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Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,500 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

House, 3 Bedrooms + Loft, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 5-8)


The Zabala house is nestled in a lush organic coffee farm called Finca Flor Mar. This 100 acre farm produces organic Arabica coffee, plantains, bananas, mangos, limes, starfruit, & avocados.

The home is shaded by an abundant Mango & Lime orchard that is buzzing with butterflies & native birds.

With 4 bedrooms (3 bedrooms + loft) & 2 full baths, the Zabala house hosts a max of 8 people (6 adults with extra room for kids). It is the perfect couple’s getaway or family vacation home. The home has a fully functional kitchen and a maid that comes 2 times per week. Your floors will be cleaned, and dishes sparkling =) Laundry service is included.

The open floor plan boasts a rustic yet luxurious feel. It is comfortably furnished & tastefully decorated. The Zabala house features a large eat-in kitchen, wireless high-speed internet, two story high living room with a flat screen TV & DVD & Chromecast, a living room-like front porch, an expansive master suit with a spa-like hot shower, two upstairs bedrooms (one room with a twin bed, the other with a queen), and an open loft bedroom with queen bed & quadruple doors that open to a private patio. (The loft has an additional mattress nestled into the balcony nook that will sleep 2...great for kids.)

This is the only home of its kind in the area. It was hand-built by the community with local hard woods. All the doors, windows, & much of the furniture is artisan-made by the next-door neighbor. This house is the home of the Zabala family, who has temporarily returned to Atlanta. It has been called (with jaws dropping) a wonderland...the home is full of art, full of soul, and it is Costa-Rican gem like nothing else you can experience on the mountain.

I just posted a video link on our VRBO site from one of our guests who did a video blog of our house and their time in Monteverde. Enjoy! You will see in the picture that since that video was done we have completely renovated the exterior of the house, installed a new sidewalk that has no stairs, and installed some new bed and artwork! Enjoy the video though. It gives you a great sense of how comfortable and big the house is!


Monteverde is a largely bilingual town. It’s home of the Cloud Forest Reserve, stunning natural landscapes, world-class restaurants, local shops, a strong art community, & a bustling local economy.

The world-famous Cloud Forest Reserve is a private nature reserve listed as #14 on Newsweek's 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear. The massive 10,500 hectare reserve draws 70,000 tourists a year. It is known as

the site with the largest number of orchids in the world, and houses 60 species of amphibians (including the near extinct

Monteverde-endemic golden toad) and the elusive bright Blue Morphos butterfly. This area is also a stop for 91 species of migratory birds. The famed quetzal resides here seasonally.

What is now considered Monteverde was founded by Quakers from the United States whose pacifist values led them to defy the American draft during the Korean War. These conscientious objectors blended well with the Costa Rican philosophy of peaceful living. The Cloud Forest Reserve was set aside by Quakers to preserve the Cloud Forest & protect the water shed. Monteverde & surrounding areas are inhabited by a blend of Costa Ricans, Americans, & families from around the world.

The Zabala house is located about 20 minutes outside of Monteverde, in a small town called San Rafael. San Rafael is usually a good bit warmer & less rainy than Monteverde. It is a 100% Tico town, outside of the residents of Finca Flor Mar. This active town is formed by a strong community of families, a tasty restaurant, a pottery pavilion, local bar, two pulperias (small general stores), and two public schools.


The Zabala house is THE most personal, unique, and authentic way to experience Monteverde, Santa Elena, &

San Rafael, Costa Rica. High-end hotels of comparable quality to The Zabala house are $150-$250 a night for a single room. The Zabala house offers 4 bedrooms for $125 a night. Our home is about 2,000sqft of Costa Rican hardwoods & rustic comfort. It is one of the largest, most unique houses in the area.

Finca Flor Mar is the birthplace of the Sustainable Coffee Initiative. Chelsea’s father, Ken Lander, is the founder of this community based organization that created a system which exponentially increases the farmer’s profits compared to Fair Trade. San Rafael is the center of an agricultural revolution for the coffee industry. The Sustainable Coffee Initiative’s practices & philosophy are being explored around the world. Come visit Ken Lander at The Common Cup (or at his home next-door to The Zabala House), who will take you through the ever-growing world of the Costa Rican coffee farmer.

We strongly recommend having a rental car when you stay at Casa Zabala. It is a 25 minute drive to Monteverde & 3 minutes to San Rafael's center. Sooo much to do...but you will need to drive there. The value of staying in our house verses a hotel or rental closer to Monteverde in incomparable.

