Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ixcacao Chocolate Tour and Hiking Antelope Falls at Bocawina National Park!

Our guests have raved about the Ixcacao (pronounced Ish-cack-cow) Chocolate tour, and we finally had a chance to take it ourselves, with Mark from Cayequest Tours. It was wonderful! It is a full day tour, where you start off visiting Juan and his lovely wife Abelina. You get to try so many fun, exotic treats along the way....hot cacao drink, sugarcane right off the plant, roasted cacao beans, chocolate at every stage of making it (including making your own!), all kinds of chocolate flavors - even liquor!, and then you get one of the best authentic Belizean meals I've ever had. So good in fact that I even bought a little cookbook of her recipes.
Dave, me, Abelina, Juan, and Mark.....and yep I am totally aware that we look like avatars in this picture.
Hot Cacao drink.....unbelievably good!
Juan teaching us how to make chocolate from the bean...you even get to take your chocolate home with you!
After that fun, depending on timing, you may stop at a Mayan family's home, where they will explain how they cook in their outdoor kitchen, tell you some really interesting stories about their family set up, and show you how they make those Mayan baskets you see everywhere!

Finally, you stop at Nim Li Punit Mayan ruins, where Mark gives some great history about burials, culture, and the village structure.
Everyone on the tour loved it, and it has been unanimously highly recommended!

Another highly recommended activity is to hike at Bocawina National Park, There are several hikes to choose from, as you can see on this map:
We did Antelope Falls this time, and please note, this hike was NOT for the faint of heart. Much of it was uphill, and you had to use ropes to pull yourself up and let yourself down at times! But, totally worth it....the waterfalls were totally amazing the whole way through. 
Rope climbing!
Look for signs to the view--you climb over to a ledge where you are treated to this amazing view all the way to the sea....this picture doesn't capture its awesomeness at all!

Be ready for LOTS of steps. You'll feel it for 2 days afterwards.
Rock climbing.

Finally, I wanted to share some totally gratuitous and random pictures from the last couple weeks. 
View from the veranda at Wendy's Creole Grill.....every time we eat here we wonder why we don't eat here more often. Great fish!
THIS PICTURE. There is a chihuahua smiling on a kayak. Go ahead and click it to get a close up, you know you want to!
My mom came for a visit, and we had such a great time. She is terrible with knives so I thought it would be fun to teach her to machete a coconut. (she didn't even break its skin.)
One last random observation this week. I hadn't eaten at Omar's in a while and had the chance to try it again. I felt I had to mention that you can call and have him deliver stewed chicken, rice and beans to your door, and I realized that it was the best stewed chicken I can remember having in a long time! There is a reason Omar's is always on the must-eat list :) 


9 comments:

  1. Loved this post as we hiked Antelope Falls a few years ago. You hit the nail on the head -- it was a tough hike, especially for folks a lot older than you (i.e., US!) but so beautiful and totally worth the effort. We also enjoyed eating at Omar's. The chocolate tour looks fab!

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  2. Ive really enjoyed reading your posts. This truly is a magical place. My wife and i have been living in Monkey River for almost a year now and plan on visiting Placencia more as we are able to get out more...great to know what places are gems! Always on the lookout for especially good food and adventure.

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