In the hills above bustling San José, amid bright bromeliads and tall trees festooned with epiphytes, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn is a welcome retreat where art and nature meet haute cuisine. If this lodge is your first taste in Costa Rica—as it often is, being a short drive from the airport—you are in luck. This is a place that ignites that unique sense of delight of arriving in a place you’ve always wanted to visit. Around every corner there’s a whimsy or a wonder that is uniquely Costa Rican: a mural of tropical blooms, a phenomenal view of valleys and volcanoes, a waterfall tumbling amid lush vegetation, a cacophony of birdsong, an incredible cup of coffee.
Exploring the grounds is like visiting an outdoor museum, where everything down to the recycling bins is a work of art. But the goosebump-inducing moment happens when you arrive at the acclaimed bar and restaurant, set on terraces with a breath-catching view of the Valle Central, ringed with cloud forests and volcanoes. This less-visited region is ripe for exploring, whether you’re hiking to a crater lake, rafting a wild river, or visiting local markets. Or just immerse yourself in this piece of coffee-scented paradise, meandering through the organic coffee plantation with a naturalist, and gaining a new appreciation for the nuances in your morning cup of joe during a coffee cupping, or tasting. In the evenings, a fantastic meal awaits, made even better by the warm breeze and the serene vista of the valley below twinkling in the night.
It takes a vivid imagination to see a muddy motocross field near a busy city and envision a lush paradise. Sylvia Jampol had that vision, and together with her son and daughter-in-law, Glenn and Teri, set out back in the 1980s to build a house with “no square corners” and revive this patch of the highlands. When a 30-acre plot next door went on the market they snatched it up to protect it from development, and instead established an organic coffee plantation where birds and bananas play a part in a successful crop.
Along with exceptional coffee and about 7,000 trees, the Jampols brought a sense of community to this land, hiring exclusively from the area and developing relationships with schools and residents in the surrounding villages. They filled Finca Rosa Blanca with art and joy and a distinctly Costa Rican spirit, and the result is an enchanting retreat where you will want to stay longer than you had planned.
As a National Geographic guest, you’ll be invited to participate in an exclusive, in-depth coffee roasting experience with our on-site coffee expert. Using Finca Rosa Blanca’s own Organic Green Coffee, learn how to remove the parchment from the bean in order to sort and classify them for roasting. Discover the intricacies of attaining a perfect roast with our master roaster and then learn to cup coffee with an expert to understand the subtleties of a fine coffee bean. This experience is offered in conjunction with a tour of the coffee farm, which is complimentary for National Geographic guests.
Over the course of 30 years, the owners of Finca Rosa Blanca have planted 7,000 native trees, recycled, upcycled, composted, captured rain and sunlight, and innovated to reach carbon neutrality and encourage a healthy environment. They count on banana and avocado trees and wildlife to produce excellent coffee beans—a model of successful permaculture, and spring water they direct into the pool is cleaned by a copper and silver ionization process—not harsh chemicals. They’ve passed on these practices to their 100% local staff, who have introduced green practices into their communities. And then they went further, creating a local food bank that provides healthy meals for children and seniors and establishing a greenhouse at a nearby school. In a word, Finca Rosa Blanca was sustainable long before sustainable was cool. And their efforts have been recognized: the lodge is one of the few in the country to consistently earn 100% on Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism.
Condé Nast Traveler, The Gold List: Best Small Hotel in Central America, 2014
Condé Nast Traveler, The Gold List: Top 10 Best Small Hotels in the World, 2014
Fodor’s, Best Food & Wine Trips, 2013
Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism: Consistently earns highest certificate level (5) and a score of 100%, 1998-2017
Want to plan the trip of your dreams? Create a custom trip around this lodge.
SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY