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A Culinary Adventure In The Heart Of Mexico’s Yucatán!

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Priced From
$2,298 USD *
(For Two People, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

A Luxurious Yucatán Holiday
Flavored with Mayan Culture and Cooking

Welcome to the Mundo Maya where ancient history greets you in the colors, flavors and aromas of today’s Yucatán. Roll up your sleeves in the unhurried kitchen of Hacienda Petac to cook side-by-side with a talented Maya staff who will prepare the region’s best Yucatecan fare daily. Learn the secrets of authentic Yucatecan cooking (a fusion of Cuban, Spanish and Mayan influences) and take home a new vocabulary that easily translates into rave reviews. Your time at the Hacienda emphasizes local ingredients and menus, your itinerary combines workshops in full meal preparation, tropical drinks and table decorating. It also includes excursions to the extraordinary Mayan ruins of Uxmal and other must see highlights of the Yucatán. Mérida and the state of Yucatán have traditionally been isolated from the rest of Mexico by geography, creating a unique culture and independent spirit. The Mundo Maya, as the region is known, boasts some of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in the world. The influence of the Maya on the character of modern Yucatán remains strong. While Spanish is the predominant language, a third of the population of Yucatán still speaks Maya. The state of Yucatán has one of the lowest crime rates anywhere in the country, and for its size, possibly the world. The capital city of Mérida prides itself on this fact, adopting as its motto, Ciudad de Paz - the City of Peace.

A Culinary Adventure In The Heart Of Mexico’s Yucatán!

