Travel tip #5: Eat cashew apples

Cashew apple, Guatemala

Cashew apples are considered a delicacy in Guatemala. Cashew trees are fairly popular in the tropical parts of the country, which makes the apples somewhat easy to find. The apples themselves aren't often sold, because the fruits are very easily bruised and difficult to transport. They are also difficult to find abroad, in countries where they aren't grown locally (USA, UK, etc).

Cashew apples are very sweet, juicy and astringent. They should be cut away from the cashew nut and rinsed before eating. Also take care not to directly handle the nut (seed) or stem of the cashew fruit. Cashew nuts are toxic until properly processed. Cashew nuts are protected by an outer shell which contains a toxin similar to poison ivy.

The astringency of the cashew apple can be removed by very briefly steaming the fruit, but many people find it a pleasant feature of the raw cashew apple.

More travel tips

Don't throw toilet paper, or anything else, into Guatemalan toilets.

No tap water in Guatemala should be considered potable. Municipal water supplies

Los Siete Altares (the Seven Alters) is a popular attraction in Livingston, Izabal.

People in Guatemala carry machetes.

The Livingston to Punta Gorda, Belize boat leaves from Livingston on Wednesdays and Fridays for Q

The Litegua bus from Río Dulce to Guatemala City takes about six and a half hours and costs Q80 (

The Livingston to Río Dulce water taxi runs at 9:30 AM and 2:30 PM and costs Q125 ($16.65).

Guatemala is a well known coffee exporter, and yet there are many local eateries and restaurants