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Chocolate Travel Programs in 2008 and 2009

From: Clay G.
Sent on: Saturday, March 1, 2008 1:03 PM

In addition to organizing Meetups here in the NY Metro area, I also work with a specialist travel agency in Phoenix, AZ that creates themed travel programs for people who are passionate about chocolate, coffee, and tea.

My first trip with them is to Belize May 22-29, 2008. The trip is timed to coincide with the 2nd Annual Toledo Cacao Festival. The Toledo Cacao Growers Association is the first cocoa co-op in the world to earn both organic and Fairtrade certification and is the source of most of the beans used to make Green & Black's Maya Gold products. We will be staying at fabulous Cottontree eco-lodge and the trip is packed full of cacao and chocolate learning adventures, tasting and other classes, and leisure opportunities that include visiting Mayan ruins and snorkeling on Snake Caye - a small island in a protected reserve in the bay of Honduras. There are still one or two double cabanas available for this trip.

The second trip is July 16-27, 2008 to Switzerland, France, and Belgium. I already have confirmed plans for a tour of the Felchlin factory, truffle-making classes, a special private tasting with Stephane Bonnat who will also tour his workshop for us, breakfast and a tour at Bernachon, and a meeting with Francois Pralus. And that's just the first half of the trip! From Lyon we will go to Paris where I will lead chocolate walking tours of both the left and right banks and from there it's off to Bruges.

This trip is ultra-luxe. One of the places we will be staying is the Hotel George Cinq in Paris. Normally, a 3-night stay there would cost you about 20% of what you'd spend on the entire trip, so even though the US$ is losing ground against the Euro our prices are locked in so not only will this be a fabulous trip -- it's a great bargain, too.

RESERVATION DEADLINES FOR BOTH OF THESE TRIPS ARE FAST APPROACHING! If you are interested in either or them, please visit The Chocolate Lovers Travel Club web site at:

for information about how to reserve your place on these trips -- and future trips. Registration is required but it's absolutely free.

:: Clay


In October 2008 we're planning a trip to Hawaii that will be of interest to both chocolate and coffee fans as we are planning to visit cacao plantations on Oahu and the big island, a Kona coffee plantation, a vanilla farm, and more.

2009 plans already include:

  • A two-week Caribbean cruise with stops in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Trinidad where I am organizing tours of cacao plantations and processing facilities. Onboard the ship there will be a schedule of classes as well as other chocolate-y activities.
  • A trip on the Orient Express featuring chocolate in Venice, Prague, and London. Side trips include a visit to the region where the Italian sparking wine, Prosecco, is made. Heck, we might even spend part of an evening in Venice at the legendary Harry's Bar and Grill, home of the Bellini and favorite Hemingway hangout.
  • A trip to the Soconusco region of Chiapas State in Mexico for a "hands-on" visit to a cacao co-operative where you will have a chance to really learn the ins and outs of cacao and what it means to be a cacao farmer. Helping us with that trip are a world-renowned cultural anthropologist who will provide insight into the uses of cacao throughout Mesoamerica and the only chocolate maker outside of Mexico using their beans.

When you go to The Chocolate Lovers Travel Club and sign up you will automatically be put on a mailing list that will keep you informed of these trips and other club activities.

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