Vale Potumuju Discovery
Want to experience the daily activities of a Craft Quality Cacao Origin in Brazil?
Join us in a discovery time at Vale Potumuju, our farm nestled in one of the richest biomes in the country, the Atlantic Rainforests of the State of Bahia.
We want to share a little of our special place with you, opening our doors to small groups of up to 8 persons, to have a 3 day/4 night all-inclusive and immersive experience that starts with harvesting in our cacao orchards; understanding our fermentation and drying processes and facility; experiencing the sights, sounds and aromas of the forest; learning about Bahia’s and our family’s history in cacao; savoring the best local Bahia gastronomy with some of its traditional dishes; all the while, hosted by Juliana and Tuta Aquino, the owners of Vale Potumuju. This selected experience only happens 4 times a year so click on the MORE INFO button up on top to get more details
Be prepared to have 3 busy days of discoveries, learning all about cacao and all our farm activities. But also with some time to relax, have plenty of conversations with Tuta and Juliana and learn as much as you desire about our cacao varieties and all the processes involved in making the craft-quality beans, used in our own Tree to Bar brand, Baianí Chocolates, as well as by other Bean to Bar makers in Brazil and around the world.
You will walk through some of our orchards, admiring our agro-forestry system; witness up close the harvesting process and the start of fermentation, as well as all the other stages of our post-harvest protocols; meet our collaborators and see up close all the efforts we put into keeping the quality control in our farm center.
Juliana and Tuta will recount some of the region’s tradition and history in cacao and both their families’ heritage that goes back to the late 1800’s. Juliana will conduct an evening with a special chocolate tasting, explaining the sensory differences between some bars made with Vale Potumuju cacao.
Our main house can accommodate 4 guests in 2 comfortable suites. At the adjacent “Cacao Building” we offer 2 more suites for 4 more guests. The rooms are simple but complete, with modern bathrooms, all with solar heated hot water and very comfortable beds that provide restful sleeping nights.
The airy and bright interior of the house, with charming decoration, has plenty of spaces to relax. Our integrated kitchen-dining room spills over a terrace that overlooks the Aliança River and the lush shades of Atlantic rainforest green tones that will feast your eyes. There’s even a small gym that can be used any time.
The all-inclusive plan offers 3 daily meals and soft beverages. There’s plenty of coconut water, fresh tropical fruit juices and some of the best Bahia dishes, carefully prepared every day and for every meal, by our amazing cook, all with local organic ingredients, some harvested from our own vegetable patch.
Rest assured, you will experience the real Bahia gastronomy!
Our Biome & Origin
Vale Potumuju is located in one of the world’s richest biomes: the Atlantic Rain Forest of the southern part of the state of Bahia. Our farm has 358 hectares (close to 900 acres), of which, 140 hectares are permanently preserved forests.
We take so much pride in being able to be the guardians of all the natural richness around us! We use the traditional “Cabruca” system of agro-forestry, where by using the shade of large native hardwood and fruit trees, we integrate the forest with the cultivation of our cacao. This creates a sustainable environment for numerous species of birds, small mammals, reptiles and animal species that only occur in this biome.
We make a point in providing homes and good living standards for our collaborators, with electricity, clean water and sustainable sewage system, all exceeding the averages in the region.
Our belief that education is the only answer to provide social equality, made us create at the farm, a permanent rural school that accommodates up to 25 children from ours' and other neighboring farms, providing studies for students from 1st to 5th grades.
Your Time at Vale Potumuju
The nearest airport and main hub for our cacao region is located in Ilhéus (IOS), serviced by several airlines with daily flights to and from São Paulo, and other capitals of Brazil.
Day 1- You arrive mid-afternoon and will be met by a local logistics company at the airport, embark in an air-conditioned van that will drive you and the other guests to Arataca, located 100km down south. A beautiful trip on paved highways observing the local rural sceneries. The last 10km of dirt roads will present you with our rich biome and lush greenery.
As soon as you arrive, late afternoon at Vale Potumuju, you will be welcomed by Tuta and Juliana with special drinks and be accommodated in your rooms. After a light dinner you will be presented the schedule for the next 2 days of activities.
Day 2 - The following morning starts with an early breakfast with local dishes and off to a walk in the cacao orchards to see harvesting up close. Back for lunch and an afternoon stroll in the farm center. After dinner a little presentation on the history of the region, its traditions and how Vale Potumuju became a craft quality cacao origin.
Day 3 – After breakfast we will have another walk through the orchards and get a glimpse of the different cacao varieties; taste some fresh cacao and visit the nursery where we grow our seedlings; and learn more about our fermentation and drying. Lunch followed by afternoon discussions will culminate with a chocolate tasting led by Juliana, followed by dinner. Night caps at the terrace and more conversations before bed time.
Day 4 - This morning you will wrap-up of your time at Vale Potumuju. After breakfast, some free time to roam about the farm center, take some pictures and get ready to hit the road on the way back to Ilhéus, where we suggest a lunch at a local traditional restaurant. And for those that can stay for a few more days, we strongly recommend a trip to the north shores and beaches of Itacaré or Maraú peninsula.
A true Bahia holiday!