Departing from the shopping center next to the PTP airport, your driver will take you to the west wing of the butterfly island. Separated from Grande-Terre by a narrow sea channel called la Rivière Salée, the Basse-Terre region is a cluster of hiking trails, verdant mountains, natural hot springs, fabulous rain forests, rivers and waterfalls. Much of the interior is protected within Guadeloupe National Park, a biosphere reserve with an extraordinary biodiversity, while the beaches around the island offer an incredible variety of sand colours depending on how close they are to the volcano. Basse-Terre is also widely marked by history and culture; it is home to archaeological sites such as Le Parc des Roches Gravées, Hindu temples and Catholic churches as well as military forts. It is definitely a true paradise for those who love the outdoors, trekking and canyoning. After taking the route de la traversée which cuts through Basse-Terre from East to West you’ll arrive in Pointe-Noire, where your host awaits.
In the heart of a cocoa plantation in Pointe-Noire on the island of Basse-Terre, you will learn the full magic of working with cocoa from raw beans to actual chocolate. You will learn about the history and see the different stages of the process: from harvesting the pod, fermentation and drying, cocoa beans at this stage are knowed as a currency. From this point on you will be part of the process, apron and hat on! We’ll be roasting the beans to enhance the flavor, pealing and crushing it until it turns into cocoa paste. Some tasting along the process like the ancestral Aztec drink: the Xocoalt to the traditional Caribbean hot chocolate. Then you will become the chocolatier and make your own chocolate bar: fruits, nuts, salt, spices to choose to make it at your own taste. Let it solidify, during that time a visit on the plantation, look out for the tiny cocoa flowers and the pod in the trees. Your chocolate bar is now ready, enjoy it!
In the afternoon, your guide will take you to a river so you can bath while your chocolate bar is solidifying. You will refuel with a local lunch served by the Caribbean Sea. An afternoon of discovery is on schedule, several choices will be available depending on your mood: swimming with the turtles in The Cousteau Marine Reserve and meeting the underwater world, hiking to a waterfall into the tropical forest, visiting a fortification in Le Gosier, or maybe visiting a vanilla plantation or a rum factory to conclude the day with more tasting.
What you can expect
• Learn how to develop flavors and qualities from each stage of the cocoa bean processing
• Learn how to combine ingredients to create desired chocolate recipes
• Make a personalized signature chocolate blend to your own recipe
• Go home with recipes and your newly found chocolate knowledge