Where to Eat, Shop and Explore in Tulum, Mexico


Photo: Stephanie White

Tulum, Mexico used to be a boho beach town at the end of a dirt track — now it’s getting its own airport. But if you know where to go, the magic is still there. Here, Zoomer‘s Deputy and Travel Editor Antonia Whyatt brings you an insider’s guide on where to eat, shop and explore in this beautiful corner of the Yucatán. And  if you’re looking for more, visit our deep dive into Tulum here.




Nu: The restaurant — which is open for dinner — works in partnership with a farm, Mestiza de Indias, that uses Mayan techniques to grow and harvest local ingredients. I still have taste memories of the wood-grilled Campeche prawns and quail with mole negro.

Arca: After Noma did a pop-up in 2019, California-born chef Jose Luis Hinostroza moved here and started Arca. He marries Mexican ingredients and local produce with a more haute cuisine touch in dishes like Octopus al Pastor with Guajillo Adobo.

Libelula: This glamping hotel in the Sian Ka’an biosphere is the best place to find the famed Yucatán dish, cochinita pibil. The pork is marinated in annatto paste, bitter orange juice and garlic, slow baked in banana leaves and served with pickled onions, salsa and handmade tortillas at a vast mahogany table in the garden.


Arca restaurant’s Scallop Crudo with Pickled Onion Flowers. Photo: Stephanie White




Mr. Blackbird: At this sandy-floored shop a few minutes’ walk north of Luv Hotel where I stayed, I found beautiful woven cotton dresses, kaftans and tops with intricate needlework, created with Indigenous Mexican women.

La Valise StoreThe incredibly tasteful furniture, art, clothing and decor here are all made and sourced in Mexico. I wanted to bring home a lamp woven out of chuspata reed and shaped like a parrot; instead, I left with a pair of beaten gold hoops.

Coqui Coqui Perfumerias: If you’re in Mérida, Coba, Valladolid or Izamal, check out their transporting scents — from diffusers and candles to linen sprays — as well as leather hammocks, painted straw hats and luxe travel accessories handmade out of suede.


Yucatan-inspired scents at Coqui Coqui Perfumeria. Photo: Mr. Blackbird





Chichén Itza: There’s a reason this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been called one of the new seven wonders of the world. The mesmerizing archaeological site encompasses the vast four-sided pyramid, El Castillo, a huge cenote and other richly carved buildings.


El Castillo pyramid at Chichén Itzá. Photo: Antonia Whyatt


Banco Chinchorro: If you’re a diver, it is worth spending two choppy hours in a boat to immerse yourself in one of the world’s largest coral atolls.

Cenote Muul ichi Ts’ono’ot, San Juan de Dios: Spend an afternoon swimming in the crystal blue waters of this recently discovered cenote, just 15 minutes from Coba.


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