Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop

Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop

Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop
4.5
Speciality & Gift Shops
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7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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About
Experience an organic spice farm, where you will use all of your senses to navigate the farm while identifying an interesting variety of spices such as our beloved vanilla, true Ceylon cinnamon, cacao, black pepper, allspice, turmeric and variety of exotic fruits and medicinal plants. Lucky guests may get a visit from the farm’s permanent inhabitants; such as hummingbirds, scarlet macaws, toucans and squirrel monkeys. No trip to Villa Vanilla is complete without a visit to our spice shop where visitors and chefs alike stock up on vanilla beans and extract, ceylon cinnamon, our tree-to-bar chocolate and other products grown on the farm to give as gifts or try in their own recipes! Included in the tour English speaking tour guide Tasting menu using spices that are grown on the farm
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
623 reviews
Excellent
475
Very good
95
Average
33
Poor
11
Terrible
9

Ann S
Ithaca, NY60 contributions
The Villa Vanilla tour was spot on — informative, enjoyable and a real introduction to how spices are grown in an organic setting. The first part of the tour took place near the warehouse and the in the chocolate room where cocoa beans are processed. A walking tour of the area where vanilla beans are gown on vines (vanilla is an orchids ) and where pepper trees and cocoa also is grown followed. We ended at a pavilion overlook where we ate delicious treats, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon pana cotta, Our guide Giusele was amazing. All in all, I recommend this highly for almost everyone, although smaller children might be bored. Also, I will never wonder why spices like vanilla are so expensive. The labor that goes into producing them is intensive.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelly G
10 contributions
Family
Touring the farm at Villa Vanilla was the highlight of my trip in CR! Kris was fantastic and super knowledgeable about the spices they grow on the farm and the science behind them. Biodynamic farming is at their core, and you can certainly see and feel the love, patience and labor that is poured into this beautiful farm. The sampling tastings were refreshing and delicious (and beautifully presented). I would love to go back and maybe even be a part of the work they do at some point.

Thank you Kris for sharing your important work with us. I highly recommend spending a few hours here! It was incredibly informative and inspiring. Can’t wait to go back.
Written August 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deb Z
Alpharetta, GA7 contributions
We really enjoyed this tour, more than we thought we would. We were trying to find something a bit different from beach and adventure. This really fit the bill. Our guide was so informative and interesting. He gave a good history of spices and a great basic understanding of the growing process for the various spices grown here. We smelled and/or tasted many as we walked through the beautiful farm area. From vanilla beans, to peppercorns, cinnamon and allspice, it was fascinating and beautiful. We concluded with tastings of several drinks and snacks prepared using the spices, while overlooking the beautiful valley below. Would definitely recommend - even on a rainy day.
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pioneer240759
7 contributions
Really fun tour! We enjoyed being able to both taste things (like the fruit of a cocoa pod or allspice) and also smelling and seeing the plants. It's not a too long walk, so definitely good for kids or people who can't walk too far. The lookout that you reach at the end is beautiful, and we really enjoyed the parade of treats given to us to test us on our spice knowledge! These included vanilla bean ice cream, chai tea, aztec hot chocolate, to name a few! I also bought some spices at the store at the end and can't wait to use them in my cooking at home. Note that this place is CASH only.
Written August 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Annelyse H
Granada, Nicaragua49 contributions
Friends
We loved our tour at Villa Vanilla! The farm is beautiful and we loved seeing the different plants and spices. Christopher was our guide and he was really great, so knowledgeable and answered all our questions. The tasting at the end was DELICIOUS, seriously some of the best treats. Wish we could buy more!! We would definitely recommend this to anyone that’s looking for a good tour and wants something more than just a chocolate tour.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tammy S.
1 contribution
At the last minute we decided to book a tour at Villa Vanilla, and it was such a pleasant surprise! I was just expecting we would see a few plants in a row and then buy some spices, but it was SO much more than that. The farm is more like a lush tropical garden paradise, which we enjoyed walking through immensely. The diversity of flowers and plants is amazing, and it was like walking through a mini slice of garden heaven. Our tourguide Giselle was really knowledgeable and you could tell she had a genuine enthusiasm for plants and spices. The farm is all organic and had a really homey feel. It was very cozy, yet also had nice touches like fruit-infused water and gorgeous views.

