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“Wonderful Spice Tour in the Middle of a Rain Forest and Not to be Missed”

Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Come experience Villa Vanilla's Spice Tour and Gourmet Tasting!! Only 10 miles east of Quepos/Manuel Antonio Park our 2.5 hour plantation tour includes: 1. Post-harvest warehouse where spices are dried,processed and packaged. Our "bean to bar" spicy chocolate is tasted here. 2. A garden walk thru our Epiphyte Trail where you'll see, smell and taste our tropical spices and plant collection 3. Flavors of the World Spice Tasting at our breathtaking Mirador viewpoint from our vanilla, chocolate and Ceylon cinnamon. 4. Spice Shoppe where you can stock up on our vanilla, Ceylon cinnamon, cocoa, peppers, ginger, red turmeric, allspice and cardamon.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I had the honor and privilege of visiting the educational and interesting spice farm during the rainy season in May 2013. We booked this excursion from our hotel as we were told it was the safest way to do it. We were picked up by the farm's driver, who, by the way, does not speak any English.( He is known as a "shofer" yes, that's their spelling.) It was about a 40 minute drive but worth it. We were greeted by our extremely knowledgeable guide who took us all over the farm pointing out the various plants and offering us tastings of chocolate laced with pepper or cinnamon both grown and processed at the farm as well as a milk- based custard infused with vanilla beans, We were given a tour around the extensive grounds were white and black pepper is grown as well as the famous vanilla beans(they were huge) and chocolate pods. It rained but we just loved it there! Large umbrellas were provided for us. I bought spices, vanilla beans and vanilla extract along with chocolate "chips" and cinnamon bark. Free recipes were on the counter as well. The farm driver returned us to our hotel safely. A gratuity for the driver was given and appreciated as the ride was included in the admission. And, the Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica is very safe for travelers!!!! I heartily recommend this site for anyone visiting here. The admission price was very reasonable and the female guide a treasure of information.

2  Thank evefrSI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 - 244 of 447 reviews

Reviewed June 15, 2013

I was so looking forward to this tour. It started out very informative but then the skies opened up and there was a tropical heavy rain storm. They continued the walking tour with only some flimsy plastic covers and a few umbrellas. We couldn't hear a thing as it was a large tour. They should limit the number of people with the tour guides. We did get samples and the group we were with was a nice bunch. I think they should have compensated us with one of the cheaper vanilla beans or some token for the inconvenience we had to endure. Fortunately I had on sandals so they were not ruined by trodding in the water.

2  Thank JoNell_Albert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We had done a coffee-chocolate-sugar cane tour while in Monteverde which we LOVED-it was very interactive, informative, and an overall great experience and great value at $30/person. Our previous experience, along with my love of cooking made me very excited for this tour and persuaded me to take the $50 plunge. While you do receive some good information about vanilla cultivation and production, as well as some info on a variety of other spices, you don't actually get to see any of the processes for the production of these spices. This tour was much more hands-off and in general, a lesser caliber tour than our previous one. Definitely not worth the extra $20. If the tour was $20-$30 I would rate it higher.

5  Thank lizabeth_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

While you're doing all the wildlife and adrenaline tours around Manuel Antonio, make sure you also find time for this one.

We did the morning tour on 30 May and our guide was brilliant - she was very friendly, knowledgeable and made sure we had a great tour. Started with half an hour or so showing us various spices at different stages from plant to table, trying things like fresh cocoa beans and cinnamon bark shaved straight from the trunk.

The trees and plants themselves are beautiful to walk through (and look at and learn about), then the treats and drinks we were given at the viewpoint were amazing. All very good value for money - and the spices we bought in the small shop were also inexpensive.

Can't recommend highly enough. Note that it's about 30 minutes from Manuel Antonio and prices are a little cheaper if you book directly and/or have your own transport there.

1  Thank MattDavies2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

The teenage guide was really informative and interesting, answering all our questions. So much about spices we did not know. The setting is really beautiful. With tastings and recipes to go away with we had a great time. The price includes transfers from and back to the hotel so I dont think the tour cost was high.

2  Thank Jan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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