Medellin Cacao Farm Tour
With a backdrop of mountains and waterfalls we'll meet a community of farmers who suffered under Colombia's internal conflict, displaced from their land as armed groups took over to grow illegal crops.
We'll learn how a United Nations project has helped to transform their lives through growing cacao, thus sowing a bright new future.
More than a tour about chocolate this is a genuine story of hope in post-conflict Colombia. Your attendance gernerously supports the community we visit.
Why Take This Tour?
This is our most non-touristy experience. We venture into rural Colombia where very few tourists have gone before. Wear sturdy shoes and bring your swimsuit, it's an adventure.
Enjoy an authentic local experience
Whilst coffee production is still a fairly new industry in Latin America, chocolate production on the other hand can be traced back through the centuries. Pre-Colombian indigenous tribes used cacao seeds as a form of currency to trade with other tribes and chocolate was even considered to be holy at one time.
The Cacao Farm Tour takes you deep into the Eastern highlands of Antioquia to explore a part of Colombian culture that very few visitors have the opportunity to experience. Until recently, many cacao farms in this area were used to cultivate coca leaves for the drug trade - a far more lucrative business than growing corn or raising cattle. Life was difficult for the small farmers, many of whom were controlled by illegal armed groups and lived in fear.
Fortunately, in 2010, a United Nations project facilitated the process of converting farms from growing coca to growing cacao. It may be just one letter difference, but what a difference it’s made to the life and livelihood of these farmers.
Today the small artisanal chocolate production that comes from these farms is coordinated almost entirely by the local women of the town. As well as producing Colombia’s finest cocoa, thanks to sustainable cultivation techniques the producers are also helping support the conservation of endemic tropical forests and local wildlife.
On the Cacao Farm Tour you’ll enjoy a special invitation to visit the local chocolate cooperative to learn everything there is to know about cacao cultivation and chocolate production. Prepare to get stuck in as you join the ladies of the cooperative; together you’ll produce real chocolate destined for sale at local markets.
Of course, a visit to the cocoa cooperative wouldn’t be complete without tasting real, pure, unadulterated chocolate in Colombian's favorite format, a hot chocolate drink – direct from the farm with no artificial additives. It’s no surprise that this is everyone’s favorite part of the tour.
Please note: This is a very rural experience and as such you have to be prepared for some medium level hiking through natural terrain, hill climbs & descents and perhaps getting a little dirty along the way. The tour ends at a local river where you have the opportunity to enjoy lunch sitting on the rocks followed by a refreshing dip (weather permitting). We recommend the tour for those young at heart and looking for a more adventurous experience in the countryside in a region unknown to general tourism.
At Toucan Tours sustainable tourism is important to us which is why we're pleased to promote this local community project. Your attendance supports both the cacao farmers and the women's cooperative.
More Chocolatey Details
- Enjoy the beautiful Eastern Highlands of Antioquia
- Get closer to Colombia’s rural soul
- Support a community-based project and protect the fragile eco-system
- Make your own Colombian chocolate
- Enjoy delicious typical Colombian food
- Support local Chocolate farmers
- Duration: 1 day
- Departure point: Toucan Tours
- Transportation time: Approx. 1.5 – 2 hours each way
- Hiking details: Farm is located on a hill. A medium level trek up & down the hill is required
- Tours operate with a minimum of 6 people
- Bring sunscreen, hiking shoes, your passport (or a copy), insect repellent, a waterproof jacket or umbrella
- Travel insurance (for the tour)
- Bilingual guide
- Transportation from Toucan Tours
- Enjoy delicious typical Colombian food
What’s Not Included?
- Personal expenses
- Money to buy souvenirs
- Activities not mentioned in the description