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“tour was a highlight”

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 young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed December 9, 2013

In a cacao shell, this tour was excellent. Guide was very informative and my boyfriend and I were enthralled to see a community that was essentially self sustaining and organic. The only downside to being on the Bocas islands was the lack of fresh produce due to the island's isolation. We thought there would be more farming or locally sourced food on the island and were disappointed that most everything was trucked in. It was refreshing to learn about the Ngobe tribe and how much pride they put into their livelihood. It was nice to learn that they had everything they needed within their community such as schools, housing, and work. The cacao tasting was amazing at every stage. Definitely a highlight of our trip.

Thank Darah_Evan_Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 96 of 183 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2013

We LOVED it!!! What a way to start celebrating Halloween by learning where all of our yummy chocolate comes from! Delicious and informative! The hike was beautiful, it is uphill (both ways) wear good walking shoes!!! They provide hiking sticks, but the pace is leisurely and you can rest. There was a lot to learn, I would have like to have taken more notes while I was there. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and prepared to answer all our questions. My daughter (11yrs) and I had a great time!

Thank M S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Excellent way to see the tropical forest and to taste and see chocolate from tree to treat! Favorite part was tasting the chocolate directly from the pod. Great way to support the local grower and small business!

1  Thank VacationIsGood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Good experience -- walking through an indigenous community and its cacao orchards, eating cacao in various forms, having a nice lunch, with informative guides the entire time. Nice half-day trip from Bocas del Toro.

Thank 650_KenN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

We did this tour today, and it was so awesome! For our tour it was just me, my husband, and our daughter (14 months old), and Maurissio was our guide. He was really good.

I worried that we were going to miss it, because we had some trouble getting a water taxi at the right time, but when I called he said he would wait, and he did. We met him at the Taxi 25 at Almirante, and he took us to the cacao farm.

It was really interesting. Maurissio was able to speak English pretty well. He told us about the Ngobe people and their community there, how the cacao is grown (including some interesting facts and some of the challenges, etc), the different stages of processing for chocolate, and so on. He took questions as we were going, and he also asked if we had questions sometimes. He was very friendly, and very open with us about it. We kind of came away feeling like we had a little peek into a part of the way their life is growing cacao. There were many opportunities to taste the cacao at different stages of processing. I got to grind some toasted cacao beans and taste the powder. Maurissio also told us about several other things unrelated to cacao--for example, he pointed out several different interesting plants that grow there--our favorite was a little plant that faints when you touch it.

Afterwards they served us a lunch made of a few local foods that they eat. It was quite good.

The only thing that we would have liked better was if there were more chocolate products available to purchase at the end of the tour! After our tour they only had one bar of sweetened chocolate left, and some unsweetened chocolate and cacao nibs. Their main product is the beans, though, not chocolate, so that was fine. It just makes me want to get started making chocolate at home! We bought a bunch of the unsweetened chocolate and we'll make hot cocoa.

They were very professional about the tour--when he met us at the water taxi he had a sign for the tour, he pointed out good things, and it seemed like the path we took was well-planned. He had hiking sticks for us, which we were thankful to have. I wore Chaco sandals and it was kind of slippery at some places for me, but it was fine.

About babies/kids: I wore my daughter in a carrier, and she did great. I think this tour might be hard with some toddlers, because some parts of the hike are fairly steep so it would be tough to have them walk on their own but if they didn't want to be carried or worn, you definitely couldn't push a stroller for this tour. But other than that...if you can carry your baby or small kid, you'll be fine, and if your kid is big enough to walk alone (carefully), I think most kids would probably also find this interesting (since there is stuff to taste and lots to look at and the hiking keeps it all pretty active).

About luggage: We had two pieces of luggage with us plus a small cooler, and I worried about bringing it along, but it was definitely no big deal. They just put it in the back of the taxi (which was a truck for us), and brought it along, and then when we started the tour they had some guys move it into the cacao company building where the tour ends. So, it was all there when we got back, and then we carried it down back to where we met the taxi again. (He arranged the taxi, and it was included in the cost of the tour.) So, if you need to do this tour on your way to somewhere else, or if you have stuff with you, it is completely fine. I carried my purse with me, but my husband's computer was in his luggage and it was still there when we got it back. TripAdvisor asks about stroller parking, and there is plenty of space if you have a stroller with you, they can "park" it for you, but the stroller definitely wouldn't do you any good on the actual tour.

Bring water!

Thank Emily K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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