Costa Rica Rainforest and Chocolate Adventure

(Last Updated On: August 21, 2015)

How can you improve a tour of a tropical rainforest in one of the world’s most amazing destinations – Costa Rica? Same as any other experience – just add chocolate! Genius idea and a fantastic day trip from San Jose.

rainforest view
Rainforest view

We started our day winding our way up through the rural twisty roads leading out of San Jose, Costa Rica’s bustling capital. It doesn’t take long to get outside of the city center and find yourself enjoying the views of dormant volcanos.

During the ride we were greeted by gorgeous vistas – like this waterfall. There were many along the way.

Costa Rican Waterfall
Waterfall on the way to the rainforest

As well as these curious fuzzy natives – the Coatis, which looked like a combination between a raccoon and an anteater.

Costa Rican Coatis
Costa Rican Coati

We arrived at the Tirimbina Rainforest Center and were met by our guide. He lead us on a brief trek through the jungle, pointing out plants, birds and parades of leaf cutter ants along the way.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4QPs0A1bhk]

Reaching the center of the cacao plantation requires traversing the longest suspension bridge in Costa Rica.

Suspension Bridge
Challenging my fear of heights on the longest suspension bridge in Costa Rica

We were rewarded for our efforts with a demonstration of how chocolate is made along with a history of chocolate. As it turns out currently most cacao is actually grown in Africa due to a fungus attacking much of the crop throughout South America.

Coco Pods
Cacao Pods

Our guide demonstrated the process of making chocolate all of the way from fermenting and roasting the beans to grinding them into a paste.

ginding coco beans
grinding cacao beans by hand

We tasted every step along the way and were treated to a rustic frothy hot chocolate as well as pieces of dark and milk chocolate. Some of the purest and most delicious I have ever had.

jungle hot chocolate
rustic hot chocolate in the jungle

Our guide then took us on a hike where we searched for elusive creatures, large and small. We saw plenty of frogs and insects, but you know we were dying to see monkeys. But apparently monkeys and the like aren’t any more of a fan of the rain than we are and tend to be hard to spot when it is raining, and it was. We thought to ourselves, “Maybe next time.”

monkey ladder vine
monkey ladder vine – second best thing?

And then, on the way out of the forest, there they were, a band of about 6 howler monkeys. As a bonus we also spotted 2 sloths high up in the trees.

howler monkeys
howler monkeys make an appearance

On the way back we stopped and had a typical lunch done extremely well. It was a perfect day and a great introduction to Costa Rica.

Traditional lunch
Traditional Costa Rican lunch served with chicken, beef or grilled veggies on the side

Disclaimer – Our tour was provided by Urban Adventures San Jose but our opinions and observations are our own. Urban Adventures specializes in traveling like a local with a local – just the way we like it.

Related Articles:

La Fortuna Waterfall Hike Costa Rica

Lose Yourself At The Springs Spa Costa Rica

Discovering Pura Vida In San Jose Costa Rica

6 thoughts on “Costa Rica Rainforest and Chocolate Adventure”

  1. Looks amazing! I can’t even fathom how delicious that chocolate must have been. Are your plans to travel more of Central America now that you’ve jumped back across the ocean? 🙂

Leave a Comment