This week we will immerse ourselves in tradition in a very personal way – create our own altar featuring our loved ones which will be visited by our neighbors, walk the cobblestone streets with our carved green squash, visit the cemetery among the florally-decorated graves, cook traditional dishes like Mole, create our marigold petal path to say goodbye as our loved ones leave until next year.
This Day of the Dead Week is a very special local celebration called ¨La Octava¨ which means the eighth day after the arrival of the ancestors. This is the second week of Day of the Dead which celebrates the departure and it is a very intimate and local look at village life.
Guests arrive at MEX (Benito Juarez Mexico City International) with airport pickup included. The trip takes 1.5 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 our ample open-air kitchen with view of the valley below or above our 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. Guest 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. In the market today we will purchase our flowers and other items for the altar which we will make during the week.
Today guests will start with the preparation of Mole Negro which will be eaten tomorrow. Our fellow foodies will learn how to make chiles rellenos with traditional Mexican white rice, a fresh bean salad, avocado salsa, and Tejocote pie for dessert. The cocktail of the day is a Mezcal Margarita and the “agua fresca” is jamaica flower.
Today Chef Ana will teach us about the “nixtamalization” process as well as testing out our 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.
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!
Today we will have breakfast and an optional yoga session ($15 USD). Those who are not interested in yoga can have a leisurely morning after breakfast. After yoga guests will take the nixtamal to the tortilla mill to make into masa and come back to La Villa Bonita to prepare the altar. Guests are asked to bring pictures of their loved one they would like to invite to return to be with us. We will have snacks and drinks and start cooking in the late afternoon. Guests will finish the Mole Negro and also prepare traditional Mexican red rice, candied squash, and chayotes in tequesquite. Foodies will practice their tortilla making technique with the masa that was ground earlier in the day. We will have evening dinner of the dishes prepared.
After breakfast we will make our way to Hueyapan, Morelos in the mountains to experience the country life. The day will start with a demonstration in a cooperative of local women who have maintained their tradition of creating beautiful garments from wool. See the process, meet the women, and we will have almuerzo (mid-morning breakfast) with them. You will have an opportunity to purchase their garments as well.
Afterward, we will make our way to a local breadmaker to learn how to make traditional Hueyapan Day of the Dead bread. This is a hands-on session and you will make some of the most delicious bread in a brick, wood-fired oven.
For lunch, we will join Dona Reyna at her farm and family residence for a day of rural cooking. She will teach us how to make local Hueyapan dishes from ingredients that are foraged in the mountains with wild mushrooms, fresh beans, corn, chiles. This is a vegetarian lineup of dishes even though they don’t call it that. This is just eating as the locals do!
Today we will have breakfast at 8:00 am and an optional yoga class at 9:00 am. Today we will have a late afternoon class starting with a fresh Mexican salad for lunch. Guests will create their calaveras or green squash carved out to place a candle inside. Today we will make our variety of tamales which are a traditional dish for Dia de los Muertos. Guests will learn how to make green tamales, red with chicken, cheese, mole negro as well as dessert tamales like strawberry and pineapple.
Tonight children and parents go from house to house to “pedir calavera” or ask for a treat for your calavera. Children are dressed as catrines, catrinas, skeletons, or devils. There is dancing in the town square and the opportunity to visit a local artist who creates a day of the dead exhibition each year. So we will have our day of the dead party in our house with our tamales and take a walk that evening to see the exhibition and the different houses and churches that are decorated around the town.
After breakfast guests will join Chef Ana to see the farmer’s or local producer’s market which is on Wednesday and Sunday.
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. Guest 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 we have a traditional taco party with hand-made tortillas, guisados or stuffings such as potatoes with poblano strips, squash flowers, adobo with chicken, pork in purslane, along with peanut, cilantro, and molcajete salsas. The side dish will be squash a la Mexicana. The meal will be accompanied by horchata to drink, and arroz con leche dessert. The cocktail of the day will be micheladas (beer) with salsas.
Today is your day to enjoy it the way you would like to do! After enjoying a delicious breakfast you have the day to yourself. Enjoy a book on the hammock, stroll the weekend market looking for that gift for the unlucky one´s who couldn´t join us.
After breakfast, we will organize our return to the Mexico City airport and count the days until we see each other again for a new culinary adventure.
Tepoztlan, a “Pueblo Magico” (magic village) and one of Mexico’s most unique destinations is located about 5280 ft. above sea level and roughly 1 hour 15 minutes south of Mexico City making transportation easy (we pick you up in the Mexico City airport and bring you back). Because of its incredible “eternal spring” climate, Tepoztlan is a year-round destination where our award-winning packages 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. We are 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 we are just minutes away from the centro and zocalo.
Due to its year-round average daily temperature of 83 F/28 C, 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 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 a rich culture. “Tepoztecos,” as they are known here, 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.”
Chef Ana Garcia offers you a glimpse into a world that few outsiders ever experience. Become a part of Chef Ana’s culinary family for a week at her specially designed culinary hotel in the foothills of the Tepozteco mountain. Access a rich side of Mexico that few outsiders have ever seen – not as a tourist – but as a real member of the family.
As you select your daily ingredients, you will be warmly greeted by the butcher, the cheese maker, the fruit vendor, the baker, the strawberry producer as if you have lived in Tepoztlán forever. Take your corn to the mill with the local Tepozteco women to make the freshest tortillas you have ever tasted. Pick fruit on the grounds of La Villa Bonita’s organic orchard to use as an ingredient in the day’s meal. For Chef Ana, every great meal starts with great ingredients and at La Villa Bonita you will learn from the expert.
The local kids will say ¨buenas tardes” to you as you walk the ancient cobblestone streets in search of the perfect gift to bring home. Maybe after lunch, you will take the hike up to Tepoztlán’s pyramid perched on a mountain top. Or maybe you will just relax by the pool carved out of volcanic rock with a good book. La Villa Bonita offers a fun, safe, and culturally-interesting vacation all in one.
We want you to enjoy your vacation at La Villa Bonita and we know that things may come up that preclude you from joining us. While we do not accept cancelations or refund payments, if you need to change your reservation for any reason you can do so once without penalty and subject to availability. You will receive a credit towards the same experience that you can apply to a different date or different experience. If you choose a more expensive experience you will need to pay the difference. Please contact us for further details.
You can receive an additional 5% discount by paying in full upon making your reservation or you can pay full price in 3 equal and consecutive monthly payments (or less if fewer than three months remain before your dates). The 5% discount is not valid with any other discount, sale or promotion. We will send you an invoice by email that you can pay online or you can call us and we will receive your payment information. Prices do not include 16% sales tax which will be added to the final price of your package. Tips are not included.
Welcome to Chef Ana´s mountain home that was specially designed for her culinary program. The property consists of 6 guests rooms all with private baths. Each room has a different design and are very comfortable. All rooms have a king bed and some rooms have the possibility of 2 twin beds or 1 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 our 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.
La Villa Bonita offers Chef Ana Garcias’ award-winning culinary and cultural vacation experiences in our specially-designed resort in the foothills of the Tepoztlan valley.
Start your Mexican culinary adventure now! Dates available year-round. Contact us for the most up-to-date availability.
+1 (646) 216-8604 // US
+521-777-233-5805 // Mexico direct