Please email us for more pictures. We have lots! (Had fun taking them...our home is lovely!)

FOR BIRD WATCHERS!: We had a group of diehard bird watchers who came and spent most of their time on the farm and surrounding area doing what they love to do! Here is the results! Thanks Nancy and all of your team!:

Some Birds of Casa Zabala & Neighborhood, Guanacaste, CR

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

Comments: Party of Capek, Johnson, D'Hont, Edmondson.

45 species

Gray-headed Chachalaca

Turkey Vulture

Swallow-tailed Kite

Red-billed Pigeon

White-tipped Dove

Squirrel Cuckoo

Common Pauraque

White-collared Swift

Purple-throated Mountain-Gem

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Orange-bellied Trogon

Lesson's Motmot

Turquoise-browed Motmot

Emerald Toucanet

Hoffman's woodpecker

Golden-olive Woodpecker

White-fronted Parrot

Orange-fronted Parakeet

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Common Tody Flycatcher

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Social Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Long-tailed Manakin

Masked Tityra

White-throated Magpie-Jay

Brown Jay

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

House Wren

Rufous-and-white Wren

Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush

Slatey-backed Nightingale-Thrush

Clay-colored Thrush

Blackburnian Warbler

Rufous-capped Warbler

Blue-gray Tanager

Palm Tanager

Blue-black Grassquit

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Buff-throated Saltator

White-eared Ground-Sparrow

Great-tailed Grackle

Yellow-billed Cacique

Montezuma Oropendola

Yellow-throated Euphonia

Keywords: coffee farm, secluded, family, couples, mountain home, relaxing home, tropical, cloud forest, costa rica, monteverde, rustic, open floor plan, full kitchen, orchard, authentic, farm, gardens, casa, finca, finca de cafe, espanol, honeymoon, family vacation, romantic getaway

More Details

Property Manager
Kenneth Lander
Member since: 2011
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great traveler experience.

Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 17, 2018

About Kenneth Lander

We are a young couple with two kids (Cecilia, 10 & Eli, 4). Our home in Monteverde is our pride & joy. We lived there for 3 years and recently returned to Atlanta, Ga to spend time with our family.

Rafael owns an Interactive Online Marketing Firm where Chelsea is the head designer.

We are happy to share our home with you, and we ask that you treat it with love & respect. We consider this our other home, not just our vacation rental. We are in love with San Rafael & Monteverde, and will to return to our peaceful lifestyle & exquisite home when the time is right.

Kenneth Lander purchased this house in 2008

Why Kenneth Lander chose Cantón Tilarán

We moved to Costa Rica in 2003 to live on a coffee farm. We designed the home & hired local talent to build it by hand with local hardwoods. The home & plantation are one-of-a-kind. The community is tight-knit, diverse, and positive.

What makes this house unique

This property is not just a house....the tile floors extend out to two large front porches (upstairs and downstairs). Doors and windows span the front of the home. Open up to the fresh air, gardens, birds, & butterflies and you are truly in wonderland.


Cantón Tilarán House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • pets considered
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Catering Available
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Upstairs.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib , Master bedroom downstairs.
    Loft - 3 twin/ single , Upstairs.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • wheelchair accessible
  • botanical garden
  • health/beauty spa
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
Perfect heating or air conditioning needed,Two story living room & open loft with huge balcony as 4th bedroom, Spa-like master bath. huge double doors cover the house & open up the home to a starfruit & lime orchard, Gorgeous tile floors, Home hand contructed by local builders & artisans...even the windows, doors, & much of the furniture, Hot water heater (this is rare for Costa Rica), Gas stove


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(87 traveler reviews)

73% Complete
21% Complete
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Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View
average rating of 4.6666665 based on 87 reviews
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Lovely, secluded property!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed a number of places on our recent trip to Costa Rica, including near the beach, and this was my kids (12 and 15) favorite! It is near enough to the touristy areas like Monte Verde to do fun things, but secluded enough to get away from it all and to experience the authentic CR culture. The owner was terrific about recommending the best local places to eat, etc. A bit tough to find; use the dropbox directions, not the VRBO map, and be prepared to drive some rougher roads/take some time getting around. Great house for a number of people, but not very soundproof between rooms so bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper, lol!

  • Submitted: Jan 14, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Truly great! The hosting family and accommodations were outstanding!

