A few months ago I started hearing murmurs, a small muffled mentioning of pop-up shops that gave the hamptons a run for their money. Of mixologists fleeing their bone-chilling local bars in Williamsburg to serve south of the border. Of the ecotourism movement that left travelers with just the beach, a mosquito net, and their own curious minds.
It was happening, the gentle gentrification of Tulum. It started, similar to Yucatan plumbing, like a slow dripping faucet, and has now become the buzzing epicenter of Manhattanites... searching for a break in the sun and a getaway that doesn’t feel too far from home.
Naturally, I had to see what all the fuss was about. So, my two best friends and I booked our flights, rented a car and headed an hour and a half south of Cancun towards the restorative town of Tulum.
After some research, I realized the weekend we had picked was that of a full moon and Papaya Playa Project, an eco-chic multifunctional community nestled carefully between the Mayan Jungle and the beautiful coastline, is infamous for incredible food, comfortable cottages, and an even more kickass full moon party. Done and done.
Every morning during our stay, we indulged in their continental breakfast of fresh fruit, juices, smoothies, and coffee (with the exception of one hungover morning that involved begging for huevos from the incredible line chefs, long after breakfast was done being served.) This would kick start days of biking to the main strip of bohemian, shack-like gems that looked like a cross between the hippie markets of Ibiza and the Crow’s Nest in Montauk.
In a sea of dreamcatchers, overpriced but droolworthy jewelry, and tiny bikinis we mindlessly meandered and strolled the incredible shopping scene that has blossomed in this tiny jungle town.
Open air dining has been absolutely mastered and come complete with large wood burning ovens, buzz-inducing Mezcal concoctions, and of course fresh seafood. We passed on dining at the acclaimed but consistently overcrowded Hardwood for the likes of Cafe Jaguar and the incredible Canopia (which meaning canopy… was our only solace in a tropical rainstorm.)
Overall, this hippie town has everything you need for a long weekend away. From biological reserves, Mayan ruins, and natural cenotes to bohemian shops, mixology bars, and more beachfront yoga then you can shake a stick at… Tulum is an incredible town, perfect for disconnecting and re-centering yourself before a midwinter breakdown.