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“so worth it!”

Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Caribeans is the origninal bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Puerto Viejo. Chocolate is made right in the cacao forest. Tours of our factory include: all-you-can-eat gourmet chocolate, the chocolate forest hike, and the "see how we do it" factory tour. Regular tours are Monday 10 am, Tuesday10 & 2, Thursday 10 & 2, Friday2 pm, and Saturday 2 pm. No reservations required. We also have a full service coffee and chocolate shop. Our coffee is fresh roasted farm to cup and delicious. Our chocolate is all hand made and organic. Fresh smoothies, sandwiches, ice cream and much more.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Reviewed September 9, 2013

paul is such a great guy and his initiative is so sincere. along w/his partners, he's cobbled together a farm-to-factory artisanal chocolate company. he uses local talent, builds their capacity, and pays them fair wages. he also uses local products and doesn't add any extra/unnecessary additives. it's such a beautiful process and he's wonderful about explaining it all.

a word: (1) take your walking shoes/water bottle/bug spray; (2) if you have disabled/really small children, you may want to consider having him take you up via car. you don't really have to walk (but it is loads of fun to walk through the plantation) to get up to the top where the processing takes place and the views are the best.

Thank KimberlyP17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 - 352 of 497 reviews

Reviewed August 25, 2013

A 3 hour tour learning the fine art of chocolate from opening the pod, chewing the pulp around the seed (some of us ate the seed too!) and a good hike up the hill through the cocao farm lush with plants and wildlife! What a process they've refined to produce some incredible chocolate. At the top of the mountain, the guide and his wife (sorry, cannot remember his name) had us sample several different chocolates, chocolate cocao and then samplings of chocolate paired with different spices and herbs! (kinda like a wine and food pairing!) He ended with showing us how the actual process worked in his rather primitive and humble workshop! Great tour and we did bring chocolate back with us! Highly recommend!

Thank Lynda E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Paul's tour was awesome. If you wanted a great view of the area, the hike alone that you go on to overlook the water and the farm was awesome. You can really tell when someone is passionate about their business and business model, Paul is definitely passionate about bean to bar chocolate. He does a great job of explaining how they go from bean to bar and my wife and I truly have a newfound appreciation of chocolate because of this experience.

The tastings of chocolate were excellent, the descriptions of different flavors were spot on. Great visit!

Thank bmur09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Paul’s Caribeans tour was one of the top highlights of our trip to Costa Rica. Living in San Francisco, we’ve been privileged to see many factory tours that showcase the chocolate making process after the beans are procured but we’d never seen a true “Beans to Bar” process until meeting Paul. His passion for chocolate, the environment & his community (in Puerto Viejo and the artisan chocolate industry) really stand out & we left there w/ a feeling of – wow!

Behind an unassuming, delicious coffee / café façade, you’ll find a chocolate “humidor” & a whole forest where the magic happens. Paul provides a fantastic history of the chocolate trade, the chocolate route through Costa Rica, how the various indigenous peoples & conquerors alike influenced this trade & how people are continuing to fight & lobby for Fair Trade in Cacao. Then bringing it to a micro-localized & personal level, he explains how he took an abandoned & neglected cacao forest & brought it back to bean-producing life; how the community in Puerto Viejo all work together to share best practices & help each other get better & better; while we’re walking through the forest up to his house with an incredible ocean view, we’re treated to sounds of Howler Monkeys, sights of Red Tree Frogs & various Spiders & let’s not forget the Cacao trees, nestled among the Mango, Avocado, & other Secondary Rainforest trees….this is no typical plantation! You won’t see lines & lines of trees waiting to be harvested. This is true forest treasure to be hunted

And then we sample…..

Like a wine tasting flight, there are similarities in this tasting order. It was absolutely amazing how even the micro-climates within Puerto Viejo affect the chocolate beans – as we tasted directly off the pod – & the resulting chocolate bars…..we had *never* tasted this level of diversity from chocolates whose only ingredients were chocolate & sugar. Sure you can find organic ingredients like mint or coffee in their other finished products, but this tour was all about the bean. Most chocolate makers can tell you the region of a country where their chocolate was sourced, but I dare them to be able to tell the exact neighborhood! You’ll get that here! Flavor tones ranging from nutty, to floral, to smoky, it was all there! After the bar tasting, we tasted a drinking chocolate that was mixed with a variety of spices (loved the cayenne) & as a finishing touch, we got plates of ingredients to mix & match our own combinations – things like garlic, tarragon, curry, pepper, rosemary…..the world (of chocolate) is yours for the making

And then we go behind the curtain…..

Walk down to the chocolate workshop itself to see how creativity pays off with small scale machines that roasts the beans, separates the nibs & melts the goodness to turn it into molded bars for us to love – and we loved this tour. Paul was incredibly passionate about chocolate. The tour was incredibly enlightening, fun, educational & we thoroughly enjoyed our 3 hrs here! Caribeans is a destination experience you’ll treasure!

1  Thank wanderlust s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

After a three week trip that spanned Panamá and Costa Rica, the Caribeans Chocolate tour was one of the highlights, and probably something I'll be talking about for years to come. DEFINITELY worth the money for the tour. Paul is super knowledgeable, kind, and informative. His garage coffee factory is incredibly interesting. And the chocolate tasting was eye-opening. I will never think of chocolate in the same way, and I hope that Paul is able to inspire many others to do what he does.

Thank Matthew V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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