Zoëtry Paraiso Celebrates the Year of the Maya

The year of the Maya is here! Since December 21, 2012 marks a significant day on the Mayan Calendar– a day in which Mayans believe the world will be reborn-  Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya is celebrating with a month of Mayan-inspired events beginning Thanksgiving, November 22, 2012 and ending Friday, December 21, 2012.

The Maya was a very advanced culture, noted for its art and architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems and cuisine. They carved elaborate sculptures and reliefs, built sophisticated cities and temples, developed a highly accurate calendar, gazed at the stars in the observatories they constructed and utilized chocolate and corn in their food.

Zoëtry Paraiso will be hosting a full lineup of events and activities for guests to learn more about the culture while having fun.  The events and activities include the following:

  • Mayan Calendar Explanation – Learn the significant of Dec. 21st
  • Sand Pyramid Competitions – Build replicas of the Chichen Itza
  • Cooking Lessons – Prepare authentic Mayan cuisine
  • Mayan Warriors Show – Be entertained with a traditional Mayan show
  • Make Mayan Bracelets – Design your own bracelet to wear
  • Craft Painting – Decorate your own Mayan craft to take home
  • Mayan Lessons-learn the basic words of the unique language
  • Stargazing Events- Discover the stars’  lineation in December
  • Enjoy a special Mayan show at sister property, Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun

Look out for the daily Sundial newsletter at the resort for more details about the resort’s happenings! We look forward to celebrating with you soon. Book your stay today so you don’t miss out on this epic celebration.

Mayan Warrior show features extravagant costumes

Make it at Home: Guacamole

At Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, we not only believe in serving delicious, wholesome food to our guests, we want to share our passion for culinary arts through our Art of Life™ philosophy. As part of our Endless Privileges®, we offer a variety of culinary classes to our guests. Our goal is to teach simple techniques and tricks for making healthy and delicious food at home.

Recently, we hosted a class all about the art of making guacmole. Yes, that’s right, there is an art to making this irresistible snack. We started our class by picking fresh cilantro from our organic herb garden at the resort. The class turned out to be a lot of fun and all of the particpants couldn’t wait to eat the guacamole once the class was over! Take a look below for our simple recipe.

Fresh ingredients ready to be turned into guacamole!


  • 1 tomato (it is important to make sure you have firm tomatoes with good texture)
  • ½ white onion (medium)
  • 1 Serrano pepper 
  • ½ lime
  • Large bunch of cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ripe avocados (they should be soft when squeezed gently, with dark-green skin).

Cooking instructions:

  1. First, chop the tomato and onion coarsely; then chop the Serrano pepper and the large bunch of cilantro finely. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Squeeze the juice of ½ the lime onto the mix and season with salt and pepper. If you feel adventurous you can also add some chopped habanero chile that will emphasize the spicy flavor.
  2. Next, cut each avocado in half, working around the large and smooth pit. Separate the avocado halves and remove the pit (keep the pit you will want to use this later). Scrape avocado out of the shell and place into mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork (avoid using a food processor or blender).
  3. Finally, mix the tomato mixture with the crushed avocado. Add a little bit of salt if needed. Remember the pit? This is when you will want to use this and add it into the mix. The pit and lime help to preserve the freshness of your Guacamole!

Service with tortilla chips & enjoy!

Wondering how the guacomole class went at the resort? Take a look at this video with feedback from two of the participants!

Makita’s Birthday Celebration!

November 11th was a very special day at Zoëtry Paraíso de la Bonita! We celebrated Makita’s birthday! Makita is our resident parrot at the resort. She appeared after hurricane Wilma in November 2005. While restoring the resort, staff members found a beautiful parrot that seemed to be enjoying her new home. We aren’t quite sure where she came from, but she has been a member of the Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita family ever since then!

Makita is loved by everyone – guests and staff included, so we decided to throw her a birthday party to celebrate the time she has been with us! Our resort chef created a kiwi and strawberry cake (Makita’s favorite fruits) in honor of the celebration. We decorated with balloons and some of our staff members and guests even wore birthday hats.

It was a great time for everyone, especially Makita. See below for some highlights of the celebration!  

Make it at Home: Jasmine Tea

As part of our Endless Privileges® at Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana, we offer a daily afternoon tea time featuring real live plants for tea infusions. Our delicious tea recipes are highly sought after by our guests, so we’ve decided to take to our blog to share one of our favorite recipes. Now you can enjoy our Jasmine Tea at our resort or in the comfort of your own home. Follow our simple and easy recipe next time you have company, and we guarantee you will WOW your guests with this delicious refreshment!


  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons jasmine pearls
  • 1 1/4 cups Simple Syrup
  • 3 cups fresh tangerine juice, strained (from 8 to 10 tangerines)


  • Bring water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add jasmine pearls, and infuse for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain through a small sieve into a pitcher. Discard pearls. Let cool.
  • Add syrup and tangerine juice to pitcher. Divide the tea among ice-filled glasses. (Or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)


Learn How to Roll a Cigar at Zoëtry Paraíso de la Bonita

Zoëtry Paraíso de la Bonita recently hosted a cigar rolling class at our resort. This fun and interactive event gave our guests a glimpse into the art of cigar rolling, which can be quite an extensive process.  In honor of our recent event, we thought we would provide our readers with instructions on how to hand roll a cigar.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Filler, binder and wrapper and tobacco leaves
  • Scissors or knife
  • Water
  • Flour
  • Cutting board

Here’s how:

  1. Shred some tobacco leaves to make the cigar filler.
  2. Prepare your binder leaf. A Havana leaf is best, due to its thickness and strength compared to other leaves. Cut out the center vein and keep the binder leaf damp to prevent cracking.
  3. Make “glue” with 1/4 tsp. flour and 2 tbsp. water. Microwave the mix for 15 seconds, mix and microwave again. Repeat until the mixture is a thin paste. Set aside to cool and thicken.
  4. Add the shredded tobacco to the binder leaf. Spread some of the “glue” along one edge of the binder leaf. Carefully roll the binder leaf around the shredded tobacco. Trim off any excess.
  5. Prepare some thin tobacco leaves to be used as wrappers. Roll the wrapper leaves over the binder leaf containing the filler tobaccos. Apply “glue” to the edges of the wrapper leaves and roll away from you.
  6. Overlap the ends as you wrap the cigar. Trim off ends when dry.
  7. Enjoy!

Check out the cigar rolling event at Zoëtry Paraíso de la Bonita: