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.