Savour Mexico's food of the gods in a traditional village on the Riviera Maya.
We have much to thank the ancient Mayans for. They excelled at astronomy and mathematics and were wizards at agriculture and architecture. They invented writing, they made beautiful art and sculpture. So highly regarded was this 1st century AD civilisation that their apocalyptic predictions caused panic as recently as 2012.
And then there was their food. Corn tortillas, avocados and guacamole, slow-cooked meat stews, tamales, sweet potato, salsa, chillies, hot chocolate… Many may not realise it, but some of our favourite things were grown or refined centuries ago in the Mayan world.
Now at Maroma Resort and Spa, a special dining concept means you can experience authentic Mayan cuisine on your doorstep. At the Aldea Maya (meaning Mayan Village) in the grounds of the hotel, you settle into a traditional, purpose-built hut with a palapa (palm leaf) roof and indulge in a dinner menu based entirely on regional specialities: black bean stew with sour cactus fruit salsa, or banana leaf-steamed lion fish with mint and tomatillo, for example. All the dishes are cooked over an open fire in clay pans and all ingredients are sourced locally from organic farmers, as well as from the hotel's own milpa-style farm - milpa being a sustainable method of farming in the Yucatan Peninsula that involves a dozen crops being planted at once.
Today hundreds of thousands of Mayans, descendants of the brilliant, pre-Columbian civilisation, still live on the Yucatan Peninsula, and proceeds from Aldea Maya will go towards ecological and educational programmes that directly benefit them. General Manager Federico Echaiz says "Our daily contact with the Mayan people has given us the opportunity to participate in the economic, social, cultural and ecological development of the communities in a responsible and respectful manner."