Yucatán with Katsuji Tanabe
One Exclusive Departure | December 4 - 9, 2022Call to Book
Stimulate Every Sense
Experience Yucatán's rich traditions and culinary heritage with Chef Katsuji Tanabe
December 4 - 9, 2022
One exclusive departure—reserve your spot today!
6 Days, 5 Nights
Best of the Yucatán including Mérida, Chichén Ítza, Uxmal, Vallodolid
You’re floating in the perfectly clear, still waters of a remote cenote, the jungle canopy alive with birdsong and the rhythmic croaks and chirps pounding out a steady beat from the forest floor. Ancient tree roots hang like stalactites dappled with sunshine, a mosaic of colors you’ve never quite seen before. This exquisite natural amphitheater exists only in the Yucatán, a peninsula as wild as it is refined, simmering with centuries of tradition. Just hours ago, you explored Mayan pottery alongside a master artisan and sat down to lunch—a traditional poc chuc of marinated pork topped with charcoal-fired onions–that lingers on your palate like a treasured memory. Tonight you’ll celebrate under a million stars at a luxurious 17th-century hacienda. This is the true Yucatán, and it’s simply the best.
Our travel companion is acclaimed chef and Top Chef star Katsuji Tanabe, owner and creative mastermind behind a slew of award-winning restaurants (from Chicago’s Barrio to Raleigh’s High Horse). Chef Katsuji, a Mexico City native, shows us the Yucatán he knows and loves, one full of flavor and deep cultural traditions. This is not just any trip to Mexico, it’s a six-day discovery of one of the world’s most delicious destinations, with Chef Katsuji sharing the deep and personal connection to his home away from home.
If your idea of the perfect adventure involves slowing down and experiencing a place deeply, join us for a dose of Mexico few outsiders experience. Learn the meaning and tradition behind every bite, and experience the Yucatán at its most timeless and delicious.
Slow-cooked cochinita pibil, traditional street foods, specially prepared Yucatecan feasts
Ancient Mayan temples, underground cenotes, colonial towns and tropical forests
Traditional makers and local craftspeople, and modern artists in home studios
With Yucatán's culture and cuisine, and with like-minded travelers alongside Chef Katsuji Tanabe
3 Reasons to Travel with Katsuji Tanabe
Rarely in life do you meet someone who sees their career not as a profession, but as an absolute passion. Lucky for us, acclaimed chef and TV star Katsuji Tanabe is one of the rare ones. He was born and raised in Mexico City with influences of fish sauce and noodles from his Japanese father, chiles and spices from his Mexican mother. Katsuji moved to Los Angeles at age 18 to start a new life; he's since opened six restaurants, made the finals on Top Chef, and crowned Chopped champion.
For Katsuji, Yucatán’s magic lives not only in its Mayan temples and stunning haciendas, but most prominently in its food. "The Yucatán is a very complex part of Mexico, and one of the most under-appreciated. I just get excited when I can show people my culture in a new way.”
At the age of seven, Katsuji made his first paella from scratch on a barbecue grill. It sparked a passion and curiosity that led to the first kosher Mexican restaurant in the USA. “I'm a very spiritual person, not religious, but very spiritual, especially when it's food related.”
Don't Call It Fusion
The Mexican-Japanese chef grew up in a home that loved to cook with recipes from both sides of the family. Just one important detail: Don’t ever expect “fusion” cuisine from Katsuji. It’s about finding heritage and harmony in the ingredients, not creating mashups.
Künük Hotel BoutiqueMérida
The perfect basecamp in colonial Mérida, this intimate boutique hotel offers soft-spoken luxury and a glimpse into the city's storied past. The walls of all 13 rooms are lined with chocum, both an aesthetic complement to the colonial aura and a homage to Mayan architecture. Exquisite add-ons include a pristine pool and a can't-miss cocktail bar.
Arriving to this forested hacienda wonderland will stop you in your tracks. Green gardens and candle-lit walkways lead to this stunning, sophisticated hotel refashioned from a hacienda built in the 1600s. Dark-wood furnishings and century-old black-and-white tile floors adorn the high-ceiling rooms. Sitting areas look through shuttered doorways into a sea of tropical forest and a row of stray pillars jutting from the expansive pool. Is this real? Yes, and it’s the ideal base for our Yucatán adventures.
People Love MO/AD’s Yucatán
Book Yucatán with Katsuji Tanabe
Number of Travelers
Reserve your spot today with a $1,000 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs
Per person based on double occupancy
Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at
+1 (855) 219-8018
That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.
What does the price include?
Five nights at luxury boutique accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, lunches and most dinners; local beverages with meals.
What does the price not include?
International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; activities, food and beverage not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.
Where does this trip start and end?
Our adventure begins at the Künük Hotel Boutique in Mérida, Mexico. The closest airport is the Mérida International Airport (MID). Our trip ends at our hacienda in Temozón; on our last day, we’ll organize an airport transfer to Mérida’s MID airport. Your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 1pm or later.
Who is going on this trip?
Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.
Who is leading this trip?
This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure Trip Leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.
What travel documents are needed?
US citizens are not required to have a visa for tourist visits to Mexico, but are required to show a valid US passport. It is recommended that your passport is valid for six months after your travels are over. On arrival in the airport, you will be issued a visitor’s permit, known as a FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple). For citizens of other countries, please check with the Mexico Embassy or Consulate for information and requirements.
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
For solo travelers, there is a $1,500 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.
What is the cancelation policy?
You may cancel before August 6, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after August 7, 2022, there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after October 5, 2022 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being cancelled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).