Working Farm Holidays – La Ruta del Yalu in Guatemala

Going fishing for trout was a huge attraction when we lived in Costa Rica. We used to take our oldest boy all the time. You can catch your fish and then have the restaurant make it to your liking, usually fried. Now that my youngest son is five years old he’s got bit by the fishing bug too.

One thing I found, living in Guatemala, these types of trout farms don’t really exist. However, if you’re as determined as I am for a fun adventure, you can find at least one.

And I did!

But the bonus of it was much more than just a place to catch fish, it was a full working farm with dairy cows and blackberry fields, including trout ponds. And also a whole slew of amazing adventures to have in between the farm tours.

Finca El Yalu is a must, must visit either for a day, or do what we did, spend the night in their newly built cabins.

How to Experience La Ruta del Yalu to the Fullest

El Yalu is located about 45 minutes from Antigua or Guatemala City. It is fairly easy to get to. Once you arrive it’s so safe that you don’t have to worry about your kids wandering off on their own. It’s truly mother nature’s playground for kids and adults.

Staying at Finca El Yalu

You can most likely do the majority of the activities in one full day. But with younger kids you can only do so many before they get cranky and tired. Rather than missing out on some of the fun tours (and I recommend taking as many as you can) we decided to spend one night there.

ustic wooden cabin - La Ruta del Yalu

There are four new cabins with enough beds for one or two families with a private bathroom and a lovely balcony.

rustic cabin - La Ruta del Yalu

It was great to be able to take little breaks in the room between the tours. And nothing beats a private bathroom.

Price per night from 9 – 11 people: 

Weekend rates: $60 per night

Weekday rates: $50 per night

Activities Included in the Price of Admission

If you aren’t staying overnight you have to pay a small entrance fee of $5 per person.

Here is what this fee includes: 

  • Admission to the full farm – It’s a huge farm, just walking around is such a fun experience with amazing views of the area.
  • Play area for kids – there is a new playground with a trampoline that your kids can spend hours playing on.

play ground - La Ruta del Yalu

  • Futbol field – Since my oldest wants to be the next goalie for the World Cup he had a blast practicing on it.

futbol field -  La Ruta del Yalu

  • Cows – even though the actual milking and dairy farm experience is one of the tours, you can simply enjoy hanging out with the cows and watching them. They are such lovely looking animals.
  • Fishing – again, this is a tour, since they supply you with a pole and bait, but why not just hang out by the pond?

Tours to Experience While Visiting Yalu

There is absolutely no shortage of activities to do here. You can do them separately, or purchase different packages.

Individual Tours

Canopy Tours – we have done our share of canopy/zipline tours when traveling. I have to say the Canopy tour that is for the 8 years old and up is the best tour we have ever done.

To start you need to walk through the coffee plantations and hike to the first platform. This alone was worth doing the tour. The path is beautiful, surrounded by nature with spectacular views.

hiking - La Ruta del Yalu

The ziplines are over the pasture areas from one hill to the next. They are long and definitely give you the full adrenaline injection you need.

canopy tour - La Ruta del Yalu

Their equipment is top of the line, so safety is always in place.

canopy equipment - La Ruta del Yalu

If you are traveling with younger kids than eight, they have a perfect solution for it. The Canopy Kool (watch the video to find out what Kool really means). This is for the younger kids and its so fun. My baby did this tour two times and loved it.

canopy kool - La Ruta del Yalu

Rock Climbing – my husband and both sons are avid climbers. The wall here is one of the best in Guatemala. But not only that, the equipment is first class, all the guides have been professionally instructed on how to work with the wall and climbers of all ages and levels.

family of rock climbers - La Ruta del Yalu

There are three routes, for different levels. If you are at all interested in rock climbing, this would be the perfect wall to do since the security measures and equipment are all super safe and professional.

kids rock climbing La Ruta del Yalu

Dairy Farm tour – I loved this tour. This is so different than anything I have ever done. I felt like a kid milking the cows and then drinking the milk right afterward.

dairy farm tour - cow milking - La Ruta del Yalu

Also, they have the baby section, where you can give bottles to the baby calfs who are a bit nutty, but definitely entertaining.

baby calfs - dairy farm tour - La Ruta del Yalu

Blackberry (Mora) Picking tour – they have huge blackberry fields that you can pick the biggest, juiciest blackberries I’d ever seen. And then you can take them home with you to remember just how much fun you had doing it.

blackberry picking - La Ruta del Yalu

NOTE: when you eat at their restaurant make sure to ask for their Mora drink, it’s fresh and so tasty.

