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Host: Helene

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

USD
$32-$130 per person

Authentic Jaliscan food experience in a traditional Hacienda

Host offerings
  • House
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Helene

Helene is a native Canadian who moved to Puerto Vallarta 15 years ago and immediately began traveling the country with her newly found Mexican friends. Her favorite part of her travels was tasting everything and returning home to recreate the flavors she tasted and loved throughout Mexico. She loves cooking together with her friends and has been known to make 150 tamales at a time. She lives in a beautiful hacienda-style house in a typical Mexican residential neighborhood (not an expat neighborhood) so travelers get an authentic experience of the local culture. Her house, on a local dirt road is furnished with Mexican antiques and has a beautiful garden and pool. Helene speaks Spanish, English and French and is a great host for people coming from around the world.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Escape the touristy zones of Puerto Vallarta and enter a typical Mexican residential neighborhood where the people are generous and caring. Meet your host Helene at her traditional hacienda-style house with its tiled roof, pool and garden filled with bougainvillea and palm trees. Sip on a refreshing drink and sample snacks outdoors on the patio as your host shares stories about life in Mexico. Weather permitting you will dine with Helene at her outdoor patio table. Enjoy a traditional Jaliscan meal that includes lots of fresh fish and seafood, simply but lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. Helene loves recreating food that you would find on the streets of Puerto Vallarta with its varieties of chilies and different flavors. Your meal may include dishes such as a seafood ceviche, fried whole snapper (a typical Puerto Vallarta fish) fried in oil with garlic served with a mango and cilantro salsa, carne asada from the barbecue served with tortillas and salsas, or birria, a flavorful goat or beef stew simmered in tomatoes, chilies and garlic served with tortillas and refried beans. Your meal will conclude with fresh fruit or a light and sweet Mexican rice pudding for dessert.

Cooking experience: (1-10 guests) Join your host Helene at her spacious, open kitchen and learn to cook an authentic Jaliscan meal from recipes handed down from friends and perfected over the years. The cooking portion of your experience will last about 1.5 hours during which you will learn to cook three dishes from scratch. Master cooking techniques like how to perfectly chop ingredients for the best tasting salsa, how to marinate your meats or how to fry a whole fish before you sit down at the table to share the authentic Mexican meal you helped prepare with Helene.

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Meet Helene at the entrance to Costco in Fluvial before jumping into her car to go to Cinco de Diciembre market, a five minute drive away. Mercado Cinco de Diciembre is the central, lively market for Puerto Vallarta locals. Walk through this indoor and outdoor market with your host who will introduce you to her favorite vendors. Discover the varities of local fish at the fish market, watch tortillas made from scratch at the local tortilleria and learn how to choose the freshest produce. You will purchase a few ingredients that you will use during your cooking class after the market tour. Your market tour will last about one hour.

Notes: Optional pick-up and drop-off is offered only from hotels within Puerto Vallarta. If you are staying outside Puerto Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta or other neighboring regions), Helene will pick you up from the entrance of the Costco in the Fluvial neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta.

Dinner experiences are only offered during the cooler months of November - March.

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Seafood ceviche
  • Chile poblano soup
  • Fried whole snapper with salsa, carne asada, or birria (meat stew) with tortillas and refried beans
  • Fresh fruit or Mexican rice pudding
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Helene was a wonderful, warm, and maternal host. She was friendly and inquisitive from the start, when she picked us up in town at the Costco. Being from Canada, her English (and French and multiple other languages) is perfect. From there, we went to the market, where Helene knew all of the vendors, and their family members. It is clear that despite not being a native Mexican, she has integrated very well with the community over the past 12 years and has become a local. We even took a little detour after the market to go to the cemetery across the street, which was a unique sight resembling the setting for the movie Coco! After picking up ingredients, and learning about how to pick good fresh fish, we went to her beautiful house covered in flowers, which is in a Mexican neighborhood. Her home is a one-story Spanish-style home decorated with art from all around Mexico. She has 7 small rescue dogs at her home, but she put them in a separate room while we were there. We ate ceviche, chile poblano soup, steak, and rice pudding. The cooking lesson was mostly focused on the ceviche and grilling the steak, which was easy to make. We shared the lunch meal with Helene on her beautiful patio around the pool accompanied by white wine. The ceviche was fresh and flavorful and it was fun to put together little tacos with the steak and various accoutrements she set out on the table. Everything was delicious, and she had great stories about her experiences in Mexico. I highly recommend her as a host.

