IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate

IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate, San Felipe: Address, Phone Number, IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate Reviews: 5/5

IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate

IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate
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IXCACAO, “Queen of Cacao, goddess of fertility and happiness!”, For our guests, we offer hands-on chocolate making sessions, tours of the cacao farm and our production facilities. We can share with you the ancient Maya traditions of chocolate, in relation to our religion, economy, and environment. We will show you the secrets of Maya chocolate making and it's historical significance in our culture and its expansion around the world. Our guests can sample our products - including chocolate bars, cacao powder, butter, hot chocolate, and cacao wine - and visit our gift shop to purchase chocolate and other local artisan gifts. A visit to IXCACAO is educational, fun, and tasty. A must-see in Belize!
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5.0
262 reviews
Excellent
227
Very good
25
Average
5
Poor
3
Terrible
2

PartyOfSix96
Houston, TX9 contributions
Family
“I feel changed,” was what one of our teenagers said after we left Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate. Juan (the aptly named “Chocolate King”) took us on a fascinating tour of their private rainforest property on which this family grows the cacao and an abundance of other plants. Among other things, we sampled/saw sugar cane, sage, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, avocados, coconuts, a peculiar type of rainforest apples, and of course, cacao. Juan is a FANTASTIC teacher. He kept us engaged in the conversation and taught us about the incredible abundance of the rainforest.

After the tour, we returned to their home to enjoy a chocolate-making demonstration and tasting, plus a DELICIOUS lunch prepared by Juan’s wife, the Chocolate Queen. We loved spending time with this family.

I cannot stress enough how fantastic the whole experience was. It was a major highlight of our vacation. I highly recommend this!

A few notes:
1) We booked directly with Juan through their website and did the Gold Tour.
2) I’d recommended hiking shoes, long pants and powerful insect repellent. This is the rainforest. We went during the rainy season, so it was muddy. Sandals are insufficient. Tennis shoes are okay as long as you don’t mind getting them dirty.
3) The unpaved road you have to take to get there is rough, but I promise it’s worth enduring.
4) We were staying in Placencia during this trip. If you have the endurance, it’s possible to do this tour + a tour of the nearby Mayan ruins at Lubaantum in one day. If you’re looking to be efficient with your time, maximizing experiences and minimizing travel time, it’s a good combination.
Written July 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zach Gilbert
Denver, CO10 contributions
A bit off the beaten path - but don't skip it! Definitely a highlight of our trip. Juan and his family were extremely welcoming, knowledgeable and passionate about education and all of the astounding things happening on their family farm. Our family was complete engrossed as we were immersed in another world. We particularly loved the time and attention taken to savor all of the amazing flavors throughout the journey - including a truly mouth-watering lunch feast prepared by Juan's wife and served in their open air kitchen. Wonderful.
Written January 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Julie D
6 contributions
If you love good food and want to know where it comes from and how it's made, this tour is a must. The long drive and dirt road are definitely worth it! Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation.

Juan gave us a great tour of the farm. We saw, smelled and tasted so many different fruits and spices. It was interesting to see the diversity of the farm and learn about how they grow their food.

Juan had to run into town, so his son Henry continued as our guide. He did a great job and explained the whole process of how chocolate is made. His Mother made the most amazing chocolate chicken with rice and beans and
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emma D
2 contributions
Couples
We had so much fun and learned so much. From tree to final products, and getting to do some work ourselves, the family was warm, welcoming, and entertaining. The lunch made by the Queen of Cacao and her daughter was so delicious and our whole group cleaned their plates and seconds were available but we were full. I arrive home wishing I had bought 10 times more chocolate than I did. I hope you enjoy your time with their family as much as we did.
Written December 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

444Mandy444
6 contributions
Couples
IXCACAO was by far the biggest highlight during our honeymoon to Belize and we had a LOT of highlights, including the ATM cave. There are not enough kind words to say about Juan and Abelina. They are truly amazing human beings who treated us so wonderfully, we left feeling like old friends. VISITING JUAN AND ABELINA at IXCACAO IS A MUST DO! No matter where you are in Belize make the drive or flight or take a bus, whatever it takes. To feel how connected they are to their farm, to each other, to Belize, and how proud they are to not only carry on Mayan culture but share it with others is truly incredible.

I am a huge fan of chocolate, and experiencing Belizean chocolate was one of the things we looked forward to on our honeymoon. After scouring the internet IXCACAO always rose to the top on my must visit list. We made the drive to Juan and Abelina’s farm only to find out they normally do pre-arranged tours (Which we totally understand, he has a working farm to run! we just goofed on figuring that out). Knowing we came all that way Juan and Abelina changed their entire plans for that day to show us the farm and treat us to Belizean hospitality that was beyond compare.

The farm tour exceeded all expectations! Juan is SO knowledgeable and the way he explains things you get lost in the beautiful story that is his farm. We literally ate our way through his farm as he gave us our tour. Everything from lemon grass, ginger, turmeric, pears, sugar cane, allspice leaves, you name it. We were grateful to learn SO MUCH from him!

