Dominican Chocolate Adventure

Experience The Caribbean Rainforest

Feb 19 - 27, 2022

Pre-register Now

Small group travel. Space is limited.

Adventure Overview

Join Moka Origins Co-Founder Jeff Abella in Jan 2022, to Dominican Republic as we dive into the heart and soul of its thriving cacao culture. This trip represents our commitment to complete transparency as we expose the entire bean-to-bar chocolate making process, starting right from the farm. This trip offers a unique blend of hands-on experience, coupled with cacao producing, chocolate tasting, cultural engagement, and fun in the sun. We’ll get a first hand look at the cacao supply chain, the environmental impact of sustainable farming partnerships, and an immersive experience into the natural grandeur of the rainforests that our cacao farming partner, Reserva Zorzal, calls home. All this will conclude with some rest and relaxation on the pristine beaches that make the caribbean islands famous. This trip is perfect for families, chocolate fanatics, and those who are interested in a cultural and environmental immersive experience.

Highlights:

  • We'll explore the Dominican Republic by hiking the forests and swimming the coasts
  • Learn how cacao is grown and processed
  • Understand the cacao supply chain and who supplies our cacao
  • Taste (a lot) of chocolate from the Dominican Republic
  • Make fresh chocolate right on the farm
  • Meet our suppliers at Zorzal Cacao, a 1,019 acre protected forest and sustainable cacao farm
  • Get our hands dirty by participating on the farm
  • See how sustainable farming can lend itself to a thriving ecosystem and healthy economy

Yoga On This Adventure

Optional meditation and yoga will be infused throughout the journey to heighten our awareness of the beauty and energy of the region. We will use asana to keep our bodies attuned for adventure, relaxation practices for rest and nurturance, and mediation to assimilate the vibrance, abundance, and grace this experience has to offer.

Trip Highlights

Discover

Experience the breathtaking sights and remarkable culture of the Dominican Republic. During the trip we’ll spend time at several locations ranging from coastal towns to the forested countryside.

Get Hands On

Dig in and get your hands dirty. Literally. We’ll spend three days with our cacao partner, Zorzal Cacao and help them plant, harvest and join in wherever we can. There’s no better way to understand where your chocolate really comes from.

Explore and Protect

We’ll hike through the protected rainforest of Reserva Zorzal. This 1,019 forest focuses specifically on habitat restoration and climate change mitigation, a community-based bird monitoring program for the Bicknell’s Thrush.

Relax

The Dominican Republic is known for it’s Caribbean beaches. Up north, in the province of Puerto Plata, we'll enjoy the laid-back beach town of Cabarete. The calm waters, combined with breezy conditions make it ideal to try windsurfing or just relax and read a book.

Photos

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Dominican Republic
    • Fly into the city of Santiago, (Santiago de los Caballeros. Cibao Int Airport STI) settle into your room in San Francisco de Macoris, meet the rest of the group, and get an overview of the agenda for the week.
    • Evening Accommodations: San Francisco de Macoris.
  • Day 2: Visit Centralized Fermentaries
    • We will visit up to two cacao fermenting and drying centers. First we’ll go to the Zorzal fermentorium in Los Arroyos and visit a local cacao farm that produces for our Zorzal Comunitario line. Then, we’ll head to OKO Caribe, a medium scale fermenting and drying facility and one of the main suppliers of Dominican specialty cacao to craft chocolate makers.
    • Evening Accommodations: San Francisco de Macoris.
  • Day 3: Zorzal Reserve Cacao Rainforest
    • We’ll head to Reserva Zorzal, a 1,019 acre protected rainforest, a bird sanctuary and a specialty cacao producer that supplies Moka with cacao beans. We’ll tour the farm and meet local producers. We’ll get hands on with some projects on the reserve.
    • Evening Accommodations: Forest Lodge at Reserva Zorzal
  • Day 4: Zorzal Reserve Cacao Rainforest
    • We’ll spend the first part of our day going for a long rainforest hike on the cacao trail through the reserve and head back to camp for lunch. After lunch we’ll participate in some more projects on the reserve.
    • Evening Accommodations: Forest Lodge at Reserva Zorzal
  • Day 5: Zorzal Reserve Cacao Rainforest
    • We’ll spend the first part of our day going for a long rainforest hike on the cacao trail through the reserve and head back to camp for lunch. After lunch we’ll participate in some more projects on the reserve.
    • Evening Accommodations: Forest Lodge at Reserva Zorzal
  • Day 6: Tour A Cacao Cooperative
    • After two nights at Reserva Zorzal in the mountains, we’ll say goodbye to our friends and head to the beach town of Cabarete and settle into our cozy beds.
    • Evening Accommodations: Cabarete Beach
  • Day 7: Enjoy The Beach Town Of Cabarete
    • Free day in Cabarete. The calm waters, combined with breezy conditions make it ideal to try windsurfing or just relax and read a book.
    • Evening Accommodations: Cabarete Beach
  • Day 8: Enjoy Cabarete and San Francisco de Macoris
    • After breakfast, we'll go Ziplining. Free Afternoon in Cabarete. Plenty of time to explore, swim, cliff jump off waterfalls, or just relax in the sun.
    • Evening Accommodations: Cabarete Beach
  • Day 9: Departing Flights
    • We’ll depart from the Dominican Republic having made new friends, we’ll have gained knowledge of cacao production and have tremendous appreciation for the chocolate that we eat. Lastly, you’ll understand the true motivation behind Moka’s mission and why we do what we do.
    NOTE: This is the tentative agenda, it can change due to time, weather, group energy capacity, or other constraints. All of the activities are optional and there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Dominican Republic.