Dorna, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (6)
Helene is an excellent instructor. My sister and I were looking forward to the class and it more than met our expectations.We made a lunch with corn soup; ceviche, guacamole, chips and salsa; chile rellanos with rice and refried beans topped off by a mango mousse. All was delicious and I believe I can recreate the dishes at home. Oh, I almost forgot the margaritas!
- SueZ374 January 05, 2020
This was a last minute reservation before heading back to the states and I’m so happy I did it! Helene, Lupe and the whole experience was so wonderful. Helene was warm and welcoming and Lupe, her assistant was friendly, helpful and sweet. Helene showed us how to make fresh chips, salsa, corn soup, ceviche, stuffed peppers with rice and beans and mango mousse. The food was delicious and manageable to make and her home was clean inviting. Her home is in the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and gives such an authentic feel. My kids are 12 and 15 and they had fun learning. Helene is an excellent host and highly recommend.
- Auceda January 03, 2020
My wife and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Helene at her hacienda in Puerto Vallarta. We picked up quite a few cooking tips and the food was absolutely delicious. To start, Helene brought out the fresh tortillas she had bought locally and what a difference these made to the chips and simple salsa we made. Then it was on to making ceviche towers. Shrimp and chunks of fish were stacked on a base made of perfect local avocados, and it was all topped off with slices of home-grown mangoes. So fresh tasting! Corn soup was smooth, smooth, smooth, and tasty. And, needless to say, the Chile Relleno's, made with a good local cheese really hit the spot. For me, the highlight was a truly spectacular mango mousse for dessert. Then we lingered for a couple more hours, enjoying coffee, conversation and the pleasant hacienda. We recommend highly!
- gwier001 December 28, 2019
The five of us wanted to enjoy some authentic regional foods, and also wanted a “hands on” experience while in Puerto Vallarta—we got all that and more! Helene’s home was gorgeous, airy and cool, and the smells originating from her kitchen were unbelievable! She tailored our menu to accommodate the allergy of one of us, and then we all assisted after she described the processes. We enjoyed an amazing 4-course meal, complete with homemade margaritas and beer, homemade tortilla chips, and two kinds of dips. Amazing meal, with none of it being so difficult it couldn’t be replicated at home. If you’re looking for a real Jaliscan dining experience, this is it!! We had a great time...a 5 star experience for sure!
- Teris98765 November 13, 2019
Six of us on a family vacation did a cooking class with Helene, and thoroughly enjoyed it. She is so welcoming, and we felt part of her house. It was relaxed, casual, fun, and yummy. The recipes were largely simple but flavorful, and so fresh tasting. It was nice to have the swimming pool, especially as she has no air conditioning. Would highly recommend this.
- ColoradoBuoy October 21, 2019
What a great way to spend a day. My wife and I was picked up from our cruise ship and taken to Helens home to spend the next four hours cooking and eating beside the pool at her beautiful hacienda. It was relaxing, enjoyable, and the food was great.
- vekcpa May 29, 2019
Read More
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Helene

$32-$130 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$46 $38 $32
Cooking Experience + Meal
$78 $62 $62
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$130 $108 $108
Alcohol
$11 per person
Transportation
$30 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$46 $38 $32
Cooking Experience + Meal
$78 $62 $62
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$130 $108 $108
Alcohol
$11 per person
Transportation
$30 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-3:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:30am-2:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:30am-2:30pm

