February 23 - March 2, 2019
Cost: $1570 per person
Includes lodging, meals, and ground transportation. Does not include flights, lodging upgrades, or activities on the three free days (refer to Cotton Tree Lodge site for adventure options).
Children 4-11: 1/2 price; Children 0-3: free
BELIZE 2019 - CACAO ORIGINS ADVENTURE TRIP
Day 1, Saturday
Arrival and Orientation
Arrive in Belize City International Airport. Ground transfer by van to Cotton Tree Lodge, where you will join the rest of the group (if you are flying into Punta Gorda, Cotton Tree Lodge hosts will pick you up there). Introductions and orientation meeting. Appetizers followed by dinner in the Main Lodge and chocolate tasting. Rest up before the week’s adventures begin!
Day 2, Sunday
Cacao Farm Tours, Traditional Mayan Chocolate Making Demonstration
Excursion to two organic cacao farms. Hike the trails along with a Mayan farmer and learn how his productive farm coexists with the surrounding ecosystems of the rainforest. We will eat lunch in the farmer’s home, and learn how to make traditional Mayan drinking chocolate. In the afternoon we will tour the nursery and learn about cacao genetics, grafting, and planting considerations. We will also learn about the process of pressing cacao juice and making cacao wine.
Day 3, Monday
Day 4, Tuesday
Traditional Foods & Cultures
The Mayan diet traditionally included a lot of corn, along with main staples such as squash, beans and chili peppers, and modern Maya people still follow a largely similar diet to their ancestors. In the morning we will go to the Mayan village of Santa Ana, where we will enter into the home of Eusebia Bo. We will help Mrs. Bo in the processes of shucking dried corn, boiling, washing and grinding the kernels into a corn dough, and then shaping the dough to form round tortillas. We will take our fresh tortillas back to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we will get a tour of Cotton Tree Lodge's extensive farm and gardens.
Day 5, Wednesday
Day 6, Thursday
Chocolate Factory Tour and Hands on Chocolate Making Workshop
Cacao Workshop at the Cotton Tree Chocolate factory in Punta Gorda for a hands-on bean to bar chocolate making experience. Topics include: Roasting, Crushing, Winnowing, Grinding, Conching, Recipe Formulation, Tempering, Molding, and Packaging. Each participant will leave with three chocolate bars they made themselves. Punta Gorda is a really interesting village and there will be time to explore.
Day 7, Friday
Farewell dinner & dancing featuring live Garifuna drumming.
Day 8, Saturday
Group van transport to Punta Gorda or Belize City is included; some may prefer to arrange flights from Punta Gorda to Belize City.