As many of you may know, I am a big fan of anything done in the private sector that promotes the Yucatan and the Eco Museo de Cacao, Plantacion Ticul, was one of my favorite places in the world. However, thanks in part to zero help from the authorities entrusted to promote tourism at the government level, this attraction which is not blatantly commercial and does a fantastic job of describing and promoting all things Mayan in the Yucatan, suffered from a lack of visitors. The new location is now across the street from Uxmal, making it easier to get to, even for cruisers that are in the area for only a short time.
A recent visit to the new, somewhat unfortunately named Choco Story chocolate museum proved to me that they have done a great job of recreating the original attraction. Many of the original ideas that made the place so attractive have been recreated at the new location including the monkeys, the chocolate drink preparation and sampling and the exhibits on Mayan history and cacao in the area. There have been some additions made as well, to make the experience more complete, including two new chozas or Mayan huts that describe the chocolate experience when it came to Europe, and the making of chocolate bon bons or pralines, again in Europe. The music in each exhibit is now appropriate to the theme, rather than a general musical theme throughout. There are now two jaguars on display as well, animal rescues from owners who thought they could handle having a jaguar as a pet until they grew into adults. These cannot be released back into the wild as they have really no idea how to go about surviving in the wilderness, much like the spider monkeys which are also rescues from circuses and private owners.
The popular Cha Chaac ceremony is there, as are the stinger-less melipona bees and the orchid garden. The biggest item missing is the cacao tree plantation, but that is because the trees take at least 5 years to get to the point where they are flowering so that is something that is in the works. An 'archaeological dig' for kids in a sand pit is also planned. And of course don't miss the gift shop where you can buy all kinds of things 'chocolate'. Don't miss the liquid chocolate frappé that is so delicious and decadent that it will leave you thirsty for more.
If you would like to visit the Choco Story museum, feel free to contact us and we will prepare a quote for you and your group, as this is one of the many destinations we can include in your private, custom Yucatan tour.