Chocolate Tour 2019: Ecuador
Join us for a delicious journey into the origins of ﬁne chocolate.
Dates: April 22–29, 2019
Conexión Chocolate invites you to Ecuador! Visit farmers working to preserve Ecuador’s ﬁne ﬂavored Nacional cacao and hone your skills as a chocolatier with founder and trip host Jenny Samaniego (Conexión Chocolate).
Perfect for professionals, aspiring chocolatiers, and chocolate enthusiasts!
Monday, April 22th – DAY 1
Arrive to Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito Group dinner for those who arrive by early evening.
Tuesday, April 23th – DAY 2
Witness the wonder of Ecuador’s geographical diversity as we drive from Quito, through the Eastern Andes mountains to the upper Amazon region of the Napo river. Visit with Kallari Chocolate, a Popular and Solidarity Economy (EPS) organization recognized by the Ecuadorian government, an innovative model in which member farmers are the primary beneficiaries of the business.
Wednesday, April 23th – DAY 3
Meet small scale cacao farmers and explore their diverse farms full of citrus, hardwoods and herbs. Learn about the ‘Chakra’ model of farming, which promotes agro-forestry and commercialization of diverse crops and foodstuffs like vanilla. Enjoy a tasting of Kallari brand ‘Sacha’ chocolate bars. Travel from Tena to Quito – Manabí.
Thursday, April 25th – DAY 4
Spend the day visiting our cacao partners, Fortaleza Del Valle, a cooperative from the Manabi Provence who won the prestigious ‘Cocoa of Excellence’ Award in 2015 and 2017 at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Learn about cacao farming from long-time cacao producers and get a glimpse into life on the farm. Meet with the directors of the farming co-op and learn about the business of coffee growing, processing and exporting from this very successful farmer’s cooperative.
Travel from Calceta to Quevedo.
Friday, April 26th – DAY 5
Visit with our dear friends, Samuel and Anita, who own Hacienda Limon, a large cacao plantation with an on-farm post-harvest production facility. Hacienda Limon was one of the first farms in the world to receive Heirloom Cacao designation. Samuel is a Swiss-born cacao farmer who has lived in Ecuador for over 30 years. He was head of Nestle’s agronomic’s division before starting his own cacao business. Anita is an extraordinary chef and partner in the chocolate business.
Saturday, April 27th – DAY 6
A travel morning: Relax on our private bus as we traverse the stunning Andes mountains once again, stopping for lunch at one of the greenest places on the planet. Continue to Quito, with stunning views of volcano Chimborazo along the route. It’s an afternoon of guided sightseeing in Quito’s spectacular historical district. Tour the area’s colonial churches and plazas and take a tram ride to the highest point of the city for incredible panoramic views. Travel from Quevedo to Quito.
Sunday, April 28th – DAY 7
Travel to Otavalos for a guided tour of the largest artisan market in South America. Shop for hand-made artisan crafts and textiles. Visit a Kwicha weaver and enjoy a priva- te concert of Kwicha music performed by our dear friends. Return to Quito for a celebratory dinner and relax.
Monday, April 29th – DAY 8
Join in Ecuador’s first ever International Chocolate Summit – an event designed to bring together people from every part of the specialty cacao/ chocolate value chain to engage in deep discussion on pressing issues and develop strategies to elevate the industry.
Depart – Monday late night flights or Tuesday. Option to add the FCCI Cacao Grader’s Course.