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Take a walk back in time and enjoy the simple pleasures of life in one of the most picturesque mountain villages in Mexico. Hear the church bells ring as you take a stroll on the ancient cobblestone streets. Cook dishes handed down over generations. Have lunch while being embraced by a 360-degree view of the majestic Tepozteco mountains. Tepoztlan is one of Mexico’s most unique destinations because of it’s beautiful mountain profile, it’s history and the traditional culture of its people. Tepoztlan was one of the first Pueblos Magicos and many simply come to Tepoztlan to absorb its small-town vibe and wonderful food. Enjoy small-town life as a local.
Welcome to Chef Ana´s mountain home that was specially designed for her culinary program. The property consists of six guest rooms all with private baths. Each room has a different design and is very comfortable. All rooms have a king bed and some rooms have the possibility of two twin beds or one king. All rooms have french doors that open up to a common courtyard with incredible views of the surrounding mountains and steps from the open-air kitchen.
La Villa Bonita is built in a citrus orchard on a hectare of terraced land, complete with an herb and vegetable garden. The specially-designed open-air kitchen is complete with a living area, three sinks, lots of cooking and prep space as well as a 360-degree view of the majestic mountains. Above the kitchen sits a 16-person-capacity glass table with an incredible panoramic view of the Tepozteco mountains, the ex-convent, and the town below. La Villa Bonita is located in a very quiet residential area of town away from the downtown hum.
Chef Ana Garcia offers you a glimpse into a world that few outsiders ever experience. Become a part of Chef Ana’s culinary family for a week at her specially designed culinary hotel in the foothills of the Tepozteco mountain. Access a rich side of Mexico that few outsiders have ever seen - not as a tourist - but as a real member of the family.
As you select your daily ingredients, you will be warmly greeted by the butcher, the cheesemaker, the fruit vendor, the baker, the strawberry producer as if you have lived in Tepoztlán forever. Take your corn to the mill with the local Tepozteco women to make the freshest tortillas you have ever tasted. Pick fruit on the grounds of La Villa Bonita’s organic orchard to use as an ingredient in the day’s meal.
For Chef Ana, every great meal starts with great ingredients and at La Villa Bonita, you will learn from the expert. The local kids will say ¨buenas tardes” to you as you walk the ancient cobblestone streets in search of the perfect gift to bring home.
Maybe after lunch, you will take the hike up to Tepoztlán’s pyramid perched on a mountain top. Or maybe you will just relax by the pool carved out of volcanic rock with a good book. La Villa Bonita offers a fun, safe, and culturally-interesting vacation all in one.
Guests arrive at Mexico City International Airport (MEX) with airport pickup provided. The trip takes one and a half hours from Mexico City to La Villa Bonita and guests will be greeted upon arrival with a delicious homemade cocktail such as Chef Ana’s famous Margarita made with her own Calamondine Orange liquor as well as snacks such as guacamole, cheeses, home-made salsa, and tortilla chips.
Later that afternoon/evening, guests will enjoy Chef Ana’s 4-course chef’s table gourmet dinner made from primarily local ingredients grown in the garden or from local providers. Dinner is served within an ample open-air kitchen with a view of the valley below or above the kitchen in the elevated dining area with a 360-degree view of the mountains. Chef Ana will explain her dishes to the guests and also discuss how the week will unfold.
The day starts with Chef Ana’s famous big breakfast with fresh fruit, biscuits, homemade jams and jellies along with a new traditional Mexican main dish each morning. Guests will go to the local Tepoztlán market to select the best ingredients from Chef Ana’s local providers and bring these ingredients back for the cooking session in the open-air kitchen. Today, one of the dishes will be Tinga.
After returning from the market with the ingredients, cooking will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon with lunch of dishes prepared in the open-air kitchen or elevated terrace with wine or beer service as well as coffee or tea with dessert. Every day, you will make at least one main dish, side dishes, an agua fresca, a signature cocktail, salsas.
