June 2 – June 9, 2019
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Join Dandelion for a week exploring the Dominican Republic while learning how cacao is grown and processed! We will be staying on the northern coast (a.k.a. silver coast) of the Dominican Republic, as well as camping at Reserve Zorzal for 1-2 nights. This trip is designed for people looking to learn more about cacao and have a fun vacation. Since our home base is on the beach there will be plenty of opportunities to swim and enjoy the touristy side of Dominican Republic when we’re not delving into cacao.
Dandelion trips often include a combination of chocolate makers, chocolate lovers, and typically an agriculture enthusiast or two. The goal of this trip, as with all trips, is to understand how cacao is grown, but this trip will highlight a larger scale of fermentation and drying while also learning about conservation efforts at the Reserva Zorzal bird sanctuary.
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Below is a sample agenda from a previous trip which is subject to change but gives you a sense as to what you’ll be doing. All of the scheduled activities are optional and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Dominican Republic. For instance, Cabarete is the windsurfing capital of the world and there are many outdoor activities such as swimming, horseback riding, and caving in the vicinity. Or simply sit back in a hammock and enjoy viewing the ocean waves or listening to birds in the rainforest of Reserva Zorzal.
Day 1 – WELCOME
Fly into Puerto Plata, settle into your room, meet everyone, and get an overview of the agenda for the week.
Day 2 – TOUR A MOTHER’S CLUB CHOCOLATE MAKING FACTORY AND KAYAKING
Visit and work with a local chocolate factory owned by a mother’s club, discuss community-based development efforts, and engage in a Dominican cultural activity. Short “tranquillo” (calm) Kayak to the mouth of the river to get used to a different time zone and to enjoy a bit of fun getting to know the rest of the guests in our group.
Days 3 & 4 – RESERVE ZORZAL
Visit Reserva Zorzal, a 1,019 acre bird sanctuary, tour the cacao farm, and post-harvest fermenting and drying facility. Harvest some cocoa pods! Learn about the private reserve and its protected area policy, take a bird tour with local ornithologists, visit with local farmers, and participate in an annual harvest dance and celebration!
Day 5 – FREE DAY
This is a day to do whatever you’d like to do: go kite surfing, surfing, caving or kayaking! Or just relax and read a book?
Day 6 – CENTRALIZED FERMENTARIES
We will visit two larger fermenting and drying centers. First, we’ll go to one of the largest fermenting and drying facilities in the Dominican Republic. Then, we’ll head to OKO Caribe, a medium scale fermenting and drying facility and one of the main suppliers of Dominican specialty cacao to craft chocolate makers.
Day 7 – A COOPERATIVE AND A CHOCOLATE FACTORY
On our last full day, we will tour one of the largest cacao cooperatives in the Dominican Republic and learn about fair trade and other environmental certifications. We will also tour a local chocolate factory!
Day 8 – DEPARTURE
On the last day, we’ll depart from the Dominican Republic with an understanding of cacao production and a sunkissed glow from spending a week in the tropics.
Pricing and Accommodations
The below rates include ground transportation in the Dominican Republic, accommodations, all meals starting with dinner on arrival night and ending with breakfast on departure day, all chocolate sourcing, chocolate making, and chocolate tasting activities, all taxes, and service charges (gratuity is included).
We will be based out of the north coast in the beach town of Cabarete, however, we will spend one night at Reserva Zorzal, a 1,019-acre cacao farm and bird sanctuary. All options in Cabarete are within 250 feet to the beach, shared pool, garden view, balcony or patio, AC, and wifi.
Single occupancy is a studio with balcony, queen/king bed, and kitchenette. Double occupancy has a kitchen, two bedrooms with queen beds and each bedroom has its own full bath. Triple/quadruple/dorm housing includes 2-3 bedrooms with two full bathrooms, pull out couches or futons, and kitchen. Dorm/shared housing will include a bedroom with two twin beds so each person has their own bed but will be sharing a room.
$2,700 per person based on single occupancy
$2,400 per person based on double occupancy
$2,100 per person for triple/quadruple/shared housing
1. All travel to/from the Dominican Republic. Guests are responsible for getting themselves to Puerto Plata Airport in the Dominican Republic where they will be greeted and transferred to our lodging.
2. Alcoholic Beverages.
3. Additional Excursions. The north coast of the Dominican Republic offers excursions, such as kite surfing, surfing, caving, kayaking, zip lines, deep sea fishing, among others, for an additional cost. There is a free day and you may choose to do excursions in lieu of the planned group activities.