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Native cloud forests and an expat cafe – Monteverde Costa Rica

September 21, 2009

Wherever I go in this world, someone has been there before me. Of course that someone isn’t necessarily an explorer who has bashed their way through overgrown jungles and dense virgin forests in search of hidden ruins, but an expatriate who has taken up the challenge to explore new possibilities in a foreign land.

High volume tourist destinations like Costa Rica are perfect locations for expats looking for new possibilities. Walk around the small mountain town of Santa Elena and you can easily lose count of the people — expats — living out their dream or attempting to.

Dulce Marzo is a small cafe and bakery owned and operated by Lisa Peters, a person with creativity and initiative and a three page carrot cake recipe, reputed to be one of the best in the area.

It was my cafe of choice during my stay in Monteverde because of its low-key relaxed nature, home cooked food, and welcoming staff.

by Cate

by Cate

Through the short conversation shared with Lisa, she openly told me of her expat journey. What started as a holiday to Monteverde enticed her to relocate on a permanent basis. Her story moved on to the time she shocked the locals by painting the cafe bright orange, to when the US Ambassador visited and fell in love with her carrot cake, and to the difficulties she’s encountered sourcing butter for her baked goods. Lisa has only had Dulce Marzo for two years, but her food has an established following in this small community. She doesn’t compromise on quality, her ingredients are organic and natural where available and the coffee beans are bought from a small local grower.

by Cate

by Cate

Lisa has crafted a cafe to feel like home. Books and games await rainy or quiet days while hand-made soaps attract the last minute shopper.

by Cate

by Cate

What makes the place just that much better are the staff — friendly with that Costa Rican charm. They look like the actually enjoy working there, something you don’t see too often these days.

by Cate

by Cate

Dulce Marzo is a must visit no matter how much time you have in Santa Elena/Monteverde. It’s located outside of the town on route to Monteverde cloudforest. Try the carrot cake, I missed out and regret it. The coffee is good, the wraps are large and delicious.

Good luck Lisa with this business, I’ll be back next time I make it to Costa Rica.

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. Bear permalink
    September 21, 2009 9:46 pm

    What a charming corner of the world to pass some time.

  2. September 22, 2009 3:38 am

    The best coffee I had in the world was in Monteverde at their organic coffee farm…it was like liquid chocolate.

  3. September 22, 2009 5:18 am

    Sounds like a good find – and seems to be run by someone passionate about what they’re doing which is great!

  4. September 22, 2009 11:15 am

    Hey, I was in that coffee shop. We couldn’t sit and enjoy all the cool books, becasue my son was like 1 and couldn’t stay still, but it was sooo cute!

    I’m so glad you had a good time!

  5. September 23, 2009 7:02 pm

    Bear, Matt, Liz, Marina – it all looks like you appreciate a good cafe as well. I can vouch for the liquid chocolate and cute adjectives. It is a good place to hang for a few hours ( as long as your child can take it)

  6. September 23, 2009 8:51 pm

    She’s chosen one of my very favorite color combinations. Good food and drink could almost be incidental in such a lovely setting!

  7. September 25, 2009 10:37 pm

    Looks like I need to visit Costa Rica now. Is the coffee as expensive there as it is in Korea?

    • September 26, 2009 11:22 am

      Bryan – Put Costa Rica on your list for sure and Panama. The coffee is much much cheaper @ $1- $1.50 a cup and thats in an upmarket place. Korea has this problem with cafe prices and I don’t know why. Most of the coffee I drank in Seoul cafes served up coffee that tasted terrible, often watery or burnt. Plus expensive @ $4-$6 a cup.


  8. September 26, 2009 1:46 pm

    I’d really like to visit that expat café – if I ever make it to Costa Rica. I love discovering new great cafés – especially when the staff is welcoming, and they offer home-baked yummy carrot cakes.

    Too bad you missed the carrot cake. Perhaps next time?

  9. September 27, 2009 5:35 pm

    A beautiful cafe captured in beautiful pictures! You’re really making me want to visit Costa Rica.

    • September 29, 2009 1:35 pm

      Sarah – yes I think it’s worth going to and quite easy to get to from the US. But bypass the capital city San Jose. I’ve just written a post on this city. Check it out.

      Erica – get going girl! Costa Rica awaits you!

      Heather – ah yes green is your theme. It has also become a theme of mine recently. Very calming and refreshing.

  10. October 17, 2009 11:16 am

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  11. October 19, 2009 5:53 pm

    Polprav – Hi, yes you can


  12. October 21, 2009 5:50 pm

    I’ll check this out when I’m in the area! Thanks for the info!


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