As worshipers of the cocoa bean, we felt this had to be included in our visit to the Yucatan. The museum is situated between Sayil and Labna on the Puuc Route. If you're driving the route by rental car, it's easy to find and there are signs along the way. We visited in June 2014, which is the low season for tourism, and we came late in the day. Put together, that means we had the place to ourselves.
The fee is 90 pesos per person (about $7). It is self-guided and self-paced. I'm sure some visitors don't care for that set up and I can think of a couple of times I would have liked to ask questions of a guide. But I think the method works very well and don't consider it a negative. You walk along a jungle trail from one Mayan style hut to the next. In each hut are exhibits and explanations of Mayan culture and how cacao related to it. In between huts you can read about local vegetation and animals that are housed there. There is a slight deviation from the main museum trail after either the second or third hut. If you turn right rather than left you can make a loop through a small cacao plantation before picking up the trail again and going on to the next exhibit. It was a pleasant stroll and very interesting to see cacao pods growing in their native environment. You can sponsor a cacao tree and many of the trees there were numbered, obviously because they were sponsored. There's a spider monkey cage there and watching them made for a pleasant few minutes.
At the end of the tour you will be treated to a demonstration of making a warm chocolate drink from freshly roasted cacao beans. Our girl's English was modest but sufficient for us to understand. She was very nice and we enjoyed talking to her. For your drink you have a small buffet of spices to add to it if you wish, I added sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder. It was delicious. And we got seconds, too! There's the obligatory gift shop at the end of the tour and we loved all three of the chocolate bars we bought: lime/almond, chili, and plain dark.
We think this was a worthwhile visit and recommend it to anyone with a passion for chocolate.
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