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Puerto Rico

Bacardi Rum Distillery Visitor Tips

Bacardi rum distillery.
Bacardi rum distillery. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Rum lovers who visit San Juan on a Caribbean cruise will find a shore excursion that appeals to their palates at the Bacardi Rum Distillery.

Old San Juan is the overwhelming favorite attraction for cruise visitors to San Juan in Puerto Rico, especially if they dock at piers 1 and 3, which are within walking distance. The Pan American terminal is three miles away. But if they have extra time, they can take a quick trip to the famous distillery.

The world’s largest premium rum distillery at Carretera 165 KM 6.2, Cataño, is only a 15-minute drive from the ports at Old San Juan and the Pan American piers. Cruise visitors can go there via taxi, rental car or tour bus. Another option is an inexpensive, 10-minute ferry from Old San Juan that leaves from Pier 2.

Several tour options are available. The 45-minute historical tour costs $15 per person and includes a free cocktail. The tasting tour costs $50 per person, is 90 minutes long and has five tastings of premium rum plus a welcome cocktail. The $60 mixology class is 90 minutes long and gives visitors a chance to create three cocktails and drink a welcome cocktail.

The most expensive tour at $160 gives visitors a chance to bottle their own Special Reserve rum. People who take this option also get a special padded box to preserve their bottles, record their names and bottle numbers in the registry and receive a high-resolution photo of themselves and their bottles.

Visitors who take a taxi, ferry or rental car to reach the distillery have plenty of time to spend elsewhere. Shore excursions that visit the distillery are often different because they may include Bacardi as part of a San Juan City tour. Excursion prices also usually limit visitors to the less-expensive historical tour and do not include the other options.

An example city tour that includes Bacardi costs $69 for teens and adults and $49 for children; it lasts three and a half hours.

One cruise line warned that the distillery is a popular site with the possibility of long wait times.

Anyone who visits the distillery on their own should know it is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed on Mondays.

The above prices are subject to change at any time.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
April 23, 2020

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