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Sweet travel ideas for chocoholics

2nd October 2009 Print

Chocoholics rejoice! To celebrate Chocolate Week (12-18 October 2009) specialist tour operator Journey Latin America offers some sweet travel ideas linked to the real home of chocolate.

Cacao beans were first grown by the pre-Columbian Mayan and Aztec civilisations who drank their chocolate cold, unsweetened and considered it to be a drink worthy of the gods. Only members of the ruling class were allowed to drink it as they thought it brought them both wisdom and energy. The ancient Mayans are also thought to have used the beans as a form of currency and one of their most powerful rulers, Ah Cacau (Lord Chocolate), was even named after it!

Visit the chocolate shops along Calle Mina, Oaxaca’s “chocolate street”, where you can see the chocolate being made, then tuck into a tasty plate of pollo con mole (chicken with a spicy chocolate sauce). A nine-night holiday visiting Mexico City, Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido on the Pacific Coast starts from £1,019 per person.

Visit the towering, jungle-clad pyramids of Tikal, the most spectacular of the Mayan world. At its peak, Tikal was ruled by Ah Cacau (Lord Chocolate) whose tomb was later found buried under Temple 1. A nine-night holiday visiting Guatemala’s highlights starts from £1,089 per person.

Stay at a secluded jungle retreat set on the Rio Grande River near the coastal village of Punta Gorda. Take a tour of a cocoa plantation which produces the chocolate for Green and Blacks. A four- night stay at the lodge starts from £792 per person.

Stay on a family-run cocoa plantation, located 15 minutes’ away from Venezuela’s most beautiful beach, Playa Medina on the Paria Peninsula. A 14-night holiday visiting the Angel Falls, Orinioco Delta, the Llanos wetlands and the Paria Peninsula starts from £2,947 per person.

Stock up on Bariloche’s famous chocolate before trekking in the stunning Argentine lake district. The town’s chocolate factories are said to produce over 3000 tons a year. A ten-night holiday visiting Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Santiago starts from £1,154 per person.

All prices quoted are tailor-made and include land transfers, hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy) some meals and guided excursions. International flights are extra.

For more information on Journey Latin America and to see the full range of holidays, visit