El Sendero del Cacao

The Cacao Trail | 0 Comments


EL SENDERO DEL CACAO The Cacao TrailAt Hacienda La Esmeralda García Jiménez you have the opportunity to recreate the origins of quality chocolate in a fun and educational way. Experience everything, from the sowing of a cacao plant to the irresistible and delicious “food of the Gods” itself. Everything in the same place.

The Cacao Trail is not just a simple tour. It’s an unforgettable experience. Thanks to our support team, we are cacao professionals. It’s a pleasure for us to share the secrets behind an excellent chocolate as well as the Dominican culture with our visitors. We invite you to share our passion.

Our Tours

Enjoy an original Dominican cacao and chocolate tour at our Hacienda La Esmeralda. Since 2005, we have received visitors from all over the world who wish to learn and share our passion for cacao and chocolate.


EL SENDERO DEL CACAO The Cacao TrailThe Classic

Enjoy a fun and educational tour of the world of Dominican cacao and chocolate. Our experts will take you through the transformation of a simple cacao pod into a fine and exquisite chocolate.

On the Classic Cacao Tour our experts will guide you through each one of the steps necessary to make quality cacao. It starts with the sowing, where you can sow your own cacao plant, and continue learning about the harvest, cutting and extraction of the grains in a cacao pod. Continue with the post-harvest process: fermentation and drying, which are determining factors in the quality of the chocolate.

Learn about the Dominican Republic ecosystem and what allows it to have the perfect conditions for growing fine cacao which evolves into the best quality chocolates.

After that, you will enter La Esmeralda Chocolate Factory, where, enchanted by the different scents of chocolate, you will discover each of the steps that lead to a chocolate bar that we all love. You’ll also be able to make your own chocolate.

Surrounded by the cacao trees and nature and while you listen to traditional music, you will be able to enjoy an exquisite Dominican lunch.

Chocolate Lovers

A higher experience designed for chocolate connoisseurs who wish to delve deeper into the process of cacao and chocolate.

If you are a chocolate lover, you have the opportunity to enjoy our extensive educational session about chocolate. With “Chocolate Lovers Tour” you have the benefits of the “Classic Cacao Tour” with additional information from our chocolate experts.

After an excellent local lunch, you will attend a session where you will learn how to taste chocolate with your five senses. Additionally, you will visit another one of our plantations, where you can observe more automated cacao processing at a small scale. You will also learn more about the fermentation and drying processes, and their importance in creating gourmet chocolate.A beautiful, educational day that you will never forget!


Chocolate and Culture

An unforgettable day of discovery! Unravel the fascinating secrets of a delicious chocolate and learn part of our history and culture.

Enjoy half a day with our experts in the Classic Cacao Tour. You will learn about chocolate from its origins up to its transformation into a chocolate bar and what distinguishes it as gourmet chocolate. Surrounded by cacao trees and nature and while listening to traditional music, you will enjoy a traditional Dominican lunch.

The trip continues to Provincia Hermanas Mirabal (Mirabal Sisters Province), where an expert will guide you through the murals that embellish this province, painted by local and foreign artists. We conclude at the Museo de las Hermanas Mirabal (Mirabal Sisters Museum), where you will learn a little about our Dominican history.


About The Rizek Family 

Nazario Rizek came to Dominican Republic in 1905. He was preceded in this adventure by his parents, Salím Rizek and Altagracia Rizek, who directed their steps to the Dominican Republic in the year 1898, leaving behind their home in Nazaret to establish themselves in the flourishing birthplace of the New World, located, as the poet Pedro Mir once said, “on the sun’s same trajectory”.

He got married in 1925 to Doña Badía Llabaly, also a Palestinian, and together they watched their children’s birth with pride.

In 1944 Don Nazario, a determined enthusiast, endeavored into the business of cacao and coffee commercialization on a small scale, in San Francisco de Macoris. His efforts bore fruit in a slow but steady way. He did not venture into exportation until 1961, due to this activity being limited by the oppression of Trujillo’s dictatorship, which monopolized it. However, once the neighboring Dominican ports were freed, it didn’t take long for the Rizek family to take active part in the business that was directed towards the United States.


Nazario Rizek C por A is born as a family business under the care of its founders, who in 1965 and due to the suggestions of commercial banks, decide to constitute it formally so they could benefit from bigger credit opportunities. After the passing of Don Nazario Rizek, his son, Don Héctor José Rizek Llabaly, takes over the business. He continues his work through the acquisition of new cultivation areas and the gradual modernization of the production systems and techniques.

As a reward for his effort and commitment, Nazario Rizek C por A is positioned as the pioneer of cacao growing in Dominican Republic in 1985. This privilege has been sustainable thanks to the effort of field workers and a progress-oriented and innovative team of professionals. As a business strategy, 20 years later, comes Rizek Cacao, which handles investigation, commercialization and exportation of cacao.



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