Wholly Cow - this was way better than I can tell you in words. My wife and I did this for her birthday on 12-27-2013. It is easy to find. You will never look at chocolate the same. The staff was so much fun and their English was better than my Spanish. Cost was @ $35US but priceless with memories. They all love what they do and it shows as their faces light up when they talk you thru the tour. The lunch prepared by the local women was the best meal we had in the DR and the mountain views are amazing. We miss you all so very much and smile every time we look at all of the photos.
Interesting and informative in a well paced tour that gets you out to the countryside. I did this tour in May, 2011 and it still informs every taste of chocolate I enjoy! I meant to write a review long ago! Colin S's description is thorough, and mirrors my experience. I totally endorse this trip for visitors to the Dominican Republic...it will give dimension to your experience in this country and will be remembered long after you return home!
The Tour of Chocolate, El Seibo is an informative, interactive and fun excursion that gives you an inside peek at all the important parties taking part in the chocolate process in Dominican Republic. Your tour guide will give you a thorough background on the entire process from the farm to the local chocolate block to exportation. In addition, the guide will give you plenty of opportunities to take participate in an hands-on way during the tour. Afterwards, the women's group will satisfy your palete with a typical, delectable Dominican lunch and products that will give you the chance to try chocolate in a different form. Do not miss the opportunity to spend a fun filled day on the Tour of Chocolate, El Seibo! :)
This tour is not recommended for the vacationer who wants to stay at an all-inclusive resort and be lazy for 7 days straight.This tour is highly recommended as a nice break from all that sitting around at the resort, and it is also recommended for travelers who want to see the real Caribbean, not just the commercialized tourist areas.Things you will see:-A local receiving, sorting, drying, fermenting, and packing facility for organic ("bio") and conventional cacao seeds.-The Dominican plains and an inland Dominican town, likely from the bed or front of a pickup truck.-A small cacao farm in the mountains, with many cacao trees and a few coffee trees. Most Dominican cacao farms are small and family-owned such as this one.-Cacao pods, which I never saw until I took this tour, despite growing up eating lots of chocolate!Things you will do:-Smell lots of cacao!-Drink lots of Dominican hot chocolate.-Learn how the processing facility works, with the option to do some of the processes yourself (like checking the beans for proper amount of drying).-Walk through an organic cacao grove.-Plant a cacao seedling.-Harvest some cacao pods (if in season), open them and eat the fruit (you can suck on the sweet, white flesh that surrounds each bean).-Roast cacao beans and prepare them to make cacao balls/powder, which Dominicans use to make hot chocolate.-Meet the local Dominicans in the town where the grove is located.-Eat a full, tasty lunch prepared by several Dominican donas, in an open picnic area on a hilltop in the mountains. :)-See the process for making cacao marmalade and cacao wine.-Have the opportunity to buy any of these products, all organic, straight from the village where it is made.
The Tour de Chocolate Tours was one of the best tours I had the opportunity to experience! It was very informative regarding the chocolate from its beginning to the finished product. Roberto and Alana did a wonderful job providing us with in-depth information and interactive opportunities.The lunch provided was fabulous, and we enjoyed the "mango experience." If you have the opportunity to travel to Hato Mayor del Rey, be sure to take the Tour de Chocolate.
Speaking as a confirmed chocoholic, I thought I knew everything about chocolate...not so after taking this tour! Our tour guide was great...he had interesting explanations for every phase of the cacao process and his sense of humor made it fun as well. We had a lunch of authentic Dominican food and it was yummy...an added plus was the beautiful view from the dining area. Equal Exchange chocolate company purchases some of it's cacao from this co-op. Pictures of the farmers are included on the back of the wrapper. It's meaningful to purchase that brand of chocolate now, after visiting Conacado, and the chocolate is of a superb quality. I HIGHLY recommend this tour!
Delightful tour. This provides an unusual chance to see Dominican farmers and families living their lives, with just enough infrastructure to make for a comfortable visit. Good food, charming people, and a fascinating glimpse into cacao production. I'll never buy anything but organic fair-trade chocolate again!
The Chocolate Tour was a real highlight of our 2+ weeks in the DR. If you're looking for an authentic Dominican experience, but one packaged with the international traveler's needs still in mind, this is a great side trip. The Tour de Chocolate is fascinating - not only for what you learn about the process of growing cacao and making chocolate, but also for the insights you gain into Dominican culture and lifestyle. Also, the tour is full of food - we were tasting wonderful things all day long! There's enough opportunity for personal participation (planting cacao, harvesting it, making hot chocolate) that kids (and the young at heart) will be well-entertained. I would definitely recommend staying overnight. The mountain village is incredibly beautiful, the people are very friendly (especially the wonderful women who cook!), and to just sit on the porch and listen to the sounds of the village coming to life in the morning is worth the price of the whole trip. The accommodations, while basic, are clean and more than adequate. There's a lovely ramada with picnic tables for your meals, all of which are prepared by village women. The ramada is spotless, and the food was delcious. We also took the horseback ride to the waterfall and enjoyed it tremendously. If you want to see what else the DR has to offer besides all-inclusives, the Tour de Chocolate is a great choice! Also, much of the money from this tour goes directly back to the community, which is yet another good reason to support it.
This is a great tour if you want to see what the process of growing and harvesting chocolate is like. The tour guides are super friendly and knowledgeable (though right now I think they still only have Spanish speaking tour-guides - so go with someone who can translate). The area outside of El Seibo is beautiful, and the lunch they serve you is very good. Definitely recommend this trip!