Today, you may make a feast with Tinga de Pollo (Chicken Tinga), Cortadillo de Res, Frijoles de la Olla (Claypot beans), agua de jamaica, cactus paddles with mushroom and corn, chile de arbol as well as roasted green salsa. Learn to make signature cocktails like Ancho Reyes Gavilan (Ancho Reyes liquor with grapefruit).
Today as well, you will start the process of nixtamalization of the local corn to create masa. Learn how to use red, white or blue masa made from ancestral corn varieties produced locally and make your own tortillas and place them on the comal with Mari your “ama de llaves” during your stay at La Villa Bonita.
Today is a day to learn the local Tepozteco dishes. Guests can take an optional yoga class at the beautiful studio at the Hotel La Buena Vibra (15 USD) and return to LVB to cook up a storm dishes such as huanzontles in a chile pasilla sauce as the main dish of the day.
Huanzontles are the pre-hispanic protein powerpack made from the young stems of the young amaranth plant that are wrapped around cheese and an egg batter. An example of other dishes that may accompany the huanzontles are refried beans, cecina (slightly salted beef cut in thin sheets), guavas in syrup with fresh cream for dessert.
You will also have pineapple water with mint and the signature cocktail of the day is a margarita with jalapeno. Today, you will practice the tortilla-making technique as well.
Guests enjoy lunch of dishes prepared with drink service in the open-air kitchen or the elevated terrace. After late lunch, guests will have an opportunity to take a walk into the downtown, relax around the pool with a good book or take a great nap! You are on vacation, it is up to you!
Breakfast starts a day of pottery and incredible local cuisine. After breakfast, guests will witness a demonstration of how to make traditional lead-free artisan pottery from a producer in Tlayacapan by the name of Dona Chayo. Her family has produced pottery in the traditional way for generations. Almost all of Chef Ana’s earthenware in the house Dona Chayo. Learn how these noble vessels are made! Guests will have an opportunity to purchase his traditional rice and bean pots, flatware, cazuelas among many other great items.
Today, guests will join Chef Ana on a walking/eating tour of the Tepoztlan market, visit the Ex-Convent and museum as well as try a wide variety of local delicacies in the market. Walk, learn and eat like a native, delicacies such as itacates, pancita, cecina, and traditional Morelos quesadillas. This is the farmer’s market day in Tepoztlan with an opportunity to see the wide variety of ingredients and dishes that Tepoztlan has to offer.
After a hearty breakfast, guests will have the option of a leisurely morning or optional yoga class at La Buena Vibra Hotel (15 USD). The foodie guests will dedicate then the day to the poblano chile creating Chiles Rellenos stuffed with cheese in a red tomato sauce.
Learn how to properly blister the poblano to make the useful vessel for so many dishes in Mexican cuisine. You may also create dishes such as traditional white rice, chayotes in white sauce, a squash blossom soup, and flan for dessert. The signature cocktail will be a jamaica flower martini and watermelon water to accompany your meal.
You start with a fabulous breakfast as usual and begin your preparations to enjoy the grandeur of Mexican mole. Guests will learn the technique that is necessary to make any type of mole. This particular mole is from the state of Veracruz in the area called the Huasteca. Guests will also make red rice and natilla for dessert. The signature cocktail of the day is a tamarind margarita and the water to accompany lunch is mint with lime and cucumber. Today, you will also visit the tortilla mill to grind your nixtamal into masa.
After your delicious breakfast, you have a day to enjoy on your own. Take a hike, enjoy the weekend artisan market, go out for lunch or just relax. Today is a day to do whatever your heart desires.
In the evening, enjoy an optional farewell dinner (additional fee) with Chef Ana as she prepares a 4-course chef’s table dinner. Feel free to come up to the kitchen as Chef Ana prepares the gourmet meal and enjoy a glass of wine as you reminisce about the week you had at La Villa Bonita.
After breakfast, La Villa Bonita will organize your return to the Mexico City airport and count the days until you see each other again for a new culinary adventure.
Ana Garcia is one of the most vivacious traditional Mexican chefs and teachers in Mexico today. The inspiration for Chef Ana’s recipes and hospitality grow out of her long, rich family history in central and northern Mexico. She has taken this extensive knowledge and incorporated it into a culinary repertoire that includes traditional central and northern Mexican specialties, as well as nouvelle Mexican cuisine using traditional ingredients in new and gastronomically adventurous ways.
