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“Villa Vanilla Tour was a delight!”

Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Villa Vanilla Tour was a delight!”
Reviewed April 20, 2009

I'm glad I chose today to post my review as a positive to the previous negative review. From my perspective, I was excited to see these spices growing wild, as there aren't any rainforests in Illinois! I will agree with the previous post that the road is very rough, but to me that was part of the adventure! The admission is $50 per person, but being a foodie I was willing to pay that for my husband and I to have this opportunity. I would recommend it for families with older, school age, children as it was a great experience to see spices grown in a sustainable, agricultural setting...it is very beautiful and educational. For small children???
Henry & Chelsea, have a great thing going with the farm and the "tastings" done in the cabin at the Punta Mira viewpoint. Besides vanilla, they harvest peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon ("the real McCoy" that has health benefits, not cassia!) cocoa, cardamom and tumeric plus various essential oils. They are both very willing to share their vast knowledge with whomsoever would ask! The end of the spice tour finds you in the Spice Shoppe with all the farm grown spices you need to restock your kitchen back home. Yes, as mentioned previous, you must pay with cash. This is simple to understand when you take into account where you had to travel to, to experience this epiphyte eden in the rainforests of Costa Rica! =) Again, well done Henry and Chelsea! It was a delight!!!

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2 Thank GottaResearchIt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Florida
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't go to the Villa Vanilla!”
Reviewed April 13, 2009

The tour was interesting, but not worth $300 for our family of six! And he only takes cash. The road we drove to get to Villa Vanilla was one of the worst in Costa Rica...and that's saying something. The owner gave us the tour and was interesting; the snacks were good and the view over the valley was beautiful. It's just hard to justify $50 per person for watching vanilla grow.

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Thank FloridaTopDawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful Tour”
Reviewed April 12, 2009

I was so impressed with Villa Vanilla/Rainforest Spices. I love the organic, biodynamic farming practices and was blown away by the beauty of the trail, but the people really made this tour special. Chelsea and (forgive me, blanking on her name) the woman who led us on the spice journey were so great. It was incredibly informative and beautiful. Chelsea, forgot to tell you that your dessert rocked! Highly recommended.

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1 Thank VinoKatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A "farm" like no other!”
Reviewed April 8, 2009

We just returned from our first trip to Costa Rica. Without a doubt, the tour of "Villa Vanilla" was one of the best educational activities we experienced during our visit. Chelsea (pastry chef and amazing tour guide) provided us with more knowledge than we could have imagined about vanilla and spice farming in the tropics. The farm is amazingly beautiful and run with sustainability being a top priority. This is a farm like no other! The sampling of food at the end of the tour left us wanting to share these amazing culinary wonders with all our friends and family in the States! If you're headed to Manuel Antonio Park/ Quepos area it is an ecotour not to miss! Who knew that Vanilla Beans could grow to such length and hold such amazing flavor!

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2 Thank CatchPhotoandRelease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“My Favorite Tour in Manuel Antonio”
Reviewed March 29, 2009

Last year, we were fortunate to go on a tour of Vanilla Villa. It was the only tour that was worth it to us in the Manuel Antonio area. This year, we returned to Manuel Antonio. During the latter part of our vacation, my son expressed that he wanted to return to Vanilla Villa. We were a little reluctant, since we had seen it before, but we agreed go go again since we had previously enjoyed it.

The second visit was just as good as the first. Chelsea, the pastry chef showed us a lot of things on the farm. We learned how cinnamon is processed, and saw the men on the farm trimming the bark away from the cut trees. We saw all kinds of spices growing on the farm, such as cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, and a few others I am forgetting at this point in time. Chelsea discussed how to use some of these items in cooking.

Then, we went to the "viewpoint" to sample a few of her desserts she prepared using the spices. They were quite delicious. At the end, we had a chance to buy some of the spices to take home with us.

On the plane ride back from Manuel Antonio to San Jose, a woman behind me was commenting to me how she went on the most fabulous tour in Manuel Antonio--- it was of Vanilla Villa! She laughed when I told her it was my favorite, too.

This definitely is a "must see" that should be at the tops of everyone's list when visiting Manuel Antonio!

Helpful?
2 Thank udOLS19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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