Dalia Ceja

Dalia Ceja is a Latina in love with sharing lifestyle tips and trends focused on fashion, travel, food, drinks and fiestas.

mexico

Postcards from Puerto Vallarta

Travel, Food & DrinkDaliaComment
Postcards-from-Puerto-Vallarta

Oh hello, Thanksgiving week! I just came back from spending 10 glorious days in Puerto Vallarta.  This was no ordinary trip and in fact I was there for work (yes, work) promoting Ceja Vineyards wines at the Festival Gourmet International at The Grand Mayan Resort. It was quite the honor to participate considering my mom was the invited chef at Tramonto Restaurant. I also acted as her Sous Chef and we both joined forces to heavily promote our wines during the winemaker dinners every evening.

I had been to Puerto Vallarta once before as a kid but now I could really appreciate the lush landscape, the vibrant culture and the beautiful beaches. We had a strict agenda most of the time but during the day we had a few hours to escape and explore the quaint colonial town, eat fresh fish on the beach and catch some rays with a refreshing Paloma in hand.

Here are a few highlights of the trip - both working & relaxing. 

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Postcards-from-Puerto-Vallarta-Beach-Bunny
Postcards-from-Puerto-Vallarta-Playa
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Every night I was floored by the reactions that the guests had of the delicious food, the wines and the overall dinning experience. We couldn’t have done it without the help of such an amazing and cohesive team at the Grand Mayan Resort. From the talented chefs, to the sommeliers, to the servers at the restaurant, everyone collaborated as a unit and made it a 5 star experience – both unique and unforgettable. I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again!

Chefs: Cassandra, Felipe, Amelia & me in Tramonto's kitchen

Chefs: Cassandra, Felipe, Amelia & me in Tramonto's kitchen

Grilled Chile Relleno

Grilled Chile Relleno

Tortilleria "tortilla bakery." They make over 50,000 tortillas a day for the entire resort

Tortilleria "tortilla bakery." They make over 50,000 tortillas a day for the entire resort

Testing our recipes with the chefs

Testing our recipes with the chefs

Lobster + Ceja Chardonnay

Lobster + Ceja Chardonnay

Inside the test kitchen

Inside the test kitchen

Inside the restaurant, working the floor

Inside the restaurant, working the floor

Postcards-from-Puerto-Vallarta-Sunset

Tulum and Coba Ruins (Part Four)

TravelDaliaComment

As you might have guessed {and seen from my previous post} I have a huge fascination with all old ruins & pyramids, including Mayan, Aztec and Inca. There is something so intriguing and mystical about cities that were built thousands of years ago before there was electricity, forklifts or even something simple like a hammer. It boggles my mind that there were such skilled architects and engineers with nothing more to work with than mud and limestone {I know, when did I become a philosopher, right?}

The last few days in Mexico we ventured to the Southern region of the Yucatan Peninsula and explored Tulum and Coba. Both are Ancient Mayan civilizations that once stood as powerful & influential civilizations over a thousand years ago. Tulum was a city built on the coast of the Caribbean ocean and was used as the main port of the royal government for exporting goods to neighboring countries. Can you imagine having this view as your backyard? These nobles definitely took advantage of their gorgeous surroundings.

Coba is located deep in the Yucatan jungle surrounded by two lagoons and was once known for being a political and religious center for the Mayan people. I had the opportunity to climb the largest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula named the Nohoch Mul pyramid. It was quite a trek but once up there it was so worth the climb with its breathtaking panoramic views!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures {and videos} that we captured… Ole!

{Check out this video filmed at the beachfront of Tulum!}

{The exotic Mayan ruins at Tulum}

{I love this picture. Iguana attack!}

{I named her Loca Lilly the Toucan}

{Check out my video on top of the pyramid at the Coba ruins!}

{La Iglesia pyramid at Coba}

{Natasha, the adorable monkey at Coba}

{One of two Mayan ballgame courts at Coba}

 {Sitting at the top of the Pyramid in Coba. Amazing views!}

 

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Playa del Carmen (Part Three)

Travel, Food & DrinkDaliaComment

[quote][typography font="Homemade Apple" size="20" size_format="px"]Here’s to the days where the sand is your seat, the waves kiss your feet and the ocean pulls you into paradise…[/typography][/quote]

I can truly say that Playa del Carmen is my new favorite beach destination in Mexico.  With its gorgeous white beaches, wide array of activities, luxurious {and affordable} accommodations, and exquisite food scene you are immersed and captivated into the tropical splendor of the Caribbean…

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Playa del Carmen, it’s located in the heart of the Maya Riviera, about 40 miles south of Cancun and directly across from Cozumel island.  Having quickly grown from a small fishing village to a bustling cosmopolitan town, it attracts international travelers to experience a true Caribbean beach vacation. Its central location also makes it convenient to the sights & adventures on Mexico's tropical coastline.

