Culture & Cuisine

 

Maya Experience

Learn the techniques of the  Maya people with hands on demonstrations and lessons from a local Womens group in a Mayan village.

In their purpose built Maya thatch these ladies will teach you to weave the traditional baskets from jippy jappa, make and grind chocolate, weave the Maya cuxtal bags, make and bake tortilla and other local handicrafts! This includes a traditional Maya lunch.

These ladies are sweet natured, warm and welcoming and excited to share their native traditions! Combine this with a visit to Mayan ruins, Blue Creek cave or the Spice Farm.

PG Tour

Want to see the “real” Punta Gorda? Our 3 hour morning tour will introduce you to the sights and sounds of PG town and cram so much in you will feel like a local at the end of it!!  Take in a number of “quirky” and “one of a kind” museums, art galleries, shops and back streets!

Learn from the locals about the place they call home and the rich cultures they are so proud of.  Taste some chocolate, take in the sights, buy a souvenir or 2  and we will even stop off at one of our local drum schools for a short fun hands on drum demo/lesson!! A morning not to be missed………

Garifuna

A fun energetic way to learn about the rich history and culture of the Garifuna. Under a traditional thatch in the Garifuna heartland you will watch, sing, drum and dance to beats that have inspired Central American music for years!

The drum lessons are totally interactive with all participants having their own drum. You can opt for dance demonstrations, an entire group performance, one on one drum lesson and you can even make your own drum if you wish! Whether you want to spend an hour or a whole day one thing is for sure, it will be the most entertaining hands on history lesson you will ever have!!

 

Maroon Creole

Follow the drum beats and you will arrive just a mile out of town. Popular for its Full moon parties, great jam sessions (everyone welcome) and firehearth cooking, you will feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of town!!

With weekly parties in the evening, this drum school is open all day every day for private lessons, one on one sessions, group bookings, drum making lessons, fire hearth cooking lessons and much more. Originally from Gales Point Manatee, where due to its isolated location many original African Maroon practices still exist,  this husband and wife combo have something really special going on!  

Totally different to the Garifuna beats, the Maroon beats have their origins in West Africa. You can learn to make a drum, have an energetic drum lesson, walk the grounds of this traditional home in the jungle picking fresh herbs en route, and even assist in some fire hearth cooking! A real hidden gem in Toledo!  

 

Cooking Lessons

With an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs in the area, along with the melting pot of cultures, food is definitely on the radar here in Toledo.

You can spend the day out in beautiful jungle surrounds, picking your own ingredients from the garden before learning, and trying your hand at fire hearth cooking! You will start with buns and bread before advancing to salsa’s, sides using yaampi, cassava, coco, plantain, and the more traditional fish or chicken dishes.  Whilst your food is cooking you can relax, have a drink and either join in or watch a drum lesson/demonstration, before tucking in to a gastronomical delight!

Alternatively, you can learn from one of our award winning chefs here in PG town itself, at his very own restaurant. You will spend a few hours with a seasoned ITAL chef who has an extremely popular vegetarian/vegan and fish restaurant. He will give you all his insider tips on what best seasonings to use, and when to add the different fresh herbs and spices and you can take away some of his recipes to truly “wow” your friends at home.

Organic Chocolate Farm

Everyone loves chocolate but who really knows the intricacies of how it is made?? In the beautiful village of San Pedro Columbia you will  experience first hand how the Maya civilisation viewed and used chocolate/cacao.

Learning from Eladio, the most passionate, and enthusiastic Cacao farmer around, you will be thoroughly entertained. First you will visit his farm to learn about grafting, harvesting and fermenting cacao, before moving on to his house.

His wife demonstrates how chocolate was traditionally made and  you can jump in and have a go yourself, with plenty of tasty samples! Then join them for a family style lunch and share your stories with other travellers.  This is an unforgettable experience, unique to Toledo! We normally combine this trip with a visit to the Mayan ruins or the Earthship to make a full day tour.

Mayan Ruins “Lubantuun” and Earthship

“Lubantuun” meaning “place of fallen stones”, is famous for the legendary crystal skull, discovered back in the 1920s. Set on a hilltop in beautiful countryside this site is believed to have the finest Masonry work in the Mayan world. The site is home to several burial tombs, and was believed to be an administrative center used for sacred festivities and ceremonies.

You can stop by the visitors center to see a selection of artefacts discovered on the site and to learn more about the crystal skull.

Neighbouring the site is the newly constructed Earthship, Belize’s largest recycling project. This unique building is a must-see, being constructed totally from scrap materials.

With its bright colours, crystal skull bar and mayan serpents made from bottles, it is a totally unique structure! The “quirky”  English owners will give you a guided tour with the entrance fee being donated to a local school in Blue Creek village.

 

Mayan Ruins “Nim Li Punit”

Nim Li Punit, meaning “The Big Hat” is one of the smaller Mayan sites. Gaining its name from one of the 26 stella at the site, it is set at the foothills of the Maya Mountains and boasts spectacular views.

There are 3 main plazas, a few tombs and a stunning ball court. It was recently in the headlines for having the second largest carved piece of Jade in Belize, and possibly the entire Maya world.

Combine this with a visit to Lubantuun, the Womens group in a Mayan village for a hands on history lesson into Mayan Culture, a visit to Blue Creek cave, Organic Chocolate Farm or the Earthship.