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Experience the Source of Chocolate in Ecuador’s Amazon

Quito-based tour operator partners with Pacari Chocolate to fashion travel itinerary to please chocoholics, culture vultures and eco tourists alike

As hard as it is to imagine, once upon a time there was no such thing as chocolate. Then a cacao tree sprouted somewhere in the Ecuadoran Amazon, providing the essential ingredient for what would eventually become the world’s favorite treat. Step back to where it all began and see just how far chocolate has come south of the equator with Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon, a fascinating and multi-faceted new tour from Metropolitan Touring.

Source of Chocolate © Metropolitan Touring

With its focus on hands-on cultural immersions, Metropolitan Touring has teamed with award-winning Pacari Chocolate, the family-owned creator of the country’s highest-quality organic chocolate, to fashion a getaway to please chocoholics, culture vultures and eco tourists alike. Perfect for two or more travelers, the two-day/one-night tour led by guide and driver offers bird watching, cacao farming, thermal springs, and accommodation at a magical rainforest lodge. It all unfolds near the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site city and a rewarding destination in its own right.

On the Chocolate Trail
Though previously believed to have originated in Central America, the cacao tree was recently proven to have taken root in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon tour takes travelers there and back, climbing high into the Andes before descending into the “green mansions” of the rainforest.

Spot myriad species of humming birds and other creatures before spending a pleasant day in the small town of Archidona and the community of Santa Rita, home to the Pacari Agro Tourism Project, developed by the chocolatiers of Pacari to purchase cacao at fair trade prices and provide technical assistance to farmers. Travelers on tour get to jump right in, learning about harvesting and production of cacao, creating chocolate paste with local ingredients, and sampling chocolate – with some to take home – throughout the day. A hike highlights the history of the region, with ancestral traces of native cultures that once inhabited the Sacred Valley of the Anaconda.

The journey continues in the jungle town of Misahualli, with accommodation at the remarkable Hamadayade Lodge with swimming pool, butterfly garden, bird watching, and high montane forest all around. The route back includes a stop at Termas de Papallacta Resort and Spa, the finest of its kind in Ecuador, with beautiful natural volcanic thermal pools, lunch and spa treatments (at extra cost) for travelers to enjoy.

Metropolitan Touring’s Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon is available daily from Quito from February to July only. Order of itinerary may vary depending on weather conditions.

For more information on booking Journey to the Source of Chocolate in the Amazon through Metropolitan Touring, please call 888-572-0166 or visit www.metropolitan-touring.com