaged for sale.


The ultimate list of Spanish phrases for Costa Rica with kids.  

Get To Trapiche Hermanos Airas

Put “Trapiche Hermanos Arias” into your Waze app if you are driving in Costa Rica and then save the directions offline as there is not always cell or wifi signal on the whole route. If you are taking a taxi from San Ramon center, you can just ask them to take you to the

Once you get to the main road you pretty much follow it for about 30 minutes until you reach a small cafe called Cafeteria Flory and then park next door.

What we always do is visit Cafeteria Flory for breakfast on the way, and Pizza Loca for lunch on the way home. Read more about those two restaurants in our 30 Best San Ramon Restaurants post.

Join me over at my favorite place- Instagram.

Take A Free Tour

This trapiche only works on Thursdays each week, and they start before dawn. Once the work is done they shut down, so it’s a good idea to head over before about 2 or 3 pm. The best time to visit is between 9am and noon.

Visiting is completely free and you can expect to spend anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours. You will see the whole tapa de dulce making process in order, and have the chance to sample traditional Costa Rican sweets such as melcochas de natilla and agua dulce when they are still warm. Take some tapas de dulce with you so you can make agua de sapo too!

There is a small store where you can buy tapas de dulce, and sobado.

You don’t have to reserve, and the experience is completely free.

Join the Costa Rica With Kids Facebook Group. Ask all the Costa Rica Travel questions you want- we will answer them!

What to Bring

It’s cool in the area, so make sure to bring a long sleeve shirt or jacket. It’s muddy around the area too, as rains can be unpredictable. Make sure to wear study shoes.

A water bottle and snacks are not a bad idea.

Please bring cash to tip the brothers and to support their business by purchasing candy and other items.

Related post: Tipping in Costa Rica

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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