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Cacao Farms in Puerto Rico

For a hands-on experience and to learn more about the process of what it takes to produce chocolate, check out our list of cacao plantation tours in PR.

Before there was coffee and sugarcane in Puerto Rico, there was cacao! Puerto Rican chocolate is now considered some of the best in the world. Centuries ago there were large plantations of cacao trees. The Cacao industry died off in the 17th century most likely due to a series of hurricanes that took place in the 1700’s. Even as the island recovered, the resurgence of cacao did not, due to the cheaper labor practices in Africa where much of the commercial cacao in the world is grown. 

The climate in Puerto Rico is perfectly suited for the cacao plant. You can still find it growing wild in the mountains, remnants of old plantations. The cacao industry has seen a revitalization by small farmers in the last 10 years. The largest producer of cacao and chocolate on the island is Cortés which is known for their famous chocolate bars. You can sample their goods at Chocobar Cortés locations in Viejo San Juan or Condado.

For a hands-on experience and to learn more about the process of growing cacao and what it takes to produce chocolate, you’ll want to visit one of the cacao farms on the island. It is fascinating as there are many steps that go into producing a successful crop. 

The cacao flowers must be pollinated by insects and less than 10% of the flowers develop into cacao pods. There are several varieties of cacao that come from other regions in the Caribbean, with varying levels of bitterness and sweetness. The distinctive red, yellow or gold cacao pods grow directly from the trunk or branch of the small trees. Once the football-like pod is ripe, it must be opened and the pulpy seeds removed. The seeds are dried and fermented. Fermentation takes about 36-72 hours. Along with fermentation, roasting is necessary to develop the cacao flavor. The seeds must be dried to bring the moisture content from 55% to about 7.5%. “Winnowing” is the separation of the shell or hull from the bean or cacao nib. The cacao nib is bitter on its own. To develop chocolate it must be ground into a powder or made into a liquor with sugar.

There’s definitely a science and art to the development of cacao from plant to production. Different manufacturers develop their own art into the flavor of the cacao and manufacturing of their product. Below are some great places to check out around the island.

Finca de Cacao La PruVite in Luquillo

This is a small but sweet family owned operation with amazing views from the hillside. Reservations are necessary for a tour and/or breakfast in which they offer a beautiful spread. There are pastries, hot chocolate and cacao liquor available to purchase. They give some great history on the cacao varieties that come from other islands in the Caribbean. You can taste their cacao liquor, take home some cacao to add to coffee or make your own cocoa at home by adding sweetener. You can also see the process of how the cacao is turned into chocolate. If it’s been raining wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy!

Thursday through Saturdays 9:00 AM- 8:00 PM

Reservations needed. 


Carr 988 km 12.3

Barrio Pitahaya sector Cuesta del gato, PR 00773

Hacienda Chocolat PR in Fajardo

Walking tours are available in English or Spanish for $34. You will experience amazing views on the tour while you learn about the cacao farm. Tours conclude with light snacks, hot chocolate and samplings of different grades of chocolates.

They also offer events and specialty tours such as wine or whiskey and chocolate tastings. Refer to their website or Facebook page for current events.

Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM


Carretera 984, Cam.

Los Polacos, Fajardo, PR 00738

Hacienda Jeanmarie Chocolat in Aguada

This organic farm is the only one one the west side of the island offering tours. They use sustainable conservation practices. You’ll get to see other plants they grow on their farm in addition to the cacao. They started making chocolate in 2010 after finding cacao plants growing wild on their parents property. They were one of the first to start the resurgence of cacao in Puerto Rico. They offer classes on how to graft the cacao plants. Farm tours can be scheduled by contacting them but are typically only offered on weekends. They have products available for purchase at the end of your tour. 

Saturday and Sunday only, call for schedule or to make special arrangements. 



Carretera 416 Km 8.1, Ramal los Mendez

Bo Laguna, Aguada, PR 00602

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