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|Municipality||Santiago Mariño Municipality|
|Elevation||254 m (833 ft)|
Chuao is a small village located in the northern coastal range of Venezuela, founded in the 16th century. The village is famous for its cacao plantations. The village is surrounded by mountains and dense rainforests to the south and the Caribbean Sea to the north. The nearby Henri Pittier National Park the oldest national park in Venezuela created in 1937. There is no road access and visitors must come by boat from the town of Puerto Colombia along the coast, or by foot, crossing the mountains and the cloud forest from Turmero near Maracay.
The Chuao plantations grow Criollo and hybrid varieties of cacao. Criollo beans from Chuao are of very high quality, and are considered Venezuela's finest beans together with Porcelana Blanca beans from Lake Maracaibo (another genetically pure variety of Criollo). Amedei, an Italian chocolate maker, and Chocolate NAIVE, a Lithuanian bean-to-bar chocolate maker, offer chocolate bars made with Chuao cacao. Naive was the winner of the European gold medal at the International Chocolate Awards in 2014, as well as Kudvic company www.kudvic.com which makes bean to bar chocolate from Chuao cocoa beans and 20 other plantations of criollo and trinitario beans.
In November 2000, the cacao beans coming from Chuao region were awarded an appellation of origin under the title Cacao de Chuao, allowing producers to negotiate higher prices and attract investment.
- "Branding Matters: The Success of Chuao Cocoa Bean". World International Property Organization. Retrieved 2015-10-16.
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