  • 5 of 5

Thanks Ken and Pepo for an amazing adventure. Our family had such a great time with your family and look forward to returning again. For anyone looking for the non-condo thing, with lots of space this is a gem. The house has lots of room and has a lot of charm. Waking up in the morning, the house glows red with all the natural wood, absolutely stunning! The experience here turned our Costa Rica trip up a notch.

Thanks Ken. All the best into the new year.

The Halls.

  • Submitted: Dec 19, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We had a really wonderful time, our host and hostess were exceptional.

The home was really relaxing and comfortable. Made for a great week to see the mountain areas of Costa Rica. Take the tour of the coffee farm and

and production plant, our guide was excellent !!!!!

  • Submitted: Dec 16, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Pamela, Thanks so much for your wonderful review. We so enjoyed meeting your family. You are the reason why we enjoy sharing our farm with others. Glad you enjoyed seeing the farm and got to know a bit about coffee. All the best and glad y’all are home safe and refreshed! Thanks, Ken
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Average amenities, but above average people and place!

  • 4 of 5

My family of 6 have stayed in many vrbos over the years. This home is truly unique! I'll start by saying this home may not be for everyone: the amenities are basic and functioning but nothing "luxury". It's rugged and, through no fault of the home, this area of Costa Rica has creepy crawlers and you will likely encounter them. So to some travelers I would say "know thyself"- this home feels like a cabin. To us, any sense of roughing it was offset by the authentic experience. If I was being picky I would ask for a functioning coffee table (nice piece of art but wobbly and glass and not good for kids to play on or around).

Now for the many positives!! This home is a Costa Rican experience with lovely authentic people living in real Community with few other tourists around. Sweeping views of the valley and green everywhere! Gorgeous gardens. It is 20-30 minutes to Santa Elena and monteverde, depending on where you are going specifically.

I cannot say enough about Alexander! He gave us an extensive tour of the coffee plantation: cutting fruit off trees, dispensing his extensive knowledge of coffee farming, carrying my 5yo, and letting my boy wear his machete :) he even took my husband and mother in law on an additional tour of the coffee co-op the next day. He was truly a family favorite and we will never forget his warm generosity.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Christine, Thanks so much for the review! Yes, we have creepy crawlers here on the farm. I have lived here for 12 years, and we see them occasionally which is part of living in the wilds of Costa Rica, but they never bother us. I did build the home to feel like an older structure that has a cabin or lodge feel. The eucalyptus trees that are the vertical support for the home were planted by Alexander's dad 25 years ago. I tried to use materials that were planted locally for much of the construction of the home. I am so glad you enjoyed your time with Alexander. He truly is a wonderful host, and a wonderful brother-in-law and friend to me as well. I hope your memories of your time here lead you back someday! You are always welcome. Thanks again for staying with us! Ken
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Super emplacement- bon acceuil

  • 4 of 5

maison située sur une belle plantation a environ 20 minutes des activités. Accueil très chaleureux de la part du propriétaire et du personnel.

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Merci beucoup! Nathalie! Thanks so much for your review.
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Etters, PA

Wonderful location and experience

  • 5 of 5

We greatly enjoyed our stay here. The location was fantastic as a place to explore the Monteverde area. Sitting on the upstairs porch and just watching the wildlife was very relaxing and at times hard to pull yourself away from, esp in the early morning when the world was walking up. I believe we saw as many birds and butterflies here as we did on some of our touring around. And the private tour of the coffee plantation, the freshly made coffee and being able to plant some coffee plants was a highlight of our stay. Having Stella adopt us for our stay was a treat as well. And let's not forget Coco. A delightful place to stay, I am so glad we chose this place.

  • Submitted: Jul 2, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Jeannie, Thanks so much for your wonderful review. I have been on the road a good bit this past couple of months, but I wanted to take the time and thank you for staying with us! Stella sends her love! We have been planting lots of new flowers to attract the butterflies, and it is working. We are about to plant a new organic garden right here by the house, which I know will be of interest to new guests in the future. You are welcome back anytime! Thanks so much! Ken
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Car: recommended

hot springs, hiking, coffee tours, orchid museum, frog pond, zip lines, cloud forest reserve, serpentarium, canopy tours, butterfly gardens, hummingbird gardens, cheese factory, art studios, waterfalls, cloud forest night tour


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $50
Refundable damage deposit $300

Rates are for four adults. $20.00 per night additional charge per adult guest above four adults.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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