A Spin on the Tradition of Thanksgiving Dinner

Known for its American-style, comfort food, Turtle Bay Cafe a local institution in Akumal has served traditional Thanksgiving Dinner since it opened 20 years ago.

It’s classic American fare – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pecan pie.

What makes it special

Some dishes are made with a Mayan twist. Turkeys, for example, are smoked and/or cooked in banana leaves until tender and juicy. Pozole, a celebratory hominy stew served in Mexican homes during holidays, is a featured soup alongside butternut squash.

Turtle Bay shared some of their photos with us and we could not help passing them along to you in keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday spirit. 

The Maya baked their food in a “pib”.  A “pib” means “hole in the ground” in Mayan and it is a traditional cooking method.  Turtle Bay uses a pib to bake their gobblers. 

Dishes are made from scratch with fresh, local ingredients.

The stuffed birds carried to the pit.

Then buried and covered with palm frons to hold in the heat.

The turkeys cook all day.  

And yes, of course, there is pie!

And here is the end results of a day baking underground.


Are you a vegetarian? Don’t despair.

Vegetarian plates are also offered. Meals include a couple of glasses of wine to help get you in the holiday spirit.

Turtle Bay has two seatings on Thanksgiving Day – one each at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Take-out and catering versions of the full Thanksgiving menu are also available.

Reserve your spot at [email protected] or call + 52 (984) 151-9522.

Need suggestions for places to eat, contact Paulina in guest services  [email protected] 

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