Head deep beneath the earth on this cenote adventure that takes you to the Yucatán’s mysterious underground world full of caves, local legends, and intrigue.
Immerse Yourself in the Local Flavors!
Discover a produce market not many tourists visit, pick up some Spanish (and Mayan) lingo, learn how to cook and taste regional delicacies. Acknowledge why Mexican gastronomy is considered a cultural heritage and eat dishes made with your own hands – all in the company of new local and traveler friends.
Inclusions: English-speaking local guide, public transportation, ingredients for all dishes, cooking session at a local family home.
Exclusions: Taxi to return to your hotel. Items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your local guide.
- Duration: 5-6 hours
- Meeting point: At the lobby of Caribe Hotel (Calle 59 x 60 in the corner of Hidalgo Park)
- Starting time: 1:00 p.m.
- Ending point: The tour will finish at the family house for the cooking lesson. You will be responsible for your transportation back to Merida, and a taxi is recommended. We can help you to get a taxi back to your hotel — the average rate is about USD 5, depending on your hotel location.
Polish up your cooking skills on the Merida tour that takes you from market to table… literally! We’ll kick off your delicious Mexican food experience by taking you to a market that’s always filled with locals – tourists hardly ever set foot here, giving you authentic local life on this tour right from the get-go. Your local guide will explain to you the kind of fruits and vegetables only produced in this region, such as achiote, pepita de calabaza, and chile habanero. We’ll give you the real market experience as we shop for the meal we’re going to prepare. Watch how the locals around you buy food for their own cooking, and learn all about Mexican market customs and culture.
Yucatán cuisine is one of the most varied in Mexico, and the next part of your Merida food tour will give you the chance to cook it – and eat it, of course! While we prepare our food, your host and guide will explain some of the traditions of the locals, the influence of other cultures on the food of Yucatán, and the differences between the Yucatecos and people from other parts of Mexico. Learn some Spanish and Mayan words while the food is being prepared and while you taste the delicious plates of yumminess as they are served. We’ll try dishes like salbutes, panuchos, papadzules or codzitos, and sip on horchata or hibiscus flower tea. With a belly full of delicious, authentic food and drink, we’ll say goodbye to new friends and end this mouth-watering Merida experience.
Dress standard: Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.
Your trip: This trip is offered on a “join-in” basis. The maximum group size is 12.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.
Ms. Nicole T. from United Kingdom travelled on 02 Feb 2019:
Great tour! Highly recommend.
Ms. Melanie L. from France travelled on 05 Jun 2018:
Loved this tour! Gustavo our guide was so passionate about his city and its specialty dishes, it was great to learn from him. At the market, we got to taste the regional ingredients and see the local interactions. Then we went to a local family home on the outskirts of Merida. I was amazed to be welcomed in such a friendly way. As Gustavo said, we were to cook as if we were a Mexican family cooking together, and that’s how we felt. We got to help out in the making of 6 Yucatecan dishes, and in the eating too 😉 YUMMYYYY!
Mrs. Lena B. from Germany travelled on 18 Mar 2018:
Great guide, good group Size and Lots of Food to try!
Ms. Gemma H. from United Kingdom travelled on 31 Jul 2017:
This tour was great, we loved going around the market and learning about all the different food and meeting the vendors which we couldn’t have done on our own! The cooking class was lovely too and it was a great experience to cook and eat with a family after many other more typical tourist experiences. I’d really recommend it.
Ms. Kimberly P. from United Kingdom travelled on 26 Jul 2017:
Great tour – Alejo was beyond friendly and accommodating – despite me having to cut the tour early because I was feeling ill 🙁 He still followed up with all the recipes and was very helpful with finding me a pharmacy.
Ms. Nicola M. from Australia travelled on 21 Apr 2017:
I loved visiting the local markets all over Mexico, but having a local to take us to his normal vendors in Merida and explain new fruits & veggies was fantastic. The food we made was delicious and it was a pleasure to meet Alejo’s whole family as well.
Mr. Andrea G. from Canada travelled on 08 Mar 2017:
One of the best tours I’ve ever done. From the market to the transportation to the cooking to the meal, all was carefully thought out and explained and taught very well in a most beautiful local home. My guide and cook were very welcoming and I felt like I was cooking with my Mexican grandma! It was truly an unforgettable experience and I am very thankful I was able to experience it! Thank you!
Ms. Alison S. from USA travelled on 16 Apr 2015:
I spent a wonderful afternoon with Ricardo wandering through Merida’s market after a brief overview of the Plaza Grande. He was indulgent with my Spanish and eager to point out unfamiliar fruits, vegetables, and spices. We took a collectivo to Doña Berta’s home north of Merida (sharing a seat with someone’s large spider man piñata) and made sopa de lima and an assortment of yucatecan antojitos like panuchos, salbutes, and papazdules. Ricardo also whipped up an assortment of flavored aguas frescas. It was delicious, and gave me the confidence to order from food stalls around town during the rest of my stay. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon and see a different side of Merida.
Mrs. Peggy H. from USA travelled on 31 Oct 2014:
Thank you so much for such a great authentic Mexican experience. Ricardo gave us an excellent overview of the Grand Plaza in Merida and then took us to the Mercado…a huge open-air marketplace. Seeing all of the booths over several blocks of food, clothing, hardware – you name it…well, it was a terrific adventure. Then we took a city bus (an experience in itself) to have our cooking lesson using the food we had just purchased. Meeting Berta and her lovely family was exceptional. She is a fantastic cook and hostess – we enjoyed being involved with the preparations AND tasting the delicious results! We will look forward to getting the recipes and trying them at home.
Please thank Berta and her family for allowing us into her home – we felt very welcomed. We can definitely recommend this trip – truly outstanding.
All the best…the Haydens
Mr. Don B. from Canada travelled on 17 Feb 2014:
The Cooking tour we recently took with Merida Urban Adventures was excellent,due to the service and communication skills of our guide, Ricardo Montelongo, and the warm welcome from our host family, Carlos and Marie and their 3 sons. If you wish to have a real Merida experience, then I highly recommend this tour, and use Ricardo if possible.
Ms. nancy R. from USA travelled on 08 Oct 2012:
My friend and I saw all the good reviews and decided to spend our last day in Merida learning to cook our favorite Yucatan dish—Pollo Pibil. We met Jorge at the Hotel Caribe (which is in a beautiful little plaza). We were lucky that his wife Alejandra could join us that day too. He gave us an informative tour of the Centro as we weaved our way to the Mercado to buy the ingredients we’d need for the day. I cannot begin to describe all the smells and colors and sounds of market. We learned about the different chiles and unfamiliar fruits. He was so patient as we asked about every little thing we saw. We were adventurous and had a tasting test at the fried meat section…I won’t spoil it for you…just try everything! We took a local bus to the chef Laura’s home. It was lovely and inviting. We dove right into chopping vegetables and cutting banana leaves from the back yard for the chicken pibil and sopa de lima and crema de coco for dessert. Oh my, I can still taste it! SOOO delicious. Laura was really sweet and a wonderful cook. AND the funny thing? We saw her later that night at the Simfonica de Yucatan—all of us waving across the balcony like old friends. I really recommend doing this if you want a real taste of yucatan cuisine that’s quite easy to fix when you get back home.