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5 Days Cooking Vacations in Yucatan Mexico

  • Los Dos, Calle 68 No. 517, Colonia Centro, Merida 97000, Mexico

5 Days Cooking Vacations in Yucatan Mexico

  • Los Dos, Calle 68 No. 517, Colonia Centro, Merida 97000, Mexico

Mexico Cooking Vacations

Enjoy a variety of cooking, eating and traveling in our Mexican cooking school vacation. Each workshop includes a culinary overview of Yucatán and market tour, cooking instruction, day-trips to exotic Yucatán destinations - Maya archaeological sites, pueblos and haciendas - all with food in mind! Our culinary workshops are an ideal way for you to leisurely get to know Mérida and the surrounding area while immersing yourself in Yucatán's rich history and culinary heritage.


  • Cooking class
  • Merida central market tour
  • Restaurant visits, fusion cuisine
  • Yucatán's ingredients and culinary heritage
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Continental breakfast and lunch
  • Excursion to Maya Yucatán
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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The lovingly restored building is the private home of Chef David Sterling, who manages the school, and partner Keith Heitke. Soaring 18-foot ceilings, sumptuous surroundings, the pool, terrace and garden, a formal dining room and parlor and the gorgeous Mexican kitchen are yours to enjoy.

The Los Dos cooking experience

What makes cooking at Los Dos such a delightful experience is that you learn directly with Chef Sterling in his own kitchen. This personal attention - chatting with Chef Sterling over morning coffee or accompanying him to the market makes spending a day at Los Dos a memorable part of any vacation to the Yucatán Peninsula.

A class for all cooking enthusiasts

Designed for people who love to cook, as well as to learn about world cultures, each class at Los Dos begins with coffee and pastries and ends with a fabulous meal that you and Chef Sterling prepare together. In between, you'll receive fascinating background information on the importance of the Maya peoples in the development of Mexican cuisine and culture; you'll tour the sprawling and colorful Merida market; and in the participatory cooking class you will experience first-hand the many exotic ingredients that make Yucatecan cuisine so unique.

Class options to suit all levels

Chef Sterling offers a variety of class options to suit the needs and interests of travelers from around the world. From "Overviews" to combination cooking/excursion packages, cooking at Los Dos can be seamlessly combined with your stay in Mrida, as you tour the Maya ruins and the many historical and natural splendors that the Yucatán Peninsula offers. Chef Sterling can also design a program specifically for the interests or requirements of a private group.

Day 1 - Arrival

  • Arrive at Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID) and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 - Kitchen tour, market visit

  • Continental breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer from the hotel to Los Dos.
  • Chef David Sterling will greet you at Los Dos, and invite you into his kitchen where he will present an overview of Yucatán's unique ingredients and culinary heritage.
  • Follow him on a tour of Mérida's colorful central market, then join him for lunch at a restaurant featuring the finest regional cuisine.
  • Chef Sterling will help you navigate the menu as you sample several Yucatecan specialties.
  • Evening dinner at local restaurant.

Day 3 - Cooking class

  • Continental breakfast at hotel.
  • Transfer hotel/Los Dos.
  • Back in the Los Dos kitchen, you will spend the day with Chef David - cooking and eating!
  • Work with local and indigenous ingredients and learn about ancient Maya culinary practices. Together, you'll create a full meal, from snacks and a first course, through soup, main dish and dessert.

Day 4 - Excursion, restaurant visits

  • Continental breakfast at hotel. Pick-up from the hotel lobby.
  • Today is a romantic and exotic excursion into the heart of Maya Yucatán.
  • First, an English-speaking guide will drive you to Uxmal - considered the most beautiful of the Maya archaeological zones.
  • In the tiny pueblo of Santa Elena, you will visit a Maya family living as the Mayas have lived for the past century.
  • For lunch you will stop at the spectacular 5-star Hacienda Temozn, one of the Luxury Collection owned by Starwood.
  • At night enjoy dinner at a restaurant featuring the best in regional "fusion" cuisine.

Day 5 - Departure

  • Check out; transfer from the hotel to Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID).

This wonderful holiday will take place in downtown Mérida, capital of Yucatán, Mexico.