Back at his “chocolate palace” Abelina was busy making lunch for us and roasting cacao beans for us to make into our own chocolate! The chocolate making process was AMAZING, so hands on and SO INFORMATIVE! Plus we got to sample all of the different chocolate he makes! Cinnamon, cardamom, coconut etc. SO GOOD.

And oh my goodness, Abelina’s lunch. She didn’t just make a lunch, she made a feast! Everything came from their farm and the flavors were beyond anything I have found in the states or in any of my travel. I literally hunted every menu the rest of the trip to find something even close to what Abelina made but to no avail. We purchased her cookbook, many bars of chocolate and of course our “Chocolate saves the rainforest” T-shirts which we wear often. Our only regret was that we didn’t bring more $ to purchase more chocolate and other goodies in the their gift shop.

DO YOURSELVES THE FAVOR and VISIT IXCACAO and do the full farm and chocolate making tour. We hope to be back to visit, but we for sure will be ordering chocolate! We did sample chocolate from two other places (just picked up a bar in the grocery store) and it was no comparison to IXCACAO. We had planned on touring other farms, but after visiting Juan and Abelina, feeling their hospitality and tasting their chocolate we knew there was no reason. Thank you Juan and Abelina, you two are SO WONDERFUL!
Written July 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael S
Bristol, UK69 contributions
Couples
This is a fabulous, informative and interesting tour led by Juan with lunch provided by his wife Abelina. Juan takes us through the whole process of cultivating, growing, harvesting and then making the chocolate. We were treated to different flavours of chocolate to compare them. The science of chocolate making is clearly explained and it is salutory to note how the manufacture has changed since the original pure gift of the cacao was discovered. Here you can taste it in its purity.
This is a small operation - one that is done with great love and pride for the traditions of the Mayan people. You can buy some bars as you leave too.
The lunch was exceptionally good - the best we had in Belize.
Thanks Juan and Abelina
Written December 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah
Tucson, AZ204 contributions
Couples
Wonderful, delicious, educational, and great fun. We had an introductory tour by the owner, Juan, of several different kids of chocolate trees when we first arrived. Then we went inside (a porch) where we learned so much about chocolates and got a basic education, including hands-on, about how chocolate is made. We also got to make some of our own. Then we had a great tasting of about 10 kinds of chocolate with different flavors and amounts of sugar added. Then a tiny cup of different kinds of wines made from chocolate. This was followed by a very delicious and plentiful buffet lunch prepared by Juan's wife. The real treat was chocolate covered chicken which was beyond a wonderful description.
I have a new and totally awesome regard for Belizean dark chocolate. We bought a lot at great prices in the small gift shop at the end of our tour.
Written December 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gregory F
4 contributions
Couples
My wife and I were super excited to visit Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate during our week in Belize. Mr. Cho responded quickly to my email re: scheduling and managed to get us in on our first full day in country. We very much appreciated his accommodation as we had limited availability to get out to San Felipe. We traveled in a rental car (for lack of a better term) the 2 1/2 hours from Placencia. There is not much in the way of signage on the highways. As such, we were somewhat unsure we'd made it to the right place until we saw heir sign at our turn onto a rocky, pitted, rough road. All 212k miles on that rental must have been rugged.

Juan met us at their house and we proceeded on to the farm. In short, it was a beautiful and enthralling experience. We sampled fruits, spices, and other edibles right from the leaf, the ground, the core, etc. I even ate termites (yes, they are minty as advertised) though my wife politely declined. Juan is passionate about conservation and devoted to sustainable agriculture but also sustaining their rich Mayan culture. He explained that in a village as small as San Felipe food is far more important than money. They provide jobs, enrichment, and support for their community. The tour and his insights were about far more than just the cacao bean.

The chocolate making was interactive and engaging. Their love is in their work and you are allowed to share in the experience from shelling beans to grinding them up progressively into a thick 100% cacao cream. We also sampled each of their many varieties.

Abuelina's lunch was divine. I don't know if we can hope to recreate her chocolate chicken at home but it was a meal worth 3x what I paid, served with grace, charm, and the comfort of family.

Lastly, we saw that the have a small factory downstairs and are selling around the world. We definitely took some for ourselves and for family.

Please forget everything you know of "chocolate" from Hershey Park. Juan and Abuelina put the cultural in agricultural and I cannot recommend them enough. Go visit!!
Written August 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hector S
New Orleans, LA15 contributions
Couples
Serene...at peace...one good spirit of a human being..... the buddha belly is from his laughter and his love of his wife's great cooking followed by his daily chocolate habit...We never made it to the farm but I am told the mayan elves are quite nice...ok...if thats not PC then please disregard...overall..I would return to see Juan and family followed by the great kindness..cheers to juan as I continue to drinking the nectar of the mayan gods...Chocolate...thanks
Written April 25, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chelsea B
10 contributions
Juan is a natural storyteller and absolutely draws you in and welcomes you into their home. The meal made by Abelina was incredible seriously the best meal we had in Belize! This is a must do if you visit!
Written July 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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