5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
  • Location:Merida, Mexico
  • Duration:5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Merida Market Tour and Cooking Class

Submerge yourself in the rich cuisine and epicurean customs of the Yucatan on a half-day culinary tour of the beautiful Mexican city of Merida. Purchase ingredients from a traditional market and enjoy a cooking class at the home of a local host. Learn about the exotic ingredients and intriguing processes used in Mexican cooking as your knowledgeable guide narrates. Finally, sample the fruits of your labor during a delicious lunch in your host’s comfortable home. Enjoy a personalized experience on this small group tour, with number limits at 12 people.


  • Half-day market tour and cooking class in Merida
  • Select locally grown food at one of the bustling Merida markets
  • Prepare Yucatecan specialties at the home of a local host
  • Discover Mexican cuisine and its culinary heritage
  • Enjoy local dishes with newfound friends
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 ensures a more personalized experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Merida Market Tour and Cooking Class

Visit the local market in Merida

Meet your guide in a central local amid the colonial majesty of Merida and drive by air-conditioned minivan to a local market. Absorb the bustling atmosphere and brightly colored stalls as you navigate this vibrant place, listening to your guide explain the purposes and origins of the exotic fruits and vegetables you see. Become acquainted with unfamiliar ingredients as you navigate the lively labyrinth of stalls. 

Assisted by your bilingual guide, chat with vendors as you select prime seasonal ingredients to prepare during your cooking class. Awaken your senses to the animated colors, enticing aromas and energetic chatter of the market, taking a moment to appreciate a place rarely visited by tourists.

Return to the minivan to venture to the home of your local host. Decide upon which signature specialty you wish to cook, choosing from a mouthwatering selection of salbutes (Mayan tacos), panuchos (black bean-filled tostadas), papadzules (enchiladas smothered in pumpkin seed sauce) and codzitos (stuffed and fried tortillas). Also, learn the secret recipe of the sublime drink of horchata, a creamy and delicately sweetened rice drink.

Guided by your host, you’ll prepare your Mexican meal as you learn of Mayan traditions and useful Spanish phrases. Learn about the Yucatan region’s distinct culture as your guide explains how Yucatan cuisine and customs differ from the rest of Mexico. 

As sublime smells fill the kitchen, sample your Mexican dishes while you chat with your group, guide and host around the dining table. Upon conclusion of the tour, your guide will arrange a taxi to return you to central Merida, for a cost of approximately $5. 

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This was one of the highlights of our trip to Merida! We highly recommend The market tour and cooking class. Ricardo met us and took us not only to the market, but pointed out many interesting sites along the way. We shopped and then went to a lady's home and cooked delicious food. It is memorable.
We highly recommend this activity!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Good tour. Friendly and informative guide. Interesting to cook with a local in her home.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

The tour and cooking class exceeded our expectations. Our tour guide Ricardo is a wonderful guide and historian. He is passionate about Merida and its history. Wonderdul trip to the market, bus trip local style, and then to Berta's house. Berta is a wonderful cook and person!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

If you're curious about this class, my recommendation is to go ahead and sign up right away. This was the perfect way to experience Merida and classic Yucatan living. Our guide, Ricardo, was friendly and fun, and had excellent skills for teaching both local history and culture. The market was perfect - colorful, friendly and bustling. The host, Senora Bertha, welcomed us into her home as if we were old friends, and shared her kitchen and dining room with warmth and smiles. And while this was not a formal cooking exhibition style class, it certainly taught how to choose and use local ingredients in the local manner. I was fortunate to be staying in a private home in Merida, and 2 days after the class I made dinner for a small group of hungry people, using my new skill. And it turned out delicious and everyone was happy! So I feel very pleased with the whole experience and add my praise to others already written. Relax, enjoy and participate in the Yucatan through the world of food.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Overall a delightful day. Our family group of 8 had a tour of all the main sections of the sprawling market, with ample opportunities to ask questions and learn about the vegetables, fruits and spices that give Yucatan cuisine its unique character. The guides from "urban adventures-Merida" - Ricardo and Alberto -- were knowledgeable and enthusiastic and helped fill in gaps in our knowledge about history, politics, culture and cuisine of Yucatan.
What stood out was the experience of all of us being sous chefs with the maestra, Doña Berta, whose calm and good humor, and lightning quick hands helped us all learn how to prepare the foods. With a promise of a later e-mail with all the recipes, we were encouraged to be fully engaged in the experience, not with note-taking.
The final delight was everyone at the host house sitting down to share the meal together in the patio outside the kitchen.

(One slight caveat - be clear when you sign up about transportation to and from the host home, which can be at some distance from the center of Merida. The guides at first proposed the public bus (which may be fine for some) but we needed to go by car and luckily had them handy. )

Again - overall a thoroughly enjoyable immersion in Yucatecan culture and cuisine! Highly recommended.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

What a wonderful way to step into the culture and culinary traditions of the Yucatan! Ricardo was a gracious and wonderful guide and the family that invited us into their home for the cooking class was welcoming and friendly. It was a great way to spend a day! Thank you!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Our guide, Ricardo, was punctual, informative, friendly and very interesting. He led us on a fascinating tour through the Merida market and asked for our grandsons' help in choosing ingredients for our cooking class. With purchases in hand, we took a local bus to our destination. Cooking in someones home with her family there, made it truly meaningful. Our hostess was most gracious, allowing us to work with all of the ingredients and steps in preparing a delicious meal. We had participated in many other similar experiences over the years in several countries, and this was truly one of the most memorable.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Both our guide and hosts were very nice!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

I enjoyed seeing personal house and cooked the base of tortilla.
And also, two boys and me became good friends.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

We found the small group tour of the market to be really interesting and the guide knowledgeable. It gave us a much better insight into the food of the region. We went by local bus to the house of the chef which was great and it was lovely having the cooking session and meal in the chef's home. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Merida.

From USD $ 51.99

View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

Select Travel Date

Flexible Date Guarantee

Enter Total Number of Travelers

What's this, and can I change it?

Please note: After your purchase is confirmed we will email you a link to your voucher.
What's this?

Tour code: 5207MIDCOOK


Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message