Brimming with tropical boho vibes, Tulum twinkles on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Despite its small size, Tulum is renown for its abundance of natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle.
For a southern hemisphere comparison, Tulum has a similar feel to Byron Bay or Canggu, which offers a relative treasure trove of things to explore, do, and eat. Whilst the Mexican culture remains an intrinsic piece of the setting, Tulum elegantly straddles the line between a geographically unique worldly beauty and a mecca of boho glam. Divinely sculpted into a lush town overflowing with gourmet (organic) foods, chakra aligning, eroticism channeling and exotic cocktails.
Tulum has become a hot spot for a diverse bunch of sun chasing leisure seeking, hippy chic elite.
Roughly 90 minutes drive from Cancun airport, Tulum is it’s own little pocket of paradise. The coastline is breathtakingly beautiful and offers a ceiling of sky met by an azure sea to gaze at while you rub your toes in the pristine white sand.
Nomadȇ is a magical wonderland that lulls you seductively into whatever state of zen you please. You can fall into the hippy lifestyle, consult your shakras in the breathing tent and be cleansed with sage, or you can just laze on the beach with a Pineapple Margarita or 78.
The rooms at Nomade are an amalgamation of contemporary and rustic traditional styles with a huge focus on ecological sustainability and interwoven with authentic earthiness. Nomade is primarily set outdoors, where the a lush setting of cascading greenery, magnificent canopies and of course, the glittering ocean become an idyllic backdrop. Even when you are ‘indoors’, you’ll find that there’s minimal fixed walls and more macabre, floral features, swinging hammocks and berber rugs.
You absolutely never need to wear shoes at Nomade, and it’s wonderful.
The Mayan Ruins and many cenotes (small pools) dotted around Tulum do not disappoint, and a day trip by boat is a great way to see lots of little alcoves and magical underwater lands that you may miss by foot. A day tour of the ruins will give you access to the ancient Pre-Columbian walled town of Maya, which are situated on 12m high cliffs.
You can’t leave Tulum without partaking in at least one ritualistic style activity that the town attributes its zen like energy to. Of course there’s yoga (in all its forms and creative deviations), massages, crystal healing, erotic connectivity sessions and meditation, but Chakra Cleansing deserves a special mention. Chakra Cleansing uses a combination of massage with Aztec Floral Oils, creative visualisation exercises and intuitive healing to assist in developing a greater sense of intuitive focus – very Tulum!
The party vibe is a alive and well in Tulum thanks to the intrinsic influence of dance and music cultivated by Mexico’s culture. There’s always somewhere to salsa, sip a margarita, or bliss out to whatever strand of psytrance is being belted out through the jungle’s magical alcoves. Don’t be surprised when your table is pulled from under you after dinner and the restaurant morphs into a dance floor. This is the case at Gitano (translates to Gypsy) on weekends when the space opens up into a club in which a plethora of house music teased with reggae, progressive and jungle sounds is marched into your ears until the early hours of the morning.
Gitano is special because of its divine aesthetics. You can’t get much more indoor, outdoor than a giant tree branch popping out of the wall can you? Ultimately, it’s an enchanted forest and with each drink you fall further in love with the smokey mirrors, the lush greenery, the long couches, the cracked tiles, the haphazard flowers and all the jilted ambiance of a conservatory on a Cluedo board.
Arca has the same alfresco setting as most restaurants in Tulum, but feels more modern. It even borders on hipster, particularly when you consider the amount of ponytailed, bearded men behind the bar and the coo of Prince tunes playing. It’s all clunky wood (of the sexy variety), and mesmerising canopies (never ever ever forget to look up in Tulum). I don’t know what sorcery is happening in the kitchen but it’s certainly working. The Coconut roasted whole Fish with Basil sauce was next level, even with it’s severe boniness and the chargrilled Octopus with curious addition of Radish was uniquely smokey but gorgeous too.
The cocktails tasted like paradise and had some serious airs and graces about them, that are typically reserved for plush bars in glam cities.
Azulik is a hotel that’s best described as a palatial treehouse with swings. The whole thing is a maze of wooden bridges, vines, private cenotes and some obscenely lavish suites with mosaic spas overlooking the ocean and roofing made from hammocks.
As a minor FYI – Azulik is a nudist beach, so if you prefer your crab without a side of cock then consider giving it a miss, or bringing protection and/or an eye mask. Fortunately the food is really good, and serves as a welcome distraction. The black Seafood Focaccia is heavenly and the soft-shell Crab, despite being a little on the salty side is delish. They’re pretty serious about their cocktails too and have a diverse selection of tropical themed bebidas on the menu.
All images by Samantha Andison