Cooking on the Riviera Maya Culinary Vacation and Beach Retreat
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Cooking on the Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya, Mexico

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About the location: Mexican cuisine is one of the most well-known and complex cuisines in the world, full of rich flavors, abundant fruits and vegetables, and centuries-old traditions. The Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful resort areas in Mexico, where you can enjoy the luxury and warm weather of this amazing area. There are many activities offered nearby: jet skiing, scuba diving/snorkeling, zip-lining, horseback riding, golf, swimming (even with dolphins!), spa services,  as well as nearby Mayan ruins to explore. Come learn how to cook authentic Mexican food at Playa del Carmen in a private cooking school with Chef Ale, and rest assured you will be the best Mexican chef in your home at the end of this experience!


About the accommodations: During your culinary vacation, you will stay at a boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos. We work with a number of hotels including the Casa Ticul, Reina Roja Hotel, and the Hacienda Morelos.


Chef at the teaching kitchen in Mexico About the cooking lessons: Chef Alejandra is passionate about Mexico. She loves the culture, food, fiestas, holidays, and celebrations. She believes she was born in a kitchen because cooking comes naturally for her! Her two grandmothers were amazing cooks who taught her all about Mexican traditions, and she grew up cooking with them and learning about spices, scents, and amazing flavors. She has been a part of every aspect of the the food industry, but after studying the Culianry Arts in Mexico City she decided to teach others the secrets of her native cuisine. She is aided by her good friend and fellow chef Tomás. Your classes will focus on a variety of authentic Mexican dishes according to the them of the day: such as tamales of the countryside, coastal cuisine, corn masas, the cuisine of central Mexico, Yucatecan recipes, and more.

Cooking on the Riviera Maya Itinerary

Day One

Please note the order of activities is subject to change.

  • Arrival at Cancun International Airport.
  • Transfer to your boutique hotel by private car.
  • In the evening, enjoy a welcome Mexican dinner with your chef and instructor, Alejandra.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Depart by private car to your first cooking class where you will spend a half day learning and cooking. You will start with a traditional breakfast in the middle of the jungle, followed by a tour of the botanic garden. Next, it is time to put on your apron and roll up your sleeves as you join Alejandra in the kitchen!
  • Lunch based on your efforts, a full array of Mexican dishes, beverages included. And don’t forget the famous Mexican “sobremesa,” or after-meal socializing!
  • After your cooking experience, you will be transferred to your boutique hotel.
  • Rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
  • Dinner on your own (Chef Ale can make suggestions).
  • Overnight.

Day Three

  • After breakfast, depart for Valladolid to see the town and visit the local market.
  • In the afternoon, you will enjoy a special experience: swimming at the beautiful Cenote Zasil Tunich.
  • Return to your hotel, evening at your leisure.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • Depart by private car to your next cooking class. First breakfast, another stroll in the garden for ingredients, and then back to the kitchen with chef Ale!
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Return to the hotel, and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure, with dinner on your own.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Five

  • For those on the 4-night itinerary, departure transfer to Cancun airport.
  • For those doing the full week, depart by private car to your next cooking class. After breakfast, another stroll in the garden for ingredients, and then back to the kitchen with chef Ale!
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Return to the hotel. This evening, enjoy a cocktail and appetizers at a trendy bar.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day 6

  • Breakfast.
  • Today is beach day! Enjoy a full day at Cozumel or Isla Mujeres with drinks and snacks provided.
  • Return to the hotel.
  • This evening, dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Overnight.

Day 7

  • Depart by private car to your last cooking class. After breakfast, another stroll in the garden for ingredients, and then back to the kitchen with chef Ale!
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Return to the hotel. This evening, enjoy a cocktail and appetizers at a posh bar.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day 8

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Transfer to Cancun International Airport by private car.