Hacienda Buena Vista and plantation is located on the mountainous side of Ponce and it’s considered one of the most preserved haciendas in Puerto Rico. Hacienda Buena Vista’s buildings and machinery date back to the mid-19th century and after all this time, they’re still functional.
Don Salvador de Vives emigrated from Venezuela to Puerto Rico and started Hacienda Buena Vista in 1833 as a farm that produced plantains, bananas, corn, and avocados. Between 1845 and 1847, Carlos Vives, the son of Salvador, built a water-powered corn mill that ran with a wooden water wheel, propelled by the water of the Cañas River.
In 1847, Carlos added another corn mill to the hacienda powered by a hydraulic turbine which was very advanced at that time, making the hacienda one of the tops producing plantations in the south area and Puerto Rico. After 1892, Following the trend of coffee production in Puerto Rico, Hacienda Buena Vista soon started producing coffee too,
After the 1930’s, Hacienda Buena Vista stopped its production until 1984 when the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust bought the hacienda and restored it. Nowadays, the machinery and turbines still work at Hacienda Buena Vista using the river. The structures of the hacienda are well-preserved and tours demonstrate how the plantations worked during the 19th century and how owners and slaves functioned inside the haciendas.
The water canal that directs water from the Cañas River to the machinery of the hacienda is also preserved and visible while touring the location. Beyond the architecture and history, the hacienda features a beautiful waterfall, a river, and a forest that allows visitors to unwind surrounded by nature.