Welcome to Rainforest Spices

At Villa Vanilla Spice Farm

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Villa Vanilla Spice Farm

Villa Vanilla is a family run farm that was founded in 1987 by Henry Karczynski.
Born in Germany and raised in urban Chicago, Illinois, Henry studied business and worked in commerce for several years before finding his true vocation in life. It was until 1975, when he joined the Peace Crops as a volunteer that he got involved in agricultural development. He worked as a long term project manager for several Non- Government Organizations (NGO) and as a short term consultant in a half a dozen countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

More About the Farm
Cacao Tree
Cacao Tree
vanilla flower

About the Tour

Our tour is completely hands-on and will satisfy the curiosity of tourgoers of all ages. 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.

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What People Say

A must-visit in Manuel Antonio

A true gem and must-see only 20 mins from Manuel Antonio! Kris and the whole crew at Villa Vanilla are incredibly knowledgeable and kind, and provide an immersive tour of their vast property! Their products taste as pure as they look, and the vanilla extract, cardamom chocolate, and Ceylon cinnamon we purchased after the tour in the shop are divine! I can’t wait to get home and cook with them, and I will never take vanilla or cinnamon for granted again!

Written June 25, 2022

Ben & Ciara

Best tour of our trip

Excellent tour & tasting. My friend Diane said it was her favorite time of our whole trip. Joyis, our guide, was warm, friendly, and very professional – she knows her spices! We had a small group – just 4 of us (the others a father and daughter from Switzerland) – so it was a very intimate tour. Joyis’s talk was good and informative, but the walk was great, even with the intermittent rain, and the tasting up in the “treehouse” was the best. The property is beautiful, and the tour very well organized. We loved every minute! (The gift shop is wonderful and reasonable, in fact, I wish I’d bought more spices; so keep that in mind.)

Written April 29, 2022

JacktheLad17

You Don’t Have to be a Spice Girl to Love Villa Vanilla

The tour was super-informative and not rushed. We got to sample drinks and food made from the many spices grown on the farm. Our tour guide was very nice and answered all of our questions. The farm is beautiful. This is a good tour to take if you are interested in organic farming or spices or need a day off from doing the adventure tours that are available in the area.

Written March 16, 2022

Lisa V

Wonderful tour of spice farm

This working local farm allows visitors to tour. I could have spend the day wandering the grounds, which are beautiful -the flowers, trees are lovely. The tour reviews different spices, how they are harvested, showed us the plant/tree, allowed us to sniff, taste and touch. They grow vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, cacao and other spices that are sold locally in CR.

At the end of the tour, we went to the “lookout” where a tasting menu of 3 desserts /drinks were served, incorporating the various spices. It was wonderful.

Written December 11, 2021

Rochelle F

Very informative Tour

Chris gave us a very detailed tour through their working spice farm. It was very interesting to learn about the harvesting needs off countless different spices and how they grow. Although I have to say my favorite part was the tasting at the end of the tour. The view from the tasting area was mind blowing as you look over the 100 acre rainforest that makes up their spice farm and get to try different foods made with the spice you were just learning about!
If you are a foodies or just interested in learning something new this tour is a must do.

Written February 23, 2022

Samantha

A Must- Do tour

Chris was our tour guide and he did a great job. We learned so much about cacao and the other spices and plants. We started off with a chilled hibiscus tea drink that was delicious. He had us try to figure out the different spices by rubbing them in our hands. He told us all about the different plants. At the end there was a structure where we sat on the second floor with an amazing view. This is where we had our tasting. There was an amazing cookie with a milk drink. Then a sweet tea with a small cookie and vanilla bean ice cream. Last was the original drink that was made with cacao (not very tasty but interesting to try) served with a flourless chocolate cake that was so good.

Written February 22, 2022

ajhaslam

More than just vanilla…

This is a working spice farm. Walking tours take a little over 2 hrs as you learn about growing, harvesting and using the many spices grown and sold on this farm. Our guide, Joy, was enthusiastic, charming and very very knowledgeable. You get a hands on experiences in tasting each spice right off the plant. The paths are super clean, very walkable and full of gorgeous flowering plants and vegetation. The path goes to the highest point on the farm which has an amazing view of the nearby mountains. There you relax and get treated to special cookies and drinks made from the farm’s spices. This is a good day trip experience. I went not expecting much and thinking ok would be ok. It was great! Take a tour with Joy, she’s makes this so much fun!!

Written February 20, 2022

Regina H

Wonderful, informative Visit

A fantastic tour! We learned so much about the spices and chocolate growing processes, and the tasting was delicious! If you’re into food, you should definitely go for it!

Written February 4, 2022

JT R

Very worthwhile

I highly recommend this tour for adults and older children. If you’re interested in cooking or growing, this is great. Our guide was knowledgeable and instructed us efficiently and pleasantly. You get to start with some tastings, then walk through the plantation. There’s a wonderful look out that you ascend to enjoy light and delicious snacks and beverages. There’s an obvious emphasis on cleanliness and being safe during covid. Restrooms are available. There’s a nice gift shop where you can buy spices to take home. A delightful tour, informative without being too lengthy or exhausting.

Written February 1, 2022

Polly H

Excellent spice tour

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this 1/2-day experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable and pleasant. We learned a great deal and returned home with a number of spices and vanilla extract.

Written January 21, 2022

Zouhdi H
Spices

Our Spice Tour has also been rated on Trip Advisor!

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