This is a great opportunity to have a close look at the natural scenery of the tropical lowlands of Ecuador: from the big city, driving by rice paddies, sugar cane plantations and natural tropical vegetation – along roads dotted with colorful produce and people, to a banana plantation with its own packing plant. Guests will also have the opportunity to observe the production of cocoa and coffee, and the possibility to taste fresh and delicious tropical fruits. A Hacienda Lunch is included.
The visit can be to Hacienda Jambeli in Naranjal, a 2-hour drive from Guayaquil or at Hacienda Las Cañas at Puerto Inca, an hour away from Guayaquil. For large groups and ncentives, many extras can be offered (at additional cost), like dance groups, music, special catering, gifts and more.
This is a great opportunity to have a close look at the lush natural scenery of the tropical lowlands of Ecuador, getting away from the big city and driving along tropical fruit plantations of the equatorial tropics– along roads dotted with colorful produce and local people. Guests have the opportunity to learn first-hand the way of life and traditions of the Ecuador's coastal region people, enjoy the history of cocoa beans and the modern processes used to obtain the best chocolate (Ecuador is among the main producers of high quality cocoa in the world) taste fresh and delicious natural juices. Lunch includes local ingredients, carefully prepared for the delight of guests, including vegetarian options.
Leave early in the morning the hotel towards to Hacienda El Castillo, on the road connecting Guayaquil and the beaches, just 45 minutes approx. from the city of Guayaquil, a cocoa plantation with its own chocolate processing plant. El Castillo, means The Castle, because it was originally built as a castle half a century ago, which deteriorated in time until the new owners, the Rosales Peña family, decided to invest not only in a new construction over the ruins of the original hacienda, but also to preserve the original native forest –including the giant kapok trees-- and make sustainable use of the plantations of cocoa and mango and fine wood trees like teak, caoba and guayacán in this 300-hectare hacienda (cocoa plantations cover 60 hectares and mango plantations 10 hectares).
This hacienda cocoa bean is known as the “Don Homero – Cerecita”. The Don Homero refers to the variety of the cocoa used in the plantation, and Cerecita means the region where the Hacienda is located: both determining factors in the unique flavor and aroma of cocoa.
The Don Homero is considered a fine aroma cocoa. This variety was developed in the 1960's, during an intense selective program held by the Ecuadorian agronomist scientist Homero Castro. Besides its particular and excellent flavor, the Don Homero has many other advantages for farmers, chocolate makers and consumers. For the farmers, this variety is the most productive in the world, and more resistant to many diseases, like fungus in general. For the chocolate makers, this cocoa has more mass content compared to other varieties, which makes it very attractive. Finally, the Don Homero has a bigger concentration of antioxidants compared to other varieties, favoring consumers health and well being. This cocoa variety is revolutionizing the industry. This hacienda is pioneering in the technical and agricultural development of the cocoa crops. The Don Homero is 100% variety of Ecuadorian cocoa.
At the Hacienda, guest will be able to appreciate the entire process of the cocoa crop, from its seed until the final product "Chocolate". During the route, visitors will see each of the process's steps as the sowing, the plantation, the harvest, the fermentation and the drying. Then continue to the chocolate factory where visitors will taste the final delicious products made of chocolate. At the end of the route they will enjoy a typical coastal lunch offered at the Hacienda's villa in a peaceful and cozy atmosphere.
Hacienda El Castillo is open since 2006, with the tropical atmosphere where guests can relax in hammocks, horseback ride (at extra cost) or hike along the plantations, watch the process of turning cocoa beans into fine chocolate or go birdwatching.
For large groups and Incentives many extras can be offered (at additional cost), like dance groups, music, special catering, gifts and more. Enjoy lunch, chocolate and return to Guayaquil in the afternoon.
This is a great opportunity to have a close look at the lush natural scenery of the tropical lowlands of Ecuador, getting away from the big city and driving along rice paddies, banana and sugar cane plantations and the natural vegetation of the equatorial tropics– along roads dotted with colorful products and local people. Guests have the opportunity to learn first-hand the way of life and traditions of the "Montubio Culture" of Ecuador's coastal region, enjoy the history of banana and the modern processes used to obtain the best bananas, (Ecuador is among the main producers and exporter of high quality bananas in the world) talk about a banana country! and taste fresh and delicious tropical fruits. Lunch includes local ingredients, carefully prepared for the delight of guests, including vegetarian options.
Leave early in the morning the hotel towards the small town of Baba to Hacienda Rodeo Grande, located 90 Kms, 1h/30 hours approx. This beautiful place is away from Guayaquil, amid a tropical environment, in Los Ríos province. Here guest can enjoy horseback riding (at extra cost), walking and nature observation. Lunch is served at the lovely farmhouse. The farm has a large herd of cattle kept both for meat and milk as well as over 100 buffalos. Additionally, there is a flock of ostriches and in the garden, peacock, guinea fowl and deer. The horse riding is a great way to see the entire farm, and the cattle and the buffalos managed in the traditional way, by real local cowboys. Expert professionals will show how bananas are grown, harvested and packed for export. For groups, local musicians and folklore dance entertainment can be arranged, as well as special catering, gifts and more. Enjoy lunch and return to Guayaquil in the afternoon.
- Round trip ground transportation and guide
This excursion is subject to change due to weather conditions that could determine heavy rains and river floods in the region, always taking in consideration guest's safety and well-being.
- Wear light clothes for warm weather
- Sneakers or good walking shoes
- Hat or cap
- Insect repellent
- Do not wear perfume or sweet-smelling creams which attract unwanted insects
- Average temperature: Day 22° to 32° C / 70° to 90° F.
- Altitude: sea level
The Pacific coast
From north to south, the coast of Ecuador is dotted with wide and lovely beaches, some pristine like Los Frailes, others with fishermen villages, fashionable resorts like Salinas or Bahia de Caraquez, modern cities and ancient archaeological sites.
Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, is a vibrant metropolis on the Guayas River delta, 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean. A busy port of imposing commercial buildings, baronial mansions, Guayaquil has rich museums, great sports centers, and daily musical events along its new waterfront. You must see the old section of Las Peñas to enjoy the grace and tranquility of the city's past.
This region also has archaeological remains of the oldest cultures ever found in the Pacific Coast of South America: Chorrera, Salango, Valdivia and Manteño. Its natural history is also unique, especially the protected coastal tropical dry forests, in Machalilla National Park. A 44-kilometer (28 miles) cruise to Isla de la Plata, rewards the traveler with some of the bird life found on the Galapagos Islands. And if your visit takes place between July and November, you will even see great humpback whales, migrating from Antarctica.