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The Sweet History of Chocolate and Cacao in Costa Rica: A Flavorful Journey in La Fortuna

Don Olivo Cacao plantation

Costa Rica, a land renowned for its biodiversity and stunning landscapes like the Arenal Volcano, also boasts a rich history in the cultivation and production of cacao and chocolate. From the times of ancient civilizations to the present day, cacao has been a significant part of Costa Rican culture, especially in regions like La Fortuna. Companies like Don Olivo Chocolate Tour offer immersive experiences in La Fortuna, allowing visitors to delve into the world of chocolate, from bean to bar, showcasing interesting tours and activities in La Fortuna.

Origins of Cacao in Costa Rica

In the lush landscapes surrounding the Arenal Volcano, cacao, the pivotal ingredient of chocolate, has been cultivated since the era of the ancient indigenous people. These native communities revered cacao beans, utilizing them as food, currency, and offerings in spiritual ceremonies.

The Colonial Era

With the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, cacao became a prominent export product, especially from regions like La Fortuna. The Spaniards, enchanted by the unique taste and properties of cacao, introduced it to Europe, where it underwent various refinements and chocolate gained widespread popularity.

The Renaissance of Cacao

In the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, the cacao industry in Costa Rica encountered numerous challenges in the 19th and 20th centuries, including diseases and competition from other crops. However, there has been a resurgence in cacao production in recent decades, with a focus on quality and sustainability. Local producers and family-run businesses, like Don Olivo, are spearheading this revival, emphasizing sustainable farming practices and crafting premium chocolates.

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour: A Must-Do Experience in La Fortuna

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna is a must-do activity, offering visitors an unforgettable journey through the chocolate production process, from the cultivation of cacao to the creation of exquisite chocolate bars. If you are wondering what to do in La Fortuna, taking this tour is a must! Visitors can learn about the history of cacao in Costa Rica, savor artisanal chocolates, and witness the passion and dedication infused in each chocolate bar.


Exploring the history of chocolate and cacao in Costa Rica, particularly in areas around the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna, is as enriching as the flavor of the chocolate itself. From its ancient roots to modern innovations, cacao remains a symbol of Costa Rican culture and tradition. For those looking for tours and activities in La Fortuna, companies like Don Olivo Chocolate Tour are a gateway to this sweet history, allowing chocolate aficionados to experience the authentic taste of Costa Rican chocolate.