Museo de la Caña

The Museo de la Caña (Sugar Cane Museum) is located about an hour from the city of Cali and not too far from another attraction, Hacienda El Paraíso. The museum tells about sugar cane production throughout Colombia with examples of extraction methods from different regions of the country. Sugar cane is one of the most important agricultural products in Colombia and was introduced to the country from Cuba.

Sugar cane at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Sugar cane

The museum is open daily from 9am to 4pm and costs COP$8,000 per person (as of November 2016). Guides take groups to 21 different points along the perfectly manicured grounds and give short explanations of the sugar cane cultivation in each region represented. The entire tour takes about an hour.

Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Museo de la Caña

 

The Tour

Tours start off with more primitive mechanisms (trapiches) that only extracted 25% of the juice from the sugar cane. As time progressed, so did the machines. By the 17th century, many of the machines were extracting better than 50% and would use animals instead of slave labor.

Trapiche La Vieja at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Trapiche La Vieja

Rancho del Alizal at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Rancho del Alizal

Rancho de Buenaventura at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Rancho de Buenaventura

Rancho del Caribe at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Vats – Rancho del Caribe

While the information is interesting and the knowledgable guides are entertaining, the star of the show is the landscape. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous with each tree and plant labeled, making the attraction part museum and part botanical garden.

Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Museo de la Caña

Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Museo de la Caña

Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

The grounds

One of the last stations allows visitors to try guarapo (sugar cane juice) and to chew on freshly cut sugar cane. The guarapo definitely needs lemon (it’s very sweet), while chewing on the sugar cane can be refreshing.

Guarapo at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Guarapo

Sugar cane at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Sugar cane

At the very end of the tour, the guide takes visitors to a hydraulic sugar cane press. It’s the most efficient machine on the tour.

Trapiche Hidráulico at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Trapiche Hidráulico

 

Hacienda Piedechinche

The guide then gives an optional tour of the plantation house, Hacienda Piedechinche, which was built in the 18th century.

Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Hacienda Piedechinche

On the ground floor, studies used by the men and women of the house along with a dining room and chapel are decorated with original pieces.

Men's study at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Men’s study

Women's study at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Women’s study

Dining room at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Dining room

Chapel at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Chapel

Upstairs is a bedroom, while attached to the house is a carriage house.

Bedroom at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Bedroom

Carriage house at Hacienda Piedechinche at Museo de la Caña in Valle del Cauca, Colombia

Carriage house

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