Medellin Chocolate Farm Tour
Did you know…
Whilst Colombia is famous for its coffee, coffee production is still a fairly new industry in Latin America. Chocolate, on the other hand, can be traced back through the centuries. For generations, pre-Colombian indigenous tribes used cacao seeds (the main ingredient of chocolate) as currency to trade with other tribes and chocolate was even considered to be holy at one time.
The tradition and importance of chocolate continues today with most Colombians preferring a hot chocolate in the morning instead of a coffee.
Click on an image for a better view
The Toucan Medellin Chocolate Tour takes you deep into the Eastern highlands of Antioquia to explore a part of Colombian culture that very few visitors have the opportunity to experience. Until recently, many cacao farms in this area were used to cultivate coca leaves for the drug trade – a far more lucrative business than growing corn or raising cattle. Life was difficult for the small farmers, many of whom were controlled by illegal armed groups and lived in fear.
Fortunately, in 2010, a United Nations project facilitated the process of converting farms from growing coca to growing cacao. It may be just one letter difference, but what a difference it’s made to the life and livelihood of these farmers.
Today the small artisanal chocolate production that comes from these farms is coordinated almost entirely by the local women of the town. As well as producing Colombia’s finest cocoa, thanks to sustainable cultivation techniques the producers are also helping support the conservation of endemic tropical forests and local wildlife.
On the Medellin Chocolate Farm Tour you’ll enjoy a special invitation to visit the local chocolate cooperative to learn everything there is to know about cacao cultivation and chocolate production. Prepare to get stuck in as you join the ladies of the cooperative; together you’ll produce real chocolate destined for sale at local markets.
Of course, a visit to the cocoa cooperative wouldn’t be complete without tasting real, pure, unadulterated chocolate in Colombian’s favorite format, a hot chocolate drink – direct from the farm with no artificial additives. It’s no surprise that this is everyone’s favorite part of the tour.
Please note: This is a very rural experience and as such you have to be prepared for some medium level hiking through natural terrain, hill climbs & descents and perhaps getting a little dirty along the way. The tour ends at a local river where you have the opportunity to enjoy lunch sitting on the rocks followed by a refreshing dip. We recommend the tour for those young at heart and looking for a more adventurous experience in the countryside in a region unknown to general tourism.