Chocolate Farm Tour
Chocolate Farm Tour
Our "branch-to-bar" educational Chocolate Farm Tour and Tasting at Lydgate Farms on Kauai's East Side.
- Child 7-12
What makes our tour unique and special?
- Twice recognized the best in the world at the Cocoa of Excellence Awards in Paris
- Taste chocolate with naturally present fruity, floral, spice, and chocolatey flavors
- Real working chocolate farm
- Hawaiian heritage and authenticity
- Interactive farm tasting experience
- Extensive chocolate tasting, education, and comparisons
- Taste ripe chocolate fruit year round
- We make 100% of our chocolate with Hawaiian single-origin cocoa beans
- Gift shop with beautiful farm products great for gifts
- Cacao nectar products found nowhere else in the world!
- Friendly knowledgable staff
- Highly rated on TripAdvisor
- #1 Best Guided Tour Hawaii Magazine Readers Choice Awards
- Operating according to CDC guidelines
Attending the tour? Here’s what to know…
- Advance reservations are required.
- Lydgate Farms is located on Kauai’s East Side, in the foothills above the town of Kapaa.
- After you book online, we will email you written driving directions to the Farm.
- Chocolate trees love moisture, so we operate rain or shine – in fact, our signature Chocolate Tasting & Farm Tour is one of Kauai’s best rainy-day activities.
- The tour sells out regularly so book in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot
Change the Way you Think About Chocolate
Hawaii is the only state where the chocolate tree grows, and the best place to experience a live chocolate tree orchard is the Lydgate family’s 46-acre farm. You’re invited to enjoy Chocolate From Branch to Bar, an educational guided tour of everything there is to know about chocolate, including growing cacao trees, the taste of fresh chocolate fruit, harvesting, fermentation, and sun drying of cacao beans, all the way to an extensive tasting highlighting the fascinating diversity of flavors found in Hawaiian cacao. In addition to all the tropical fruit and chocolate we taste, the tour is a visual feast as well, so be sure to bring your camera.
Botanical Tour and Tropical Fruit Tasting
The first part of our three-hour guided tour is especially fun for fruit and flower lovers, as we stroll through our gardens, stopping frequently to taste the tropical fruits that are in season. Depending on the month, these may include Tahitian lime, Hawaiian sugar cane, lilikoi, rambutan, longan, lychee, soursop, sapodilla, eggfruit, ka’u orange, apple banana, mountain apple, mamey sapote, chocolate sapote, and more. You’ll also taste our Farm’s award-winning honey, and see vanilla beans growing on the vine, plus dozens of exotic tropical plants such as our rare red sealing-wax palms and black bamboo. All along, your guides share our farm’s part in creating sustainable diversified agriculture on Kauai.
After the main fruit tasting we reach the chocolate orchard, and here we cut open a ripe chocolate pod so you can taste fresh cacao fruit. We then move into our chocolate tasting tent, where you sit comfortably in the shade while we explain the post-harvest processing of cacao. As you may know, dark chocolate is actually health food, and your guides explain its antioxidant and other health benefits, as well as outline how you can make chocolate from scratch in your home kitchen.
Best of all, you’ll enjoy an extensive dark chocolate tasting with all of the chocolate grown on our farm, compared with examples from all over the world that highlight the distinctive flavors found in craft chocolate. Similar to a wine tasting, we teach you how to taste chocolate like a connoisseur. You’ll also learn chocolate’s history, from its discovery by the first Mesoamericans, to its revered status as a divine plant in the Olmec, Mayan and Aztec cultures, to its introduction to Europe in the 1500s, to the rise of industrial milk chocolate, to the modern bean-to-bar chocolate movement and Hawaii’s place in the new American chocolate scene.
Although we no longer accept reservations for children under the age of 7, we do invite those families with small children to stop by our gift shop between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm Monday through Friday. There we have a friendly team member who will offer you chocolate samples and give you fascinating information. And you’ll have the opportunity to purchase our farm products. We find this to be the best option for families with small children and hope that you will join us there!
Common Questions & Answers About the Tour
Tours operate outside Monday through Friday, Drive up gift shop open Monday-Friday 9:30-2:30 for drop ins. There are no pandemic related restrictions in place and while mask wearing is optional, aloha is enforced.
Or shop in our online store.
Are children allowed on the tour?
Children 7-12 are welcome on the three hour tour. We are no longer taking bookings for young children 6 and under. We do invite those families with small children to come to our gift shop for a free chocolate tasting and fun information.
Do I have to come on the tour to see the farm?
Monday-Friday from 9:30 am-2:30 pm we have a drive up gift shop that is free and open for drop-ins. Here we have a friendly guide who can show you chocolate trees, vanilla vines, and offer you chocolate samples, with all of our farm products available for sale. We do not have self guided tours and are only open these weekday mornings.
The booking form won’t let me add adults to my booking.
We may be sold out. Please give us a call and leave a message, or send us an email. We’ll do our best to fit you on a tour or get you on a waiting list. Depending on the season, we recommend booking up to one month in advance as our tour sells out regularly.
The website won’t let me add me enough kids to my booking.
We allow child age 7-12 for each adult booking. If you have more kids than adults in your party you can call us, send us an email to let us know. Parties with more children than adults may be more suited to a visit at our drive up gift shop, open M-F 9:30 am-2:30 pm.
Is there a lot of walking on the tour?
It’s about 200 yards total, and we stop frequently at tasting stations. If someone in your party has a mobility concern please let us know by phone or email when you book. We have an ATV like vehicle available to assist for part of the tour, however this is an outdoor activity and may not be suited for those with real mobility challenges. If this is the case for you please call us at (808) 821-1857 so we can advise you on our accommodations.
Did you actually win recognition as growing the best cacao beans in the world?
Why yes we did! We have been recognized as growing the top 50 best cacao beans in the world in a global competition — sort of like the chocolate growing olympics. We have been recognized by Cocoa of Excellence both in 2017 and in 2021 for this honor.