Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by Travels with Kids
Whenever I mention, “Chocolate in Cusco” people prick up their ears. It’s a universally known fact that nearly everyone loves chocolate, adults and kids alike. For families travelling to the Andes a visit to the Chocomuseo in Peru should be on the ‘must do list – FOR SURE! It goes without saying that this is on our list of Things to do in Cusco with Kids.
To start with, in case your Spanish is a bit rusty, “Choco Museo” basically translates as the ‘Chocolate Museum”. After the first Chocomuseo Cusco was a wild success, the company has branches in Lima, Arequipa, and as far afield as Antigua Guatemala and Granada in Nicaragua (papa’s home town)!
The museum offers galleries dedicated to the history, biology, and culture surrounding chocolate. A Choco Museo chocolate making class usually lasts 2-3 hours, and can be a private or a group class. This is perfect if you have a spare half-day in Cusco. We are sure that everyone will enjoy this delightfully sweet family experience!
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Where is Choco Museo Cusco Located?
The Cusco Choco Museo is located just 2 blocks from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas in a beautiful building that boasts old European-style balconies. Here you can delight in a handcrafted chocolate dessert while people-watching over Plaza Regocijo below. Even though the entry is a little hard to find, and the museum itself is on the second floor of the building. As soon as you enter the bottom courtyard the sweet aromas of chocolate waft down to you, and you know you are in the right place!
Chocomuseo Cusco – Bean to Bar Workshop Review
We signed up for a 2 hour workshop on “The Bean to the Bar” which we thought would have good educational aspects, while also being lots of fun!
Our bubbly instructor Gladys took us from the Cacao tree, its world history and which varieties are in Peru… to hands on roasting… where we all took parts in stirring the pot that roasted the cacao beans! Then we made our very own chocolates!
Cusco province boasts an amazing jungle region where some of the best organic cacao in the world grows naturally. The cacao plant bears large yellowish to reddish pod-like fruits that have a delicious creamy white flesh. The flesh is full of ½ inch long brown seeds. These seeds are the part that are toasted and ground for use in chocolate production. It’s said that sometimes the cacao takes on a hint of mango or olive flavour when those plants are cultivated nearby.
During the chocolate class, we were guided through the whole chocolate-making process, “from bean to bar.” You prepare your own chocolate by first peeling, toasting, and grinding the bean. Kids will love all the grinding! From there you fill moulds and process it into something that resembles the finished product we know and love. You can choose the fillings of your choice. There is everything from coffee beans, almonds, coconut to Maras salt, and everything in between!
You will also be shown how to prepare “Chilate” from cacao paste. This chocolate drink is a predecessor to today’s cocoa drinks. It was first drunk by the Aztecs and Mayans of Mexico, then later by the Incas of Peru. According to the staff at Chocolate Museo, the best chocolate in the world comes from Peru. It is very quickly snapped up by the most famous chocolate producers in Switzerland.
At the end of the class, the delicious concoctions you created YOURSELF are packed, wrapped, and ready to go. The class is a great experience for children, if they can resist the temptation to gobble up their entire chocolate supply during the preparation process! An amazing, cultural, culinary, and deliciously ‘chocolaty’ experience, the workshop is appreciated by “children” of all ages!
Top Tip – Don’t have time? Then ask about the Mini Chocolate Making workshop that only takes 45 minutes!
Why is the Choco Museo Cusco Great for Kids?
In a cocoa nutshell (poor pun) the Choco Museo class is a blast!
These workshops are an awesome FUN way for kids to have good fun learning about the world they live in. So, we particularly recommend them to families. Plus, you get to take home the chocolates that you roasted ground and made yourself!
For parents, it’s just a really fun opportunity to get hands on and learn something new. The kiddo loved it because she got the chance to immerse in the process. She toasted the cacao beans, chose her brightly coloured fillings, and, best of all, ate as much chocolate as she could during the entire length of the class. As a matter of fact, she is still asking when she can go back!
What Else is on Offer at the Choco Museum in Cusco?
First up, while the Cusco Chocolate useum is a “museum” this is far from the typical “hands off” type of place. Even if you don’t participate in one of the chocolate making workshops, you will learn a lot about the history of chocolate. From the Mayan people, to the conquistadors taking over South America.
There is also a section about the harvest of the cacao beans, to the drying of the cacao pods. You learn what different products people can make from cacao (like powder, paste and butter).
All visitors are offered free samples of chocolate, flavoured liquors, homemade marmalades, cacao tea and more. Even if you don’t buy a single thing, stopping into the shop is a serious treat. The friendly staff are happy to share around the Peruvian chocolate love!
