Although just a 15-minute drive from Finca Hamburgo , Finca Irlanda (tel. 962/625-5485) is a world away from its manicured neighbor. Trees tower over the estate, plant life is lush and abundant, and a small reserve has been set aside for a diversity of animals to live in (and for visitors to explore).
Finca Irlanda is also an entirely ecofriendly coffee finca, depending on shade-grown coffee plants, worm composting, water recycling, bio-gas, and other green features for its coffee production and the finca lifestyle on the whole. In fact, in 1967 Irlanda was reportedly the first finca in the world to export organic coffee.
A 40-hectare (99-acre) reserve within Finca Irlanda, La Montañita is home to over 230 types of birds, including the blue crowned motmot, collard aracari, and lineated woodpecker. Several hiking paths run through the reserve for visitors to enjoy; admission ranges US$5–20 depending upon which trail you take.
If you have trouble spotting wildlife in La Montañita, there also are several large aviaries on-site, filled mostly with birds that were found injured or were rescued from the illegal trade of tropical birds. Perhaps the most photographed is a quetzal, glorious tail and all, that has been at the finca since.
Tours of the finca—the beneficio (wet mills), coffee fields, and nurseries—can be arranged; call to schedule a tour.
Irlanda’s homey accommodations (US$42 s/d, US$67 suite) are set in a large old building across from the main house. Rooms are breezy and bright with spotless bathrooms, beautiful cedar floors, and pillow-top beds. All rooms open onto an inviting porch that is outfitted with hanging chairs—perfect for a good read. Breakfast is included in the rate.