An Instagram-y Guide to Tulum
Updated: Apr 15, 2020
People watching? Check. Authentic mezcal margaritas served in buzzy jungle surrounds? Check. Tacos? Check. Blindingly blue water? Of course. Tulum, Mexico has quickly become a favorite tropical vacation spot for jet-setters and budget travelers alike. Ever since Tulum started going off on Instagram, many people have asked me where they can get great pictures and have an authentic experience in the Tulum, Mexico. With that in mind, here are my tips on where to stay, what to do and what to snap amazing Instagram photos of during your time in this top beach destination.
Boutique lodging- Mezzanine Tulum
Tulum is home to many exotic and historical treasures. People come here to see the ancient Mayan Ruins, explore underground water filled caves called Cenotes and to escape the ultra-touristy, Americanized cities like Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. Bordering Tulum is the largest biosphere reserve in the region, called Ki’an Saan, making Tulum’s picturesque beach landscape even more pristine. Right on the beach, ten minutes away from the Mayan Ruins, you’ll find Mezzanine Tulum, a boutique hotel with a perfectly curated colorful boho chic aesthetic.
Mezzanine Tulum is the perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation enjoying the best of this coastal Mexican paradise. Every vista, a perfectly Instagram worth photoshoot opportunity. Part of what makes Tulum so photogenic is the fact that none of the surrounding architecture is allowed to tower above the tree line. All the buildings are required to have a traditional palapa roof style unique to the area. Mezzanine is no exception, but their take is a more modern style building with Thai and Buddhist interior design inspirations. Think huge Buddha heads with floral arrangements straight out of a Thai movie set. The staff is helpful, attentive and will help you with everything from getting to and from the airport, renting bikes to catching and paying for cabs in Spanish. Though the rooms are exquisite and highly comfortable, you will want to spend most of your time outside on the decks that jut out over the beach giving you the perfect view on the comfort of a lounge chair or bed with a freshly made house margarita featuring local tequila and limes.
Locavores will enjoy the cuisine in Mezzanine’s Thai restaurant and bar where local foods are featured prominently on the menu. For breakfast try their fresh smoothies with papaya, homemade coconut milk and bananas, and for lunch or dinner you must get guacamole and try out their spicy Thai curries. If you want to explore other options I highly recommend checking out Ahau Tulum for their healthy organic/raw fare, and a beachfront dining experience that will have you feeling pretty pampered for a fair price.
In the mood for a stiff drink? Across from Ahau is the Casa Jaguar bar, set back from the main beach road on the jungle side. Stepping through the dense tropical foliage, past a rustic sign for the bar, you're instantly transported to an open air bar/restaurant that looks like some place you'd expect to find Stevie Nicks hanging out at, silk kimono on, lanterns and smokey air all around her. World music pipes through the palm trees and ornate lights hang from the bar beams and the bar serves up house-made mezcal with local juices like kiwi and guava. Needless to say, this is a perfect golden hour photo spot in Tulum. Once the sunsets, expect to hear globally renowned DJs playing acid house, or whatever sexy music they feel like playing.
For day trips, consider going to the Rivera Maya for paddle boarding, where guides take you to see the Cenotes up close. The most photographed ruins in the area are right down the road from Mezzanine, about a ten-minute walk from the hotel, but you will want to venture out really early as it gets extremely hot there in the afternoon, and more crowded. Bring a swimsuit too, as you will want to swim on the beach there. At night Mezzanine does a great happy hour and often has DJs but I suggest hitting up Papaya Playa Project later in the night where international DJs play underground music sets and create a cool ambiance for beach parties attended by sexy people from around the globe ($20 cover typical.)
Tulum is only an hour and half away from the Cancun International Airport, so if you want to try something a little off the beaten path that feels like an undiscovered gem of eras past (with all the modern luxuries you demand,) then Tulum is the place for you. Any questions or need more recommendations feel free to email me!