If you like chocolate, you’ll love sampling everything from the nibs to pure organic chocolate at the Rainforest Chocolate farm just outside of La Fortuna. Cacao trees grow abundantly in several parts of Costa Rica providing many opportunities for superior chocolate production. This Arenal chocolate tour will show you how chocolate is made from picking cacao pods off the trees to tasting the many different concoctions created alone and with other natural ingredients (some simply decadent!).
Have you ever thought about where chocolate comes from? Yes, it is true, chocolate really does grow on trees! If fact, cacao beans, from which chocolate is made, grow inside large yellow pods that hang off the limbs and trunk of the cacao tree. On this chocolate tour you’ll learn the process of crafting high quality chocolate from bean to bar.
The tour begins when you are picked up from your La Fortuna hotel and whisked away to the Rainforest Chocolate tour on a nearby cacao farm. This guided tour introduces you to the early history of chocolate, going back almost 4000 years. Considered the “Gift of the Gods” it was consumed in sacred ceremonies by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica. It wasn’t until the 1500s that chocolate was brought to Europe by Spanish explorers.
The chocolate making process is quite labor intensive and time consuming which is why real, dark chocolate is more expensive than its multi-ingredient, commercial counterpart. On this hour and a half tour, you will be rolling up your sleeves and seeing for yourself the great effort involved with real chocolate production: from harvesting the fruit, cracking open the pod, drying the seed, roasting, grinding, and of course tasting what may just be the best chocolate you have ever tried.
As you crack open a cacao pod, you might be surprised at what you will find. The beans inside of the pod are surrounded by a white, pleasantly fruity pulp that provides the perfect growing environment for the beans to sprout. This white pulp is especially enjoyed by monkeys and other tropical forest creatures as well as enjoyed by local children.
You’ll be given plenty of opportunities to taste this rich, delicious chocolate and learn about it’s health benefits as well. Real chocolate can easily be included as part of a healthy diet since it is one of the best plant sources of iron, magnesium and antioxidants. If you are a chocolate lover, by the end of the tour you will likely be completely blissed out on chocolate.
Over the past several years, chocolatiers in Costa Rica have created small boutique businesses making pure organic chocolate available throughout the world.
Please bring comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing, rain jacket, hat and bottle of water. This tour includes transportation, admission and bilingual guide. Total combined time of tour and round trip transportation is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. One way transport from your hotel in the La Fortuna area to the farm can take between 15 and 45 minutes depending on the location of your hotel.
The Chocolate Tour - Ride Cr is available from Arenal, Arenal Zone 2, and Arenal Zone 3
Excellent and informative tour. Whole family loved it and it was just the right amount of time.
Fun activity and learned something new.
This was a lot of fun and very educational and interactive.
Wonderful! Catherine was fantastic!
This was an unexpectedly wonderful tour! It was fun, informative, organized, well paced, and offered a lot of variety and delicious chocolate treats. I was surprised how much I loved it. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the area. The only downside was the torrential downpour of rain for most of the time we were there. The staff did provide umbrellas for us.They certainly can't control the weather, and did a great job in spite of the discomfort and inconvenience.
Our guide was hilarious, informative and passionate about fair trade chocolate.
The guide’s sense of humor really added to the experience. Very informative tour with a great experience tasting the cocoa bean before it becomes chocolate and after as well of the hands on experience of making chocolate.
So much fun! Chocolate tasting was wonderful
Amazing tour guide!
So interesting and so informative. Our guide was knowledgeable and was good with the group.
Great learning experience and tasting!
Very fun and interesting tour. We learned a lot and we loved the all you can eat chocolate!
Transportation was perfect and individualized. The tour was informative and fun. We loved it!
It was good,
Our guide was awesome. Super fun couple hours learning about chocolate.
Tastiest tour we took! Very knowledgeable!
This was a very interesting tour, and the guides were awesome.
We had a great time learning about cacao/chocolate. The driver was on-time & courteous & waited for us at the grounds to return. The guides at the Cacao plantation were friendly & knowledgeable. We enjoyed seeing the whole process from seed to plant to pod & the steps involved.
Katherine was awesome. It was one of our best tours
Who wouldn't like all you can eat chocolate? Very Educational at a slow pace which we enjoyed the pace.
El Chapo Guapo was really passionate about the chocolate process and made the discussion fun for everyone
Tour was excellent, though a bit overpriced.
I thought it was extremely informative. Loved that we got to taste the chocolate and in several forms.
Again, the small group size makes the experience so much more rewarding.
We much appreciate that you moved the date on this tour when the arrival of some of our group was delay a day because of missed plane connections. This was a terrific mellow tour following the more physical hanging bridges tour
The Chocolate Tour was amazing and that's something to say since me and my partner do not typically care much for chocolate. Our guide was hilarious providing us with so much information but in a fun way. We performed dances, picked our own Cocoa, and sampled plenty of chocolate. I would even go again if I was to go back because of the amazing experience.
It was fine. A more compact walk than I was expecting (which was good for me) and the shelter used to demonstrate steps in the process was very rustic and charming. Learned a few things, bought some good chocolate. Not too exciting, but a good way to pass a half-day.
Less expectation because they did not sell PLENTY of products to bring home.
This was good tourist fun on Valentine's day.
very interesting, guides and location. Staff was very entertaining.