The food that comes in mind while thinking about Costa Rica for sure is rice and beans. Many travelers seem to forget that Costa Rica is also a great producer of cacao. Therefore some pretty fresh, pure chocolate also is fabricated here. Imagining a plantain is always connected with the picture of some boring monoculture. A working place, not more or less. The experience of the chocolate tour of the Finca Köbö will prove you wrong. The modern chocolate farm is based on the Osa Peninsula, a south-western intrepid part of the country. The peninsula is almost unknown to the majority of tourists in Costa Rica, though it is home to one the most biodiverse ecosystems of our planet. The hot and humid climate offers perfect conditions for growing cacao plants on a large scale.
Green surrounding: Conservation areas of Finca Köbö
It seems like Finca Köbö lies in the middle of nowhere, though it is less than a half hour drive away from Puerto Jimenez, the capital of the Osa. This follows from the fact that half of the Finca’s territory is dedicated to the protection of various natural ecosystems as untouched primary forests, already man-altered secondary forests and regeneration areas for once completely cut-down farming land. Biological corridors connect Finca Köbö to surrounding farms without disturbing nature and offering animals safe ways to cross.
Sweet experience: Chocolate tours at Finca Köbö
Of course, the centerpiece is the cacao plantation. The employees of the Finca offer daily tours throughout the tropical crop. Staying guests of the Finca as well as joining tourists group are invited to experience the marvelous manufacturing process of chocolate.
The guides introduce you to the history and culture of growing cacao. Reaching back to the Mayas, the indigenous folk already used cacao to produce some liquor. You will get information about the origin of the cacao tree, the history and the first contact with Europeans.
But it is not only all about cacao and chocolate
Many flowers, plants and fruit plants are growing around the heart of the plantation. On the one hand the staff of Finca Köbö believes in the conservation of the ecological system, on the other hand the diverse vegetation protects the cacao for being eaten-up by the monkeys.This is why fifteen kinds of bananas surround the cacao plantation area.
It does not meet the animals taste only. During the tour there are several stops to taste some starfruits, pineapples, bananas and many more. The availability of all fruits depend on the season of course. There is like nothing better than fresh fruits directly eaten from the tree.
Always stay alert: You might catch a glimpse of some animals strolling through their territory. Just like this fiery-billed aracari, a close relative of the toucan.
The journey of the dark, delicious gold
Nonetheless, the focus of the tour lies on the various steps of making good chocolate. You will discover plants with ripe fruits and taste what the fresh beans taste like with no fermentation process started. You will observe the drying area and observe the crop in different drying phases. The last step is the roasting of the beans and the transformation into pure chocolate. Experience yourself what 100 percent cacao chocolate without added sugar can taste like. In fact, Finca Köbö is known for its pure taste. Even after the manufacturing process the chocolate of the Finca contains 95 percent of cacao.
The highlight of each tour is the chocolate buffet at the end. Including fondue, fresh organic fruits and homemade chocolate cake. There is nothing better than small dessert in the middle of the day to digest all the new information.
Lodging at Finca Köbö
Not only for the tour, this remote place is a beautiful place to stay. The staff of Finca Köbö takes care of a beautiful wooden lodge surrounded by untamed tropical forest. The buildings consist of two floors. The living room on the ground floor invites you to stay and relax with its cozy furniture and hammocks.
The sleeping facilities are located on the upper floor. Though the furniture is quite simple but comfortable. You realize that you do not seem to need much when you can just sit on your veranda listening to the jungle instead of watching TV. Fans and mosquito nets belong to the standard equipment of each room. With no glass in your windows you can enjoy the sounds of the rainforest during your sleep after a long hot shower in the bathroom.
The restaurant offers a fresh and fruity breakfast and a typical Costa Rican dinner. All fruits and vegetables come from organic farms or the own garden of the plantation.The fish and meat comes directly from local suppliers of the Osa.