In Costa Rica Best Chocolate we want to do conservation through sustainable tourism, which is why we present a completely authentic and responsible service on the rational exploitation of Costa Rica´s forests, transmitting knowledge about nature and sharing the secrets of cocoa production for domestic use in Sarapiqui´s rural zones.
In 2014 two friends get met through the exchange of ideas, both agreed that we wanted to have better opportunities and we wanted to make conservation more intensively, Geiner Huertas and Rodolfo Alvarado have served as tourism guides in Sarapiqui, being naturalists has allowed them to have a sense of environmental problems affecting wildlife, plus an understanding of how this affects the human´s life too.
We want visitors to have a notion that what affects animals also affects us and through interpretation, touching deep people without them knowing to love nature. Visitors will fall in love without realizing account at the end of our tour, there is no way that you as a visitor not cooperate with our mission, because his visit may already know that some of your money is reinvested in conservation, keeping visitors happy is not so difficult, yet what we seek is to play within them with a conservation message which they are part and only for making your tour with us.
With the support of both families have begun a project that we hope will be maintained through the years as a place of learning and conservation experiences. Installations have been made by ourselves, so therefore, the structures are well suited and materials are the result of the use of fallen trees, allowing us to maintain a status of sustainability.
At the end of the XVIIl century Mr. Francisco Salicetti great-grandfather of the present owner family farm, came to Sarapiqui, to establish plantations of cocoa, this inspires us to make this project as a part of a visionary objective, on that time arrival to Sarapiqui was a matter of two or three days from the capital, Francisco S. was the founder of Chilamate´s Village, according to the first settlers the name of this Village is because a Gigantic Chilamate tree used by the hunters and travelers as a landmark.
In the early 80's Mr. Isaias Alvarado D. began planting cacao, in those years he served as head of maintenance at the renowned La Selva Biological Organization for Tropical Studies station, so in his spare time he was devoted to the cocoa plantation, the same that started while the government of CR was promoting cocoa extensively, which a regent of the Ministry of Agriculture advised him on some things at that time they advised him to cut 5 hectares of forest to turn them into cocoa plantation, to which Mr. Isaiah said: "we will try first with one hectare and if it is then we'll see, but do not want to cut all the forest" a quite successful response since for those years there was a large involvement of cocoa plantations in Costa Rica causing major losses to farmers, since the late 80s the plantation was abandoned, however this abandonment caused an effect of forest regeneration on the part of cocoa creating a very interesting habitat that meets very specific conditions such as forest and plantation, becoming a unique niche by high biodiversity represented in Sarapiqui, in February 2016 with the initiative to strengthen the project chocolate tour Mr. Domingo Huertas H ((Mingo) Geiner´s Father), began servicing cocoa trees so that the natural habitat is maintained, with minimal impact on native species, this has generated very positive results in terms of cocoa production in our plantation, every two weeks performs the harvest and dry cocoa is produced, we are in the process of measuring output to generate data and at some near future invite some biologists to monitoring the impact on the habitat and promote cocoa plantations with forest, it would be a totally friendly production with nature.
One of our main objectives is to give a hand to the local community, we are taking advantage of forests so we must be reciprocal to them, that is why we welcome visitors to the community and the Sarapiqui´s student population to share with them about the importance of conservation and by this way invite them to be Sarapiqui´s conservation key players.
Our tours of Chocolate are made with products from our plantation and other purchased cocoa Sarapiqui´s producers, this does not mean that cocoa is produced on large extensions, rather they are neighbors who have no more than 500 plants in their backyards and we are pleased to support those families, they mostly provide sustenance to their homes in the revenue generated from the Cacao sales.
We work in a 5-hectare Reserve 1 hectare of cocoa plantation, is also adjacent private reserve of over 600 hectares.
Takes you on a journey through time to discover the story behind the drink of the gods, how was it prepared by ancestor, how is it been modified through time, how is it prepared today, take your palate by the characteristic taste of chocolate and cocoa, then through the cacao plantation and learn from this plant that has impact a portion of the global economy through the history. The chocolate tour is an educational and enjoyable activity, for all ages, this two hours will start in the 2 acres of cacao plantation, learn all about the cacao plant, flowers and pollination, and then to the Cacao Rancho in the middle of the RESERVA CURARE (Private protected forest), the Rancho has room for 50 sitting people, it is only 150 meters from the route 4 at Chilamate, starting to learn the history of cacao you will have the chance to see, taste, drink and feel all the stages of the chocolate process, expert naturalist guides and a person in charge of the cooking and manipulation of the edible samples of chocolate.
Natural history walks, we have professional guides with extensive experience, who develop an interpretation on forests and all the secrets of nature, identifying and describing the most striking features of the flora and fauna, mammals, birds, insects, amphibians and many reptiles.
You cannot miss the experience of being in the woods and watch the nightlife forest, the sounds of the night inundate your imagination and become reality to find insects, frogs, mammals and reptiles.