One of the most exciting festivals on the Belizean calendar is the yearly Chocolate Festival. From May 19-21, 2017, visitors can explore a dazzling array of chocolate and chocolate-based goodies, including unusual items like chocolate beer and chocolate soap. The Chocolate Festival takes place in and around the town of Punta Gorda in Belize’s Toledo District, an area that has been growing cacao and producing delicious chocolate for thousands of years.
The first night of the Chocolate Festival begins with an elegant wine and chocolate reception at 7:00 PM at The Lodge at Big Falls located 18 miles from Punta Gorda in the village of Big Falls. Attendees can sample delightful chocolate creations from local boutique artisanal specialists like Ix Cacao, Xoco, Che’il, and Cotton Tree Chocolate while sampling fine wines. Live music will be performed by the Garifuna Collectives.
The second day of the Chocolate Festival, Saturday, May 20, will be when the popular Taste of Toledo fair is held on Front Street in Punta Gorda. A lively pedestrian-only event, the Taste of Toledo fair is an excellent way to sample some of the delicious traditional foods of the five biggest cultural groups in the area, Kriol (Creole), Garifuna, Mestizo, Maya, and East Indian. Don’t miss other exciting activities like art displays, live music, and fun and games for the whole family, including face painting, jewelry making, puppet shows, and finger painting. The big event of the day is the Taste of Toledo cooking competition with chefs competing to produce the best sweet and savory dish that uses chocolate.
The third and final day of the Chocolate Festival, Sunday, May 21, is when the grand finale takes place. Held at the Julian Cho Technical High School near Punta Gorda, the activities begin at 12:00 noon and feature live music from traditional Maya harp groups, Marimba, and traditional Maya dances. Sample some ancient Maya drinks like chocolate mixed with corn or black pepper as well as a full spectrum of tasty Maya dishes. The grand finale includes booths set up by local artists and homemade crafts and carvings will be on sale.
Laru Beya resort is located on the beautiful Placencia Peninsula just a short distance from all the excitement of the chocolate festival. Laru Beya can arrange for guests to explore all of the attractions of the festival as well as organizing tours to all of the top destinations on the mainland and the Belize Barrier Reef.