Riviera Maya photo spots and travel tips

Riviera Maya photo spots

After two road trips through the Riviera Maya I would like to share my highlights here with you. It is such a magical and wonderful place to visit. In this blog post you will find the best Riviera Maya photo spots and travel tips to give you the best experience possible there. 

Each paragraph of the blog post talks about one of my travel highlights there always giving away the best photo spots in the end, so you can stay assured to leave with the best Instagram photos possible 😉 


Tulum is a separate little world, nothing like you will have ever seen before. Away from the loud party city Cancun with its fancy hotels you will find a lot of eco tourism here. Everything has this very specific nature & hipster vibe. There are candles literally everywhere and each place looks like out of a fairy tale. They have a concept of creating true sustainability, thats why they take care of all the details from the materials of the constructions to the ingredients of the food prepared in the restaurants.

The main town of Tulum is basically just one main street with a couple of nice restaurants and bars. The real deal is the hotel zone. This is where you find all the well-known Instagram hotels and super hip food places. Make sure to visit my blog post on food in Tulum, where I am sharing all my favorite food spots.

Riviera Maya Travel Tips

Visiting the hotels at Tulum beach 

Here are some hotels you should go and check out for a unique experience. You don’t need to stay at them in order to have a look. We always pretended to want to eat something at the restaurant and walked right through. They are all super fancy and have amazing picture places. You definitely have to be a certain kind of person to stay at these places. Although every hotel offers extreme luxury and fancy cabanas you get this hippie eco vibe everywhere. We were interested and googled the prices of some hotels on the main hotel street of Tulum. Most start around 600 euros per night.

Photo spots:

Any of these hotel will offer some of the best Riviera Maya photo spots. The resorts are all beautifully designed and you will find something cool and new in every single one of them. 

  • Delek – is strongly focused around the concept of sustainability which is reflected in the construction style and the menu choices in the restaurant.They have a super nice beach are with big beach beds.  http://www.delektulum.com/
  • The Nest – is celebrating simplicity within its hotel and fits right in with the other eco hotels on the beach. The private villas and bungalows are all styled individually and the beach bed area looked so cosy. https://nesttulum.com/
  • Beach Tulum – I have only seen this one from outside, but it fascinated me with all the lights and candles. Would have checked it out from inside if there had been more time.
  • Azulik – no wifi, no electricity, the entire hotel is a piece of art. You can visit the restaurant and art gallery
  • Be Tulum – went through this hotel on the first hotel to get to the beach. They have a really nice pool we used for some photos. The beach bar also looked absolutely fantastic.

In Tulum you will also find old Maya ruins directly at the beach. The white old stones in contrast with the stunning clear blue water is a must see. Highly recommend you go early in the morning, as it can get super hot otherwise.

Riviera Maya photo spots

Riviera Maya photo spots


A must see at the Riviera Maya are the Cenotes. These are beautiful sinkholes, resulting from the collapse of limestone now exposing groundwater underneath. Back in the days most of them were sacred spaces for the Mayas. Their crystal clear water is breath taking. There are may different types, from open Cenotes to caves. We visited four different ones this time and one last year, each unique in their own way.

Cenotes are definitely included in my list of best Riviera Maya photo spots! Here are all the ones we went to:

  • Crsitallino: 30 pesos entry, beautiful open pool with a little cave for snorkeling
  • Cenote Azul: 120 pesos entry, open Cenote where you can jump from a little cliff
  • Gran Cenote: 180 pesos entry, most famous one, cute little turtles there and beautiful blue water 
  • Ik Kil: 5$ entry – go in the morning to avoid the tour buses, most impressive Cenote I have seen
  • Suytun: 70 pesos entry – go in the afternoon to avoid crowds. complete cave and super epic scenery 
Riviera Maya photo spots
Gran Cenote

Chichen Itza

These old Maya ruins are one of the seven world wonders. They were constructed 600 years BC and are very well maintained. I have seen some Asztek ruins in Mexico City and the Maya ruins are quite different in the way they are built and the stones that were used. We enjoyed our time there a lot as it is simply fascinating to walk around and absorb the stories the buildings tell.