Meet Helene

Helene is a native Canadian who moved to Puerto Vallarta 15 years ago and immediately began traveling the country with her newly found Mexican friends. Her favorite part of her travels was tasting everything and returning home to recreate the flavors she tasted and loved throughout Mexico. She loves cooking together with her friends and has been known to make 150 tamales at a time. She lives in a beautiful hacienda-style house in a typical Mexican residential neighborhood (not an expat neighborhood) so travelers get an authentic experience of the local culture. Her house, on a local dirt road is furnished with Mexican antiques and has a beautiful garden and pool. Helene speaks Spanish, English and French and is a great host for people coming from around the world.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Escape the touristy zones of Puerto Vallarta and enter a typical Mexican residential neighborhood where the people are generous and caring. Meet your host Helene at her traditional hacienda-style house with its tiled roof, pool and garden filled with bougainvillea and palm trees. Sip on a refreshing drink and sample snacks outdoors on the patio as your host shares stories about life in Mexico. Weather permitting you will dine with Helene at her outdoor patio table. Enjoy a traditional Jaliscan meal that includes lots of fresh fish and seafood, simply but lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. Helene loves recreating food that you would find on the streets of Puerto Vallarta with its varieties of chilies and different flavors. Your meal may include dishes such as a seafood ceviche, fried whole snapper (a typical Puerto Vallarta fish) fried in oil with garlic served with a mango and cilantro salsa, carne asada from the barbecue served with tortillas and salsas, or birria, a flavorful goat or beef stew simmered in tomatoes, chilies and garlic served with tortillas and refried beans. Your meal will conclude with fresh fruit or a light and sweet Mexican rice pudding for dessert.

Cooking experience: (1-10 guests) Join your host Helene at her spacious, open kitchen and learn to cook an authentic Jaliscan meal from recipes handed down from friends and perfected over the years. The cooking portion of your experience will last about 1.5 hours during which you will learn to cook three dishes from scratch. Master cooking techniques like how to perfectly chop ingredients for the best tasting salsa, how to marinate your meats or how to fry a whole fish before you sit down at the table to share the authentic Mexican meal you helped prepare with Helene.

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Meet Helene at the entrance to Costco in Fluvial before jumping into her car to go to Cinco de Diciembre market, a five minute drive away. Mercado Cinco de Diciembre is the central, lively market for Puerto Vallarta locals. Walk through this indoor and outdoor market with your host who will introduce you to her favorite vendors. Discover the varities of local fish at the fish market, watch tortillas made from scratch at the local tortilleria and learn how to choose the freshest produce. You will purchase a few ingredients that you will use during your cooking class after the market tour. Your market tour will last about one hour.

Notes: Optional pick-up and drop-off is offered only from hotels within Puerto Vallarta. If you are staying outside Puerto Vallarta (Nuevo Vallarta or other neighboring regions), Helene will pick you up from the entrance of the Costco in the Fluvial neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta.

Dinner experiences are only offered during the cooler months of November - March.

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Seafood ceviche
  • Chile poblano soup
  • Fried whole snapper with salsa, carne asada, or birria (meat stew) with tortillas and refried beans
  • Fresh fruit or Mexican rice pudding
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

Helene was a wonderful, warm, and maternal host. She was friendly and inquisitive from the start, when she picked us up in town at the Costco. Being from Canada, her English (and French and multiple other languages) is perfect. From there, we went to the market, where Helene knew all of the vendors, and their family members. It is clear that despite not being a native Mexican, she has integrated very well with the community over the past 12 years and has become a local. We even took a little detour after the market to go to the cemetery across the street, which was a unique sight resembling the setting for the movie Coco! After picking up ingredients, and learning about how to pick good fresh fish, we went to her beautiful house covered in flowers, which is in a Mexican neighborhood. Her home is a one-story Spanish-style home decorated with art from all around Mexico. She has 7 small rescue dogs at her home, but she put them in a separate room while we were there. We ate ceviche, chile poblano soup, steak, and rice pudding. The cooking lesson was mostly focused on the ceviche and grilling the steak, which was easy to make. We shared the lunch meal with Helene on her beautiful patio around the pool accompanied by white wine. The ceviche was fresh and flavorful and it was fun to put together little tacos with the steak and various accoutrements she set out on the table. Everything was delicious, and she had great stories about her experiences in Mexico. I highly recommend her as a host.

