Cacao & Culture Tours

Cacao & Culture Tours


Join Soul Lift Cacao founder Nick Meador for an incredible journey to Oaxaca (pronounced wah-hah-cah) for Day of the Dead 2024.

Oaxaca City is known as a spiritual epicenter in Mexico for this unique holiday that connects the living to the afterlife during the transition from October to November.

This is also an opportunity to meet the people who make Mitla ceremonial cacao, which is grown in Chiapas and prepared east of Oaxaca City.

The villages and archaeology sites around Oaxaca City make for an epic adventure in themselves. And going for Day of the Dead allows us to show respect the local culture, connect with our own lost loved ones, and find more meaning from our living days.

Woven into the texture of the tour will be Nick’s guidance on how to travel responsibly, so that we can have a positive impact in the places we visit.

Plus this tour is a collaboration with Lembranza, a group of local tour guides in Oaxaca City that's all about "conscious and respectful tours"!

TOUR DATES: Activities scheduled from Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2024

  • Arrive by Sat, Oct 26. The group separates on Sun, Nov 3.


  • Visits to multiple indigenous groups working with cacao and chocolate traditions.
  • Day of the Dead cemetery tour and "Muerteada" parades.
  • Markets in Oaxaca City (Central de Abastos) and Tlocolula de Matamoros (Zapotec village).
  • Visits to Monte Alban and Mitla archaeology sites.
  • Learning about natural dyeing & weaving traditions, alebrijes (pronounced ah-ley-bree-hays... colorful animal spirits), and traditional black porcelain.
  • Hierve el Agua (petrified waterfall) and Tree of Tule (approx. 1,400-year-old tree... stoutest in the world).
  • Eight (8) nights lodging (private & shared options) in a cozy hotel occupied solely by our group.
  • Ground transportation including airport shuttles and to/from all group activities.
  • Meals from breakfast on Oct 27 to breakfast on Nov 3.

NOTE 1: This tour doesn't include visits to cacao farms, which are VERY FAR from Oaxaca City.

NOTE 2: This tour doesn't include ceremonies in the way Westerners usually think of "cacao ceremonies," because that's not part of the local traditions. However, cacao is intertwined with Day of the Dead celebrations, and so the intention and expectation is for this to be a deep journey. We'll have daily sharing circles, and facilitators will be available to support.

TOUR MAP (Number locations will be listed on the registration page sent to approved applicants)



Shared Lodging - $1,799 USD per person

-- Specify on the application if you're coming alone (to be matched with other solos but sleep in your own bed) or as part of a couple (to have your own room together).

Private Individual Room - $2,099 USD per person

• Payment can be all at once, or you can save your spot with a $599 deposit.

• Payments by credit/debit card, Venmo, or Paypal are subject to a 2.9% service fee. Options to avoid the fee include paying by Zelle or wire transfer.



To maximize the synergy of the group, we are having potential participants fill out an application. The specific trip itinerary and other details will be shared with those who are approved. All potential participants must fill out the application separately – including both people in a couple.




Join Soul Lift Cacao founder Nick Meador on an adventure through Guatemala to visit cacao farms and collectives who make some of the world’s best ceremonial cacao.

Seeing all the stages from tree to cup at the origin is the best way to truly appreciate this superfood and plant ally, and to grasp the difference when cacao is prepared at the source using ancient indigenous methods.

This is also an opportunity to meet and thank the people who work hard to make the cacao that you love, and to learn more about Mayan culture first-hand.

Nick has made extensive trips through Guatemala over the last seven years. He curates these journeys to be both educational and transformative, with the help of local guides, farmers, and artisans. 

On the trip it becomes clear how the true ceremonial cacao is not just a movement for spiritual self-development, but also a movement for ethical international trade and environmental sustainability.

Whether you come more for personal enrichment or to support your cacao facilitation practice, you'll leave with much more confidence in how to be ethical and respectful when enjoying cacao.

Woven into the texture of the tour is Nick’s guidance on how to travel responsibly, so that we can have a positive impact in the places we visit.


Stay tuned for 2024/2025 Guatemala tour announcements.


  • A multi-day immersion in Lanquin, Alta Verapaz, at the regenerative center where Tuk Tuk cacao is grown.
  • A day at Semuc Champey nature preserve (turquoise river for swimming and hiking) and the Grutas de Lanquin (caves where bats fly out at dusk).
  • Visits to Tikal and Yaxhá national parks. Both are are major archaeology sites from ancient Mayan civilization.


    • Tours of at least two sustainable cacao farms in the Suchitepéquez region
    • Visiting Lake Atitlan to meet the Mayan collectives and artisans who make Heart of the Earth (Ruk’u’x Ulew), Lavalove, El Cielo, and other varieties of ceremonial cacao
    • Visits to a weaving cooperative, a stingless bee sanctuary, and more!
      • At least two ceremonies with cacao, led by Mayan guides
      • Eight (8) nights lodging (private & shared options)
      • All ground transportation (starting and ending in Guatemala City)
        • Options available for those who need to start or end in Antigua or Panajachel, Lake Atitlán. (There might be additional cost depending on your needs.
      • Most meals the during the tour
        • Vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options
        • Some organized meals will only be vegetarian due to limited food supplies in rural Guatemala
        • Due to the unpredictable nature of travel in a developing country, organized meals happen 2-3 times per day during the tour. Participants will have the option to bring snacks or find more food. There will be no refunds for missed meals.


