Tulum has easily become one of—if not the—hottest spot to visit these days, and with good reason. From the forest foliage to the white sand beaches, outdoor gyms made of bamboo & a rising electronic scene, it’s no wonder DJs, dancers and anyone with an Instagram account are flocking to this majestic Mexican paradise on the Caribbean side of the Yucatan Peninsula.
But, as is the case with most beautiful places that go viral on social media, it has become overrun with unethical tourism practices. With many tourists forgetting all of the wonders and the richness of the culture surrounding said nightclubs, we wanted to encourage ravers to learn more about the places they visit for festivals and parties.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for traveling to enjoy some EDM in beautiful locations and foreign countries. Originally I wanted to write about how to rave in Tulum as an escape from the winter cold, but as I was doing my research for this article I found it hard to want to coax people into simply “Raving in Tulum” without giving context to the wonderful people, history and culture that exists there.
As a Latina, I have deep Mayan roots. I felt the way that some people were experiencing Tulum as just a party scene takes away from the entirety of the magic that lies within these once well preserved Mayan stomping grounds. I felt called to re-route my article.
Tulum is more than just a place to rave, although the closest EDM-filled beach nightclub is never too far (check out the “cool hotels to stay at” section for a hotels that host some really fun events!). It truly is such a spiritual place that deserves to be enjoyed in its entirety. So, without further ado, here are a few ways to rave responsibly and respectfully in Tulum!
Cool Hotels to Stay At:
- Be Tulum
- Amansala Eco Chic Resort
- Bikini Bootcamp Tulum (outdoor gym)
- Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum
- Papaya Playa Project
- Bufo Alvarius Sanctuary
- AHAU Tulum
- Featuring Ven a La Luz art installation by Daniel Popper
- Daily beachfront yoga, acro & aerial yoga available!
Popular Festivals & Upcoming Concerts:
All you need to know is: Sundream Tulum. This festival features the legends of the sun themselves: Rüfüs Du Sol. I couldn’t think of a better artist to headline in such a beautiful and sacred place, honestly, other than maybe Odesza! This 4-day festival takes place at the Papaya Playa Project. Opening weekend takes place March 3rd - 6th, with closing weekend (which is sold out) taking place March 10th -13th.
Three days of the festival include live music events, while Sunday will be a rest, recovery & wellness day. The convenient thing is that the venue is one of the most beautiful stays in Tulum, IMO, as well as the fact that you’d get to co-mingle with everyone else attending. It's an enriching experience that will bring you closer to yourself and your environment.
The number one tried and true festival that will always pop up in your Tulum Music Festival search is Day Zero Fest, created and hosted by Damian Lazarus. This year’s event, which took place in early January, marked 10 years since the festival’s inception in 2012—the ending of the Mayan calendar & the beginning of a transcendental period for Tulum and all who visit! I mean, you can literally feel the magic in every video and photo, and the best part is that the festivals being mentioned are extremely mindful of preserving the beauty and magic of Tulum.
In fact, if you visit Day Zero’s website, you can read more about their commitment to sustainability, which started in 2018 with a full fledged team dedicated to preserving the jungle with their pillars/goals being to: REFUSE, REDUCE, RECOVER & RETURN. Read more about it & learn about how you can contribute here.
I would be remiss if I didn't bring up Zamna Festival, though! At Zamna, you can find yourself immersed deeply in the majestic Mayan culture, from authentic cuisine, cabanas & their very own Cenote, which is known for hosting some amazing artists! With sets from artists like Damian Lazarus, Charlotte De Witte and Adam Beyer, there is no shortage of talent to grace its white sand beaches.
Smaller clubs & event promoters like SET underground hosted Anjunadeep’s own Spencer Brown, Luttrel, QRION, Moonboots & JUST HER at the end of January of this year at a secret Cenote. Make sure to check out the following promoters as well, as they seem to be the ones on top of most of the events in Tulum!
Many of the aforementioned hotels and events are following the COVID-19 regulations set forth by the local government, which, as of March 2022 and in accordance with the Mexico Tourist Card website: “Mexico is OPEN to ALL visitors. No special requirements, health tests, or quarantines are required. However, travelers are reminded to follow Health Travel Guidance as well as local and state advisories regarding COVID-19."
While COVID-19 restrictions may be easing in many parts of the world, you are a visitor in another country and should be respectful of the local community. Take a COVID-19 test in the days prior to your visit and reconsider travel if you are sick. There will always be another rave.
Where to Fly Into:
Typically, you would be flying into the Cancun Airport, but it all depends on your itinerary. For safety & security purposes, I would definitely recommend flying there!
Local Sights to Check Out:
Mexican food is rich with delicious flavors, textures and color. The Mexican food you experience in the US may be delicious, but the diverse cooking customs and practices found throughout Mexico mean that there are likely dishes you've never seen in the US and elsewhere. Take some time to enjoy the local food while you're there and try something new. I recommend checking out the Central Palm food trucks.
You can’t go to Tulum and not visit a Cenote. A “Cenote” is a picturesque/pinterest-worthy sinkhole made of limestone that is typically found in the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Central America. A few of the hotels/resorts have their own private cenotes that have been known to host private parties and raves, but you’d definitely have to dig to find out when/where those take place. In the meantime, these are a few of the local favorites & remember: Cenotes are still sacred places that deserve to be preserved.
Many Cenotes offer showers so people can enter the cenotes free of any sunscreen. The chemicals found in many SPFs often have long lasting & irreversible damage on the ecosystem of the area. Make sure to stay mindful of leaving no trace by being considerate of your impact on these delicate ecosystems. Do your research on how to get to and enjoy the cenotes since some are more easily accessible than others. Some you can bike to, others you have to pay a taxi to get to and it is recommended to have that taxi wait for you.
- Cenote Taakbiha
- Cenote Calavera
- Cenote Azul
Check out this blog here to find a really cool map of all the Cenotes in and around Tulum + all the amenities they have to offer here & make sure to check out these playlists here + here to tap into the vibe of Tulum before you go!
Tulum and the area around the Yucatan peninsula has some of the richest history on Earth. Mayan pyramids in the area are open to visit, and other ancient ruins are yours to explore. Even if you're visiting Tulum strictly on rave business, it's worth taking some time to check out the ancient sites and monuments around the area. Here is a map for you to check out.¡Felices Viajes! Safe travels!