Ancient MAYAN FOOD – Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!

Ancient Mayan food in Quintana Roo, Mexico!
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One of the experiences I really wanted to have when I visit the Quintana Roo state of Mexico, was to learn about, cook, and eat authentic ancient Mayan food. So we rented a van, and drove over to the small jungle Mayan village of Chunhuhub, to meet up with Kíichpam K’áax (, who are aiming to preserve their Mayan culture.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive to get to Chunhuhub from Playa Del Carmen, so by the time we arrived we were all pretty hungry. We walked through the milpa (Mesoamerican crop growing system), and finally to the kitchen within the jungle of the property.

They were already busy cooking, preparing a few traditional Mayan foods, like a variety of tamales and cochinita pibil. They prepared everything to be cooked in the pib, the ancient Mayan traditional way of cooking – an underground hot rock oven (there are many cultures around the world who have used or still use a similar underground cooking technique).

Tok-sel – One of the most fascinating dishes they cooked was white beans, and they took a hot rock out of the fire, stuck it into the pan with the beans, and roasted them with the rock. It was incredible to see, and the beans had an incredible ummai flavor to them. They were delicious especially when paired with freshly made corn tortillas.

Achiote (annatto) – An interesting ingredients, used commonly in Mayan food and cooking, is achiote, a pod filled with red / orange fruit. It has a slight pepper and lemony taste, and also makes everything that uses it, bright orange.

Cochinita pibil – One of the main ingredients in cochinita pibil is achiote. They had pre-marinated it, and it cooked underground as well. The flavor of the pork was amazing, and with tortillas, onions, and salsa, it was truly support.

We had a number of different tamales as well, all of which were totally different from any tamales I’ve ever had. They were hearty and packed full of corn and beans, and very filling. They were a little on the dry side, but I fully enjoyed learning about them, and watching them being made. The different leaves, including the hoja santa, was great to learn about.

Special thanks to Centro Ecoturistico Kíichpam K’áax ( for putting everything together. They have an eco lodge and offer various off the beaten path activities like this.
Map data ©2018 Google

Thank you for watching this food in Mexico – ancient Mayan food video. It was an incredible experience to learn, cook, and eat, traditional Mayan food!


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Francisco López Ibarra says:

We have purple onion in México, jajaja it’s very common

aldis sutara says:

can anyone tell me the title of music ?

Darrel Jno baptiste says:

That is the real ancient mayans

DapperAvocado says:

fake smiles

Nong Nong says:


felo garcia says:

Yeah you put the same face on everything so we don’t know what is good or not

Rene Solo says:

How delicious the Mayas ate

Abraham Alexander says:

I bet that waiting to get the food cooked for 2 hrs was more tiresome than the 3 hrs drive, and love the way you wholeheartedly eat that meal

gaviotitas9 says:

That music tho…

Jose Esquivel says:

muy bonitos e interesantes videos saludos desde san Leandro ca usa

Bob Vila says:

Someone give that lady a wooden spoon…

Tanushree Bhattacharjee Reejit says:


Greatest Gift says:

I love his face he makes when he eats.

Maya Princess says:

Yucatán is amazing. Thank you.

Debbie's doggie stuff White says:

One of your best videos

Soe Htut Aung says:

so far so good

Richard Aponte says:

Mexican food with Mayan influence ..not much, but there.

Lucy Canales says:

how they buried everything there interesting never seen before cool

Sergio Lor Rob says:

La auténtica cochinita pibil…. Incluso en el resto de México se consume pero nada que ver con la original

Mary Rozario says:

Your expression after the every first bite makes me feel famished.

Adventure Faktory says:

Wow wanna be there!

Tommy TwoTone says:

i would pass that dish with the rock in the pot to cook the beans which were taken out of the fire. bet you those beans are super gitty.

Tes Tos says:

Awesome video!, Achiote flavor and color is extracted in many ways, my Grandmother use to put the seeds on cooking oil for a few minutes until the color and flavor came out, then she would use the oil for frying, salads and or general cooking.

Science of Self says:

I thank you for respecting the food of Mexico. I laugh and sometimes I cry of joy watching you discovering the jewels of the Mexican approach to art/food. Thank you for showing me parts of my country that I didn’t know existed.

Fatazz Aldana says:

Same face expression as every other video .. makes it repetitive

R3N3 AZT3K82 says:


Carrie Geren Scoggins [Official] says:

Food looks awesome. I suggest that you thank the cooks, as that took a long time, and a lot of work to prepare. Don’t under-appreciate all that work involved.

kuini vuli says:

I cant help but notice how the cooking method, preparation process and thatch kitchen seems so similar to the Fijian traditional cooking method in the south pacific

DominicanRegulator says:

Mark I love your channel. I have been looking forward to see you in latin america. Just wanted to mention that pigs were introduced by the spanish and because of this it would not have been the traditional meat of choice for the cochinita pibil. Thanks again for your wonderful vids. Keep posting.

Samil Fkadu says:


Nadeem Sayed says:

Anyone notice his shirt lol

DarthSinistris says:

mark, if you like the panuchos, you should try the panochas. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Mynor Escobar says:

Very interesting never knew about the Northern Mayan( Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Old Guatemalan territory) culture cooking methods only down south in Guatemala, GREAT video.

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