I didn't realize they also made chocolate on the farm, so we enjoyed tasting some freshly made chocolate and learned about the chocolate making process. We also tasted freshly shaved cinnamon bark, smelled cinnamon and allspice leaves, found cicada shells and giant grasshoppers, and just took our time moseying through the gardens and soaking in all the knowledge. We also saw a number of animals and bugs including toucans and an eagle catching a frog.

Then the real surprise came near the end of the tour when Giselle took us to this beautiful two storey open air two storey patio overlooking lush jungle and mountains! There she served us a variety of desserts made from fresh spices. Cinnamon tea, vanilla panna cotta with hibiscus jelly, ginger cookie with vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate and a cacao nib cookie. I wasn't expecting that, and we really enjoyed lounging around enjoying the view. She also showed us 3 adorable fruit bats which were so cute.

If you are into gardening or are a foodie, or if you just want to enjoy some delicious treats and learn a bit about food, plants and animals, this tour is for you. We all thought it was fantastic value and one of the highlights of our trip. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the Quepos or Manuel Antonio area!
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jtravels
264 contributions
This was the most surprising for me of all the tours in CR, sounds like a normal tour but its extremely interesting. We brought our 9 year old and even she loved it. This is real world schooling! The guide is very knowledgable about the farm, the vanilla and literally every spice on the tour. We loved trying all of the spices right off the farm, what a real treat. The snacks (with their spices incorporated) are a yummy surprise. This had to be one of my favorite tours our entire trip in costa rica! Do not miss this. Also if you can whatsapp the company directly to go to the tour, its best they get all the amount from the tour since its so affordable as is!
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maegan H
10 contributions
Family
The tour was awesome! Very educational about the entire process from propagation to table of cacao, vanilla, and cinnamon, and our guide, Chris, was very friendly and knowledgeable. The spice tasting was a fun break from the heat, and the view during the product tasting (different than the spice tasting), was absolutely beautiful! The food, especially their cookie with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips and real vanilla ice cream, was to die for! We absolutely loved it and this would be a great activity for couples, families, or solo travelled. A perfect length of time, not too hot because of all of the shade, and very relaxing, especially at the lookout point. You’ll learn all about a variety of spices, both native to Costa Rica as well as other popular spices.

They required masks, and had hand sanitizer available; we felt totally safe with their Covid precautions. Bring your bug repellant! But otherwise you’ll love this tour.
Written December 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Allagash98
Newton, MA8 contributions
We greatly enjoyed our visit to Villa Vanilla back in February. We traveled with three generations, and it was a tour that everybody enjoyed. Loved tasting the cocoa pods, nibs, and small chocolate samples along with the cinnamon and peppercorn. I never really thought about where cinnamon came from, so it was interesting see how it was harvested. The tasting at the end of the tour was delicious - so many small treats!

Note that the guide does not wait for you, so if you linger to take pictures along the way you'll have to hustle to catch up with her explanation at the next area. You may want to buy stuff at the shop before the tour, since they were out of a few things afterwards.
Written January 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kari S
Milwaukee, WI183 contributions
What a unique and wonderful morning. Kristopher was the best host, diving into the history of the farm, the history of the spices, and the evolution of the business. He was so kind and patient with our two 8 year olds who said it was a highlight of their trip. After a lot of learning and a delightful walk through the grounds we ended up at the viewing point for some delicious samples.
Costa Rica is so much more than ziplining and surfing. Take some time to look deeper at those who live/work in this beautiful place and who really care about conservation and nature.
Written January 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop (Manuel Antonio) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop

Villa Vanilla Spice Tour & Shop is open:
  • Mon - Fri 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Sat - Sat 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM