By Evie Carrick
July 30, 2019
Courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya

There’s plenty of one-of-kind dining experiences in the world — from a taco truck in a snowcat to floating breakfast — but some just tend to rise above the rest.

And a meal prepared 60 feet underground in a cavern full of stalagmites and stalactites is one of those experiences.

Guests staying at Mexico’s Grand Velas Riviera Maya, a AAA Five Diamond Hotel, can descend under the Earth’s surface for a private tour of Chukum Cenote, a lesser-known, 130-foot cave full of stalagmites and stalactites.

After the tour, take a dip in the cenote’s crystal-clear waters and work up an appetite, before sitting down for a three-course gourmet lunch prepared by Maître Cuisinier de France Michel Mustiere, who is the culinary director of Velas Resorts. The lunch can be adjusted to suit personal preferences and needs, but highlights include cheese and charcuterie, duck terrine, and handmade truffles.

In addition to a gourmet meal, a tasting of the region’s ancestral drinks — like bacanora, sotol, tuxca, and pox — will be provided, giving guests a glimpse into the local history and a peek into the future, where the beverages are being reimagined for a modern palate in cocktail recipes.

The Gourmet Cenote Experience costs $7,000 for a group up to eight people and includes transportation to the cenote, taxes, and gratuity. The tour is only available to guests of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, which is located on over 200 acres of jungle and mangroves and sits near a white sand beach on the Riviera Maya. Hotel rates start at $434 a night.

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