Villa Vanilla in Costa Rica
One of the most interesting things I did in Costa Rica was the Villa Vanilla plantation tour. The plantation was located about 30 min by taxi from the villa away from the coastline. When the taxi pulled into the plantation the driver pointed toward the entrance to the farm where we should wait for our guide. It had begun to rain on the way and as I suspected there wasn't anyone else waiting for the tour. The tour started inside what would be considered their small factory area. There they dry the vanilla beans and other spices. The farms main crop is the vanilla bean, but they harvest many other spices including cinnamon, allspice, hibiscus, cayenne pepper, coca, etc.
Our tour guide was very informative and friendly. She took us through the plantation pointing out everything, and at the end took us to what felt like a tree house in the middle of the jungle overlooking the mountains. She even gave us samples of food the included their crops. We had vanilla cheesecake (which was the most amazing cheesecake I have ever had), tea, hot chocolate, and chocolate cookies with cayenne pepper. I would I highly recumbent this tour should you ever find yourself in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.