Tulum Souvenirs - Handmade Colorful Art
From painted skulls and serapes to handmade dreamcatchers and wool animal figurines, Tulum has the most quirky and artistic knick-knacks that inspire you to inject some color into your life. Thanks to its boho, off-beat charm, Tulum, located on the southern end of Mexico’s sun-kissed Riviera Maya attracts people from all walks of life including artists and bohemian folk who are looking to blend in with local designers and add their own updated twist in art and crafts.
Walking the streets of Tulum feels like something out of a movie scene with numerous chic shops and street vendors full of colorful mementos made with materials that were used a lot in Mayan culture. Tulum is known for its hippie culture, and you simply need to weave your way in and out of all of the stores to see what catches your eyes. So, dress the part because if you are not cycling around the streets, which is an accessible transportation mode with the locals, you will need comfortable walking shoes and a long boho-chic dress or crochet top to keep you cool from the heat.
Chic Boutiques and Shopping Downtown
You also need to know the best areas to shop, for example; you can find chic boutiques between Ahau and Be Tulum resorts along the Tulum Beach Zone. It’s also a very safe city so you can walk around without being pestered. Public buses known as Collectivos are also a good way to go from different shopping areas. They are clean, comfortable and punctual. Additionally, if you chose to use a taxi, the fares to and from the beach are fixed, which is great because it reduces the risk of being overcharged. If the munchies check in, you can rest assured that you won’t go hungry. Thankfully, Tulum has great tacos that are sold on the street, in makeshift stands and open-air restaurants, just don’t overeat at the first taco joint you find because they are insanely delicious and addictive.
Eco-Friendly Bikini Boutique
While this tropical paradise on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is full of boutiques, selling unique artisan-made items, prepare to shell out more than a few pesos because these treasures don’t come cheap. Just don’t leave without paying a visit to Tulum’s self-proclaimed “first bikini boutique” called Alfonsina y el mar, to buy swimsuits that are ethically produced in keeping with Tulum’s eco-sensibilities, while incorporating handcrafted techniques, organic materials, and natural dyes. That said, here are the top five souvenirs to add into your shopping list:
1. Colorful handmade pompoms
Tulum, Mexico has a very colorful culture, and you can’t go far without seeing the vibrant, multi-colored pom-poms that are now being incorporated in fashion trends like handbags, sandals, and clothing with pom-poms or yarn tasseled earrings. They are so colorful and fun because they are made with colors that represent the sun rays like hot red, bright yellow, pink. You can also find pompom garlands to inject more color to outdoor spaces or drape them around furniture and curtains for some added vibrances. Use multiple pompoms to create an art piece or accessories to dress throw pillows and blankets or colorful placemats and napkins for a fiesta-ready table.
Tulum Beach Road is filled with shops that make the most beautiful assortment of fashionable accessories. However, it's more “glamorous” fashion district is about 8.5km towards Boca Paila where you can find a cluster of selected stores like CALO and Mr. Blackbird that sell handmade and dazzling collections of gemstone jewelry.
3. Copal Incense
If you want to buy something as a sensory souvenir that will remind you of your trip to Tulum, then you need to buy Copal incense. The resin is from a tree native to Mexico and Central America and smells like an exotic perfumed wood but not in an overpowering way. Copal incense has been considered sacred to the people of Mexico, and it’s particularly useful in alleviating stress or feelings of depression, making it a helpful tool to use for meditations to remove all energy blockages and encourage pure thoughts.
4. Local art (Luchadors)
Luchadors are masks that are traditionally worn by professional Mexican wrestlers not just for the spectacle of it but to help them create and maintain a persona. Also known as lucha libre masks, you can find them at any street side market in Tulum, and the fun thing is the masks come in bright colors, and the designs include gods, animals, and other mystical creatures, making them a cool item to bring home as a souvenir for your next Halloween getup.
A trip to Tulum, Mexico is not complete without a bottle of their finest tequila and a set of classic margarita glasses to complement it. Despite growing in abundance in Mexico, not all tequilas are made the same, and the main thing to look for when choosing a good tequila is it should be made using 100% agave because non-agave ingredients are usually lower quality, less natural. Also, buy tequila that has been aged more than three years in oak barrels like 100% agave tequila extra añejo because aging allows the sharpness to dissipate, the flavor to develop and the drinkability to enhance. Now you can make cocktails that are both refreshing and respectable like the Paloma and drink like a Mexican.
Tulum has become a fashionable holiday escape that has motivated both local artisans and international clothing, swimwear, shoes, etc. jewelry designers to set up shop in what was once considered a sleepy town. With patience and a flexible budget, you can buy chic beach accessories, ethically produced designer bikinis and beach essentials, including a wide range of tropical-inspired scents, sophisticated long dresses that are designed with a free-spirited, feminine and edgy woman in mind. So, what are you waiting for? Start packing because there is so much more in store waiting for you to explore in Tulum.