Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen

Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen, Santa Elena: Address, Phone Number, Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen Reviews: 5/5

Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen
Write a review
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

35 reviews
Very good

Baltimore, MD73 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
We foodie couple found Mayan Kitchen online with super reviews. We called in the morning at 9 am to schedule a class the same afternoon. Yesenia was so kind to squeeze us in on such a short notice. She made sure to ask about food allergies too. Our class was so much fun and informative. We made from scratch Mayan chicken tamales using plaintain leaves and with ground corn, corn tortillas, Mayan chicken soup with veggies, Mayan chocolate drink from freshly/ grounded roasted cacao beans, and tostadas. Everything was delicious. Every step from grinding the corn/cacao, cutting/folding the banana leafs, making/grilling the tortillas on wood fire, etc was explained and demonstrated in great details with thorough historical/cultural background. Yesenia and her husband were patient, down-to-earth, and had a great sense of humor. They made the experience fun and memorable. It’s obvious that they love what they do and enjoys getting to know each of their clients. We enjoyed learning about the food that are produced on their land. The freshly squeezed Jamaican lime juice and Yesenia’s homemade hot sauce complimented the entire meal. What can I say… great food and great company and a great setting.
Written July 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Columbus, OH7 contributions
Mar 2020
My husband and I, along with our other couple friends took this class last week. It was amazing! Yesenia and her husband were so friendly and fun to learn from! The class was extensive but not overly long -we actually stayed a while after just chatting with them.
We learned so much in their self-made, outdoor, Mayan kitchen. My husband is a cook so he especially loved every moment. The food was delicious and so were the drinks. Yesenia let us take home leftovers and also chocolates after petting their dogs and cats.
Their home was beautiful as well as our time there! We hope to visit again.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy H
63 contributions
Jan 2019 • Friends
My 2 friends and I from New Jersey spent a marvelous morning with Yesenia and Alden in their Mayan kitchen (built from the ground up by Alden) learning about medicinal plants used by the Mayans and trying our hands at making some delicious authentic and traditional foods. Alden picked us up from the Table Rock Jungle Lodge and brought us to his home in the mountains where the ancient Mayans lived. He showed us some actual Mayan relics that were found on his property! After selecting and harvesting our own plantain leaves for the tamale wraps, we prepared all sorts of goodies, using the traditional methods of grinding (using the grindstone that was passed down to Yesenia from her Mayan great grandmother!) and cooking over an open flame. We even fed our leftover tidbits of corn masa to the adorable resident ducks, Chuck and Daisy. At lunchtime, we ate all the food we had prepared, so come VERY hungry as you will have to have a siesta when you leave! We were also lucky enough to briefly meet their young boys who were home from school for lunch.

This is more than a simple cooking class...we felt like we were honored guests and were made to feel so comfortable in their home kitchen. Besides the traditional cooking techniques, we learned a lot about the local area and Mayan history. We would highly recommend this for couples, groups of friends or families. Don't miss this incredible experience!
Written February 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Betsy R
4 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
We stopped by the Mayan Kitchen on Cristo Rey Rd without reservations. Our family of four, my husband and I, and our two boys (12 &14) really enjoyed our time with Yesenia and learning the Mayan way of cocoa. It was one of the highlights of our trip. Yesenia has created a little piece of paradise! She greeted us and gave us a tour of her gardens and explained the uses of many of the plants she has on her property included her cocoa tree complete with iguana hiding in the leaves. Then, we headed over to her open air Mayan kitchen where we roasted cocoa beans, peeled the beans and then we took turns grinding the beans on a stone grinder that has been in their family for generations. All the while, Yesenia told us stories about Mayan traditions. It was an informational and captivating tour. Afterwards, we all sat around and enjoyed our Mayan hot cocoa that we had made and delicious homemade chocolate candies that Yesenia crafts. Not to mention, we really enjoyed just visiting with Yesenia and her family. She was such a lovely woman and we felt like old friends before our time was over. I highly recommend stopping by and doing the chocolate tour or booking her Mayan cooking class. If we ever make it back that way, we will definitely do that as well.
Written August 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Olivia S
10 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
Our experience at Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen was nothing short of amazing from the very beginning. The day started when Alden picked us up from our lodge just down the road. When we arrived at their house, we met his wife, Yesenia, and she walked us around the garden explaining many of the benefits of the plants all around us. Then, we began the class by cutting down banana leaves for our tamales!!

We proceeded to the beautiful outdoor kitchen overlooking a pond and the natural beauty of Belize. In the kitchen, we began preparing our tamales and chicken caldo with the help of Yesenia and her daughter Chelsea. Yesenia is so knowledgeable about the food and the historical preparation techniques, which made the entire experience so enjoyable.

The entire day was filled with amazing Mayan history, delicious food, and the most wonderful hosts! This experience truly was the highlight of our trip!
Written July 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Golden, CO6 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
If you want to complete your time in Belize go and visit Yesenia and Alden. We had a great time cooking Caldo soup, making Tamale and make a chocolate drink out of roasted beans. We also had wonderful conversations.