Pre-Registration

Registration opens in Spring 2021.

Click below to be first in line to register. You'll get an email notification when registration is open.

Pre-Register

Trip Pricing

Full Price: $2600

Deposit Amount: $850*

*The deposit secures your spot on the trip

Trip Dates

Feb 19 - 27, 2022


For more information:

Email: travel@mokaorigins.com

Call Jeff: (570) 445-1901

Other Information

Pricing Includes:

  1. All ground transportation and airport transfer in Dominican Republic
  2. All meals scheduled in itinerary
  3. All accommodations as scheduled in itinerary
  4. All itinerary activities
  5. All gratuity charges

Pricing Excludes:

  1. International travel to/from Dominican Republic
  2. Additional excursions and activities
  3. Alcoholic beverages
  4. Visas and travel insurance
  5. Eco-Tourism

    Our commitment to sustainability extends even to the way we travel. We believe all tourism should be beneficial to the areas we visit and should be left as good, or better, than when we arrived. We ask that you make this commitment with us while traveling together, and be mindful about how our presence affects local culture, environment, or natural resources, especially as we are interacting with national parks, wildlife, farming villages, and local communities.



Meet Your Guides

The Zorzal Cacao Team

We are lucky to have the incredible Zorzal Cacao team host us during this trip.

The Moka Origins Team

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Jeff Abella along with Founder of Sacred Trails Linda Domino will be your Moka Ambassadors.

Jeff Abella, Co-Founder Moka Origins

Jeff Abella, Moka Origins

Jeff’s key motivations are good coffee, great chocolate, family and empowered communities. Jeff moved to Cameroon in 2007 and has been working on international business development ever since. Jeff’s passion for social entrepreneurship led him to establish humanitarian projects in West Africa, North India, Central Mexico and eventually to co-founding a cacao and tropical fruit farm in Cameroon along with a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. Currently serving as the Managing Director for Himalayan Institute Cameroon, and CEO of Moka Origins where he manages supply chain, marketing and brand strategy, while also overseeing reciprocity and impact at origin. Jeff also serves as the Chairman of the Sacred Link Foundation and is a Board member on the FedEx Entrepreneur Advisory Board. Jeff loves to talk to groups about social entrepreneurship, small business strategies, and how to use business as a way to create good in the world. In 2019 Jeff presented to students at Yale University and was awarded the FedEx Small Business Grant. Email Jeff at Jeff@MokaOrigins.com

Linda Domino

Linda Domino, Sacred Trails

Linda Domino will serve as yoga guide for this journey. She has been a friend of Moka Origins since guiding her first retreat at the Himalayan Institute in early 2018. Linda has been practicing and teaching yoga and mediation for nearly 20 years and has guided numerous yoga retreats. She attended the inaugural Origin Trip to the Dominican Republic this past June. It was transformational, and inspired her new venture, Sacred Trails, committed to curating gatherings, events, and conscious travel experiences that inspire inner growth and awakening! Linda embraces travel and immersive cultural experiences as a way to see ourselves and others with renewed clarity, love and compassion. She believes it awakes our sense of purpose and unity and she is eager to share it with others!