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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 guest experience.

Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 24, 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 -
(91 traveler reviews)

74% Complete
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Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View
average rating of 4.6813188 based on 91 reviews

Property is in a valley. Beautiful and high quality, one of the best in Monteverde.

  • 5 of 5

The house comfortably fits 6+ people and is great for hanging out. The house dog is well behaved and was a great friend during our stay, taking walks with us through the plantation and greeting us on arrival.

The house was stocked with everything we needed to cook and enjoy our nights.

The location allowed us to visit Monteverde, Arenal, and coastal beaches.

We arrived at SJO, picked up our rental car and got to the location in 6 hours.

  • Submitted: Mar 23, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great place for staying off the beaten path

  • 5 of 5

This house was great for our family of five, and had plenty of room to spare. It was very well maintained and clean for our arrival and beds were very comfortable too! A great local farm-to-table (as in literally located within the family's farm) is right down the road. The main town of Santa Elena is within easy driving distance (once you get used to the dirt roads which are par for the course) as is all the activities around Monte Verde. This is a great place as long as you aren't wanting to be "in town" where you can walk to everything. Also as long as you keep in mind this isn't a luxury hotel, but an actual real house (where a few bugs might get in because... Costa Rica) then you will love it. Their dog was very welcoming as well! (Their bird is very cool as well, but seems to side eye you the whole time - but not in a threatening way, just in a bird kind of way).

  • Submitted: Mar 15, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful property close to everything in the Monteverde region.

  • 5 of 5

We loved this property and the hillside views were spectacular. The drive was not too long and allowed us to be out in the countryside, which we preferred. An evening drive provided us with an amazing sunset. The home has a traditional feel and we loved its character. We felt very welcomed by Kenneth and Stella, whom my daughter just fell in love with. We would stay here again in a heartbeat and agree that our 2 nights were not near enough.

  • Submitted: Feb 27, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Hospitality at its finest

  • 5 of 5

Even better than advertised. What a delightful stay!

  • Submitted: Feb 3, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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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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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.