As the chocolate industry becomes more like the wine industry, chocolate tourism is looking more like wine tourism, with trips to chocolate "regions" replacing factory tours. Here are two upcoming options in Central America, each with a few spaces left:
The Ecole Chocolat Master Chocolatier Tour of Costa Rica
April 611, 2008; $1,990$2,390
Steve DeVries (the maverick Colorado chocolate-maker who made an appearance in Mort Rosenblum's book Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light) knows a lot more about Central America than most people in the business. On this trip he's teaming up with the online cooking school Ecole Chocolat and bringing a team of adventurers on a bean-buying excursion to Costa Rica. The trip includes meetings with individual cacao farmers as well as stopovers in Costa Rica's pristine national parks.
The Chocolate Lovers Travel Club in Belize
May 2229, 2008; $2,177$2,377
Discover Chocolate author Clay Gordon has an in at the Cotton Tree Lodge, whose chocolate-making classes were written up in the New York Times. The newly minted Chocolate Lovers Travel Club is behind the itinerary, which includes kayaking and hiking, as well as a visit tour of Green and Black's organic chocolate operations in Belize's Punta Gorda. The trip also coincides with the annual Toledo Cacao Festival.
Photographs courtesy of Earl De Berge.
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