Yucatán menu

  • Botana: Sikil Pak - Typical Maya dip of ground pumpkin seeds, tomato and onion
  • Main course: Queso Relleno a la Andaluza - Whole Gouda cheese ball stuffed with ground pork and chicken, flavored with mint, pine nuts and capers, topped with a lightly-thickened broth and golden raisins
  • Accompaniments: Arroz Rojo - A light rice flavored with tomato, onion and garlic
  • Dessert: Sorbetes Surtidos - An assortment of three tropical sorbets: guaya, guanbana and papaya

Maya menu

  • Soup: Crema de guacamole - Chilled avocado soup topped with totopos and pico de gallo
  • Main course: Dzotobichay y Ibewahes - A tamale assortment featuring stuffings of chaya, pumpkin seed and beans served with a warm tomato sauce
  • Accompaniment: Frijol Colado - Yucatán's famous black bean pure
  • Dessert: Empanadas de Pia con Sorbete de Mango - A tropical treat featuring fried pineapple pies served with sauteed plantain and mango sorbet

Holiday dishes

  • Soup: Crema de cilantro - A rich, thick soup redolent of cilantro
  • Main course: Pavo en Relleno Negro a la Francs - Turkey roasted in Yucatecan oregano butter, served in a charred chile sauce with slices of pat de campagne
  • Accompaniments: Arroz verde - Pilaf-style rice cooked in an aromatic herb mixture, with slices of charred poblano chile
  • Dessert: Flan de Kahla con Chocolate - A rich flan incorporating coffee liqueur and criollo chocolate from Tabasco

Mexican dishes

  • Sopa de Lima a la Primavera - The classic Yucatecan soup; a light broth flavored with tiny limes garnished with strips of boiled chicken and julienne of seasonal vegetables
  • Pollo Pibil - Chicken breasts marinated in achiote and sour orange juice, wrapped in banana leaves and smoked over mesquite wood
  • Pescado en Tikin'Xik - Achiote-marinated red snapper, roasted in banana leaves over a charcoal fire
  • Caballeros Ricos - A new take on the more traditional "caballeros pobres", this bread pudding is baked in cinnamon syrup enriched with almonds and rum
  • 1 alcoholic beverage with other meals
  • 2 dinners
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • All taxes and tips except as noted
  • All transfers
  • Complimentary Los Dos apron
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Daily lunch
  • Wine and beer with main meals
  • Workbook including all recipes you prepare in class
  • Airfare
  • Service tips

Arrival by airplane

Book your flight to arrive at Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID). The pick-up is included in the price. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.


  • Review by Traveler from United States
    9 out of 10

    "Our day with Chef David at Los Dos was a grand finale to a week in Mexico studying colonial art in Mexico City and Merida. First came the feast for our eyes upon entering the cooking school we were welcomed into a colorful environment from the dining room and patio to the kitchen. Then came the history of food mingled with cultural development in the Yucatan. The market scene is always fascinating and David masterfully guided our group through the labyrinth, stopping at his favorite vendors where we purchased ingredients for our recipes. Cooking together in the beautiful tiled kitchen, and enjoying a meal surrounded by the murals painted on the dining room walls made our day at Los Dos utterly satisfying and memorable."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United States

    "Great combination of background, history, and foundations of Yucatan cuisine. Beautiful setting in the home and fabulous kitchen of Chef David Sterling. David is gracious and has a wry sense of humor, we all appreciated. The trip to the market gathering ingredients was fascinating and seamless. The hands-on cooking experience in an intimate setting alongside local talented staff orchestrated a memorable event for the four of us. And now for the food... super yummy! Understanding the layerIngs of Spanish,Portuguese, Mayan, and Lebanese influences contributed to our appreciation of the delicious food we helped prepare. We give this a five-star rating and not to be missed in Merida. His cook book by the way is amazing."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Traveler from United States
    9 out of 10

    "Great combination of background,history and foundations of Yucatan cuisine. Beautiful setting in the home and fabulous kitchen of Chef David Sterling. David is gracious and has a wry sense of humor we all appreciated.The trip to the market gathering ingredients was fascinating and seamless. The hands on cooking experience in an intimate setting alongside Local talented staff orchestrated a memorable event for the four of us. And now for the food....super yummy!!!!! Understanding the layerIngs of Spanish,Portuguese, Mayan, and Lebanese influences contributed to our appreciation of the delicious food we helped prepare. We give this a five star rating and not to be missed in Merida. His cookbook by the way is amazing."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Beth S from United States

    "Not only in the kitchen with chef David Sterling, but in his personal kitchen. That speaks volumes about chef Sterling's teaching philosophy. We were fortunate enough to have a package which meant just the two of us learning from and working with this amazing man and his staff. The package included excursions to the market, to the home of a very traditional Maya family, to a classic period Maya city, and more. We were immersed in the culture of the food that we were learning to prepare. This was no off-the-rack tour. This was a tailored, personalized experience. Thank you to chef Sterling, Mario, and everyone for making this the best Christmas present my husband has ever given me."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by John W

    "On my second trip to Merida, my host took me to Los Dos cooking school. It was such an incredible experience, I've returned on subsequent visits. David mixes history with the cooking experience. The stories surrounding the food create an additional layer to the dish, giving it more depth and resonance. It help you connect to Merida and the Yucatan as more than a tourist.The actual cooking is fun and delicious. There's a pumpkin seed dip you create that puts hummus to shame. And a dessert we made on my most recent visit, a sort of French toast pudding, was ambrosia. Every time I plan to visit Merida, I ask my host to arrange a trip to Lis Dos. It is a truly unique experience."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from US

