In Search of Cocoa

24th October 2019

In Search of Cocoa.. a Colombian adventure.

Venturing up muddy creeks and tributaries

An unlikely straight line on an old map led a group of three novice paddlers to the depths of the Colombian jungle, in search of an ancient thoroughfare that was one of the first routes taken by cacao beans from South America to Europe – the very start of our modern-day obsession with chocolate.

In 2015, armed with an old map of Colombia and a pair of inflatable canoes, the three friends set out to re-discover the route that cacao beans once took from South America to the booming European chocolate market. Along the way, they ventured deep into the jungle, got arrested by soldiers hunting drug gangs, and discovered parts of Colombia rarely visited by outsiders.

The local brightly painted bus

Paddling up a swollen river

A typical market with an abundance of interesting fruits and vegetables