There is no shortage of activities in Cancun, and you can certainly stay busy during every day of your vacation, without ever leaving the hotel zone. Foodies, tequila lovers, or anyone wanting to learn a bit more about the rich Mexican culture will love this food-and-beverage-filled itinerary.
Tequila Herradura Museo Sensorial (aka, the Herradura Tequila Museum), in Cancun — Photo courtesy of Tequila Herradura Museo Sensorial
Begin your day by relaxing on the beach, and around mid-day, make your way over to the Tequila Herradura Museo Sensorial (aka, the tequila museum). It's located about mid-way between La Isla Shopping Village and Kukulkan Mall. The tequila museum offers a very interesting and informative tour that explains how tequila was invented, how it's made, and where it's made. You also learn about the different types of tequila; blanco (white), reposado (rested), anejo (aged), and extra anejo (extra aged).
After the tour, you move into the sampling room, where you taste several different types of tequila. The price of admission is based on the number of tequilas you wish to sample, but the highest fee is only around $15 USD, per person. Reservations are required for groups, but small parties do not need to make a reservation. The tour and tasting only take about 60-90 minutes, but it's a fun activity and it's actually educational.
Chef Rory Dunaway, preparing for his next cooking class — Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
After your visit to the tequila museum, head down the street to The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun. It's not far from the museum, so you could walk (if it's not too hot), but a bus or taxi would get you there much faster. Inside the hotel, you'll find the Viking Culinary Center, which is an absolutely amazing, state-of-the-art kitchen that is totally tricked out with every Viking appliance and gadget you could ever dream of. And, if you thought it couldn't get any better, you should know that the Culinary Center also has a lovely view of the Caribbean Sea.
At the Culinary Center, you can take cooking classes with Chef Rory Dunaway, as well as participate in Mexican wine tastings & tequila tastings, or enjoy an out-of-this-world dinner, prepared by Chef Dunaway, at the Chef's Table.
Tequila tastings are held in the Viking Culinary Center, at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun — Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
Several different cooking classes are taught but, keeping with our Mexican theme, be sure to sign up for the class that teaches you how to prepare authentic Mexican cuisine. Classes are small (no more than 14 people), so you'll definitely need to make a reservation for this activity. During the class, you'll help the chef prepare the meal. You'll do such things as chop peppers or onions, make tortillas by hand, or you may be assigned the most important job of all: making the margaritas. Not only will you learn to prepare the most perfect Margaritas in the entire world, but you'll also get to enjoy them during class.
Classes are only around two hours long, but during that time you'll learn proper cutting techniques, how to slice an onion without tearing up (among other useful tips), and how to make delicious Mexican dishes like ceviche (raw fish, shrimp, or other seafood that is covered in lime juice; the lime juice actually cooks the fish or seafood), enchiladas, and churros with chocolate sauce. Once the meal has been prepared, the class participants and Chef Rory all sit down to eat the wonderful meal they helped create.
Enjoy authentic Mexican food while listening to a mariachi band perform — Photo courtesy of Hacienda Sisal
To complete the trifecta of Mexican food, beverages, and fun, go to Hacienda Sisal for dinner. The restaurant resembles a Mexican hacienda and a small crop of agave plants is in the front of the building. Hacienda Sisal serves authentic Mexican food, from different regions in Mexico, and they have a wide variety of tequilas that you may want to try, now that you have learned a little about the tasty beverage.
You can opt to have dinner in the main dining room, or you can dine in the theater, where Mexican and Caribbean shows are performed each week. Be sure to go on a night when the Mexican show is playing, so you can see folkloric dancers and hear some traditional music. If you don't care to stay for a show, you can still see a mariachi band perform at 7:00 pm. They play at the same time, six nights a week.
At the end of this day, you will be filled with Mexican food, tequila, and happy memories from a fun-filled day of learning about tequila and Mexico's food and culture. And, all three of these locations are within a short distance of each other, so you won't have to run all over town to go from one venue to the next.