Casa Bacardi

Our flight to Puerto Rico was scheduled to get in late, so we booked a room at the San Juan Airport Hotel. It ended up being delayed so we didn’t get to our room until after 3 AM Puerto Rico time and I was very glad we didn’t have to navigate to an outside hotel. The Airport Hotel is located inside D Terminal and it was just a few minutes walk from the gate. The room was small, but we weren’t planning on spending a long time so it was perfect for our needs. It also included a hot breakfast which was much needed after getting in so late. After breakfast, we checked out and picked up our rental car from Aqui Coqui, which is Puerto Rico’s car-sharing platform, similar to Turo. It worked well, they met us outside the Airport Hotel and we were on our way to our first stop, Casa Bacardí.

Fort San Juan De La Cruz

Casa Bacardí is located across the bay from Old San Juan in Cataño. We were a little early for our reservation so we made a stop at Fort San Juan de la Cruz, a part of San Juan National Historic Site. There were only a few other people at the park and it was very quiet, but the views of Old San Juan were beautiful. It was a great first stop on the trip to soak in the sunshine. After enjoying the views, it was time for our tour at Casa Bacardí.

On our last trip, we did a tour of a smaller distillery, Ron del Barillito. This time, I was excited to check out the biggest rum producer in the world, Bacardí through their Legacy Tour. We arrived right before our tour and received a token for a free drink and we boarded our tram for a little tour of the grounds. When we arrived at the Visitor Center, we were led into a theater where they showed up a film about the company’s history.

Inside the Bacardí Visitor Center

Bacardí was founded in 1861 in Santiago de Cuba by Don Facundo Bacardí Massó. Shortly after opening his wife, Doña Amalia, found a colony of fruit bats in the rafters of the distillery. Bats are a symbol of good health and fortune to the Spanish and Taino people of Cuba so they decided to make the bat the symbol of the company. In 1920, when prohibition became law in the United States, Bacardí began advertising Cuba as a tropical destination to escape the “dry” U.S. In 1960, the Cuban assets of the company were confiscated by the Cuban government, and the family was forced to flee. Luckily, they had already moved the company’s trademarks and yeast strain out of Cuba.

After learning the history, we proceeded along on the tour to learn how the rum is distilled from sugarcane and made into two different distillations that are mixed together to become the final product. Our guide explained to us that the traditional white Puerto Rican rum is filtered to get a clear color because people at the time wouldn’t drink dark-colored liquors out of fear of cleanliness or because they didn’t like the way they looked, which makes me rethink drinking white rum. We got to sample the Casa Bacardí reserve, which is a mix of rums aged 8-12 years and is only available for purchase at the Casa Bacardí Visitor Center. The tour ended at the gift shop where you could pick up a bottle of Special Reserve or any of their other rums that you could get at your local liquor store.

Overall, I am glad we did the tour of Casa Bacardí, but the tour at Ron del Barillito was so much more authentically Puerto Rican and their rum is not as easy to find back home. When purchasing tickets to Casa Bacardí, you can add the ferry from Old San Juan to your ticket, allowing you to visit without a car. But, if you have a car and are interested in something you can’t find at home, I recommend visiting Ron del Barillito instead. For tickets to Casa Bacardí and information about their other tours, visit

Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, visit the Puerto Rico Circle Tour page. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. To read campground reviews check out my Michigan Campground Reviews page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.

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