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
6 Nights Suite Accommodations
Round-Trip Mérida Airport Transfers
All Meals, Beer & Margaritas
Traditional Yucatán Cooking Class
Tropical Drink Demonstration Class
Botanas, Salsas and Guacamole Class
Mérida Market Tour & Sorbet Tasting
Panuchos, Poc Chuc & Tortilla Class
All Day Trip to Uxmal & Cenote Visit
Farewell Dinner & Trova Serenade
2015 Special Promotion Dates: Sept. 20-26, Sept. 27-Oct. 3 & Oct. 11-17
(click item for details)
Day 1
Merida Airport Transfers | Welcome Cocktails At The Hacienda At Mérida-Rejon International Airport, you will be cordially greeted upon arrival by a government registered Yucatán guide who will transport you by van to Hacienda Petac. Along the half hour route he will translate the Maya names of the villages that you will pass through, and tell you a little about the area. At the entrance of the gates of Hacienda Petac, your driver will dim his lights so that the glow of the candlelit pathway will welcome you to your home for this glorious week of dining, cooking and exploring. Your round-trip transfers from the airport are included in your weeklong package, as are the welcome cocktails waiting for you upon your arrival.
Day 2
All Meals | Cooking Classes | Excursions & Tours A full-immersion culinary and cultural experience make up the ingredients of your cooking vacation to the Yucatán. This program is designed to introduce you to authentic Mayan cuisine, and allow you to experience the culture in a way that only locals enjoy. Not only is your round-trip transfer from the Mérida Airport included, but all of your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), all cooking classes (a total of 6), a mixology class, and all excursions are included in your package. You will enjoy excursions to view the Mayan Ruins in the ancient city of Uxmal, visit an underground lake (cenote), experience the markets of Mérida, dine on exquisite Yucatecan fare, and cook alongside the expert culinary staff of the magical Hacienda Petac.
Day 3
Traditional Yucatán Cooking | Tropical Drink Demonstrations Each day you will rise to share a leisurely breakfast in a garden within sight of one of the Hacienda’s original wells, now a beautiful swimming pool. Surrounded by Mayan stone, the garden welcomes you into the rich layers of history that the Hacienda reveals at every turn. During your first cooking class, you will learn to make Frijol con Puerco. This traditional Monday Yucatán staple is one of the most popular dishes on the Hacienda’s menu. You will learn to make succulent pork simmered in black beans, saving the wonderful broth to flavor a side dish of rice. You’ll also learn to make a tasty chiltomate (roasted red tomato sauce) to be added later along with other traditional condiments for a simply delicious lunch. While the pork simmers, you will enjoy an introduction to the wonderful world of tropical fruit drinks using coconuts, lime, hibiscus, pitaya and papaya to create a variety of licuados.
Day 4
Botanas, Salsas and Guacamole Culinary Workshop Late in the afternoon, after you have had your siesta, the expert culinary staff at the Hacienda will teach you how to create an array of Yucatán salsas and dips…as well as their own secret to creating the world’s finest guacamole. You will also be introduced to the distinctive flavors of the Maya with sik il pak: a dip made with ground, toasted calabash seeds mixed with chopped chives and mashed roasted red plum tomatoes. And for those that like it hot…you will whip up a roasted habanero sauce called chile k’ut. For the less adventurous, another Mayan treat called xnipek will be prepared. It is a very versatile salsa, perfect with fresh tortilla chips, or spooned over roasted chicken breasts, fish filets or a base for ceviche. Some of your creations will be served with botanas (snacks) and dinner this evening.
Day 5
Mérida Market Tour | Sorbet Tasting | Chocolate Shopping Mérida is a beautiful city called the Paris of North America for its elegant architecture and broad boulevard, called Paseo Montejo. As you drive to the principal square for a walking tour of downtown, you will pass mansions erected during the booming “Green Gold” henequen era when Mérida had more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the world. Your walking tour begins at the main plaza, home to the oldest cathedral in the Americas. The tree lined plaza also holds the Yucatán Governor’s palace where murals by the artist Castro Pacheco depict the history of Mérida and pay homage to the struggles of the Maya. Mérida, claimed by Spanish conquistadors in the 1540’s was built on top of the centuries old Maya city of T’ho. On the south side of the square is found the home of Francisco Montejo, the first conquistador who governed Yucatán. The walk of downtown continues to Mérida’s vibrant market scene where you will peruse the aisles of colorful stalls to purchase spices and chiles that will be used later in the cooking, including achiote, xcatic, guajillo and a type of local bean called espelon. You will also see some interesting, but uncommon, fresh fruits used locally in drinks and sorbets. Leaving the market, you will return to the square for a tasting of Sorbeteria Colon where Mérida’s best sorbets have been made for more than 100 years. And, before heading back to the hacienda, you’ll visit a local chocolate shop using Belgian techniques with Yucatán chocolate.
Day 6
Panuchos | Poc Chuc | Tortilla Soup Class After relaxing at the Hacienda, you will enjoy a lunch of panuchos. Once you have tasted these Yucatecan treats you’re going to want Rosaura to show you how they are made. Panuchos originated in a barrio of Mérida called Santiago more than a hundred years ago. It was a “to go” meal offered to travelers by a vendor named Don Chucho. They were first known as “pan” (bread) which morphed into pan from Chucho’s…which further morphed into “panuchos.” These delectable “fast food” treats take all morning to prepare, but Rosaura will provide you with the short version. All steps in creating this dish will be demonstrated, and you’ll be given the recipe to take back home. Panuchos will be followed by a cooking class featuring tortilla soup, a Mexico favorite, and Poc Chuc, a Yucatán original, of marinated and grilled pork cutlet.
Day 7
Day Trip to Uxmal | Picnic Lunch | Cenote | Cooking with Quail Your journey will include a fascinating tour of Uxmal, a world heritage site that is considered one of the most important ancient Mayan cities of the classical period. During your 2-hour tour, a specialist in Mayan culture will guide you through the history, beliefs and architectural phases of this once thriving city of worship and commerce. You will learn why Uxmal is called “thrice built” and why the population of 25,000 rose to prominence, built massive structures to honor the gods…and then abandoned their city and its ceremonial grounds. After a gourmet picnic lunch, your Yucatán tour continues with a stop at an underground lake known as a cenote. It is believed that the cenotes are sinkholes left by the asteroid which hit the earth near Chicxulub on the north of Yucatán about 65.5 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs. Descending 30 feet below the surface, you can swim in the remarkably clear water, or just marvel at its clarity. After returning from this incredible day exploring the history of the Maya, you will help in the preparation of quail in tamarind sauce. In keeping with the Hacienda’s Slow Food philosophy, these little treats are sourced from a local, organic quail farm. You will assist with marinating the small birds with homemade sweet-tart tamarind and chile sauce then roasting them over a wood charcoal fire.
Day 8
Day to Explore or Relax | Optional Spa or Tours | Trova Serenade During your exciting and adventurous culinary excursion, you will appreciate one day just to relax and take advantage of the scenery, or numerous activities available at the Hacienda. Walk the paths of the 250 acre Hacienda Petac to see what’s growing in the gardens and orchards, soak in the Jacuzzi, work out in the gym, grab a game of pool or ping-pong, or gather in the game room for cards or chess. You can also schedule a soothing treatment in the Hacienda’s private spa (additional charges apply). Why not try a Mayan massage or an aloe vera facial…or possibly a manicure and pedicure? Or, if you would like to see more of the region, the Hacienda staff would be happy to make suggestions for a day trip, and arrange for a driver and guide (additional charges apply). Finally, if you would still like to take more of the Hacienda experience back home with you, the staff will offer a workshop on creating some of the table designs you enjoyed during your stay. As your farewell dinner is slowly cooking underground, a live performance by Los Tres Yucatecos will complete your special week in the Yucatán.
Hacienda Petac
First settled by the Maya, the Hacienda was built by Spaniards sometime in the 17th century, using stones of the original Maya settlement. Through the centuries that followed, Hacienda Petac mirrored the history of the Yucatán, transforming from a small sugar cane and corn farm into a cattle ranch, and then into massive production of henequen during the “green gold” era. Hacienda Petac is one of the most extraordinary vacation experiences in the world, and will be your home during this exciting culinary adventure. This historic estate near Mérida, Yucatán offers five-star luxury exclusively for one group at a time. All suites have luxurious baths and traditional hacienda-style architecture. Each bedroom is spacious and elegant, with stunning high ceilings and tile floors. Robes, shower amenities, and daily laundry service are provided. With Yucatan’s bounty at your door, enjoy the sound of waterfalls and bird songs while lounging on the outdoor terraces. Your staff (24 in total) cleans and replenishes rooms throughout the day, slipping in at night to turn down your bed, return your laundry, dim the lights and adjust the air conditioning. Simply magical!
Merida, Mexico
What Currency is being quoted?
All prices are quoted in USD. The price quoted on the first page of a tour is always per person, double occupancy.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Our full cancellation policy is stated in the Terms and Conditions when making your reservation. Cancellations with a full refund are allowed up to 31 days or more prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or up to 61 days or more prior to departure for international tours. No refund is allowed 30 days or less prior to departure for USA and Canada tours, or 60 days or less prior to departure for international tours.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Should I Purchase Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a Travelex travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228- 9792 and reference location number 06-0248.

Travel Insurance is underwritten by Transamerica Casualty, Insurance Company, Columbus, OH; NAIC #10952.1308294
Member of ASTA
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