Tulum + Isla Holbox, Mexico
Before it turned into the “Hamptons South”, I spent many years going to visit Tulum, Mexico and reveling in it’s gorgeous setting and unfussy vibe. It has grown significantly in the years since but it both Tulum and Isla Holbox offer the perfect beach escape.
Many years ago, I shot a documentary in Cuba, and it became part of our trips to fly to Mexico first for some prep and beach time, before we ran around Havana getting our shot list completed. Tulum was always a welcome trip – just a quick flight into Cancun and drive down the coast, away. The kind of place where you wander mere feet from your hotel door to the beach in the most relaxed way possible, devoid of the crush of tourists that plague many other beach towns in Mexico. It has since grown in popularity, especially for New Yorkers, and with it came more options for dining, hotels and many (many) yoga retreats. yet Tulum remains a gem, as does Isla Holbox (which is north of Cancun), with it’s own dreamy beaches. Let’s discuss.
Tulum is eco-friendly and laid-back, and you’ll spend your days here eating fresh fish tacos, doing yoga overlooking the water, and reading in a palapa on the beach. The main draw is Tulum’s gorgeous beach, one of the best in Mexico, plus the casual vibe of downtown—these two distinct areas, about a 20-minute drive apart, are where you’ll spend all your time. And unlike other beach getaways in Mexico, Tulum has several things to see, from historic ruins and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to world-class shops and restaurants.
Casa Malca, Nest Tulum, Nomade, Papaya Playa, Sanra Tulum, Tata Tulum, Zamas
Antojitos de Chiapaneca (tacos!), El Camello Jr, Hartwood, Flor de Michoacan (fresh juice and paletas please!), Luna, La Popular, Mur Mur. Get drinks at Gitano, Mina, Casa Jaguar, Batey
For pure relaxation, and no-scene (yet), the slender island of Holbox – off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula – is a rare find: an under-the-radar getaway with good food and good hotels. Mexicans have long been in the know about this laid-back getaway, but the news of Holbox’s beauty, clear green-blue waters and ease of living has started to get out.
Casa Las Tortugas, Casa Sandra, Las Nubes
Los Peleones, TacoQueto, Viva Zapata