Yucatán with Wes Avila

One Exclusive Departure | December 4 - 9, 2022

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Stimulate Every Sense

Experience Yucatán's rich traditions and culinary heritage with Wes Avila

December 4 - 9, 2022

One exclusive departure—reserve your spot today!

6 Days, 5 Nights

Best of the Yucatán including Mérida, Uxmal, Vallodolid

Price from

$4,800

Per person based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

You’re floating in the clear, still waters of a cenote, the jungle canopy alive with birdsong and a steady rhythmic 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.

You’re traveling with acclaimed chef Wes Avila. He’s a star of his native Los Angeles’ food scene, where he established the iconic Guerrilla Tacos in the downtown Arts District before turning his attention to his latest concepts: Angry Egret Dinette and Yucatán-inspired Ka’Teen. While he got his start in the kitchens of fine dining heavyweights Le Comptoir and L’Auberge, it’s his own spin on Mexican classics that have landed him on ‘Best Of’ lists across LA, as well as a James Beard nod in the “Best Chef” category, and ‘Best New Restaurant’ for Angry Egret Dinette in 2022. Wes is ready to unlock the meaning and tradition behind every bite in the Yucatán, in the freshest ways possible.

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.

Savor

Slow-cooked cochinita pibil, traditional street foods, specially prepared Yucatecan feasts

Explore

Ancient Mayan temples, underground cenotes, colonial towns and tropical forests

Meet

Traditional makers and local craftspeople, and modern artists in home studios

Connect

With Yucatán's culture and cuisine, and with like-minded travelers alongside Chef Wes Avila

3 Reasons to Travel with Wes Avila

For Wes, the kitchen is a canvas, a place where he can express himself in a way that blurs the lines between fine dining and street food. While he’s a classically trained chef who spent time in some of world's most elevated kitchens—under Alain Ducasse in Paris and République chef Walter Manzke in Carmel—his heart belongs on the streets of LA. It’s where he’s pioneered a new conversation around tacos stuffed with every form of deliciousness.

Tradition on the Side

His menus are not tied down by traditions or technique; they are self expressions that have catapulted him into a league of his own. Still, authenticity is at the core of everything he does.

Taco Champion

Wes can make dining on tacos feel like a religious experience. He’s the go-to expert with appearances on PBS, BBC, and Netflix. He’s also the author of Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A.

Yucatán Forward

His latest restaurant, Ka’Teen, evokes the feelings (as much as the tastes) of the Mayan Riviera and Yucatán peninsula. Every forkful of grilled pescado zarandeado, cochinita pibil, and more on his menu transports you to the beaches, jungles, and streets of the Yucatán.

Your Experience

“Travel with a heart, an open mind and empathy.”
Wes Avila

Mérida, Chichén Ítza, Uxmal, Temozón

“Anyone who can leave the Yucatán with indifference has never been an artist and will never be a scholar.”
Désiré Charnay

Day by Day

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Mérida! This is the glorious heart of the Yucatán, with its French-inspired colonial homes and wrought-iron balconies overlooking streets bursting with open-air music. Mérida is often called the New Orleans of Mexico; and like the Big Easy, it’s not hard to fall in love with Mérida’s historic central district.

Wes will lead the way as we weave through traditional markets and sample some street food staples— salbutes topped with shredded meat, cabbage and pickled onions, cochinita pibil marinated in citrus and spiced with achiote paste, wrapped in a banana leaf; or pavo en relleno negro, simmering in a rich sauce of black recado and cabbage with a hardboiled egg.

Next, we’ll check into our oasis of a hotel and reconvene for a late lunch at the acclaimed hotspot, Kuuk—think meticulous remixes of traditional fare paired with subtle Mexican wines you never knew existed. Still beaming from this historical tour of small plates, we’ll make our way home for a little siesta.

In the evening, we’ll meet up at the hotel for cocktail hour where we’ll plot out course for the next 6 days of exhilaration and discovery. Dinner tonight (if you’re even hungry) is casual street food in the city’s historic center.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Arrive in Mérida
  • Market tour 
  • Gourmet lunch and wine pairing
  • Stay at Treehouse Boutique

Day 2

After breakfast, we dive right into the cultural riches of the Yucatán. Our first stop is the Tixkokob—the textile capital of the region famous for its handcrafted hammocks. Here, in a local home, we will learn to cook relleno negro, one of the Yucatán’s most famous dishes. After we roll up our sleeves and prep the meat and spices, we’ll bury it in an underground oven and allow it to cook for the next few hours.

