We love each of our culinary vacations in Mexico. Mexican cuisine is one of our favorites here at TIK, and living in Chicago means we have access to some really fabulous Mexican eateries, from authentic little mom-and-pop shops to high-end gourmet restaurants. But let’s face it – if you’re traveling to Mexico, chances are you want to see more than just the inside of a kitchen. We can talk about beaches another day, but first let’s highlight some of the amazing cultural sites you might see during your trip.
If you go back to ancient times, present day Mexico was the home of the Mayan civilization. The Mayans lived and thrived for many centuries before their final defeat to colonialism in the Seventeenth Century, and their influence can be seen in ancient ruins as well as in the art, languages, and gastronomy of modern-day Mexico.
When enjoying our Culinary Yucatan cooking vacation in the colonial city of Merida, you will have the chance to visit one of the ancient world’s premier sites – Uxmal. This ancient city is over a thousand years old and boasts formidable building both in size and ornamentation. The ruins are in remarkable condition and give a comprehensive idea of what an ancient Mayan city might have looked like, from its long, low Governor’s Palace to its impressive, 5-level Pyramid of the Magician.
Another of Mexico’s most famous pre-Colombian ruins is Chichen Itza, which lies in easter Yucatan. It is thought to have been one of the largest Mayan cities, and is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist sites. Its signature building is “El Castillo” (“The Castle”), a stone pyramid almost 100 feet high officially known as the Temple of Kulkulkan. Some of its other impressive ruins are the Great Ball Court, where Mayans played an ancient game thousands of years before the invention of modern ball games, and the Temple of the Warriors. If you are traveling with us on our Culinary Yucatan or Cooking on the Riviera Maya cooking vacations we can add in a cultural excursion to this famed site on request!
By Peg Kern
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