Looking for a fun activity or shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico?
My family visited Puerto Vallarta on our most recent cruise. I wanted to see the city and take a food tour, but ran into a snag.
My family is too picky. I don't like seafood, my daughter won't eat anything spicy or saucy and my son is a vegetarian. I was sure we wouldn't find a food tour that everyone would like.
Until I discovered ChocoMuseo.
It's a chocolate museum with classes where you make and eat chocolate! This Puerto Vallarta food tour was perfect for my whole family.
Here's what to expect at ChocoMuseo in Puerto Vallarta.
ChocoMuseo is located in the heart of Malecon, Puerto Vallarta's beachside boardwalk. El Malecon is filled with shopping, dining and photo opportunities, and most first-time visitors won't want to miss it.
Look for ChocoMuseo just a few steps off the boardwalk, on a side street. It's small, but easy to spot when you're looking for it. ChocoMuseo is a few blocks north of Our Lady of Guadelupe Parish, which is another of Puerto Vallarta's best known landmarks.
Even if you don't take a class, ChocoMuseo is worth a stop just to browse the shop and try some free samples.
Bean to Bar
We met on the second floor for our Bean to Bar Workshop. My family of four and one other attendee fit perfectly around the granite counter top. We each received clean aprons and chef's hats for use during the class.
The Bean to Bar Workshop was roughly divided into three sections. Our instructor Vanessa first walked us through the museum and described the history of chocolate and how it is currently farmed and processed.
Next, we roasted and husked raw cacao beans on the stove top. From the husks and nibs, Vanessa helped us make three hot chocolate drinks from scratch. They were
- Chocolate Te – cacao husks, water and sugar
- Aztec Chocolate – ground cacao nibs with water, ground chili pepper and honey
- Conquistador Hot Cocoa – ground cacao nibs with milk and sugar
Finally, we made our own souvenir chocolates. We each chose between pre-made dark, milk and white chocolate, then poured it into molds and picked add-ins. My husband put ground chili pepper in all his chocolates. I mixed it up with coconut, cinnamon, dried fruit and more. We all had 2-3 small boxes of chocolates to take home.
At the time of our visit, the 2-hour Bean to Bar class cost $690mxn, or about $36US per person. Pay with credit, cash (pesos or US) or PayPal at the time of the class. Tips are appreciated.
Class sizes are small, so book in advance for best availability. I was a little thrown off by the online booking process – via email instead of an online shopping cart. However, I received a quick reply and was able to get all my questions answered before deciding which class we would enjoy most.
Bean to Bar is one of several chocolate classes offered at ChocoMuseo in Puerto Vallarta. Others include
- Truffle Workshop
- Total Chocolate Experience
- Mole Poblano Workshop
I waffled between Bean to Bar and Truffles, and was tempted by the 3-hour Total Chocolate Experience, which combines Bean to Bar with Truffles. In the end, I decided that the 2-hour Bean to Bar class would be better for my family's interests and schedule and I still feel good about our choice.
Workshops are available in Spanish and English. I recommend the two-hour workshop for older kids and teens. Keep reading for more information about ChocoMuseo's shorter workshop for younger children.
You'll receive a 10% discount in the gift shop when you book a class.
ChocoMuseo welcomes visitors to its Free Museum any time. This is a small walkthrough on the second floor, and it shares a room with the chocolate workshops. Signs explain the history of chocolate and how cacao beans are transformed into everyone's favorite treat. It will probably take you 15 minutes or less.
Families with younger children, or anyone with limited time can book a 45-minute Mini Chocolate Workshop. You'll mold your own chocolates and take them with you. This class is available upon request anytime ChocoMuseo is open.
ChocoMuseo has a cute cafe on it's third floor, and a small patio with a view of the ocean. Naturally, chocolate desserts are its specialty, but those aren't the only items you can order.
We had fun browsing the ChocoMuseo shop before and after our Bean to Bar Workshop. We found chocolate bars, chocolate covered fruit, chocolate mole and a variety of unexpected chocolate products – like barbeque sauce.
My son liked the chocolate te drink from our class so much that he bought a bag of cacao husks to bring home.
My teen daughter loves face masques and spa products and was excited to find a chocolate spa section in the shop. That's where she spent her souvenir budget.
ChocoMuseo is a chain, and you can find other locations in
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
Learn more at www.chocomuseo.com.
Our Bean to Bar Workshop at ChocoMuseo was exactly what my family wanted for our afternoon on Puerto Vallarta's Malecon. Workshops are scheduled in the mornings and afternoons, and are just the right length for a cruise excursion.
Even if you don't take a class, stop by the chocolate shop or take a break in the cafe. ChocoMuseo is a lot of fun for families.
Disclosure: My family's Bean to Bar class was sponsored by ChocoMuseo for the purpose of review. I booked the class before the sponsorship was arranged, because this activity was a must for us! All opinions are my own.