Choc-o-holics! Heads up. For those of us with an intense sweet tooth, the good news is that you do not have to kill for great chocolate, merely trek to it… in Ecuador.
An offbeat and delicious cacao-centric trip, offered by Equatortrekking, is designed to explore gourmet chocolate production there. It offers insider samplings of high quality chocolate, cacao cooking lessons, and a study of its harvest. The itinerary stirs Ecuador’s rich chocolate history in with native life, landscape and culture. Visit the Guayaquil chocolate factory, and Vinces, known as “Little Paris,” and the capital of cacao world export for more than 100 years. Visit 16th century Quito where the chocolate story spreads through a cultural fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous Incan arts. At Baños de Agua Santa close to the rainforest and surrounded by mountains, join a culinary workshop in the Casa del Abuelo Art Hotel.
The rate per person for “Gourmet Adventure in the Cacao Route” is $2,430 (plus air) for 9-days and 8-nights. Remaining 2011 departures are: Aug. 15 and 30, and Sept. 15.
Equatortrekking, based in Cumbaya Ecuador, is a very personal company, well-qualified, and totally involved. Tailor-made tours are easily handled. For this particular trip click: www.equatortrekking.com/english/ and search “cacao.” See also their vast, amazing menu of other treks and trips.