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“Wil Better than Willy Wonka's factory!”

Oreba Chocolate Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: In the Oreba Chocolate Tour you not only get to experience one this worlds greatest inventions (chocolate), you get to view sloths, a wide variety of poison dart frogs, and sometimes even toucans. Most importantly you also see how the indigenous people live within the jungle while growing 100% certified organic shade grown cacao and making chocolate with it. The tour is more of a hike through the cacao farms and jungle where the guide goes through the surprisingly difficult process of growing, harvesting, fermenting, drying, roasting, and grinding process. You learn about what makes the farm organic, how the use of trees, plants, and animals help keep the organic system intact and how the indigenous people work within this system to produce some of the worlds finest cacao and chocolate products. The tour includes a traditional Ngobe Indian lunch consisting of local roots and it actually tastes wonderful. The tour also includes transportation to and from the "Bocas Marine Tour" boat dock, a guided tour in English (its Caribbean English) or Spanish, a traditional chocolate making demonstration in the farm, viewing of the animals, the traditional lunch, and one 4 oz bag of which ever chocolate you would like. As of right now the tour could be considered adventurous as the hike is a little steep in some spots. It is well worth it once you get to the top though as the most heavenly chocolate you have ever tasted is awaiting you at the top fresh from grinding. The tour runs in rain or shine and bringing a rain jacket is advised as this is the rain forest and things get a little wet. Also, good hiking shoes that you don't mind getting really muddy. Bringing a camera is a definite must as the chancing of seeing more than one type of poison dart frog are 100% and there is about a 95% of seeing a sloth. The tour starts at 10am and runs every day. Please note: We now have a place to stay! It is very rustic and with a local indigenous family. There are two beds available for $5 a bed. Ask the tour guide about them and the waterfall tour that is now being offered in the community.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wil Better than Willy Wonka's factory!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2013

Step by step tour, lunch, guide, got to make chocolate paste from crushing chocolate seeds with a stone, saw other plants too. Well with a look.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Kiwisonsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Coca-lly amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2013

My friend and I booked this tour through our hotel and weren't disappointed! We've done chocolate tours before and this one was by far the most thorough.

Our public taxi-boat to the mainland was an hour late, and we had no way of letting anybody know, so we already thought the day was ruined. However our Ngobe guide, Maurissio (spelling?), had waited for us at the other end... thank you sir!

We were driven to the Indian village/reserve where the Cacao is grown and Maurissio began. As we trekked to the top of the hill, he told us about his tribe's history, other plants (we see on shelves but never see growing) and even some of the animals in the area. It was most fascinating to see all the fruit we take for granted growing naturally... and see/taste how Cacao is still traditionally grown and turned into chocolate. We also had a lovely traditional lunch made from some of the plants identified earlier in the day.

We left with a heap of traditional chocolate from the shop and a newfound respect for the farmers/chocolatiers and difference between quality and mass-produced garbage.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank PeteLightning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
41 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A chocolate lovers education and paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

This tour was the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica/Panama. I couldn't figure out how to buy tickets but our hosts at our hotel told us to head down to Super Gourmet and they could set us up. At $30 a person this was incredible and knowing that the money supported this tribe of people was so satisfying. We took a 30 minute taxi from Isla Colon to Almirante where we took a bus to the village. The chocolate tour was provided by Mauricio, the guide, and Jake, the interpreter, and both of them were super friendly and welcoming. Everything from their village to the plants and animals were explained as we toured the farm. We learned every step of the process and tasted the cacao from bean to bar and finished the day with a delicious lunch provided by the women of the tribe.

Be sure to wear sturdy shoes since you will be hiking up a mountainside. We arrived after a rain storm and it was pretty slippery in places. They do provide walking sticks, but good shoes are encouraged.

Learning about and seeing the village of people was as interesting as the chocolate your itself. It's a community of 650 people who live very simple, organic filled lives with no electricity and an overwhelming passion for the hard work that it takes to support this life.

Helpful?
2 Thank jesslyons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
great lakes
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“If I could give 10 stars, I would”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2013

When you are in in Bocas Town, it is hard to figure out how to get on this tour. Go to the Heike Hostel and buy tickets there. The value of this tour is incredible. $37 pp gets you a round trip water taxi to the mainland, a taxi ride to the Oreba farm, lunch, some chocolate, and an INCREDIBLE tour that will show you the intricate, time consuming, and laborious process of growing the world's most beloved ingredient-- the cocoa bean. Wear shoes with traction, because you will hike up a steep hill to see how the Gnobe Indians grow and harvest cocao. The tour fniishes with a gracious meal prepared with ingredients from the farm. Jacob, a very intelligent18-year old, gave us a wonderful tour. This was the highlight of my trip to Panama. Can't say enough about how interesting this was! Truth be told? I would have paid more for this tour. I tried to show my appreciation by buying lots of their chocolate!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank b70ananawoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
180 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Good Tour of a Cacao Farm”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

This was a great little tour of a cacao farm outside of Almirante. It's a walk up the hill to see the cacao trees along with other tropical fruits. Our guide, Jake, described the process of growing, drying and grinding cacao seeds to make chocolate. Some local women demonstrated grinding the seeds and cooking the chocolate (which we sampled!). Then we were served a lunch of locally grown food--and it was delicious! Well worth the $30. We enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to anyone traveling in the Bocas area.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank kibbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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