Are you looking for the best things to do in Hilo, Hawaii? Keep scrolling to see how to do a Big Island chocolate tour at Lavaloha Chocolate Farm.
This review of the Big Island chocolate tour at Lavaloha Chocolate Farm was written by Hawaii travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Are you looking for a delicious Big Island tour that your kids will love?
Why not do a Big Island chocolate tour at Lavaloha Chocolate Farm in Hilo, Hawaii? This 60-minute tour will show you the entire process of making chocolate from the Cacao trees all the way to the kitchen.
Plus, you’ll get to taste the Cacao fruit, chocolate nibs, and their tasty finished product of chocolate bars.
You can do a walking tour or hitch a ride on their electric minibus, so this Hilo tour is great for kids of all ages. And the farm itself is gorgeous and has a massive waterfall and a sunken lava tube!
It’s really easy to sign up, and they have lots of tour times, so you’ll have no problem fitting it into your Big Island itinerary.
Keep scrolling for my honest review of the Lavaloha Chocolate Farm tour in Hilo.
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Hawaii blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting the Big Island.
Popular Big Island Tours/Activities
- Manta Ray Snorkeling Tour (you can ONLY do this on the Big Island)
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Tour (this is the BEST way to see lava if you aren’t renting a car)
- Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour (this is a cool adventure for teens and adults)
- Swim with Dolphins (this is a unique experience for kids of all ages and adults)
- Kona ATV Tour (we love this one because they also do cultural activities)
- Book a Photo Shoot (this is a Hawaii souvenir you’ll treasure forever)
Favorite Big Island Resorts/Hotels
- Hilton Waikoloa Village (this is a mega resort where you can swim with dolphins or just enjoy their massive pool area)
- Courtyard by Marriott’s King Kamehameha Beach Hotel (this is a moderately-priced Kona hotel right on a little lagoon)
- Fairmont Orchid (this is a swanky resort with an awesome pool area and beach)
Want to Rent a Car in Hawaii?
One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is Discount Hawaii Car Rental because they get the best rates from top national companies like Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Avis, Enterprise, Budget, and Payless.
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary complete with daily schedules, kid-friendly activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Where is the Lavaloha Chocolate Farm?
The Lavaloha Chocolate Farm is located at 1820 Amauulu Rd., Hilo, HI 96720. It’s actually just 10 minutes from downtown Hilo, so it’s super convenient to add to your Big Island itinerary.
Now, it is tucked away up in the hillside. You’ll want to follow your GPS and keep an eye out for the Lavaloha farm signs. Just follow the signs, and you won’t get lost.
How to Visit this Big Island Chocolate Farm
Honest Lavaloha Chocolate Farm Tour Review
So, I actually came across this tour from a Facebook ad while I was already on the Big Island. Obviously, I had been looking up things to do on the Big Island with kids, and it popped up in my feed.
The main thing that sold me on this Lavaloha Chocolate tour was the photo of the minibus with beautiful scenery. I figured my 5-year-old would love the bus part, and I’d like the scenic tour. Otherwise, I really knew nothing about it.
It’s a super pretty drive up a country road from Hilo. At one point, you’ll turn off the paved road, but there are tons of signs to show you exactly where you’re going. I’m directionally challenged, and this was really easy to find, thanks to all the signage!
After we parked, we were greeted by our tour guide and another staff member to help us fill out our waivers and make sure we were all set. There are restrooms here in case anyone needs them. They also asked us if we wanted to walk or hop on the electric minibus.
Electric Mini Bus vs. Walking Tour
There are two options for doing this tree-to-chocolate tour in Hilo: walking or taking an electric vehicle. This was a no-brainer for us because I knew my 5-year-old would get a kick out of riding in any sort of vehicle.
The mini-bus is completely electric, and there are even shades that can come down to protect guests from rain or the sun. Our tour guide Jess also brought along umbrellas and towels since we were there on a rainy November day.
Since it’s a working farm, I’d suggest closed-toe shoes if you’re planning on doing the walking tour. It tends to rain a lot in Hilo, and that makes the ground squishy.
I like having the option for both of these Lavaloha tours. Some people like to walk, while others need a ride.
