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The wildflower season is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Tepoztlan (and you won’t miss an incredible Thanksgiving Feast!). Red, orange and white flowers spring up everywhere and color the pastures and prairies. This is also the time when the farmers harvest their crops and hay, making every country trip an opportunity to see colorful rural Mexican life. La Villa Bonita Tepoztlan is where it all begins. Chef Ana´s specially-designed culinary retreat located in the foothills of the Tepozteco mountains. 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.
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.
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 them back for your first cooking session in the open-air kitchen.
Today, guests will learn how to do a Chicken Mixote as the main dish of the day. This is a banana leaf, maguey leaf or parchment paper pouch that is filled with vegetables and sauce that creates the most tender and flavorful chicken as well as other meats.
This mixiote comes from the Aztecs who learned that the thin outer skin of the maguey plant was both resistant against weight and heat so it worked well as a pouch. Starters and side dishes may include pico de gallo, white rice, and vegetable soup with chickpeas, carrots, and the Mixiote chicken broth. Dessert will be fried plantains with cream. The “agua fresca” will be celery with lime and the cocktail of the day will be an Ancho Reyes Pineapple.
Today, Chef Ana will teach you about the “nixtamalization” process as well as testing out the tortilla-making technique using 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” or mayordomo during your stay at La Villa Bonita.
Tepoztlan is a town full of culinary history that is preserved in the family. Today is a day to learn the local Tepozteco dishes. Guests can have breakfast and take an optional yoga class at the beautiful studio at the Hotel La Buena Vibra (15 USD).
Return to LVB to cook up a storm dishes such as a Tepozteco Guasmole with pork, red rice with refried beans, tortillas, green avocado salsa, and huitlacoche soup. The dessert of the day is the famous capirotada. The Agua fresca of the day is watermelon and the delicious cocktail of the day the michelada (beer with lime and salt or salsas).
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). Honored foodie guests will dedicate the day to the Ancho Chile creating Chiles Rellenos stuffed with beans and an orange sauce with fideo seco as a side with a roasted corn and poblano salad. The agua fresca of the day is guanabana water and the signature cocktail of the day is a strawberry and jalapeno margarita. Learn how to properly prepare a dried ancho to make the useful vessel for so many dishes in Mexican cuisine.
You start with a fabulous breakfast as usual and begin your preparations to enjoy one of Chef Ana’s delicious creations, the elusive White Mole. This delicious creation is made from peanuts, sesame seeds, almonds and is topped with crispy chicken.
Guests will learn a mole technique as well as tortilla practice, quesadillas with Jamaica flower stuffing, as well as a nopal paddle stuffed with goat cheese and salsa martajada, a black bean and roasted tomato soup and Lime Carlotta for dessert. Ummmmm! The cocktail of the day is “sal y humo” or salt and smoke with cucumber and mezcal and the agua del dia is lime with peels. Today, you will also visit the tortilla mill to grind your nixtamal into masa.
After having a 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.
You can also enjoy a Thanksgiving feast and actually participate with Chef Ana if you would like to do so. Even though Saturday is not really Thanksgiving, they have it on Saturday so that other family members can join them. It is not a Mexican holiday but since Chef Ana’s husband is from the US, she has created a tradition of celebrating the day with an incredible feast. Chef Ana’s turkey is the best!
After breakfast, La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacations 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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