Focus: Finca Filadelfia, from Fun to Fulfillment
If someone were to ask where they could learn about coffee, go bird watching, ride a mule, go zip lining, play paintball, dine at a great restaurant, and stay in a luxury hotel or in a tent, the answer would be Filadelfia Coffee Resort and Tours. Just outside of La Antigua, Finca Filadelfia has grown from a historic coffee farm into a stand-alone destination. They are expanding in new and innovative directions by using all the activities and facilities that have made Filadelfia so popular with national and international tourists to create an entirely new experience for Guatemala.
A visit to Filadelfia Coffee Resort and Tours is high on the recommended-things-to-do-while-you’re-staying-in-La-Antigua list. They offer visitors a variety of tours and activities. They also boast a luxury hotel, formerly the ancestral home of the farm, as well as three restaurants, each with their own menu and unique ambiance.
Of course, coffee is at the foundation of this historic finca, and no visit is complete without learning about, or at least tasting, this very important Guatemalan product. At Filadelfia you can tour the farm and learn how some of the most coveted coffee in the world is produced. You’ll visit the nursery, tour the plantation, and see how the beans are cultivated, harvested, washed, dried, and roasted. You can also take a cupping course where you’ll spend time in the lab learning the characteristics of good coffee. Or, perhaps you’d like to learn how to prepare coffee drinks like an expert barista in their Arte Latte class.
For adventurists, Filadelfia offers zip lining on two separate courses: the Forest Express, which will take you zigzagging on seven zip lines above the trees; or the thrilling Canyon Express, where you will fly high above the ground at a thrilling 64 kilometers an hour from one mountain peak to another while enjoying the most incredible views of the surrounding valley and volcanoes. For those of you who prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can get your heart pumping while playing a game of paintball in an arena complete with forts, trenches, and even an airplane “crash” site. Or, hop on one of Filadelfia’s 35 mountain bikes and race down the mountain on a variety of trails designed for different skill levels.
The farm is also the perfect place to spend time outdoors and offers a safe and beautiful place to camp, hike, and go for mule rides. There are guided tours that will teach you about the flora and fauna of the area, or will take you to visit the farm’s resident alpacas, llamas, and sheep. If you like bird watching, you should really consider Filadelfia’s bird watching tour that will take you 7,000 feet above sea level to the pristine forest above the coffee plantation where more than 160 species of birds have been spotted in their natural habitat.
All these tours and activities have made Filadelfia an exciting place to visit for tourists, but now the resort is opening its doors to a new kind of visitor – businessmen and -women – with a new program called La Carrera Gerencial (“The Management Expedition”). The objective of this new project is to put a modern, powerful, and experiential training tool into the hands of Guatemalan companies so they can train their employees with an educational system that allows them to learn the most important workplace skills by practicing them in a fun and neutral environment where the formalities and hierarchy of the company are left back at the office.
To accomplish this, Filadelfia is working with facilitator José “Chepe” Ascoli to create customized corporate retreats. Ascoli has 25 years of experience in the field and is internationally known for his work in teambuilding and professional coaching. He believes in teaching methods that allow students to “feel and live – not just listen.” Together Filadelfia and Ascoli have created a place where coworkers can learn about themes like teamwork, planning, communication, and creative development in a workshop and then immediately apply these skills in a game of paintball or on a challenge course, while in an environment where personal comfort zones can be expanded with the support of encouraging peers, creating self-esteem and confidence in individual employees and overall camaraderie in the group.
Because of the variety of facilities that Filadelfia has to offer, the program can be tailored from a menu of activities to create special packages. Whether a company is looking for a fun alternative to their yearly convivio (company party) or for a full training retreat, the program can be personalized to accommodate the needs of any business in any way – from a half-day to a week or longer. Perhaps you’ll spend the night in the mountains with your coworkers cooking around a campfire and sleeping in a tent, or instead you’ll drift to sleep in Filadelfia’s luxury hotel after a gourmet meal in their restaurant Pergaminos. Perhaps after a morning workshop on teamwork or creative development, you’ll enjoy a corresponding activity like paintball or an Arte Latte class. Perhaps you’ll challenge your inner comfort zone by zip lining or mountain biking with the support of your coworkers. The options are unlimited.
While Finca Filadelfia will continue to thrill and entertain tourists with their resort and tours, they can now also offer companies the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a corporate teambuilding retreat, like those that have become so popular and effective in North America and Europe, here in Guatemala at an accessible, beautiful and safe location.