Tepoztlan, a “Pueblo Magico” (magic village) and one of Mexico’s most unique destinations is located about 5,280 feet above sea level and roughly one hour 15 minutes south of Mexico City making transportation easy. Because of its incredible “eternal spring” climate, Tepoztlan is a year-round destination where this award-winning package take place.
La Villa Bonita is located on the upslope of the Tepozteco mountains with a privileged perch above the town and an incredible view of the ex-convent below. It is a 15-minute walk to the central downtown circuit so there is not an excessive amount of traffic in front of La Villa Bonita but it is just minutes away from the centro and zocalo.
Due to its year-round average daily temperature of 83 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees Celsius, Tepoztlan has become an off-the-beaten-path destination for those who want a wonderful climate with a picturesque, authentic, and traditional Mexican backdrop. Tepoztlan’s temperate climate with prevailing sunshine, its wonderful adobe facades, incredible local festivals, and ancient cobblestone streets attract Mexicans and foreign tourists from all over the world who seek a traditional, small-town environment.
Tepoztlan is one of the most unique, authentic, and safest places you can visit and has a lower crime rate than most cities and towns in the US. You will get this understanding in the first 15 minutes after setting foot in the village. It is a place that time seems to have forgotten with time-honored culinary traditions, wonderful local produce, and a very enjoyable pace of life focused on family and friends.
Tepoztlan is made up of stubborn townspeople and subsistence farmers who vigilantly guard their traditions from change, which makes it an ideal destination for the “foodie” and the traveler seeks to experience rich culture. “Tepoztecos,” as they are known there, appreciate the foreign tourist because you appreciate their culture. You can walk anywhere day or night and people will say “hello” to you, be cordial, but not overburdening.
This Magic Village with its mystical vibe is known as the “Sedona of Mexico” and consists of a very small, tight-knit community where people are very content with their lifestyle - a full social calendar that consists of constant cultural events, celebrations, and festivals during both the week and weekend. Tepoztlan is a piece of art without comparison - exquisite but not commercial.
In Tepoztlan, you will hear the enveloping sounds of the community, the church bells, the rooster crowing, the occasional firecracker and the music wafting through the valley. So, enjoy your stay and when you go home, please tell everyone about your experience in the “hidden culinary jewel of Mexico.”
During this Mexican culinary holiday, you will be served 4-course chef’s table gourmet welcome dinner, daily big breakfast consisting of fresh fruit, biscuits, homemade jams and jellies along with a new traditional Mexican main dish, and lunch of food prepared on all cooking days accompanied with beer, wine, and cocktail.
Vegetarian, vegan, allergies or special diets can be accommodated. Please contact La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations prior to arrival so that they may accommodate your diet. There is dinner on the first night which is prepared prior to your arrival. Please let them know through Whatsapp if you have anything you do not eat.
Mexico City International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Mexico City International Airport (MEX). Transfer from and to the airport is included. La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations will pick you up from the airport.
Please arrive before 4:00 p.m. 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm is ideal. You may arrive earlier, but there may be some wait time as other guests arrive. You can wait in the Urban Corner restaurant in terminal 1 which is the pickup point. La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations will give you detailed instructions on how to get there.
If you cannot meet the pickup requirements, Uber is very good, reliable, and reasonably priced. If you do not want to wait for other guests or arrive after 4:00 p.m., you can take an Uber at about 60 - 70 USD which can fluctuate depending on demand or exchange rates. The fare does not include tolls that are reimbursed to your Uber driver through the app afterward (about 10 USD). So do not pay your driver for tolls as you will be charged twice. If you want to tip your driver feel free to do so. Tips are generally 100 to 150 MXN for good service.
For departure, there is more flexibility. If you would like to use the shuttle, your departure time should be after 12:00 noon. You may leave earlier for an additional fee. La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations has an Uber driver on call who charges 1300 MXN per trip (currently about 68 USD).
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookCulinaryVacations.com. All major credit cards supported.
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