In the 1970s was a destination for American hippies and adventurers had become the bohemian luxury destination for modern nomads. Jungle, vivid turquoise waters and some of the most exclusive spaces on the Yucatan coast attract businessmen, celebrities, and royals worldwide. There is no electricity on its beaches, and, at night, its universe is lit by motors and candlelight. Getting lost in the depths of a cenote, visiting the last great reserve on the Caribbean coast, or traveling back in time among the Mayan ruins adds a touch of excitement to an experience for the most exquisite tastes. But suppose anything determines the success of this remote part of the Mexican peninsula. In that case, it is a fusion of styles that captures the energy of big cities like New York with the essence of the Mayan legacy. So now that the heat is dissipating in most of the northern hemisphere, it's time to pack your bags to the mecca of eco-chic and let your swimming costume continue to rule your wardrobe.
This house, whose walls hang pieces by Keith Haring, Jean Michel-Basquiat, and Andy Warhol, was the former summer residence of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Colombian art dealer Lio Malca, who acquired the house in 2003, has created one of the most striking spaces in Tulum thanks to a surprising marriage of pieces from his personal art collection and vernacular craftsmanship. This unique hotel exudes urban sophistication with breathtaking views of the Caribbean. Escobar was said to be hiding a treasure here. Still, as Malca himself told Vanity Fair magazine: "The treasure of the property is there for all to see... It's the most beautiful beach I've ever seen in my life. Don't waste your time looking for what's right in front of your eyes".
One-of-a-kind pieces are what fashion is all about at KM 33, one of Latin America's leading luxury boutiques. Its customers include celebrities such as Justin and Hailey Bieber and influencers such as Michelle Salas. From its hangers hang garments that breathe Mexican roots and brands with an evocative character such as Benibeca. A visit is a must to find a swimming costume that matches the spirit of Tulum's beaches.
With a resolute ecological vision and a pure character style, Azulik translates the architectural values of the Tulum coast into the avant-garde. They have no electricity, television or air conditioning, because "nature is our best comfort" in their own words. What their ebony cabanas do have are Mayan bathtubs from which to watch the sunset. The resort's restaurant is suspended among the trees, and they have their own art space, Sfer IK, a residency where international artists gather to channel new forms of creative expression. Wellness is another foundation at Azulik that maintains an ancestral link in therapies inspired by Mayan ceremonies, temazcal, or sound sessions.
What started as a small restaurant in the jungle has become the gastronomic and musical epicenter of Tulum. Especially on Thursday nights when the famous Jungle Parties take place, hosted by artists from all over the world such as Simple Symmetry, Zombies in Miami, Shiro Schwarts... Within the vicinity of Casa Jaguar is Todos Santos. The favorite place for connoisseurs of mezcal and other liquors. But since man does not live by alcohol alone, the complex also has a space reserved for lovers of good tea. At the Chai house, you can enjoy a specialty Masala Chai almost right on the beach.
This sustainable restaurant is one of the must-visits in Tulum. Reservations are taken a month in advance, but for those with no plans, patience can be exercised in the long queues that form outside the door. The wait is worth it because only food from the Mayan world is served at your table, cooked outdoors on grills and in traditional fire ovens.
"Where the sky begins" is the meaning of Sian Ka'an. This biosphere reserve of sublime nature was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It has nine different ecosystems that take the form of mangrove swamps, estuaries, reefs, lagoons, savannah... It is home to anteaters, ocelots, pumas, crocodiles, howler monkeys, tapirs, birds, and humans. Some of them can be visited by boat, and you can navigate through a canal built by the Mayas more than a thousand years ago.
Denmark and Tulum meet in this restaurant. Its chef Jose Luis Hinostroza worked in the Scandinavian country and was part of the research team at Noma Mexico. But this is not the only Michelin-starred restaurant that the Californian has worked in. Alinea, El Celler de Can Roca, and De Kromme Watergang are other gastronomic spaces on his CV. Now his potential is simmering in menus based on regional flavors with a devotion to haute cuisine.
This restaurant in the center of Tulum is the meeting point for many of those who have made Mexican town a second home. The atmosphere is relaxed and far removed from the luxury of the waterfront, but it's still highly recommended. The Volkswagen Beetle at the entrance is the icon of Batey and one of its great attractions, also for the palate. On its back seats is a sugar cane juicer with which they sweeten their mojitos.