MEXICO: When your travel thoughts turn to food, here’s some food for thought from Hacienda Petac, an elegant private estate situated just 30 minutes from Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Hacienda Petac has built its reputation as a food lovers dream destination thanks to hands-on cooking classes conducted in its state-of-the-art kitchen.
So popular has Hacienda Petac become that notable chefs are now joining with tour packages for small groups wishing to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of Yucatan cuisine. These visits include historic haciendas fitted with modern amenities and large kitchens perfect for communal cooking.
But that’s only half of the story because without the regular excursions to nearby markets to shop for ingredients, it would be impossible to work the culinary magic of the destination. Looking at and smelling the fresh fruits and vegetables that will become your breakfast, lunch or dinner is a wonderful way to get to know a new country via its cuisine. Speaking with farmers who proudly display the fruits of their labors allows for an authentic experience.
For more on Hacienda Petac read: Hacienda Petac
in Merida, Mexico offers tourists a private, all-inclusive villa
Rounding out the tour by not allowing “too many cooks to spoil the broth”, visitors also have an opportunity to tour the Mayan ruins at Uxmal, enjoy a picnic at a hacienda museum, explore the wonders of Merida and swim in one of the region’s numerous cenotes.
A cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes the groundwater beneath. The pools are particularly common in the Yucatan region where they had important religious significance for the ancient Maya civilizations.
Incorporating flexible concepts to adapt to the needs of virtually any touristic lifestyle, Hacienda Petac, a leading destination, can arrange all-inclusive packages for groups of up to 14 foodies who wish to organize a food tour that includes accommodations, cooking classes, drink demonstrations and market tours.
The property is adept at helping its clients have the experience they are seeking.
More simply put, the resort staff provides the first-rate service with personal attention to the needs of discerning travelers.
However, you don’t need to bring a group to enjoy Petac. Hacienda Petac offers a selection of 6-night travel programs through several tour operators that include their cooking immersion classes as well as excursions’ for solo and couple travelers.
Historic Hacienda Petac
The masterfully restored Spanish colonial estate of Hacienda Petac nestles on 250 protected acres. The property capacity is only 14 guests. Better yet, it can only be booked by one group at a time. This ensures that when you stay at the 400-year-old property you have the whole place to yourself.
Seven spacious bedrooms, housed in three separate buildings, are beautifully appointed with soaring ceilings and oversized showers and tubs designed from polished native stone. (Click here for interactive map of Hacienda Petac)
Other amenities include a heated pool, spa, gym, game room, media salon and a chapel available for weddings.
Throughout the villa, walls have been painted in richly pigmented hues of ochre and cornflower blue using traditional methods. Handcrafted textiles and antiques mixed with modern furniture lend warmth and authentic charm.
The heart of the property is Casa Principal, home to the dining room, bar, library and several shady terraces which are crisscrossed with trails that are ideal for bird-watching and leisurely strolls.
Touring the Yucatan
Off grounds tours include Mayan temples and ruins, a wetlands reserve with a flamingo colony, the colonial city of Merida and, of course, the talcum powder sand beaches of the Gulf Coast.
Located just a half-hour’s drive from Merida International Airport, four major airlines provide service to the area; Aeromexico, American, United, and Westjet from Canada.
Hacienda Petac can also provide transfers from Cancun for an additional fee.’
For the ultimate escape, filled with the luxurious solitude of living in a private estate where you and the staff are the only humans in a pristine wilderness, it might just be worth your while to see what’s cooking at Hacienda Petac.
The Tour de Forks epicurean adventures.
One food tour in Mexico is the Tour de Forks “Cooking in the Yucatan” featuring Michelin-starred celebrity chef Anita Lo. Says Chef Lo “Travel is one of the most obvious ways to expand your palate and integrate new flavors into your cooking.”
This food tour included a 7 day/6 night culinary adventure in an elegant 17th-century hacienda, The Casa Principal. The property sits on 250 acres of gardens and natural habitat with walking trails surrounding a swimming pool, spa, salon and gym pavilion. Soak in the sound of pouring waterfalls and bird songs, while lounging on beautiful outdoor terraces.
Edible Destinations is another food tour operator that has year-round itineraries where guests can digest the region’s best recipes in hands-on side-by-side classes conducted by gifted Mayan chefs.
All it requires is an adventurous spirit and a “taste” for travel.
After a visit to Mexico’s food destinations, you’re sure to come away with new knowledge of what constitutes “good taste” Yucatan-style.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
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