Photo spot:

Right in front of the main pyramid you should take one of those hand holding looking back photos. Not sure if there is a specific name for that? It is a great shot though 🙂

Riviera Maya photo spots

Holbox – day trip to paradise

Holbox has to be on my list for best Riviera Maya photo spots. This is a magical little island we came to for one night. Drive to Chiquilá and take the ferry to the island. You can leave the car in one of the many supervised parking lots. We stayed in this super cute hostel where we slept in hammocks for the night. This was the budget version though and you can obviously find more comfortable accomodation on the island, but the hammocks were a once in a lifetime experience!
The water on Holbox is so blue it seems almost unreal. Punta Mosquitos and Punta Coco have the best beaches. Downtown Holbox is also perfect for a nice dinner. They have so many stunning restaurants and we couldn’t choose where to go first!

Photo spot:

At Punta Mosquitos you find a beautiful beach with hammocks in the water reading the word “Holbox”. Each hammock pole has one letter. It looks so cool. Overlooking this beach you find a bar with a rooftop pool. I honestly have to admit I forgot the name, but when you are there you certainly will see it.

Riviera Maya photo spots

Cozumel – beach pictures!

Cozumel is an island right in front of Playa del Carmen. You will need to take a ferry which takes 30 minutes and is extremely nauseating. On the way there so many people will try to sell you stuff. They are all trying to rip you off by selling you cars for a day because they say taxi rides are crazy expensive on the island. Don’t do any of that. Just buy your ferry ticket at the main counter in front of the harbor (Fast Ferry). We paid around 10$ each way. Once you get there you can walk around downtown a bit and then take a taxi to one of the beaches. To Playa Azul where we have been to the last two times we paid 90 pesos in total, so really cheap. I have heard Palancar should be super nice, but I have never been there before.

Photo spot:  Cozumel is surely one of the best Riviera Maya photo spots simply because of the gorgeous beaches you will find there. What I love about Cozumel and especially Playa Azul is how crystal clear and blue the water is. Absolutely perfect for beach pictures.

Riviera Maya photo spots

Playa del Carmen – dinner in the city

This is a quite busy city and we always only passed through the main street close to the beach for dinner. It is bustling with people and you will find a lot of cool restaurant. We went to a place called 100% natural and were amazed by the healthy food choices and nice atmosphere. In the main street you will also find so many different ice cream shops. The best ice cream was at Aldo (Ferrero, Cookies and Kinder Bueno), but we also found spectacular ice cream in the shape of roses where every peddle would be a flavor of your choice. The place was called Amorino. 

Bacalar – the lagoon of seven colors

Certainly the most beautiful lagoon I have ever seen and one of the best Riviera Maya photo spots. The lake in Bacalar spreads out with its crystal clear blue water in different shades that give you the impression you are looking at the Caribbean ocean. I can recommend this awesome healthy place there called: Mango and Chile. Their protein smoothies are incredible. Bacalar is much more quiet than all the other places mentioned above. You still get much more of an authentic Mexican experience than anywhere else in the touristic areas.

Riviera Maya photo spots

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and it was helpful to plan your trip. I am certain you will love it there and the Riviera Maya photo spots are simply amazing. If you are going to visit Tulum you should have a look at my more detailed food guide on the best restaurants in Tulum. 

In case you have more questions feel free to contact me directly on IG or leave a comment here and I will respond right away. 



Tulum Restaurant Guide – food & Instagram spots!

Tulum Restaurant Guide

After having been to Tulum two times and having sampled my way through all kinds of different restaurants, bars and healthy places I feel like I simply need to share my favorite food spots with you. Here you find a Tulum restaurant guide so you can have the best experience possible in this wonderful town! 

Why I love Tulum 

Tulum just has this incredible vibe you have to experience for yourself.  Everything in Tulum is so artsy and unique. All the hotels, restaurants and bars kind of follow the same style guide. You will find a lot of wood, candles and palm leaf roofs. Some hotels adapt a digital detox concept and don’t have wifi or electricity. They have a concept of creating true sustainability, thats why they take care of all the details from the materials of the constructions to the ingredients of the food prepared in the restaurants.

Tulum is a unique place and much different than any other part of Mexico. Forget the posh and shiny hotel resorts you find in Cancun and expect a more down to earth, eco nature vibe. This is also reflected by the cuisine you find there. Tulum is packed with raw and vegan cafes and fancy designer food. I had so much fun eating and sampling my way through the food places and will tell you about my favorite spots in my Tulum restaurant guide now. 

