Fodor's Expert Review Fond Doux Estate
One of the earliest French estates established by land grants (1745 and 1764), this plantation still produces cocoa, citrus, bananas, coconuts, and vegetables on 135 hilly acres within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Soufrière. The restored 1864 plantation house is still in use, as well. A 90-minute guided walking tour begins at the cocoa fermentary, and takes you through the chocolate-making process. You then follow a lushly-planted nature trail, where a guide points out various fruit- or spice-bearing trees, tropical flowers, and indigenous birds (and their unique songs). Additional trails lead to old military ruins, a religious shrine, and a vantage point for viewing the spectacular Pitons. Cool drinks and an optional Creole buffet lunch are served after the tour. Souvenirs, including freshly-made chocolate sticks, are sold at the boutique.