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“Excellent for general knowledge”

El Sendero del Cacao
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$60.00*
and up
Cacao Plantation and Chocolate Factory Tour with Tasting of Chocolate
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Find the secrets that are behind an exquisite chocolate! Learn from planting a cacao tree, extracting, fermenting and drying the seeds, its importance for aroma/flavor in chocolate, as well as its process in a Factory.Dominican Republic is the major producer of organic cacao worldwide! The tour is in an organic plantation, guided by professionals of Rizek Cacao, most experienced cacao company in the country.*Lunch Available. 1h45 from Santo Domingo/Samana/Puerto Plata
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent for general knowledge”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I can say this place has everything to be with your family. Great food, gift shop, expand your knowledge about cacao and chocolate. Very beautiful place. I recommend it 100%. If you go to San Francisco de Macoris you should go this place.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Julio L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brookline, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed December 3, 2012

We took a Caribe Tour bus from SD to San Francisco and a driver from Sendero picked us up at the bus terminal. Taking a bus was a bit of an adventure but it was fun and the ride was very comfortable (took about 90 minutes).

The tour at Sendero was great. Our guide walked us through the entire process (you even get to plant a tree). The lunch was really good and the chocolate was excellent.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank CMDinMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CacaoTour, General Manager at El Sendero del Cacao, responded to this review, February 22, 2013
Dear CMDinMA;

What a great review! Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your kind words about our tour and the experience!

Carol
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richland, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Well worth the drive”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

Girl at tour office said this was not a good tour but boy was she ever wrong. Since we wanted to experience more than city and beach we made reservations online through cacaotour.com yesterday and went today anyway. Well worth the almost 2 hour drive from Santo Domingo. Miguel offered a very informative and fun tour with help from Julio and the ladies. Planted a cacao tree, ground the seeds the old fashion way, tasted and made our own chocolate bars. Approximate $50 price included the tour (without transportation), more chocolate than one needs to eat at one time and lunch. Since we were the only 3 on tour today they took us to a local restaurant for our lunch which ended with fruit to dip into more chocolate. As Cedric V states in his review, it is a little difficult to find but everyone we stopped and asked for directions was helpful (however we did have a Spanish speaking driver so not sure how it would be if you aren't fluent)

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank connierrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marielle R, Director de Relaciones Públicas at El Sendero del Cacao, responded to this review, February 26, 2014
Thank you so much!! We truly appreciate your Review. We are very happy that you had fun and learned with our team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
76 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Excellent trip”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Wow! This is the kind of educational tourism that we need more of. Definitely a tour I highly recommend to anyone young or old.

Helpful?
1 Thank pgranados
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A tasty tour not to be missed”
Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

This tour is organized in plantations owned by the Rizek family, the second largest cocoa producer in the Dominican Republic (DR) and a leader in premium organic cocoa supplied to Valrhona or to the most prestigious European chocolate makers, such as Michel Cluizel in Normandie (France). It takes place in a charming facility named "Hacienda La Esmeralda".
 
Overall, the tour is very informative and should be an absolute must-see while staying in DR, not only for any chocolate lover but also for anyone just curious in discovering how a key part of the Dominican economy is being elaborated. DR is a top exporter of quality cocoa in the world (specifically, the organic segment, where DR is a world leader), and cocoa ranks third in the Dominican agricultural exports.
 
::: Who is it for?
=> chocolate lovers should definitely book the tour of the same name, which is a bit pricey but substantial
=> families with young children should take the "Classic" tour (the basic one, which is fun for children with some interactivies as the possiblity to "sow your own plant", without getting boring for them). 
=> tourists tired of perfect beaches and who want to discover how people truly live and work, and an important part of the Dominican culture

[ + ] Pros
=> The booking process is excellent, responsive and fluent in English
=> The Carribean-inspired lunch is great and simple, with turkey ("pechuga"), Caribbean rice and cooked bananas. But unfortunately, ours was missing a dessert, which is a real pity, given how tasty - naturally sweet and floral - the cocoa produced on the plantation is.
=> The best and truly unique parts are the ones dedicated to the harvesting and to the fermentation processes (leading to fermented beans locally called "Hispanola"), which are well explained. Do not hesistate to ask as many questions as you want, the answers are relevant and kind (we had a young lady as the guide, speaking fluent English and giving detailed and good explanations overall). This is their true expertise.
 
[ - ] Cons
=> It can be a bit hard to get to the hacienda, at least if you are not coming from Santo Domingo, as some connection roads can be terrible and it is very hard, if not impossible, to get an updated, turn-by-turn, GPS map app or system on board if you arrive by your own car. Consequently, do not forget to do your homework before by preparing your itinerary (Google Map will do the job... more or less) and by asking the name and mobile line of an employee fluent in English while booking, just in case you get lost... Otherwise, no worry, the locals in villages are generally friendly and will do their best to help (in Spanish and as far as they can...)
=> When you come from a western country where you can easily visit a chocolate factory, a chocolate museum or a gourmet chocolate artisan workshop, such as in France, in Belgium, in Switzerland or in the US (yes, the Willy Wonka's type!), you will not learn much from the part of the tour dedicated to the making of gourmet chocolate out of cocoa beans. This is even a bit misleading and out of place, as you have to keep in mind that DR only harvests and exports cocoa beans, the complex transformation process turning beans to gourmet sweets does not take place in DR. Anyway, it can be a nice way of getting childhood memories back and it is well explained.
=> The gift shop is great overall, with a nice assortment but it is too small and the gourmet chocolates proposed are great but too limited, with no appropriate boxes to bring them back

 ::: My advise
Do not stay at the hacienda. Ask to go to the plantations themselves to see how the trees are planted, as this is a unique experience. We had heavy rain the day we visited so, unfortunately, we were stuck to the hacienda instead for the explanations but this was a real pity. Check the weather before you schedule your visit and make sure while booking that you can effectively go through a real plantation.

Helpful?
3 Thank Cedric V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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