IZAPA RUINS & CHOCOLATE DISCOVERY
The pre-Columbian archaeological site of Izapa is believed to be the origin of the sacred Mayan calendar. Often referred to as the “birthplace of time,” the ruins are a must-see attraction for adventurers, history enthusiasts, and chocolate lovers. Yes, chocolate. Not only was Izapa a major cacao producer but this four-hour excursion will also showcase […]
The pre-Columbian archaeological site of Izapa is believed to be the origin of the sacred Mayan calendar. Often referred to as the “birthplace of time,” the ruins are a must-see attraction for adventurers, history enthusiasts, and chocolate lovers. Yes, chocolate. Not only was Izapa a major cacao producer but this four-hour excursion will also showcase the ancient civilization’s sweet legacy with a demonstration of chocolate making in a nearby village.
Admire the lush tropical rainforest as you travel north from Puerto Chiapas into the Guatemala Highlands. Just 45 minutes later, you’ll arrive at Izapa, one of the most interesting Mayan sites in the region and the setting of the first human settlers about 3,500 years ago. During your guided tour, of Section F, you’ll stroll past cobbled pyramids, sculptured plazas and squares, ceremonial platforms, and stone-carved monuments that date roughly from 300 B.C. to 100 B.C. At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Aztecs had conquered the area and continued to plant cacao trees. In time, cacao beans were traded throughout the region and used in Middle America as a form of currency. At the conclusion of your tour you’ll climb back aboard your minibus for a short drive through the lush green fields and hills.
You’ll arrive in the nearby village of Tuxtla Chico where you’ll learn about the discovery and history of the sacred cacao bean and its importance to the Mayan people.
From the town square you’ll enter a crayon-colored building for a demonstration, by local ladies, the same way they do at home, of the chocolate-making process and a taste of Chiapas candy made with Chiapas chocolate. First, you’ll see the ripe cacao fruit the color of a green football measuring almost a foot in length. Then, you’ll see the cacao seeds roasting and ground together with cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and almonds with a stone rolling pin on a stone block. Next, it’s formed into a big log and sliced into small pieces. Finally, you’ll get to taste a sample.
Then, with the incredible imagery, history, and taste sensations from this wonderful journey in mind, you’ll enjoy the drive back to your ship.
The day can be hot and muggy so it’s advised that you wear light, comfortable clothing and a hat. The ruins are located on wet and hilly land made of volcanic soil so closed-toe walking shoes are recommended. Be sure to put on sunscreen and insect repellant. And don’t forget a camera or video recorder to capture the stunning sights (there is a $5 fee for video cameras).
12 & under reduced
WHAT TO BRING
- Bio insect repellent
- Bio sun screen
- Comfortable shoes
- Money for tips and souvenirs
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