Remember – entry to the Chocolate Museum is completely free.
The Chocomuseo Cusco Café
Feeling tempted? Choose a table that overlooks the Plaza Regocijo below, and enjoy the beauty of Peru.
I can guarantee you that after spending some time in the Chocomuseo; the chocolate tastes that much sweeter. Their hot chocolate creations are unique. The hot chocolate is served thick in a small bowl and you then mix it into the mug of warm milk provided. Season with cloves and cinnamon and you will have a very special experience. They serve all kinds of chocolate delights, like cakes, desserts and pancakes, as well as handmade truffles.
Choco Museo Cusco Gift Shop
The Chocomuseo Cusco also an excellent place to grab delicious souvenirs.
In the gift shop you will discover some really unique combinations of Peruvian chocolate with local delights. For example, why not put some of these on the list:
- Dark, milk and white chocolate bars. Either pure or with toppings like almonds, salt, coffee, red pepper, aguaymanto, coca, coconut, brazil nuts, ginger and orange.
- Shirts and other ChocoMuseo memorabilia, with cute quotes like “Save the Planet, It’s the Only One with Chocolate”.
If you are inspired to try some of the local flavours, and Peruvian superfoods, you might want to pack these for home:
- Handmade jams and marmalades with flavours of mango maracuya, banana, lucuma, strawberry and pineapple.
- Superfood flours like coca, aguaje, camu camu and maca.
- Cereals and seeds including quinoa, avena, chia and kiwicha.
ChocoMuseo Cusco Details
Address: Entrance Garcilaso Street 210 – 2nd floor, Cusco, Peru
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
Chocolate making class Cusco have extra charges.
For more information, news and pictures, check their website here.
Kids Facts about Chocolate
Yes, we learned a lot about chocolate during our visit to the Chocomuseo. We want to share these little tidbits about chocolate for kids.
Where Does the Name Chocolate Come From?
“Chocolate” comes from its name in the indigenous Nahuatal language of Mexico, chocolatl. And – Chocolate is the same in almost every language. For example, it’s the same in Spanish and English!
The First Chocolate Drinks were Bitter
About 2000 years ago the cacao tree was first found to be useful for its seeds. Early Central Americans and Mexicans ground the seeds from the cacao tree to make a drink that tasted bitter, not sweet. It was reserved for the nobility.
Africa Now is the Leading Producer of Cocoa
Although cocoa originated in the Americas, recent years have seen African nations assuming a leading role in producing cocoa. Since the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of that number.
Chocolate is Dangerous for Dogs
Did you know that dogs become sick if they eat chocolate?
Chocolate can be Healthy
Dark chocolate contains ingredients that lower blood pressure and fight disease. Small amounts of dark chocolate have been found to lower the risk of heart disease because of polyphenol in chocolate. It is necessary to eat moderate amount of chocolate.
Chocolate Gifts have an Important Ceremonial Role.
Gifts of chocolate moulded into shapes (for example, eggs, hearts) have become the lingua franca of Easter holidays in places like Australia. While chocolate shaped hearts are a common gift on Valentine’s Day. Often a box of chocolates make a great ‘thank you’ gift, or are a nice gesture if someone has been ill.
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” –Forrest Gump.
We also read at the ChocoMuseo Cusco that the Chinese eat only 1 bar of chocolate for every 1,000 eaten by the British
More Useful Information for a Family Holiday to Peru!
Staying in Cusco or the Sacred Valley? These are some great posts to read.
Visiting Machu Picchu on your Peru family holiday? Here are some great Machu Picchu resources.
Here are our list of tried and test tips for Visiting Machu Picchu With Kids.
Where should you stay in Machu Picchu? We have a fantastic list of Machu Picchu hotels, which we have stayed in ourselves. Take a look at the Best Family Hotels in Machu Picchu.
If you loved our chocolate facts, check out our Machu Picchu Facts For Kids.
If you are visiting other places in Peru or looking for general Peru information, check these out.
The Verdict – Choco Museo Cusco Peru
This is a fun, interactive and extremely well presented tour of the chocolate making process! The class gives you an appreciation for the work that goes into making chocolate. Plus, we got to take home a bag of chocolate that we made to savour every bit of it. We had a great time and would recommend it to chocolate lovers out there. For those who might not be as into the chocolate, they also run a cafe from their store, which we returned to the next day!
If you are a choco-holic, or just have an interest in how one of your favourite foods is made, we highly recommend a visit to the Choco Museo Cusco!
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