        “My intention in coming on the tour was to connect with cacao, to learn about it and learn from it. The intention was definitely met, and went beyond any expectations I could have set. There’s a saying in Spanish that loosely translates to ‘When you wake up, do it cautiously so as not to disrupt someone else’s journey, dream, or path.’ It’s what I’m really trying to emulate, and I appreciated that about Nick. He is awakened but doing it cautiously and mindfully. Nick is such a quiet yet strong force. In so few words, he taught me so much, and I’m really grateful for that. I’m also really grateful because Nick is one of the few white people I’ve personally encountered who authentically pay tribute, make space and give honor to the medicine and medicine carriers who deserve it. As a Latina, I often experience anger towards the lack of cultural sensitivity of white people who don't honor nor make space for the medicine and medicine carriers whose birth-given right is to be in that space. Being enveloped in a space where the medicine and medicine carriers were honored was in itself so healing because it allowed me to embrace the call of returning to and remembering my ancestral practices. Labels associated with those ancestral practices are difficult for me to accept and by Nick creating this space, it’s really helping me as a Latina release fears, and accept who I am and who I am meant to be. Not many white people create spaces like these. I dare to say that Nick is the first white male person that has created the space for me to resonate with my ancestral identity, so I am eternally grateful for the space and for Nick. I see how much in service Nick is to the medicine, and it inspires me to be in service as well.” - Stephanie AlvarezMusician, Educator, Mexico City Native - Nov 2023 tour


        "This was absolutely a life-changing trip! I jumped on Nick's tour without knowing much about him or Soul Lift Cacao and I don't have any regrets! I found his information after a night of Google searching for the perfect cacao tour and decided to go with his tour after seeing he was working with some of the people I already followed on Instagram like Lavalove etc.  I really liked how he takes you through every step of the process in working with cacao from meeting producers, growers, roasters, Mayan elders, and so much more. I chose his trip because he actively spoke about honoring where your cacao comes from and after his experience I have gained so much knowledge, respect, and appreciation for this sacred tree and the people that preserve her! Thank you Nick" - Alessandra Motola, Travel Agent - March 2023 tour


        "Wow! What an incredible, unique experience! Everything about this tour, from start to finish was mindfully hand picked for a well rounded experience. You will not be able to find this type of trip anywhere else. Every collective we visited had something different to share. It was such a gift to learn about this sacred, ancient medicine and to witness it's full life from seed to cup, first hand. Every tour, every experience was facilitated by the warmest, most genuine people who wanted nothing more than to welcome us into their homes and their lives and spread the word about who they are and what cacao represents. We learned so much more than how to make cacao. We witnessed a gentle, kind group of people and we experienced their lives first hand. Nick does an incredible job of curating this experience and managing all facets of the trip, I felt like I had nothing to worry about. You arrive wanting to learn about cacao, you leave with an open heart full of gratitude and a new perspective on your life and others." - Laurel Ziemienski, Ananda Healing Arts - Dec 2022 tour


        "This cacao tour was more than I could have imagined. I signed up with the intention of wanting to learn more about cacao, and I feel like I walked away with so much more. This thoughtfully curated tour was a journey not only into the depths of the lands that grow cacao, but a journey into the hands and hearts that continue to courageously protect Mayan Indigenous wisdom and traditions. I was transformed by the gracious opportunities to sit in ceremony with these wisdom keepers and also by witnessing the labor of love each bar of ceremonial cacao offered really is. Grateful to the Soul Lift Cacao team for sharing such a beautiful experience with the world. Please do not miss out on this transformative tour!" - Toni Kim, Holistic & Integrative Psychotherapist - Dec 2022 tour


        Photos from a previous cacao tour:



        LODGING PREVIEW FROM OUR WESTERN GUATEMALA TOUR IN MARCH 2024 (full lodging details provided to approved applicants):


        Nick spent years traveling throughout Central America connecting with cacao farms, collectives, and experts. He founded Soul Lift Cacao to create a positive impact in the world by helping Mayan collectives share their cacao in the U.S. and beyond.

        On top of that, Nick has been on a path of facilitation, leadership, and self-development for about a decade. He has trained in various traditions, schools, and lineages for healing and self-development, and looks for the parallels that tie them together. 

        Nick created the Soul Lift Cacao Method to provide an ethical and responsible way to share ceremonial cacao in modern settings, and to create safe containers for transformational journeys. He has been training people to share cacao on their own since 2017. 


        Cacao is the natural, unprocessed form of chocolate grown in tropical regions around the world. Most people know cacao as a superfood. It has possibly the highest amount of antioxidants of any food. Cacao contains beneficial minerals like iron and magnesium. And the main active compound, theobromine, gives a boost of energy without the crash or cravings that can happen with coffee.

        Yet cacao also has another aspect not spoken about in health food stores. Legends tell of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations using cacao for introspective and celebratory purposes, calling it the “Food of the Gods” and even trading it like currency. This more mysterious "plant medicine" side of cacao offers the potential to put you more in touch with your body and your soul. You can gain insights into the best direction moving forward, as well as the focus and motivation to take action towards those goals.



        Nick Meador is of mixed European heritage and not of Guatemalan or Mayan descent. So he puts a lot of effort into making sure his work is ethical and responsible. Nick works in close partnership with Mayan teachers and cacao workers in an ongoing effort to bridge cacao into the modern world. It's all based on direct, consensual relationship, and an attitude of curiosity about this special plant that has changed Nick's life so profoundly, particularly on his path of healing from chronic illness. As an American who started traveling to Guatemala in 1996, and who has a deep background in facilitation, Nick is in a fitting position to lead this tour for Americans and people from other Western countries. The intention is to bring positive impact for both visitors and our Guatemalan hosts, while minimizing or eliminating potential harm. Feel free to write to with any questions.

        *Note: Specific lodging and activity details are subject to change due to factors out of our control. We are doing our best to represent the essence of the tour and what it will involve. We will update the group of any alterations to the plan.

        Oaxaca mural by Bouler

        Guatemala photos 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 above by Clara Angel Neumann

        Verified Reviews