• Location: Merida, Mexico
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 57.00 View price calendar

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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

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

Theresa D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2018

We were looking to continue our tradition of doing a cooking class together on vacation, and this was a great one! Cooking enables us to engage our teens ages 12, 14 and 15 in a different way, and bring back some skills and ideas for new meals at home. The food we prepared was delicious: panuchos, salbutes, sopa de lima, yucatecan chicken and papadzules. We all had fun preparing the dishes, talking with others on the tour and sampling the foods along the way. Our guide, Nelson, was charming and informative and we received good guidance from him and Gustavo. Traveling to and working in the home of Doña Rosaria was also interesting. She was a welcoming host.

The market is bustling and very fun to visit in the morning. Going in the heat of the day with this tour, however, was tougher. Our group was big, the market was very crowded and very hot about 100 degrees, with little breeze. Next time I'd ask to cut that part shorter and gone on to the food preparation sooner. Would do it again, for sure!

Lastly- our tour began at 1pm. Make sure you eat before you go, as dinner wasn't until 6:00pm.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

A real cultural experience! If you are looking to learn more about Mayan and Mexican culture this is a must. Fun and educational. Our guide was full of energy and spoke great English. He took us for a tour of the Merida Market, stopping to buy food at his favorite stalls while educating us on local customs. Then we took a local bus to his grandmothers home and there we all pitched in and made a local meal. The cooking was fun and educational. Cooking and eating with his family was a treat. If you like a hands on, authentic, cultural experience this tour hits the spot.

Gary M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Alejo was a great tour leader, full of information about the history of Medira, Yucatan, the neighborhoods we passed through, and of course the food we prepared. We could never have negotiated the market and known of the different foods - vegetables and fruits we'd never seen. We got to sample many of these over the course of the night. Berta's house was warm and welcoming, and she was very helpful. Perhaps His best skill was managing the six of us, keeping US busy with the many steps in putting together the many course meal. Overall, we were all pleased with this fun and informative tour.

Colleen I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

We would highly recommend this activity! Gustavo was a fabulous guide, extremely knowledgeable about the market and Yucatan history and culture. He was a joy to have as a guide, very upbeat and positive. The bustling market was amazing - a not to miss experience. There were 4 of us on the tour which seemed just right. We were most appreciative and impressed with the family environment of the actual cooking class. The family of Gustavo Grandmother and Aunt were so warm and inviting. The actual cooking class was excellent. Gustavo made sure everyone had a chance to participate in the meal preparation and the meal itself was impressive and delicious! This was a very special experience. Many thanks to Gustavo and his family for making us all feel so welcome.

Blake G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

So glad my wife and I booked this class. Alejo, the tour guide, chef and teacher made our day and evening very enjoyable. Spent a couple of hours shopping in the market in Merida with Alejo telling us the stories behind the spices and the history of many of the fruits and vegetables purchased. Then traveled to the in home cooking class where 10 people, if I recall correctly, spent the next 3-4 hours drinking beer, cooking and enjoying each others company. Alejo was very patient and dedicated to his craft. Made a five course meal, got fat, and enjoyed every minute of it. I highly recommend this adventure! Would definitely do it again.

Eve G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

What a fantastic time we had on the market tour and cooking class with Alejo! He is extremely friendly and very knowledgable and he made everyone in the group feel welcomed and included. The traditional Yucatecan food we made was delicious and he sent us all the recipes. I highly recommend this tour.

Gerald Page P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

I was the only person on this tour but I was treated with very well. Allejo Mantilla, the chef and guide, gave me a great tour and with and a hands on cooking experience.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Met our guide Alejo and walked to the Market Lucas de Galvez to do our shopping before getting on a bus to the home of our host Bertha. Warning - this is a REAL cooking class. Lots of chopping, dicing, peeling, boiling, roasting before finally eating. And that whats makes it so enjoyable. All in all we had an excellent time eating and conversing. An Uber transport was arranged by Alejo at the end of the evening to return us back to our hotel in Centro. Both Alejo and Bertha were excellent hosts.

Helen N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

This is a must-do if you are in Merida. Alejo is just the best guide you can ever encounter. Vibrant, full of energy, always smiling, knowledgable, and immediately you feel you have a friend. The tour starts at the market, which in itself, is an experience. You encounter the real people of Merida and their food. Then the bus ride through the town is another great experience. But the best is yet to come. The moment you meet Berta, a joyful, energetic Yuacateca who makes you feel at home the moment you enter her gate. She looks over everything we bring from the market and between her and Alejo we proceed all to cook. This is a hands-on experience so you really get your hands dirty! Once the succulent aromas start to fill Berta's kitchen, we start admiring the fruits of our labor and in what seems like minutes but are really a couple of hours you are sitting down in a nicely dressed table eating all the mexican delicacies which between all of us we have prepared. The process to return to the hotel was easy and fast. Thank you Alejo and Berta for a great experience. Hope all who visit Merida have the pleasure of your tour.

Aurora A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2017

Wonderful experience, highly recommend.

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