Cotton Tree Lodge Chocolate Week May 2014
And the Toledo Chocolate Festival
This May, we invite you to join us for a full week in beautiful Belize, exploring the Mayan origins of chocolate and relaxing in the thatched-roof cabanas of Cotton Tree Lodge. For enthusiasts seeking to better understand the chocolate-making process from bean to bar, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Cotton Tree Lodge your base for the week is a beautiful setting, comfortable accommodations nestled amidst the rainforest on the banks of the Moho River. The region is rich with Mayan history, ancient ruins are today amid villages where the descendants of these ancient civilizations live today. Here you’re encouraged to kick back and relax in the lodge, or head out with a Cotton Tree guide on a one-of-a-kind adventure. Horseback riding, bird watching hikes, and darkened swims in Blue Creek Cave are just some of the excursions available at this jungle oasis. Visitors can choose from a range of fully screened, thatch-roofed lodging options, from shared dorms to deluxe cabanas featuring private bathrooms, ceiling fans, balconies, and hammocks.
While providing guests with comfortable accommodations and modern amenities, Cotton Tree Lodge is committed to minimizing its impact on the unspoiled Belizean rainforest. Energy for the lodge is generated via solar panels and diesel power. Much of the food served is grown in Cotton Tree’s own organic garden, inspired by our partnership with Sustainable Harvest International.
Chocolate from Bean to Bar:
The week’s activities, will center on the history and cultivation of cacao, and how it's transformed into craft chocolate. You will also have the opportunity to attend the annual Chocolate Festival activities. This will include the opening night Chocolate and Wine and tasting on Friday, May 23rd and the Taste of Toledo Street Fair on Saturday, May 24th in Punta Gorda Town. The climate of Southern Belize has proven just right for farming Theobroma Cacao, because of its tropical lowland climate, and Cotton Tree Lodge is the ideal base from which to explore this Mayan tradition.
Your week will begin with a visit to a local cacao farm, “Eladio Pop’s Agouit Farm” where he will show you how to identify healthy, ripe cacao pods and how to properly harvest the flesh and seeds inside. At lunch time during your visit to Eladio home, you’ll watch and assist as a traditional Mayan cacao drink is made by hand with traditional stone tools.
You’ll also make an excursion to a CottonTree Chocolate “factory” in the village of Punta Gorda, where a local artisanal chocolate maker will demonstrate the roasting and winnowing steps, in which the beans are heated to impart flavor and eliminate moisture, and the shells are removed. With the freshly winnowed cacao, you’ll make your own high-quality chocolate bars, seeing the process through the final steps of conching, tempering and molding. You’ll have finished chocolate bars to bring home with you!
Another highlight of the week is the Lodge's proximity to Maya Mountain Cacao, Later in the week you will tour the Maya Mountain Cacao facility, a direct trade company. You will be guided through the fermentation process, the most significant factor in flavor development on the farm using the beans you collected, you’ll gain fascinating insight into the economy of chocolate
“Special Rate” for the Chocolate Week,
We are offering a special rate for double occupancy in our Deluxe Cabana and single occupancy in our Garden Vista Room. Price includes all taxes, and service charge (gratuity is included). See below
- 7 night stay in a Deluxe Cabana (2 adults) or Garden Vista Room (1 adult)
- Round trip airfare between Belize City and Punta Gorda
- Round trip ground transfer between Punta Gorda and the lodge
- All meals, starting with dinner on arrival night through breakfast on departure day
- All chocolate related activities such as sourcing and chocolate making
- Tour to Maya Mountain Cacao Facility
- Tour to Eladio’s Chocolate Farm
- Tour to Cotton Tree Chocolate Factory
- 2 days offsite adventure or cultural tours of your choice
- 1 ticket per person to the chocolate and wine tasting festival
- Total cost for Deluxe Cabana double occupancy ($3,887.73 USD)
- Total cost for Garden Vista Room single occupancy ($2,193.73 USD)