The month of February evokes images of lacy Valentine’s Day cards, bunches of red roses and heart shaped boxes of assorted chocolates. Did you know chocolate was believed by the ancient Maya to be an aphrodisiac? Aztec ruler, Montezuma, was reported to have indulged in several cups of liquid chocolate before visiting his many wives. When Conquistadors brought the exotic drink back from the mysterious New World, Spanish priests considered chocolate a sinful pleasure to be banned. Mexico is the birthplace of cocoa and no where else in the world is chocolate’s sensuality celebrated more. Check out these Riviera Maya sweet spots made for chocoholics.
Ah Cacao! is the place to get your chocolate worship on. Here, every delightful form of chocolate imaginable is made with premium quality cacao beans harvested from the Mayalands of Mexico. In this little “church of chocolate” you will find gooey brownies, creamy mousse, hot cocoa spiced with chile, real (not artificially flavored) chocolate ice cream…with so many sinful delights in their Cancun and Playa del Carmen locations, you may need to repent with hours of sit-ups when you return home.
Taste the culture of Mexico in mole, the country’s signature chocolate sauce. With its smokey, savory flavor, mole is undoubtedly one of the most intriguingly complexed sauces the world has ever tasted. Chef Claudia at Cetli restaurant in Tulum combines her traditional culinary talents with fresh ingredients and adds a pinch of love to create her classic chicken mole. You can enjoy this sensual feast served on a candlelit, garden patio. Be sure to make reservations.
Dirty Martini in Playa del Carmen has an adults-only chocolate temptation that will have you giggling like a kid. Mixologists here have created a vodka/chocolate elixir that’s one sweet little number. Dirty Martini’s full menu of uniquely flavored martinis is a Riviera Maya tourist attraction worth checking out.
Maya Spa in Tulum offers you a completely different way to experience chocolate with their exclusive chocolate body wrap. Cocoa is recognized for its high nutrient levels and antioxidant properties, all of which promote good health. Imagine having your body coated in a velvety cocoa wrap, that when rinsed away leaves your skin feeling like a decadently smooth Godiva candy!
Take a tour of Kaokao Chocolate Factory on Cozumel Island. This is where the myths of chocolate are dispelled and its true history, its many uses and the magic of chocolate making is revealed…and of course, there is much sampling throughout the tour! The factory also has a “sweet treats” gift shop where you will find everything cacao.
Find out more about chocolate in the Yucatan.