Fishing – the main reason I found this place in the first place. My kids loved this activity. You can keep the fish once you catch it and have the restaurant cook it up for your tastes. Or catch and release, which is what we did.

trout fishing - La Ruta del Yalu

Horse Back Riding – even with staying over night we didn’t have time to do this tour. But it’s a great way to get around the farm and see it all.

Coffee Tour – my kids gave me strict instructions, I can pick either the coffee tour or blackberry tour because they rather play then do tours. Fair enough. I ended up choosing the blackberry one simply because I live in Guatemala and have done plenty of coffee tours before, and picking mora was more unique to me.

Mountain Biking – I’m not a mountain biker or any sort of a biker for that fact. Plus, my five year old is way too young for this activity, so we decided to come back when the boys are older and I can enjoy lounging out in the hammock area while they have this adventure on their own.

hammock area - La Ruta del Yalu

Tour Packages

If you buy each tour individually it can really add up. So to make it better for you and save up to 40% there are plenty of packages to do.

Blue Package – Traditional Tours Package:

  • Canopy tour
  • Coffee Tour
  • 1 Coffee Bag
  • 1 activity of your choice

Red Package – Extreme Tours Package:

  • Canopy
  • Rock Climbing
  • Horse Riding
  • Trout Fishing
  • La Ruta del Yalu – T-shirt

Green Package – Adventure Tour Package:

  • Horse Riding
  • Trout Fishing
  • Dairy Farm and Milking
  • Coffee Tour
  • Blackberry Tour
  • 1 Coffee Bag
  • 1 Jar of Blackberry Jelly

Yellow Package – Kids Tours Package

  • Children Canopy
  • Dairy Farm and Milking
  • Trout Fishing
  • Blackberry Tour
  • 1 Small Jar of Blackberry Jelly
  • La Ruta del Yalu T-shirt

Dining at Yalu 

Doing all these activities will really work up your hunger. And it’s a good thing too, cause the food here is delicious. Simple, typical farmer style food, but oh-so good.

Most of the meals should be discussed at the information office, not with the kitchen staff.

Lunch Time

For lunch there is a menu you can choose what you want to eat. You can have anything from hamburgers to chicken to nachos. Let the office staff know and then give it around 30 minutes to be prepared. In the meantime you can chill out, or if you’re staying there, enjoy some downtime in your cabin.

lunch time - La Ruta del Yalu

Dinner Time

This is mainly for the people staying over night. For dinner there are only two choices, vegetarian or with meat. The dish is basic, but filling – meat or eggs, beans, plantains, cheese and chirmol (salsa). This is usually served around 7 pm so you can come just in time to eat.

Dinner - La Ruta del Yalu

Breakfast Time

Unless you arrive to the farm by 8 or 9 am, this is usually for people staying overnight and you can tell the cooks what you want the night before. This meal is the same options and dishes as dinner.

Video Fun

Information about Finca El Yalu

If you are planning on spending the night I definitely recommend making reservations. This way when you arrive they have everything ready for you.

You can contact them directly via the website: La Ruta del Yalu

Otherwise, if you are arriving for the day, you can reserve the tours before hand or arrange it all when arriving.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

2 Responses to Working Farm Holidays – La Ruta del Yalu in Guatemala

  1. Clay says:

    KILLER guide. This is awesome. Thanks for the extensive post, it’s one of the best guides i’ve seen in awhile. Also, that cabin and those scenic pics are making me want to be there really badly. Jealous! 🙂
    Clay recently posted..Travel Fitness: Hotel Room Workouts, Travel-Friendly Diets, and Developing Habits That StickMy Profile

  2. Natalie says:

    I would go for the diary farm tour!
    Natalie recently posted..Is Turkey Safe from Isis and Terrorism?My Profile

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