Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Tomorrow I’ll be heading down to Guayaquil to lead our second annual chocolate to her. Getting out of Quito is not as easy as it used to be, but fortunately I live near the airport which is only 20 minutes from my house. It’s not the same brief hop, skip, and jump to Guayaquil as it used to be, as getting to the airport from Quito can take anywhere from one to two or more hours. Keep this in mind when you come to Ecuador.
We have an internationjal group this year, consisting of three Americans, one person from the Netherlands, two South Koreans, and two people from Scotland. A lot less Americans this year, and more people from other places. Also, we don’t have anyone in the bean to bar business rather, they are all chocolatiers making bonbons and other products from finished chocolate.
The tour is not only a great opportunity to see Ecuador, but a great way to see something that most tourists never get to see or learn about. We don’t go to any of the “main attractions” that many people think of when they read about Ecuador or look at websites advertising tours. We won’t visit the Equator monument, we won’t see the animals in the Galapagos Islands, we won’t swim with pink river dolphins, and we won’t visit any volcanoes or mountains.
However, what we will see is how cocoa is grown, harvested, fermented, and commercialized in Ecuador. We will meet with cocoa farmers, growers cooperative’s, cocoa brokers, and chocolate makers in Ecuador. We’ll see how chocolate is transformed from bean to bar.
We start the trip in the hot, steamy city of Guayaquil. From there we head through the coastal low lands to the province of Los Rios, which is one of the main centers of cocoa activity for all of Ecuador. From here will continue on to window, a small town better known for its birdwatching activities than for its chocolate.
We pass briefly through Quito, stopping to see a chocolate factory before heading down to the Amazon. In the Amazon we’ll visit an island in the middle of the Napo river, where a farmer cultivates not only cocoa, but other tropical plants like bananas and annatto, and some exotic ones most of us have never heard of.
The tour concludes with the dinner in Quito and a chocolate tasting. You’ll never stop wanting to learn about chocolate once you’ve delved into Ecuador’s chocolate world, so join us as soon as you can, or contact me directly for an organized private tour.