In the heart of tropical America, right in the middle of the world and crossed by the Equator, you find Ecuador, bordered by Colombia and Peru, the Pacific Ocean bathes its western coastal zone and 200 miles away from the main land. The Galapagos Islands harmonizes this wonderful territory of hardly 256.370 square kilometers, whose present population does not exceed 13 million inhabitants.
Its surprising geography has clearly defined four regions: the Pacific Coast, the Highlands or Sierra, the Amazon and the Galápagos, each one of them distinguished by their own diversity and multicultural identity as well as with a variety of climates that has made of Ecuador a unique place in the world.
Why Ecuadorian cacao is so unique?
Barely 5% of cacao produced in the world is considered Fine Aroma, and Ecuador holds nearly 63% of that fine aroma flavored cacao worldwide production.
Well-known international chocolatiers look for this particular floral, fruity toasted aroma to distinguish a top dark premium chocolate.
What is so special about Ecuador?
Ecuador’s coastal region has approximate 640 kilometers; and inland, especially at Manabí, Esmeraldas and Guayas provinces, the land is made up of fertile plains with rather low heights and long basins fed by the rivers beginning in the Andes flowing to the Pacific Ocean.
The Andes is an important mountain range that crosses the country from north to south showing spectacular snow peaks and volcanoes as high as Chimborazo and Cotopaxi mountains and others whose height goes from 5,000 to 6,300 meters over sea level.
A warm and humid weather characterizes the Ecuadorian Amazon region which starts in the eastern mountain range of the Andes and extends up to the Amazon River basin. Finally, around 1,000 kilometers from the Ecuadorian mainland, there is The Galápagos Islands.
Different climate conditions mainly determined by the influence of Los Andes mountain range and the Pacific Ocean have helped define a variety of microclimates in every region, which allowed the Ecuadorian tropical rainforest to own one of the richest biodiversity in the whole world.
Indeed, these incredible array of agricultural and climate conditions allows the cultivation of the famous and unique fine aroma cacao unequalled in floral and fruity taste, in 19 Ecuadorian provinces, including the Galápagos Islands.
The legend of Cacao Arriba Beans
The origins of the name “Arriba” given to the “Fine Aroma” Ecuadorian cacao come from a XIX century legend that tells us about a Swiss chocolatier that while navigating along Guayas River, perceived a strong cacao scent. He felt so impressed by such special fragrance that he decided to ask some workers unloading cacao from their canoes, where does this aroma come from? They responded, “de río arriba” which means “from up the river”. Since then, this variety of cacao is worldwide known as “Arriba” becoming synonym for high quality and fine aroma cacao.