How to Cacao in Chile, an Adventure with ChocoVivo: Part 1
Hi everyone and welcome to my Chilean travel series!
My name is Alexandra, and I am ChocoVivo’s Chocolate Ambassador. I’m so excited to share my trip, and pass along some tips in case you plan to travel soon or just want to add a little Chilean spice to your life! I highly recommend Chile to anyone who craves untouched nature and has an appreciation for the medicinal, nourishing qualities of fresh local vegetation…. That’s all of us, right?
This whole idea began when one of my closest friends invited me to his brother’s wedding in Santiago. As someone who NEVER passes up an opportunity to experience a foreign culture with locals, I jumped at the chance! Armed with a suitcase full of ChocoVivo to get me through it, I took off on my two-week adventure.
As you can see, Chile may be narrow, but it is crazy long. Stretching North to South 2,647 miles, trying to see everything in two weeks is like trying to see all of the United States. So it’s best to focus on a few places!
Originally we had planned to go to Torres del Paine. However, due to the commitments we had in Santiago, we decided to split our trip into four regions: Santiago, Vineyards, Lake District, Valparaiso.
After 15 hours of travel to Santiago we arrived exhausted! The first thing I noticed about Chile was the lack of coffee culture. It seemed cafés serving espresso-style drinks were limited to tourist areas. Coffee, like cacao only grows between the tropics…. far away from Santiago. So instead of hunting down my Americano, I decided to go cold turkey off coffee, and give into the Chilean tradition of herbal teas.
To supplement my energy slump, I used ChocoVivo Cacao nibs mixed into hotel breakfasts. Throwing them into oats with fresh berries was the best way to start a long, busy day.
In season strawberries, the perfect complement to cacao!
View from the top of the hill Santa Lucia overlooking Santiago
Shopping at Fundación Artesanías de Chile
A beautifully curated selection of home goods, clothing, and pottery Fundación Artesanias is a must see! With locations throughout Chile, all proceeds go directly to the artisans.
Fresh in season produce at every corner
Lucuma Ice Cream Bar
Lucuma is a fruit that grows in northern Chile, in the Andean valley near Peru. It is a popular ice cream flavor, usually paired with chocolate or “manjar”, the Chilean name for dulce de leche. The taste of lucuma is very sweet, almost like caramel or maple syrup.
For centuries lucuma has been used as a medicinal superfood by the indigenous people of northern Chile and Peru. In its raw form, it has many health benefits including high amounts of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and protein. The oil of lucuma can also be used to treat skin conditions and is excellent for hair!
Colorful Streets of bohemian barrio Bellavista
Enjoying a pisco sour and incredible ceviche at Santa Colonia
One of the most hotly debated topics in Chile is who created the pisco sour. Peruvians also claim this delicious drink and both countries have their own variation. For those unfamiliar with pisco, it is a brandy distilled from grapes. Below is a recipe for the Chilean version made with ChocoVivo Cacao Bitters. Usually this recipe is made with simple syrup, however I modified it to use honey after having a honey variation in southern Chile.
ChocoVivo Pisco Sour Recipe
- 2.5 ounces Pisco*
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
- ChocoVivo Cacao Bitters
Mix pisco, egg white, honey, and lemon in a martini shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Pour into glass. Top with a few drops of ChocoVivo Cacao Bitters.
* Chilean Pisco. If using Peruvian Pisco, which is stronger, change lemon ratio accordingly.
Where to go in Santiago:
London 54, Santiago Chile
Merced 84, Santiago
Cerro Santa Lucia
Museo Chileno Precolombino
Bocanarriz Wine Bar
José Victorino Lastarria 276, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Emporia La Rosa Ice Cream
José Victorino Lastarria 71, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Loreto 40 | Recoleta, Santiago 8420499, Chile
What to Pack:
December is the height of summer in Chile, and we arrived during a record heat wave. Then on our last day it was raining and cold. If you’re staying in Santiago during the summer expect temperatures ranging from the low 50s to high 90s and possible rain.
- Light layers for chilly nights or rain
- Walking shoes
- Dresses or Shorts
Follow along for the next part of the series, as we pair ChocoVivo bars with Chilean wine!
Super interesting blog. Thank you for sharing your Chilean experience!