Inge & Greg
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

4 contributions
Jun 2018 • Family
We are a family of four; my husband and I, plus our two teenagers! This was one of the best experiences of my life! When asked what was our favorite thing about Belize, my 15-year-old son immediately replied the cooking experience! In all honesty, I was blown away because he loved the jungle and the pyramids.

It started out with us getting lost... but Yesenia was so sweet and patient and she explained how to correct the errors of our ways. When we got there we had to cut down banana leaves to use them for our cooking. My husband, being the tallest was handed a machete to cut down 4 leaves. Just that was an experience.

Yesenia then showed us a cocoa tree and my daughter picked a cocoa pod. She then showed us to her little Mayan kitchen that is on the property that has been in Alden's family for generations! She showed us the artifacts (or tools, as Alden pointed out) that they had found on their property. It was amazing, seeing all the rich Mayan history that literally is their backyard!

We ground the corn on the stone grinder that has been passed down to Yesenia. We all took turns trying it out. My son asked my why we don't have a stone grinder at our house (he is 15, not a little kid, and he really wants a stone grinder!.. I have to admit, I really want one too!) We made a stew with yummy vegetables and Yesenia educated us on each one. We made tamales that we wrapped in the banana leaves - I have only made tamales in corn husks and I have to tell you these where the best tamales that I have ever eaten! We also roasted cocoa seeds and then ground them up. Yesenia was so patient with us because we all wanted to give it a go. She educated us on the history of chocolate and how chocolate was brought from the New World over to Europe. She explained how cocoa was so precious to the Mayan and how they used to use it as their currency.

We ate and ate. We all felt like we had to roll out of there, we ate so much! The food and the chocolate was so absolutely delicious! And what was so personal about it, Yesenia explained the food, the traditions, and the Mayan culture to us. We were firsthand experiencing not only the food of the Mayans, but also the preparations and food traditions of the Mayans. This shed a whole new light on all of the pyramids that we toured. Seeing where the ovens where and knowing what went happened in those areas.

There are other Mayan Cooking experiences. However, after comparing notes with other travelers who attended different ones, we all decided that this one was so much better. We all agreed that our food was better because we had more variety, plus the company of Yesenia and Alden was so welcoming; we felt like family!

This was absolutely amazing! Now, don't get me wrong, the ATM cave tour was great, Tikal, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and all of the other Mayan sites and tours through Belize were great. This one just really touched our hearts. Yesenia and Alden were great people; they welcomed us into their little Mayan kitchen and open our eyes to the heart of the Mayan history.

Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen is my #1 recommendation of all the tours in Belize! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did!
Written June 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Coree C
Novato, CA244 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
We LOVED this excursion - literally, a Mayan fire hearth kitchen that a woman built on to her property where she lives with her family. We made tomales, soup, salbutes, toasted chocolate, and just interacted with a wonderful Mayan family. Everything from the tour of the medicinal garden to sitting at the table and breaking bread that we made ourselves -it was a delightful experience.

We did a lot of things in Belize, all of the extreme excursions, and we loved them all. This one was really special because we felt immersed in an ancient culture.

We did everything from cutting the banana leaves we then roasted to make tomale wraps to grinding masa and chocolate. It's about 3-4 hours, and worth every minute.
Written March 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Deirdre B
16 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
By far was one of the best activities I experienced while in Belize. Yesenia, Ruby and Alden welcomed us like long lost friends. Their knowledge of Mayan cooking and culture they shared was interestingly informative. The food was delicious and heart warming. If this is an activity you think you may like, do it.
Written January 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New York City, NY180 contributions
Jan 2017 • Couples
I honestly cannot put into words how wonderful of an experience this gem is! Yesenia (the owner and chef) is such an amazing person to start out with. My boyfriend and I saw the signs for this place on our way to our lodge and decided to check it out. We initially showed up to take part in a cocoa making experience (thinking we had reservations set up by our lodge). There was a mix-up and our lodge called the wrong place. When we showed up at Eden Valley, Yesenia greeted us and gladly accepted to show us the cocoa process even though she wasn't open. The experience lasted for about 1.5 hours and we fell in love with the place.

We decided to go back to Eden Valley on our last day in Belize to do a hands-on 4 course meal with her. She had a helper by the name of Ruby, who was absolutely delightful! Between the 2 of them and us, we made several courses of food! The experience was really interactive. They tried to encourage us to have as much hands-on experience with the cooking as possible. Once we were done, we sat down to enjoy the delicious food we prepared!

I had no idea Mayan food could be so delicious and interesting to make! Throughout the entire experience, Yesenia became a really good friend. She has such a great personality and welcoming spirit. Since our lodge was only 2 miles up the road from her Kitchen, she offered to take us back without a charge. I plan on going back when I visit again!
Written January 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 34
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen