Ever wonder how organic chocolate is made? This Oreba Chocolate tour takes you through the jungle and farms of the indigenous Ngabe people, who have been making cacao into chocolate for centuries.
This 3 hour tour walks you through the jungle and the process of turning raw cacao into chocolate. All the cacao is shade grown in the jungle, so during your tour, you may even get to see sloths, poison dart frogs, and toucans. And no matter what you see, you’ll get to sample some delicious organic dark chocolate, made right in front of you by local artisan women!
The Oreba Chocolate tour is led by a local man who learned English working at the famous Bocas banana plantations. Rather than pick coffee or bananas for a low wage, he and the other members of the Cooperative that runs the tour are able to focus on organic cacao farming and sharing their culture with visitors like you.
Spend a morning hiking through the jungle, learning about its flora and fauna
See how this organic cacao farming makes its chocolate
Enjoy a home-made traditional meal
Duration: 3 hours (Tour starts at the Almirante dock either at 09:30 am or 12:30 pm) Start/End Location: Almirante Docks (Pick up at 09:30am for the morning tour or 12:30pm for the afternoon tour) Availability: Year Round
The tour begins with a walk through the jungle and among the cacao trees – keep an eye out for sloths, poison dart frogs, and toucans!
In the middle of the tour, under the shade of a thatched roof rancho, a local Ngäbe woman will teach the group how to make chocolate by hand the way the indigenous have for centuries.
The tour concludes with a traditional meal, consisting of vegetables, local roots, and chicken. After the meal, you will have a chance to buy some of the artisanal, shade-grown chocolate that you saw being made during the tour.
After the tour, transport will bring you back to Almirante
How do I get to Almirante from Bocas island? Take a Taxi 25 water taxi from Bocas to Almirante (Google Maps location) – if you are on the morning tour, you should plan on taking the water taxi at 9:00am; if you are on the afternoon tour, you should take it at 12:00. The water taxi is $6 and should be paid in cash. In Almirante, a driver will pick you up and bring you to the community for the tour!
Can the tour pick me up in Bocas? Unfortunately, no, the pick up point for the tour is at the Almirante dock (see above answer for instructions on how to get there). Fortunately, getting the water taxi from Bocas to Almirante is very straightforward, and if you have any doubts, your hostel / hotel in Bocas will definitely be able to help you.
Voluntourism: Every Thursday is a work day for the artisan group who’s name is ACODAAC. You can call the Oreba Chocolate at 6649-1457 and ask if you can come help out. Most of the times it will be physical labor but technical skills could be used for certain projects. Speaking Spanish will help, but if you are comfortable with communication via pointing and gesturing, you should be fine.
Lodging: The president of the cooperative that runs the chocolate tour (Samuel) also has a small house (think cement hut) that you can rent for $10 per night. It has a queen-sized bed, but is otherwise very simple. You can arrange simple meals with his family.
Rio Oeste Arriba
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Rio Oeste Arriba9.251225, -82.415657
Rio Oeste Arriba, The Land of Chocolate. Enjoy hiking, cultural exchanges with Ngabe Indigenous, and try the Oreba Chocolate Tour. Check out the Rio Oeste Arriba Page Here.
What Happens After I Book?
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