The Grand Velas pool. Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Travel

Dine Below the Earth’s Surface

Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort serves a three-course picnic in one of its newly discovered cenotes.
By Alix Strauss

Looking for an underground rainwater pool experience? Grand Velas Riviera Maya, set on 206 acres of jungle and mangroves, delivers this, plus the opportunity to dine 60 feet below the earth’s surface (priced from $7,000 for up to eight people) in one of the destination’s newly discovered cenotes. “Found throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes are natural water pools once revered by the Mayans as sacred wells,” says Michel Mustiere, culinary director at the resort. “We thought it would be a unique idea to showcase these distinct geological features in an exclusive culinary experience.”


To reach the special spot, guests take a two-hour car ride through the jungle and, when the road becomes too narrow, walk the last 10 minutes of the trip. They use a ladder to climb down into an underworld of stalagmites and stalactites where they can swim in crystal-clear water before having a three-course picnic of resort-made bread, cheeses, and an authentic Mexican taco bar prepared by Mustiere. A tasting of tequila and ancestral drinks like bacanora, sotol, tuxca, and pox follows. “Guests will learn how these ancestral recipes came to be and how they are being reinvented and reintroduced to a modern palate in new cocktail recipes,” says Mustiere. grandvelas.com

Fresh fish at Azul, a beachside dining venue. Grand Velas Riviera Maya


A newly discovered cenote. Grand Velas Riviera Maya

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