Love chocolate but not really sure where it comes from or how it's even made?
Or perhaps you see it, as I do, as a sacred food, a food worthy of ceremony and pause, and would like to deepen your connection to the spirit of the plant?
In this once-in-a-lifetime adventure we'll travel to one of the cacao growing regions of Peru, Quillabamba, and spend 2 days on one of the most spectacular cacao farms I've ever visited. The farmer is both a master agronomist and cultivator, and grows many varieties of cacao on his 40+ year old farm, including a very rare and native variety called Chuncho Blanco. His farm is also saturated with other crops - a wide range of citrus (over 20 mind-boggling varieties!), native fruits, and palta (avocado). After walking his farm, learning about his trees, cultivation, and the art of growing cacao, we will have the opportunity to observe the post-harvest processing which includes fermentation and sun drying, followed by processes that start to bring us closer to our beloved chocolate...roasting, peeling and grinding! To further deepen our connection to this sacred plant/food, we'll be spending the night on his farm, enjoying meals with his family, and soaking in the beautiful energy of the jungle. After filling ourselves with the energy and knowledge of cacao, we'll begin our drive towards Machu Picchu, walking the last portion of the Inca Trail (approximately a 3 hour, all-levels hike through beautiful jungle terrain), spend the night in Aguas Caliente (with a small cacao ceremony/offering), and then wake up early the next morning for Machu Picchu. After several hours (guided & non) at this sacred Incan citadel, we will take the train & bus back to Cusco.
Note: ALL hotel rooms will be double occupancy (in Quillabamba and Aguas Calientes). Housing at the cacao farm is communal, but very comfortable and cozy.
Travel by shuttle over the beautiful Andes deep into the high jungle region of Quillabamba (approx a 5 hour drive)
Spend the night in Quillabamba