On The Cacao Trail Ecuador
The ultimate chocoholic’s trip, those who hit the Cacao Trail in Ecuador are in good company – the Emperor Moctezuma II always consumed chocolate in a golden cup with this meals. The Aztecs, who were perhaps the first chocoholics, believed that the cacao seeds had been given to them as a gift from the god Quetzalcoatli, a gift that was so valuable they were used as currency.
Today, just 5% of cacao beans worldwide are rated “fine grade”, since most cacao is aimed at making chocolate for the mass market and is bulk cacao. Ecuador’s chocolate, along with a few other countries including Panama, Mexico, and Venezuela, has extremely high-grade cacao.
Most farming communities that grow this cacao use methods following ancient traditions that have been handed down through the generations, and from the Andean capital, Quitos, to the rainforest of the Amazon below it, their love for and knowledge of chocolate is obvious.
Cacao trail Tours
Take a tour along the Cacao Trail Ecuador and see this for yourself. Most tours include pick up and drop off at your hotel, farm entry fees, transport by canoe, lunch, and English-speaking tour guides.
In order to experience the cacao bean in its freshest form-straight from the plant, you will need to reach the heart of the jungle, which will take you through spectacular scenes of wildlife and area microclimates. Many trips include side trips to appreciate the wildlife such as a trek to view monkeys, for example. You will also experience many unique modes of transport.
For example, getting to the heart of the jungle means taking a boat or canoe and depending on the the knowledge and skills of your local guides.
During this journey on the trail, not only will you experience incredible landscapes ranging from forest to jungle to mountains, but also be able to get a glimpse into the life of the indigenous people living there including the coastal Montubios and the Shuar communities residing in the depths of the Amazon.
When you finally get to the cacao plantations, you will be able to see the traditional preparation of chocolate for the first time and when you get to crack open a cacao bean pod and spoon out the inside, you will feel the trip has definitely been worthwhile. When the pod is open, you will see a white, thick mass around the beans, which feels cool. Pull the bean out of the goo and enjoy the unbelievable aroma and taste of the bean. This is pure chocolate in its freshest form.
Try the Cacao Trail for yourself – you will be able to travel from the heights of the Andes to the basin below and all points in between and will be able to truly understand and experience this Food of the Gods for yourself – and take some home with you to enjoy the memories of your Ecuadorian Cacao Trail Ecuador adventure.