    "I was very excited to take this class and it more than met my expectations. I loved the trip to the market and found the amount I of hands-on cooking to be just what I wanted. We started with coffee and a light continental breakfast (delicious) and then a very interesting and informative talk on Yucatan cooking. The meal we prepared was amazing. The only problem was that there was more food than I could eat.My only disappointment was arriving home full of enthusiasm to try out my Yucatan recipes only to find that I had lost my recipes. I have now ordered Chef Sterling's cookbook and am looking forward to receiving it. I would recommend this class to anyone who enjoys cooking and trying new foods in a warm friendly social setting. Thank you Chef Sterling."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from US

    "Chef Sterling will captivate and titillate as he explores the fascinating and sometimes surprising history of Yucatecan culinary traditions. Armed with a shopping list and shopping bag we joined Chef Sterling for a brisk walk into the dizzying labryrinth of Mrida's main market as he purchased items for our comida fuerte.Upon returning we were treated to a scrumptious bocadillo and fresh lemonade while we participated in a tortilla making demonstration. Preparations were already underway in the kitchen as we were introduced to the different techniques of putting together a true Yucatecan feast. The wonderful day concluded with the class dining in Chef Sterling's beautiful sala de comer."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Nicolette from Canada

    "David Sterling's book, Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition, was given to us as a gift 6 months ago. And it absolutely enthralled us. We had travelled to the Yucatan several times already but had missed and misunderstood so much about the cuisine. His book opened the culinary world of the Yucatan for us and naturally we just had to do his course when we were next in Merida. And it did not disappoint. We had a brilliant day. The food was simply incredible, doing the course is worth it just for the meal at the end. The high quality ingredients make all the difference. But the highlight of course was meeting David and being in his kitchen with him. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable and articulate, but he is also warm and humorous. It was greatly entertaining."

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  • Review by Dawn from United States

    "I was fortunate enough to be in Merida last week and I took the most marvelous cooking class with David Sterling! He is a wealth of knowledge about the culture, history as well as the food of the Yucatan. It was a marvelous day with time at the bustling market, preparing the foods, and then sitting down with newly made friends to enjoy the fruits of our labor. His home is the perfect setting with all of it's beauty and refined decorations. Don't miss this opportunity if you want to enjoy a most memorable experience in the marvelous and beautiful city of Merida!"

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  • Review by Wendy from California

    "Wow! I want to return to Chef Sterling's "classroom", not only to take another cooking class, but to soak up his beautifully designed and renovated home. Perhaps this should be the next class added to his syllabus, "Design By David". Sign me up!The best way to describe the day of cooking, is an adventure. Chef Sterling is a wealth of knowledge with a hefty dash of humor. He has the entire day filled with all kinds of worthwhile experiences. Chef Sterling gave me the confidence and the recipes to tackle a few delicious Yucatecan dishes on my own. In fact, Sikal Pak is my new favorite dip. Definitely include one of Chef Sterling's classes on your itinerary, when you visit Merida."

    Trip Advisor website, edited

  • Review by Paul from Texas

    "If you are serious about learning the art, ingredients and methodology of Yucatecan cuisine, you will find no better teacher than chef Sterling. his depth of knowledge on the subject of Mexican cuisines with a particular emphasis on Yucatecan food is astonishing.A stroll through the Mercado with David is an education unto itself. David's entertaining style and his beautifully restored home made this the best cooking class we have taken anywhere in the world. Anyone visiting Merida with even a soupcon of an interest in panuchos or salbutes will enjoy this class."

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  • Review by a traveler from California

    "My experience at Los Dos was one of the highlights of my vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula. David and his staff were warm, knowledgeable and gracious hosts. No detail was overlooked throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner and everything in between. The facilities at Los Dos are gorgeous: the peaceful atmosphere of the lush patio, the intricate murals in the elegant dining room, and of course the kitchen, befitting any serious cook's dreams.The day started with a tasty breakfast on the patio and moved into the dining room for a lesson on the traditions of Yucatecan cookery. We were then treated to a field trip to the market to gather the fruits, vegetables and spices we would eat for supper. When we got back to Los Dos it was time to start cooking... after some refreshments. Each student was encouraged to participate in the cooking demos at his or her own level of comfort. I made a corn tortilla by hand, mixed up spices and rolled a few tamales.David's wonderful team did most of the cooking so that at the end of the day my classmates and I were served perfectly prepared, complex Yucatecan cuisine. It was the best meal of the whole trip. From start to finish, it was an enlightening and delicious day! Take the class and see for yourself. Los Dos is a haven of Yucatecan hospitality and truly fantastic food!"

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