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.
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