Chocolate & Chicha
Learn how chocolate is made starting from the cacao pod on the tree to eating it fondue style with strawberries and bananas!
This is a chocolate and chicha making demo done out in the jungle on the farm where the cacao pods and yuca is grown. Ecuador is known for its fine chocolate. That's probably why this demo is a favorite among our travelers!
We get to it via motor canoe up the Napo River to a little island out there in the jungle. Once there, a local women named Martha, or her daughter will show you her fields, how to harvest the yuca used for making chicha (a traditional fermented Kichwa drink) and how it is prepared. Then she will share a little of the already fermented product with you. Of course, you don't have to try it. In case you have some idea about how this is usually made, Martha makes it with a little bit of sweet potato instead of spit. No worries! After the chicha demonstration, you’ll see how chocolate is made, all the way from breaking open the cacao pod to tasting the final product, which she makes into what is most likely the most delicious fondue you've ever tasted. We'll bring along strawberries and bananas for a special treat! (Drying the cacao seeds and fermenting the chicha take 1-3 days, so you won’t see those parts.)
Estimated Local Cash Needed: Nada.
What's Included: Transportation via private car or taxi and the motor canoe, the cost of the chocolate and chicha demonstration, strawberries and bananas for the chocolate fondue.
What to Bring: You will want to wear long lightweight pants and possibly use insect repellent as we will be walking around in the jungle. You should bring a rain jacket even if it doesn't look like rain! And any comfortable shoes will work. (The areas we will walk in are cleared, so rubber boots are not necessary.) Check out our What to Bring page for a more comprehensive list of suggestion for things you might want to bring when coming to this area and to Ecuador in general.
Activity Level: Light
Kid Friendly: Yes