Would you like to dive into the lush Peruvian jungle? Live with the farmers that produce your favorite chocolate and learn everything you wanted to know about cacao? Then join our origin trips to the Alto Huayabamba Valley!
Monika, a big fan of Choba Choba and supporter of our Revolution, traveled to the origins of our cacao together with another six chocolate fans. Here she tells you more about their trip this summer:
Day 1-2 | Lima
Upon arrival, we visited Lima’s historic centre with our guide Valeria, and learnt a lot about the desert city, the country, its nature and population. In particular, we visited the food market where we tried out several fresh and juicy fruits, some of which were totally unknown to me! After two very interesting days, we embarkedon the second stage of our journey to the jungle: the city of Tarapoto.
Day 3-4 | Tarapoto & Laguna Azul
We stayed two nights in Tarapoto, where we discovered the stunning Laguna Azul (blue lagoon). To get there, we traveled through lush wilderness, including rice and papaya fields, but also arid mountainous landscapes. The river crossing on the ferry was particularly spectacular. For Peruvians, food is extremely important, so it’s no surprise we were offered to eat before, during and after the fifteen-minute trip! We swam in the Laguna, walked in the wilderness and enjoyed a beautiful day.
Day 5 | On the boat to the Alto Huayabamba
Then the long-awaited day arrived: time to go to the Alto Huayabamba! Finally, we are about to meet the producers and see with our own eyes the region where the delicious Choba Choba chocolate has its origins. But first, a short stop in the small city of Juanjuí, where we were welcomed by Lindley, President of the association of cocoa producers and Choba Choba co-founder. After enjoying a delicious Ceviche (a Peruvian fish dish), we embarked on a boat and sailed upstream towards the heart of the Alto Huayabamba. It took about three and a half hours to sail up the river. During the trip, we would admire the lush wilderness, with its many of shades of green, until we reached the shores of the village Pucallpillo.
Day 6-7 | Pucallpillo
As soon as we arrived in Pucallpillo, we put on rubber boots and walked through the cocoa fields, accompanied by the Choba Choba farmers who told us all about this “gold” of the Alto Huayabamba valley. The Choba Choba co-founders in Peru gave us a very warm welcome: I felt at ease right away. Quickly, we noticed that they are full of ideas and they implemented them with tremendous energy, as shown by their impressive wooden houses on stilts that they built themselves! Before leaving for Choba Choba’s second village, Santa Rosa, we visited the new fermentation centre as well as the bio fertilizer facility. Great work indeed!
Day 8-9 | Santa Rosa
In Santa Rosa, we stayed with Oswaldo and his family. His wife Charito prepared delicious local dishes on an open fire. Here the people really live in complete harmony with nature. In Santa Rosa, we learnt a bit more about the work of the cocoa farmers, cocoa itself and the harvest, and we could even help a little in the field. During a cocoa workshop, we sampled and compared different local cocoa varieties. Their aromas couldn’t have been more diverse! And to top it all, a boat excursion into the nearby natural reserve to reach the El Breo waterfall– truly wonderful!
Day 10-12 | Return
By the end of the trip, I was completely fascinated by the extreme kindness and helpfulness of Choba Choba co-founders in the Alto Huayabamba valley. Here, the people really live by the words “choba choba” which in Quechua means “I help you, you help me”. I am very grateful to have been able to discover the project and meet the people behind Choba Choba in the Alto Huayabamba. It was with great sorrow that I embarked on my journey back home. Fortunately, delicious Choba Choba chocolate awaited me in Switzerland, which I now enjoy with even more respect and pleasure. To everyone who can’t live without smartphones, fast food and highways, I wouldn’t advise to go on such a journey. 😉 But for genuine chocolate lovers who wish to discover the life of devoted villagers and the idyllic setting in which Nativo cocoa beans are harvested, this trip is an absolute must!
Come with us to the Alto Huayabamba!
Are you up for an exceptional adventure? You’d like to dive into the Peruvian jungle and learn everything about cacao from the best experts on the ground? Just write us here.