- Puerto Rico
Aside from beautiful beaches, verdant rainforests and rich island culture, what could be more Puerto Rican than rum?
This ubiquitous liquor has been distilled on the island since the mid-1600s and is the source of more than 70 percent of rum consumed in the continental USA today. When visiting Puerto Rico, a distillery tour is more than just a chance to sample a local specialty; it’s a glimpse into the island’s unique history and culture.
Casa Bacardí: Begin with a Classic
From Old San Juan, hop on the Acua Expreso ferry to the town of Cataño where the most well-known rum in the world is crafted. This iconic distillery boasts a waterfront cocktail bar and offers several tour options. The history tour is perfect for casual visitors and includes a drink in the ticket price. For rum aficionados, don’t miss the rum tasting tour and a chance to sample Bacardí rum blends that are sold only in Puerto Rico. Expand your bartending skills on the mixology tour, where you’ll learn how to make the perfect mojito, daiquiri and Cuba libre.
The rum tasting room at Casa Bacardí
Ron del Barrilito at Hacienda Santa Ana: Artisan Rum
Ron del Barrilito has been made with the same family recipe since 1880. This special blend is beloved for its distinctive flavor, which is a result of being aged in old oak sherry barrels. The distillery has a new visitor center in Bayamón and offers tours of their production facility. Ron del Barrilito is a craft-distillery experience, a true only-in-Puerto-Rico attraction and a must for rum lovers.
Outside Ron del Barrilito at Hacienda Santa Ana
PitoRico: Local Rum Flavors
Do you like your rum drinks strong and your distillery experiences a little off the beaten path? PitoRico manufactures a modern take on pitorro, the Puerto Rican equivalent of moonshine, at Destilería Cruz in the town of Jayuya, about two hours from San Juan in the very center of the island. Stop in for a brief tour and a tasting of PitoRico’s fruit-infused blends – coconut, passion fruit, tamarind, orange and original.
Serrallés Castle Museum: Don Q History
Likely the most popular rum in Puerto Rico is Don Q, manufactured by the Serrallés family in the town of Ponce. Although the distillery isn’t open to the public, the Serrallés Castle Museum near Puerto Rico’s southern coast in Ponce is a local landmark that should be on every visitor’s itinerary. The jaw-dropping Spanish Revival mansion boasts the best views of the historic city of Ponce and the Caribbean Ocean beyond. The guided tour features a taste of the famous Don Q rum.
The sprawling grounds of the Serrallés Castle Museum
The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), services many airlines from destinations worldwide. Ground transport via bus, taxi or car rental is readily available.
Getting around the island is a breeze. San Juan and other major tourist areas are quite walkable and Old San Juan has a free trolley. You can also get around via taxi, bus, rideshare and bike rental. Other transportation options include the Tren Urbano (electric train), water ferry, flights to outer islands and privately owned shuttles.