Take home some new cooking skills after a four-hour lesson ($75 per person) at Altamar, where Chilean native Eric Fischer teaches groups of two to four the fundamentals of cooking in the Yucatan style using local ingredients. Learn the secrets to expertly made ceviches and tacos, plus how to make eight Mexican salsas including tamarind-chili and a tangy Mayan sauce called x“nipek. Stick around for a primer on tequilas and classic margaritas.
Spend Saturday afternoon choosing fresh, picnic-ready foods at the small organic market in the garden behind the hostel El Jardin de Frida. Pick up sturdy artisanal breads, watermelon, sprouts, roasted corn, and a super-food called chaya, a spinachlike green that could be the next acai berry. Don’t skip bottles of amber Mayan honey, which many consider the best in the world.
Practice catching your own meal by learning to fish with the experts at Boca Paila ($320 for two people for a half-day trip). They sail small flat-bottomed boats into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve’s waters, straight to the best fly-fishing spots. Depending on the season, you might catch huge groupers, bonefish, or huachinango snapper. Don’t try to eat your haul here, though, as the area’s protected status requires catch and release.