Day Three of The Belize Chocolate Festival: The Lubaantun Maya Site

After a week of computer PROBLEMS (that seem to have worked themselves out – yes I know…too good to be true) and travel from Belize to Cancun to the US, I can now get back to it.  One week late.  The last day of the fantastic Chocolate Festival in Southern Belize.

Here is an overview of the three day line up.

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Evening one was the Chocolate and Wine Reception.  Lovely.  Day Two was a favorite of mine.  The street festival in downtown Punta Gorda.  Local businesses, artists, musicians, local cooks and chefs displaying what they do and asking the whole town to join in.  From Belikin Chocolate stout battered lion fish sample to FANTASTIC Garifuna drumming,  I just loved this event.

Saturday night there was a short but very pretty fireworks display over the sea JUST before it started raining.  Asha’s Cultural Kitchen was the perfect place to watch while eating lionfish curry, coconut brown rice and calalloo cooked with coconut oil and garlic.

The last day, Sunday, took place at the Maya site of Lubaantun about 25 minutes outside of Punta Gorda in the tiny village of Columbia.  (The local bar is called Club Medellin going with the village name…)

Just before the Lubaantun site is an EARTHSHIP.  The ONLY Earthship in Belize.  But more on that tomorrow…

Take me to your Earth Ship.

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We took a shuttle bus to the entrance and the site is down a steep grassy hill over a small bridge and back up the hill.

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This site is very different from others I’ve seen…I like it.  Rather than rebuild the site completely, parts of it have been uncovered but left a bit…crumbly and with beautiful huge trees growing right out of it.   Deconstructed.

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The main plaza was where all the action was going down.  Booths set up with crafts…a bar tent packed with chocolate stout…

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and good old fashioned festival contests.  Love it.  Like Chocolate Stout chugging contest…

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Apparently they go down quite nicely.  The winner stepped forward minutes later.

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And a Cacao grinding contest later.  A real pro vs an American who had never tried it before.  It looks easy but trust me…it’s not.

Watching her competitor for tips.

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My favorite part was the recreation of a Mayan ritual – presenting the cacao harvest to the cacao god.

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Beautiful to see this dance here on the site where something similar may have taken place hundreds or thousands of years ago…

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Gorgeous.  And though I ticked a few items off my Punta Gorda bucket list like the Chocolate festival, visiting Lubaantun, I have added a ton more.  I still need to see Blue Creek and the local caves, I want to head out to the Snake and Sapodilla cayes and see the reef, I want to visit the local spice farm, I want to take more lessons at the Warasa Drum School, I want to visit the Confederate graveyards, sugar mill & crumbling plantation houses…here is one (not so crumbling and occupied by the town conferedate in Punta Gorda),

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and a book about it that I need to finish reading…

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I want to make tofu at Gomier’s Restaurant...and the list goes on.

For more information, check out the Belize Chocolate Festival website and plan to be there next year!  The town of Punta Gorda is a small one and though there are lodges and inns outside of town also, spots book up quickly.






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  • Looks like a great day. I think I could have been a contender in the chocolate stout chugging contest. I loved that stuff! I also love how visiting an area inspires so many other ideas and future activities for you. You will NEVER be bored even in the tiny country of Belize!