San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Attention dessert lovers: Puerto Viejo's Chocolate Festival begins Friday

By Kristin Gilbert Ramírez | Special to The Tico Times

The second annual Puerto Viejo Chocolate Festival kicks off Friday and runs through Dec. 22, involving a delicious collaboration between local farmers, artisan chocolate makers and chocolatiers.  

Events include a brownie bake-off, a chocolate crawl with stops all over the southern Caribbean and more than a dozen workshops, ranging from “Chocolate Tasting 101” to “Beauty and Chocolate” and the “Chocolate Forest Wildlife.”

Most of the events will take place at Koki Park beside Koki Beach. For a full list of events check out, stop in to CariBeans Chocolate Tasting Lounge in Cocles or email

The 2014 Chocolate Festival will begin with the grand opening of the exhibition “Somos Todos Costa Rica” (“We are all Costa Rica”) an art and photography project by Lucas Iturriza depicting the diversity of the Caribe. The exhibit will open the evening of Dec. 20 at Koki Beach.  

Festival Coordinator Reyna Ayala and Caribeans Chocolate owner Paul Johnson want to bring more awareness to cacao farming to the Talamanca region. 

Recently, Ayala worked with the Escuela de Río Negro to organize an educational tour and tasting for fourth and fifth graders on Johnson’s cacao farm. Ayala and Johnson hope that by providing a unique, hands-on experience for young students, they can inspire a new generation to carry the cacao tradition forward.

Check out some photos from the tour: 

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