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Dandelion Chocolate Brazil Trip
Brazil Trip
Dominican Republic trip

Zorzal Estate, Dominican Republic

Coming 2024

Price

$2,500 / PERSON

Duration

6 DAYS

Knowledge Level

This trip is process-heavy, with in-depth information on fermentation and more.

Activity Level

This trip involves hours of hilly hiking through muddy terrain, in hot weather.

Comfort Level

Guests will stay on a nature reserve for one night.

Price

$2,500 / PERSON

Duration

7 DAYS

Knowledge Level

This trip is process-heavy with in-depth information into fermentation and more.

Activity Level

Trip involves hours of hilly hiking in muddy terrain and hot weather.

Comfort Level

Guests will be staying on a nature reserve for one night.

Trip Overview

Because cocoa in the Dominican Republic is fermented centrally instead of at individual farms, this trip dives deep into the process by visiting two fermentaries. The trip also includes a day of hiking to a cacao farm and certified bird sanctuary, where guests will learn all about cacao genetics, taste varieties of cocoa, enjoy a campfire, and spend the night on the reserve. Additional activities include visiting farms and chocolate makers, birdwatching, sampling local Dominican food and culture, and more.

This trip is six days long, including arrival and departure days. Minimum age to participate is 16 years old.

  • Spend the night at a bird sanctuary and cacao farm
  • Visit a local chocolate maker
  • Taste a variety of cocoa fresh off the farm
  • Visit two fermentaries and two cacao farms
  • Learn about cacao genetics and cultivation techniques
  • Enjoy a free day of canyoning, swimming, deep-sea fishing, surfing, and more (not included in the trip price)
  • Taste Dominican food and experience local culture
Guests walking through the Dominican Republic forest

The Price of This Trip Includes


  • Lodging for the extent of the trip at our beach-front condos where each guest will stay in their own room.
  • Transportation between scheduled activities
  • Meals and any planned cultural excursions. We will accommodate any food allergies or restrictions.
  • Guests are responsible for their own flight in and out of Puerto Plato International Airport, as well as any activities they decide to do on their free day.

A Preview of Your Day to Day

Schedule Subject to Change

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL


Fly into Puerto Plata, settle into your room, meet everyone, and get an overview of the agenda for the week.

DAY 2 - ZORZAL FERMENTORIUM & RESERVA ZORZAL


We start early with a 2-hour drive down to visit Zorzal’s Fermentorium where you’ll see how cocoa is fermented and dried. After stopping for lunch in the back of a local chef’s home, we’ll drive to visit Reserva Zorzal, where we’ll learn about the private reserve and its protected area policy.

DAY 3 - RESERVA ZORZAL


We’ll spend the first part of our day continuing to explore and learn about Reserve Zorzal. Then we’ll drive back to our lodgings for the evening to settle into our cozy beds.

DAY 4 - 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 5 - TOUR A COOPERATIVE


On our last full day, we will tour Conocado, one of the largest cacao cooperatives in the Dominican Republic, and learn about fair trade and other environmental certifications.

DAY 6 - 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.

Meet Your Hosts

Greg D’Alesandre

Chocolate Sourcerer at Dandelion Chocolate

Stephen Durfee

Chocolate Curriculum Director at Dandelion Chocolate

Cacao beans being processed

Why the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is one of the top 10 cocoa producers on the globe, producing the largest amount of organic certified cocoa in the world. Because the cocoa is centrally fermented rather than farm-fermented, guests will get to see this large-scale fermentation process and learn how it creates a higher quality of cocoa.

Dandelion first starting sourcing from Zorzal Estate in 2013 and has been going on origin trips to this location since 2016. On your trip, you’ll get to meet Chuck Kerchner, the man behind Zorzal Cacao, as well as other chocolate makers and farmers who help create the chocolate you love.

Other Origin Trips

Hawaii

Month 5-11, 2023

Visit Hawaiian cacao farms and chocolate makers, sample cacao and tropical fruit at its place of origin, and experience local Hawaiian culture.

Hawaii Trip

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