Tour of this Hilo Chocolate Farm
This Hilo farm is really beautiful. There’s a collapsed lava tube that they turned into a neat garden with a duck pond. And you’ll definitely want to check out the gorgeous Hilo waterfall that you can only access if you take this tour.
We passed by lots of fruit trees and tons of Cacao trees on this Hilo farm tour.
Cacao Fields and Tasting
Our first stop was at a Cacao tree, where we learned about the three varieties of Cacao grown on the farm. Then, our tour guide Jess cut open a Cacao pod where we could taste the fruit inside. This is definitely one of my favorite parts about this cacao tour!
First, she told us just to suck on it to taste the fruit. It sort of tastes like lychee or mangosteen. Next, she invited me to try another one, only this time, I should bite into the Cacao seed. This was fairly bitter, and it was an interesting combination.
She let us keep the Cacao pods so we could either eat them during the tour or compost it later. The cacao farm part of the tour was definitely very cool.
Then, we got to spend some time checking out the different machines used on the farm to harvest the Cacao.
Jess showed us some antique Cacao machines that probably got the job done but just not in the most efficient manner.
We then got to see their brand-new equipment for removing the Cacao fruit and seeds from the shell. It seems like a much better way of doing it!
We also got to see how they ferment the Cacao seeds before putting them on the drying racks. With Hilo having high humidity, the time to dry the seeds can vary by a lot!
Hawaiian Chocolate Tasting
Finally, it was time to taste the finished product! We drove over to their chocolate taste testing room. There are restrooms here and water.
Jess played a video that showed every step of the chocolate-making process, from the tree all the way to what we got to sample.
We started off with the chocolate nibs, which are very bitter but flavorful. My 5-year-old didn’t even want to try them.
Next, we tried their melted chocolate. It was sweet and creamy, and my son was ready to lick the entire cup clean!
Then, we moved on to the 90% Cacao, 70% Cacao, 50% Cacao, Orange Chocolate, and Sea Salt Chocolate. The sample sizes were just big enough for us to get a real taste of them and decide if we wanted to buy any of this delicious chocolate to take home.
We loved tasting some of the best chocolate in Hawaii!
For our last tasting, we hopped back on the bus and headed to the gift shop. We sat on the patio and got to taste their white chocolate with cocoa nibs. It’s sort of like their version of cookies and cream.
By the end of the tour, my son and I knew we needed to buy chocolate to take home. They have a really awesome gift shop that’s filled with not only their own chocolate products but tons of other locally-made items.
This gift shop is open to the public, even if you don’t do the tour. So, if you end up eating everything you bought before heading home, you can totally come back to re-stock!
Hawaii Chocolate Farm FAQs
When people think about Hawaiian chocolates, they usually think of mass-produced chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. These are the most popular. However, there are also lots of local Hawaii farms producing their own small-batch chocolate that is really delicious!
Out of all the states in the U.S., Hawaii has the best climate for growing cacao. You can find locally made chocolate on almost all of the Hawaiian islands; however, the Big Island of Hawaii definitely has the most Hawaii cacao farms in the state. Many of them offer Hawaiian chocolate tours.
People planted cacao trees in Hawaii almost 200 years ago. It’s mostly been small farms that grow cacao trees and produce chocolate.
Big Island Chocolate Tour in Hilo Wrap-Up
According to my 5-year-old, this Hawaii chocolate tour was the best thing he did on our trip to the Big Island. I think that melted chocolate really sealed the deal.
I love that this is a great activity for multi-generational travel in Hawaii. Little kids and elderly folks will appreciate the bus option. Plus, there’s really something for everyone, especially if you like chocolate!
My son and I both learned a lot about chocolate in a fun, engaging way. It’s one of the best Hawaii farm tours for families. We’d definitely do this tour again, especially if we were traveling with friends or family.
The tour guides are incredible, and I did enjoy the scenic drive, especially around the cacao orchards. And, of course, it is absolutely great chocolate!
It is definitely a favorite chocolate farm in Big Island, Hawaii. Check out these other fun chocolate farms Hawaii has to offer too!
We had a great time and want to come back to visit with the whole family!