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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Discover Chocolate’s Origins in Punta Gorda


5. Oddball Day

Cacao beans drying outside, left, and the Toledo Cacao Grower’s Association, right.  

Head to the Toledo Cacao Grower’s Association (TCGA) on Main Street in the early morning to catch a glimpse of the cacao farmers selling their beans at fair-trade prices. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch Mr. Buns pedaling around on his bike selling hot, homemade cinnamon and cheese buns. As the coastline steams up, cool off with a drive up into the mountains to find the stalwart German-speaking Mennonite farmers—just off the road to San Miguel—who fled here from Mexico in the fifties and who continue to produce and sell dairy, including a particularly creamy yogurt that’s an ideal accompaniment to spicy dishes. Continue on the gravel roads to Rio Blanco National Park, where a cascading twenty-foot waterfall drops into a deep pool (local legend says it’s bottomless) filled with crystal-clear water, where tourists and locals converge for refreshing swims. Several nature trails surround the waterfalls. The more adventurous will want to explore the cenote (underwater cave) at Blue Creek, which cuts 600 yards deep into the earth.

Published on Jan 22, 2009 as a web exclusive.

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