Just as the smell of the wood coals tinge the air, we’ll make a pilgrimage to the nearby pueblo magicó, Izmal. Also known as the yellow city, Izmal is a photographer’s dream, a picturesque marriage of Spanish colonial architecture and Mayan sophistication.

We’ll take it all in and hustle back to our family and check in on our literally historic lunch. We’ll uncover the relleno, prep salsa, grind out tortillas and sit down together for a long, slow and grateful feast.

In the late afternoon, we’ll head back to Mérida to relax back at the hotel—dinner tonight is on your own. See you in the morning for a trek into the jungle!

Day 2 Highlights

  • Chile Relleno feast
  • Visit to Izmal
  • Stay at Treehouse Boutique

Day 3

Our final morning in Mérida begins with a breakfast to remember, at a ‘morning only’ taqueria. Papadzules sauced with pumpkin seeds and chiltomate, panuchos and salbutes, and polcanes bursting with the flavors of suckling pig, relleno negro and huevos motuleños, all bringing the essence of traditional Mayan cuisine to our lips.

Next stop: tranquility. Just an hour away, our jungle-clad hacienda sits behind brilliant coral walls, the perfect retreat for our souls. The afternoon is ours to wander the pristine grounds, take a dip in its on-site cenote or grab a drink poolside. This evening, we’ll meet back up with Wes for a full-on Mayan cooking workshop and private dinner.  

Day 3 Highlights

  • Traditional taco breakfast
  • Transfer to hacienda
  • Hands-on cooking & dinner led by Wes
  • Stay at Hacienda Temozón

Day 4

Today we experience Yucatán culture through an artist’s eye. We start in the village of Maní, exploring its magnificent 16th-century Church of San Michael Arcangel, and then visit a master potter at his home and studio, where he produces his highly prized works rooted in ancient Mayan techniques. Next up is a visit to a centuries-old apiary. We’ll meet Father Luis, a caretaker of an incredible community of Melipona bees. These stingless bees are sacred to the Maya and produce some of the finest honey in the world.

Lunch today is a serious treat. We dine at humble, legendary El Príncipe Tutul Xiu in Maní, one of the region’s most storied kitchens, for their signature poc chuc: charcoal fired with grill-roasted onions, a sharp marinade, a dash of roasted habanero salsa.

After lunch, we’ll take a dip in a pristine cenote, where ancient tree roots and imposing stalactites hang like an upside-down world. When we return to our hacienda, we’ll be full of inspiration and ready to relax for the evening.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Maní apiary visit
  • Master potter studio visit
  • Cenote swim
  • Stay at Hacienda Temozón

Day 5

The beauty is in the details. And today we’re getting up close and historical with Yucatan heritage, beginning with arguably the region’s best Mayan site, Uxmal. Here we see the ornate Puuc-style carvings adorning the gated temple walkways and bulbous pyramids that inspired Frank Lloyd Wright. After this profound experience, we’ll stop for a rustic roadhouse lunch. 

We’ll return for a peaceful afternoon at our hacienda, but hopefully not too full! This evening, dinner is an equal treat—Wes, alongside local chefs, will be prepare cochinita pibil—pit-roasted, smoky and succulent pork with fresh tortillas. Both a farewell feast and a love letter to the Yucatán, this dinner is the perfect way to end such a glorious and meaningful experience. 

Day 5 Highlights

  • Uxmal Mayan site
  • Traditional Mayan pit-roasted pork
  • Farewell dinner by Wes
  • Stay at Hacienda Temozón

Day 6

Alas, our time together is done. After a final breakfast we pack up and say K’a’ak’ate to the wonderful hacienda, our new friends, and especially Wes. We’ll transfer you to the Mérida Airport for flights home. Till next time!

Day 6 Highlights

  • Breakfast
  • Transfers to Mérida Airport (MID)

Where We Sleep

Footsteps from colonial city scenes or tucked inside a tropical forest, our boutique hotels make you feel right at home in the Yucatán's most stunning locations.

The Treehouse Boutique Hotel

Mérida

Located in the heart of Mérida, this intimate boutique hotel is an ode to native flora and Maya craftsmanship. Minimal accents of iron, glass and stone revolve around a microenvironment of 200 year-old trees—even the lap pool is tree-lined and gorgeous.

Hacienda Temozón

Temozón

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.

I loved eating goat just after it was lifted from the pit, sipping on a mezcal.
Diana C.
This is more than just a trip. It’s authentic and joyful, and a powerful reminder of why we travel.
Scott M.
The meals made for us in local homes were just heavenly.
Andrew B.

Book Yucatán with Wes Avila

Number of Travelers

Payment

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

$4,800

Per person based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
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+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. These rooms are extremely limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

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