Dorna, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (6)
Helene is an excellent instructor. My sister and I were looking forward to the class and it more than met our expectations.We made a lunch with corn soup; ceviche, guacamole, chips and salsa; chile rellanos with rice and refried beans topped off by a mango mousse. All was delicious and I believe I can recreate the dishes at home. Oh, I almost forgot the margaritas!
- SueZ374 January 05, 2020
This was a last minute reservation before heading back to the states and I’m so happy I did it! Helene, Lupe and the whole experience was so wonderful. Helene was warm and welcoming and Lupe, her assistant was friendly, helpful and sweet. Helene showed us how to make fresh chips, salsa, corn soup, ceviche, stuffed peppers with rice and beans and mango mousse. The food was delicious and manageable to make and her home was clean inviting. Her home is in the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and gives such an authentic feel. My kids are 12 and 15 and they had fun learning. Helene is an excellent host and highly recommend.
- Auceda January 03, 2020
My wife and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Helene at her hacienda in Puerto Vallarta. We picked up quite a few cooking tips and the food was absolutely delicious. To start, Helene brought out the fresh tortillas she had bought locally and what a difference these made to the chips and simple salsa we made. Then it was on to making ceviche towers. Shrimp and chunks of fish were stacked on a base made of perfect local avocados, and it was all topped off with slices of home-grown mangoes. So fresh tasting! Corn soup was smooth, smooth, smooth, and tasty. And, needless to say, the Chile Relleno's, made with a good local cheese really hit the spot. For me, the highlight was a truly spectacular mango mousse for dessert. Then we lingered for a couple more hours, enjoying coffee, conversation and the pleasant hacienda. We recommend highly!
- gwier001 December 28, 2019
The five of us wanted to enjoy some authentic regional foods, and also wanted a “hands on” experience while in Puerto Vallarta—we got all that and more! Helene’s home was gorgeous, airy and cool, and the smells originating from her kitchen were unbelievable! She tailored our menu to accommodate the allergy of one of us, and then we all assisted after she described the processes. We enjoyed an amazing 4-course meal, complete with homemade margaritas and beer, homemade tortilla chips, and two kinds of dips. Amazing meal, with none of it being so difficult it couldn’t be replicated at home. If you’re looking for a real Jaliscan dining experience, this is it!! We had a great time...a 5 star experience for sure!
- Teris98765 November 13, 2019
Six of us on a family vacation did a cooking class with Helene, and thoroughly enjoyed it. She is so welcoming, and we felt part of her house. It was relaxed, casual, fun, and yummy. The recipes were largely simple but flavorful, and so fresh tasting. It was nice to have the swimming pool, especially as she has no air conditioning. Would highly recommend this.
- ColoradoBuoy October 21, 2019
What a great way to spend a day. My wife and I was picked up from our cruise ship and taken to Helens home to spend the next four hours cooking and eating beside the pool at her beautiful hacienda. It was relaxing, enjoyable, and the food was great.
- vekcpa May 29, 2019
Read More
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$46 $38 $32
Cooking Experience + Meal
$78 $62 $62
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$130 $108 $108
Alcohol
$11 per person
Transportation
$30 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$46 $38 $32
Cooking Experience + Meal
$78 $62 $62
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$130 $108 $108
Alcohol
$11 per person
Transportation
$30 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
1:00pm-3:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
10:30am-2:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:30am-2:30pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.