Cacao Expedition: May/June 2023
One-of-a-kind tour of some of Ecuador’s most magical cacao-producing regions.
May 26 – June 2, 2023
Prepare for an amazing 7-day expedition that includes travel to:
- Quito on May 26, we will pick you up from Mariscal Sucre International Airport and transport you to your hotel in Quito. Orientation time will include an overview of the week's activities plus the first of many chocolate tastings. Welcome dinner.
- Otavalo on May 27, Discovering the cultures of Ecuador! Drive to Otavalo for a guided tour of the largest artisan market in South America. Shop for hand-made artisan crafts and textiles. Visit a Kwicha-owned textile shop where they weave traditional handicrafts, and enjoy a private concert of Kwicha music performed by our dear friends, then return to Quito.
- Mindo on May 28, Rafting is a sport and recreational activity known worldwide. We will be visiting the beautiful river of Mindo. For this activity you should expect some degree of turbulence and a great degree of fun! After we will go for some relaxing butterfly watching and chocolate tasting.
- Puerto Quito on May 29, Meet Diego Saquicela, former INIAP and Catie Professional, with over 10 years of experience working with Cacao. He also implemented the Heirloom Cacao preservation project in Puerto Quito, Province of Pichincha. Diego is a cacao lover and he has developed his own experimental cacao plantation. We will have the chance to taste the cacao fruit of different varieties of Ecuadorian cacaos and observe harvest collection and post-harvest processes at the collection center. Finally, this is a great opportunity to discuss the challenges and rewards of cacao farming with a real farmer.
- Esmeraldas on May 30, Meet the farmers and taste cacao fruit! Visit farming families of partner farmers from UOPROCAE, in the coastal province of Esmeraldas. Experience the cultural vibe of this coastal community. Meet cacao producers, observe harvest collection, and post production processes at the collection center. Discuss with farmers and co-op managers the challenges of cacao farming.
- Quito on May 31, Departure from Esmeraldas to the capital of Ecuador crossing part of the coast and mountains of the country. In the afternoon, we will have a chocolate tasting, and finally we will taste the gastronomy of one of the most important chefs in the country.
- Papallacta on June 1, Hot Springs and Chocolate Tasting! A well-deserved, relaxing morning at Termas de Papallacta - a Spa fed by Hot Springs and nestled in a majestic valley of the high Andes. This valley forms part of the "Cinnamon Trail", the route Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana took in 1542 when he crossed the Andean mountain range searching for gold and other treasures, which unexpectedly led him to discover the Amazon River.
- Quito on June 2, Good bye chocolate tasting and Cacao Chat at the hotel.
In 2022, our Expedition was a highlight of the year for those who were able to join us. This year, we are going cacao in anticipation of our Cacao Expedition 2023.
South American Artisan Markets
Rafting the Mindo River
Heirloom Cacao Preservation Projects
Coastal Visits to UOPROCAE Cacao Farms
You may be here because you love chocolate, cacao, culture, or just travel. One thing we can assure you is that when you meet the people, the land, the raw material of the chocolate we all know and love, you will see why being in connection changes everything about how we experience life together. We are tailoring your travel experience to put you in connection through cuisines that will enhance your taste-buds journey, chocolate tastings that are not only flavor-rich but impart important knowledge, hand-picked hotels that convey the culture of Ecuador, and unique guided tours from locals that want to share the best of their beautiful country with you.
Experience Ecuador through the lens of its people, its cacao farmers, its artists and its chefs!
This exciting 7-Day Cacao Expedition includes all meals, accommodations, in-country travel, chocolate tastings, and guided tours for only $2,850.
Spots are limited, so register today to reserve your space!
**Air-fare to and from Quito, travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, and special services like massages and spa treatments NOT included**
Unless otherwise stated in the registration materials, to allow Conexion Chocolate to finalize logistics and engage with local vendors.
A 50% refund will be granted for cancellation requests received up to 30 calendar days prior to the day of the event.
No refund will be granted for cancellation requests received after 30 calendar days prior to the day of the event.