At the heart of the Mayakoba resort lies El Pueblito, based on a traditional Mexican village, the square is a great place to try some different restaurants and do a little shopping.
Central to the square is the chapel, which is open every day for prayers and there’s full Catholic mass every Sunday.
The square is a super cute place to stroll around and three of the hotels have their own casual restaurant there; at Bann Teng Thai by Banyan Tree you can grab a salad or a smoothie, Fairmont’s El Cafesito is the place for the best coffee in Mayakoba and Rosewood’s La Fondita is where to go for toastadas and mezcales.
La Casa de los Pájaros is the shop selling beautiful art, craft and clothing from local Mexican designers and artisans.
Also on Sunday is the farmer’s market with colourful stands featuring products from local farmers and producers.
I loved the idea of the market and whilst it’s in early stages I’m keen to see how it will develop further.
One of our favourite experiences while staying in Mayakoba was the El Pueblito Cooking School with chef Karla Enciso.
The experience starts with a refreshing cocktail of Tequila Patrón… then its into the kitchen…
It’s certainly not one of those cookery schools where you just sit on your laurels and watch the chef. She put us to work deseeding chillies…
Chopping onions and frying everything up in the pan.
It was a great opportunity so find out more about local ingredients as well the techniques used to prepare all the dishes.
I mean, I’ve rarely had a chance to eat green tomatoes let alone cook with them.
Born in Mexico herself and with 14 years of experience operating her own restaurants, Chef Karla was well placed to teach us the spicy secrets of Mexican cuisine. The founder of the Collective Group of Cooks from the Riviera Maya, she champions sustainable cooking and use of ingredients from Quintana Roo.
The class is small so there’s plenty of hands on attention from Karla but it’s relaxed and casual and you’re welcome to have more Tequila Patron cocktails!
The school offers several different classes, ours focussed on hearty Mexican street food, or as Karla put it food that makes you fat! But there are lots of other options such as vegetarian classes, focus on seafood, corn ….or if you’re feeling brave there’s a class all about the symbol of Mexico, the chilli! It’s not all about Mexico either, there are classes on pastry, artisan jams and Asian noodles plus book signings, pop-ups and special events.
As well as the street food snacks we worked on putting together sauces and salsa to accompany them.
All fresh and vibrant dishes that are as easy on the eye as on the palate but were deceptively complex to make. I have to say though, that I was rather better at cookery than I was at floating yoga!
We even pressed our own tortillas.
And with all our hard work done it was time to pour a glass of wine and enjoy our feast. We ate delicious gorditas chicharrón, quesadillas de zeta and sopes covered in meaty filling and spicy sauces. At the end of the class we even got to keep our recipe books and aprons!
Have you ever been to Mexico? What’s your favourite Mexican food?
Ctra. Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen KM 298 Solidaridad, Q. Roo
CP 77710 Mexico
+52 984 875 8000
I was invited to review by Rosewood Mayakoba and the Mayakoba Resort and all our food and experiences were complimentary.