I am interested in getting feedback regarding where people want to travel over the next few years so I can start planning.
I have two programs in the works for October 2011 -
I am also considering organizing a trip to Bali.
Where else to you want to go? Would you prefer European city tours (Belgium, Spain, Italy) or are trips to cocoa-growing countries preferred? Caribbean - Grenada? South America - Ecuador/Peru?
Where do you want to go?
convenient to the cacao plantations.
I would love to visit a cocoa growing country! You have been around. Which one did you like most? My first thought is the wild beans in Bolivia. What do you think?
I have visited cacao farms in: Hawaii, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Belize, Grenada, and the Dominican Republic. Each is very different and all of them hold special memories for me so it's like trying to pick a "favorite" child.
That's one of the reasons I offer trips to different countries. It's also very important to visit more than one, as the cultural fabric in which cacao is woven is different in each country. That's one of the things I try to do in my trips - put cacao into cultural context - not just cover the mechanics of growing, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. Also, some trips are just physically easier because the tourism infrastructure is there.
If you only visit one or two farms in one country you still have an incomplete knowledge. It's one of the real reasons why I want to go to Bali as I've never visited anywhere in SE Asia ... so my knowledge is incomplete. I have a goal of visiting every cacao-growing area in the world and hope to make it to the majority of countries within each region.
I know Original Beans has a strong connection to the wild cacao of the Beni and so it would be go for you to go there at some point. I was in Bolivia twice in 2010 but I do want to get back there sooner rather than later - it's on my list.
Hello Clay. I would love to connect with you some how. I am headed to Colombia to visit farms and see the process first hand. I would so appreciate any guidance or recommendations in planning such a journey. Are you by any chance heading there yourself over the next few months?
Being Brazilian, I am partial to the northeast region of Brazil called Bahia. They've been growers for many, many years and some of them are actually part of this community.