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Why You Should Take Mexican Cooking Classes When Visiting Puerto Vallarta

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We’re big fans of food. No matter where we go, we try and eat as much of the local food as possible. And if we can, we try to learn how to make some of our favorite local meals. Even here in Mexico, we love taking Mexican cooking classes. It gives us a chance to learn how to make our favorite Mexican meals!

We’ve been living in Puerto Vallarta for the past two weeks. Puerto Vallarta is a popular resort destination, with plenty of adventure activities to do. But there are also Puerto Vallarta food tours and cooking classes on offer. These tours and classes are great way for visitors to dive deeper into Mexican culture.

I recently organized a girls day out for my mother-in-law, my daughter, and me in Puerto Vallarta. I’ve taken cooking classes and food workshops with my daughter before. So for our girls day, I decided to partake in some cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta with a company called Cookin’ Vallarta. They invited us to try out one of their cooking classes. We had such a fun time learning about Mexican culture and cuisine.

This post was updated on May 23, 2020.


This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. But don’t worry, this will not result in any extra costs to you.


Tamale with mole over cooked beans made at a Mexican cooking class in Puerto Vallarta
A tamale with a traditional mole sauce (April 2019)

Why you’ll love taking Mexican cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta

During travel, cooking classes and food tours are a great way to learn about the local culture. The stories behind a country’s popular dishes can tell you so much about a place. Food is also something that brings people together. When you come to a country like Mexico, taking Mexican cooking classes can help connect you to the country and its culture.

In a destination like Puerto Vallarta, where tourists mainly come for the beaches and resorts, taking part in Puerto Vallarta food tours and cooking classes may not seem like an obvious choice. But in actuality, it’s a great way to experience the local market culture and taste some delicious food.

Another thing we love about the food tours and cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta is the opportunity to learn a new skill. The classes are often very hands-on. During our class, we had a chance to make tamales from scratch! We learned how to make the dough for the tamales, and the proper technique to filling and rolling them.

The final thing we love about taking food tours and cooking classes is the opportunity to meet new people. Food is such a communal experience. Being able to share that experience with people is so much fun. During our food tour and cooking class, we met a family from Seattle, a couple from Arizona, and even a chef who was in Puerto Vallarta for a wedding!

Making tamales by hand (April 2019)

Taking Mexican cooking classes with Cookin’ Vallarta

There are many companies that offer food tours and cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta. Our favorite one, however, is Cookin’ Vallarta. Chef Enrique and his family have been running the company since 2012. They offer Mexican cooking classes five days a week, with a different dish for each day.

Every class includes a visit to the local market. During our recent cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta, we saw how tortillas are made in a tortilla factory, learned the types of produce that are available in the area, and discussed how to select the best fish in the market. We even sampled beef tacos from a taqueria!

The actual class itself takes place in Chef Enrique’s home. It’s hands-on learning at its best, and absolutely kid friendly! Our daughter actively engaged in all of the food prep and cooking. She prepared corn husks for tamales, rolled and flattened tortillas, put together tamales, and even taste-tested some chocolate for the mole. We’re so glad she had a chance to do some cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta!

The Puerto Vallarta food tours and cooking classes from Cookin’ Vallarta are excellent family-friendly options for anyone planning to visit Puerto Vallarta. If your kids are old enough (and mature enough) to take part in a workshop-type of activity, consider signing up for one of their Mexican cooking classes. The classes are $85 for adults and $65 for children between the ages of 7 and 14.

Chef Enrique and his wife (April 2019)

What you can learn about Mexican culture from Cookin’ Vallarta

There is so much you can learn about Mexico by taking Mexican cooking classes. Much like food tours, cooking classes offer valuable insight into a culture. It also shows you the role of food in that culture.

For example, our cooking class with Cookin’ Vallarta taught us that corn is one of the five main ingredients of traditional Mexican cuisine. These five ingredients (the other four ingredients are beans, chilies, squash, and tomatoes, in case you’re interested) date back to the time of the Aztecs! Smithsonian Magazine has a fascinating article about the lineage of corn. And if you want to supplement your child’s learning after the cooking class, you can take a look at the book, Corn, by Gail Gibbons.

We also learned that traditional markets still play a big role in Mexican culture. Rather than stocking up on food once or twice a month at the grocery stores, Mexicans still go to the produce market on a daily basis. Each day’s meal ingredients are purchased that day! This is so different from the culture of planning and stockpiling that many American families have.

Tamales waiting to be steamed (April 2019)

Seeing another side of Mexico

One of the things I love about taking Mexican cooking classes is that it gives me a chance to see another side of Mexico. Here in Puerto Vallarta, we often see the side of Mexico that is directly associated with the business of tourism. We see the beach-side resorts, the fancy restaurants and bars, and the adventure tour companies touting exciting sight-seeing activities.

But there’s another side of Mexico here in Puerto Vallarta. That’s the side with the local produce markets, the street-side taquerias, and the little family-run tiendas. I love seeing this side of Mexico. And in my opinion, the best way to experience this side of Mexico is by taking Puerto Vallarta food tours and Mexican cooking classes!

Have you had a chance to experience Mexican cooking classes on your travels to Mexico? Share your experiences in the comments.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary cooking classes in Puerto Vallarta from Cookin’ Vallarta in exchange for this blog post. However, the views expressed in this post are completely my own.

Why You Should Take Mexican Cooking Classes When Visiting Puerto Vallarta | The Wandering Daughter

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