We spent four glorious days in Playa {as the locals call it}.  It was hardly enough time to explore this beautiful beach town. Everyday we were swept away with the magical experiences of zip lining, white beaches, archaeological sites, cenotes {large sinkholes}, authentic Mexican food, mojitos, etc. In the evenings we explored Quinta Avenida, a popular pedestrian street that runs parallel to the beach. This charming avenue is filled with amazing bars, restaurants and shops.

I felt like a kid in a candy store and couldn’t get enough of the sun and fun. I wish I could have packed it all up and taken it home with me.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures in Playa del Carmen… Ole!

{Top choice for breakfast in Playa. Enjoy eating & sitting in the middle of a lush jungle setting!}

Breakfast: chilaquiles & fresh fruit juice at La Cueva del Chango. Amazing!}

{Beautiful skylight made out of wine & beer bottles at the restaurant. I want one at home!}

My traveling gnome: a bottle of Ceja Vineyards Chardonnay. I don't leave home without one!}

{Beach view from our hotel The Mahekal Beach Resort. Paradise.}

{Fresh fruit stands at the beach}

{Street food: pineapple, watermelon & papaya with lime juice & chile powder}

Dinner at the famous Cuban restaurant, La Bodeguita Del Medio. Check out the live salsa music & killer mojitos!}

{In another life, I think I was a mermaid...}

{A few incredible days in paradise made amazing memories that won't soon be forgotten. Hasta la proxima vez!}

 

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Chichen Itza (Part Two)

TravelDaliaComment

[quote][typography font="Homemade Apple" size="18" size_format="px"] One of the seven wonders of the world...[/typography][/quote]

I am back from a week-long adventure exploring the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  I had the amazing opportunity to explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, located deep in the jungle of the Yucatan.

Two words come to mind when describing this ancient city: mystical and impressive. Built over a thousand years ago, the city is home to several structures that are remarkable both for their architectural design and their religious and scientific significance {the Mayan people were way ahead of their time}.

Chichen Itza, which in the Mayan language means “at the mouth of the well of the Itza,” was one of the most important Mayan political, commercial and religious centers of the classic period. This was also a place where many human sacrifices took place {in honor of the Gods}. Can you imagine living in this time period? I know I can’t…

I highly recommend a visit to Chichen Itza the next time you’re in Mexico. There is so much amazing history and stunning archeological sites. It truly is one of the Seven Wonders of the World! Ole!

{Two serpent heads in Chichen Itza}

{Tzompantli sacrificial altar. Skulls symbolizing death}

{El Castillo - The Kukulkan Pyramid}

{The Temple of the Warriors}

{Columns in the Temple of a Thousand Warriors}

On our way back to Playa del Carmen, we stopped at a charming town named Valladolid, where we had a chance to walk around the plaza and eat some delicious Mexican street food {corn on the cob with Chile powder, crème and lime juice!}

{Beautiful Cathedral of San Gervasio}

{Mexican street vendors selling corn on the cob}

{A Mexican candy cart}

For more pictures check out the gallery below. Ole!

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Bienvenidos a Cancun! (Part One)

Travel, FiestasDalia1 Comment

[quote][typography font="Homemade Apple" size="22" size_format="px"]Just another day in paradise...[/typography][/quote]

July couldn’t come soon enough!  Yesterday I jet-setted to the tropical beaches of Cancun with my BF and a group of friends.

We arrived in the early evening just in time to catch the most breathtaking sunset, followed by a celebratory birthday dinner & night swim in honor of one of my best friend's birthday. We are here for 8 days - the first half of our vacation we'll be attending our friend's wedding {in Xcaret} and then the  rest of the trip we'll be enjoying the exotic beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula.

I’ve only been here once before and I’m looking forward to swimming in the crystal clear {80 degree} ocean, exploring the Mayan ruins & eating delicious authentic Mexican cuisine.

I can’t wait to share more of my experiences {and pictures} next week! In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of our first day in Mexico…

p.s. Anyone have suggestions for things that we shouldn’t miss? Ole!

{Hello paradise!}

{Enjoying a refreshing margarita! Happy Birthday Cassandra! xoxo}

{A stunning sunset from our balcony}