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Monteverde is probably the best place outside the Valle Central to learn about Costa Rica’s golden beans. Two companies here offer tours of their coffee fields and processing plants, enabling you to follow the journey from bush to bag. The co-operative Café Monteverde (t 2645-5901, w http://www.monteverde-coffee.com) was the country’s first sustainable coffee producer and offers a hands-on tour of an organic plantation in San Luis ($30; 3hr), where you can visit their water-powered coffee mill, as well as a shorter trip to an agro-ecological, organic farm just north of Santa Elena ($22; 1hr 30min); you can sample their beans without leaving town, at the Casa del Café Monteverde (daily 8am–5pm), near the post office on the road to Cerro Plano. Don Juan Coffee Tour (t 2645-7100, w http://www.donjuancoffeetour.com), with an office on the Santa Elena triangle, runs similar trips to a small farm 2km north of the village ($25; 1hr 30min).

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