During my time in Costa Rica, I was lucky enough to volunteer my services (or lack of them!) at a number of farms, but my time spent at La Finca Rocio was by far the best and most rewarding.
I happened to come across this farm purely by chance, as I was volunteering at a neighbouring farm, and although I wanted new experiences, I was more than happy with the scenery and location where I was currently living, near to the cloud forest, waking up to hummingbirds and colourful butterflies every morning.
La Finca Rocio is located about 90 minutes from San Isidro, and for $5 a person per night, you get to live in the family home with Rocio, her husband Poncho, and their three children. This also pays for all food. In exchange, you are only expected to work for 4 hours, 4 days a week. The rest of the time is yours for relaxation, exploring, or whatever you desire.
It is amazing how much there is to do in your spare time, and this is why I rated this farm experience so highly. From swimming in the river, riding horses, hiking, wildlife spotting, or interacting in the local community, there is more than enough variety to keep you interested. The scenery can be spectacular, especially after climbing some of the nearby hills.
I found the farm work relatively easy, and Rocio was more interested in allowing you to have a true Costa Rican experience than work you to the bone. Most of my time here was spent picking coffee, but as on any farm, there are plenty of other jobs that need doing. These include tending to the different animals (including pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, and cows), vegetable and fruit harvesting, and, if you really fancy it, helping at the weekly pig slaughter. This was one activity too far for me, though!
Although English is only spoken by one of the sons, it is something that for me was never a problem, and my Spanish is as basic as you can get. Plus, there is the added bonus of getting to practice your Spanish every day with the family.
The farm is easily reached using public transport. From San Jose, catch a bus to San Isidro (Musoc is the best bus company to use). In San Isidro, from the local bus station, located close to the twin-spired Catholic church, catch a bus to Quizarra. There are only two buses each day, at 11am and at 4pm. The ride here takes about an hour, where you are dropped off in the centre of Quizarra outside a bar called Bar Carambola. From here, walk past the bar for 2km until you come to a Lime Green House on your left-hand side.
For more information, you can contact Estaban, their English-speaking son, at email@example.com. Or, if you have any specific questions about this farm or my experience here, feel free to contact me.