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  • 2016 will mark the ninth annual Chocolate Festival in Punta Gorda, the capital of Belize’s southern Toledo District. Famed throughout the country and the world for the taste and quality of its cacao beans, Toledo District will celebrate everything chocolate between Friday, May 20, and Sunday, May 22. Visitors will be treated to a delicious spectrum of chocolate-based foods ranging from fantastic desserts to chocolate beer and chocolate-infused wine. A host of other chocolate-based items will also be on sale at the festival, including chocolate soap.

    Less frequently visited by tourists than many other areas of Belize, Punta Gorda and the surrounding areas of Toledo District use the occasion of the Chocolate Festival to showcase the Maya and Garifuna heritage of the region. Visitors are invited to tour nearby cacao farms as well as explore the pristine local rivers by kayak or canoe.

    Attendees of the Chocolate Festival will enjoy live music from local bands. There are plenty of games and activities for the kids, including puppet shows, face-painting booths, and jewelry making workshops. A musical competition will be held on the final day of the festival with musical groups competing for the grand prize. The whole family can enjoy displays of local arts and handicrafts as they nibble on the many delicious chocolate-based and chocolate-inspired foods. Local farmers will also be on hand, selling the country’s finest chocolate by the bar or the pound.

    All of the excitement and delicious foods of the Chocolate Festival are an easy day trip for guests of Laru Beya. The beautiful beachfront resort of Laru Beya is located on the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize and features a popular on-site restaurant serving three meals a day, a bar, swimming pool, and luxury spa.

    Laru Beya is conveniently located just a short boat ride away from the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world. The resort offers comprehensive diving, fishing and snorkeling packages for guests who want to experience first-hand the colorful kaleidoscope of marine life that makes its home in and around the reef. Beyond the chocolate festival, other exciting mainland destinations within easy reach of Laru Beya include the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, tours of the Monkey River, and the Maya ruins of Lubaantum and Nim Li Punit.

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