Tulum Restaurant Guide

Raw Love

Raw love is a super cute beach bar that will make your heart beat faster if you are even remotely interested in nice cream bowls. I had to include Raw love in my Tulum restaurant guide for its  incredible selection of superfood bowls that will convert any non vegan into a nice cream lover. They are served beautifully in coconut bowls and you can even add protein (vanilla, chocolate or hemp) to any of the yummy treats. Enjoy the bowls right by the beach and crystal clear blue water. They also have the option of turning your bowl into a smoothie for take away. What I loved is the idea of their Pharmacy shots, which are super high dosed superfood shots. Pure life elixir for your body.

Tulum Restaurant Guide
Raw Love Cafe
Tulum Restaurant Guide
Acai Bowls

Matcha Mama

Top Instagram food spot you need to go to when you are in Tulum. It is a must to take a photo with your healthy superfood smoothie on the cute white swings outside the little street stand. Even our short visit at Matcha Mama made me so happy because it is the perfect place to soak up these tropical beach vacation vibes. Fresh fruit everywhere around the shop, happy people and friendly staff. They even had wifi there which is perfect to upload that quick swing boomerang 😉
The drink menu is quite extensive and you can decide if you want either a smoothie or a bowl. I had the Mamacita smoothie which included matcha, almond milk, banana, mango and peanut butter. The smoothies are for Mexican standards pretty expensive, but definitely worth it! A smoothie is around 150 pesos (7$) and the bowls 200 pesos (10$). A definite highlight on my Tulum restaurant guide. 

Tulum Restaurant Guide
The cutest little street stand
Tulum Restaurant Guide
Mamacita smoothie
Tulum Restaurant Guide
Menu at Matcha Mama


Ahau is a hotel with a beach club and restaurant on the main hotel street in Tulum. After a morning workout in the jungle gym which is very close, we headed over to Ahau for breakfast. They have a generous menu of different breakfast choices ranging from Mexican to super healthy vegan food. I ordered the chocolate chia pudding in coconut milk with strawberries, banana, roasted almonds and cacao nibs. Alberto got the huevos rancheros, which is a very traditional Mexican breakfast dish and sooo delicious. They atmosphere is so chill and you have a direct view onto the beach. Certainly, my favorite breakfast location of this trip.

Tulum Restaurant Guide
Huevos rancheros and chocholate banana chia pudding 
Tulum Restaurant Guide
The view onto the beach from the restaurant


This place is another world and on top of my Tulum restaurant guide list. I don’t think I have ever been to a more beautiful restaurant. We went for dinner and there were little lanterns, lights and candles everywhere. The atmosphere, style and setting was simply breath taking. The food was one of the best I had in Mexico and the waiters super nice. My Mexican room mate recommended me Gitano and we actually already wanted to go last year, but then a huge rain shower came and we stayed at home. So happy we went this time. They have such healthy options on the menu. We had sweet potato, hummus, asparagus, tuna carpaccio and pulled beef tacos. It’s not cheap for Mexican standards, but still absolutely affordable for us Europeans. 

Atmosphere at Gitano
Tulum Restaurant Guide
The food was so incredible

Burrito Amor

In Avenida Tulum you find the super cute Burrito Amor restaurant. It has a super laid back and chill atmosphere. We went there for lunch. The boys ordered burritos and us girls had a smoothie and a salad. Honestly I would not recommend the salad – it was super sour and small, but everything else was really good. The owners of Burrito Amor introduced a clean eating concept and thats why you will find a lot of healthy options on the menu. It is a great place if you are in or out of the city to grab a quick snack. Portions aren’t super big, but the atmosphere definitely has its charms and the vanilla bread is the best sweet bread I have ever tried. 

Nü Tulum 

’s goal is to make you discover the richness of the modern Mexican cuisine through flavorful and original recipes. We only walked by it several times and I admired its simplistic setting. It is quite pricy, but the dishes on their Insta and Homepage look super exquisit. NÜ is run by 7 talented Chefs and this restaurant was on top of my list. Unfortunately, not enough time to try them all. Therefore, I would highly recommend you going there and tell me if the food really was as delicious as I imagined it to be. Since we didn’t go there I also unfortunately don’t have a photo of this place. 


This is a Tulum restaurant guide recommendation from the first time I visited Tulum. We went twice to this bar because we loved it so much. Batey has life music and each cocktail comes with a real sugar cane that you can nibble on. They also have this super cool old Volkswagen parked out side and spraypainted, as well as a sugar cane machine in the bar where they make fresh syrup. Again I really liked the setting an atmosphere there. It is in Tulum downtown so pretty far away from the beach & hotel area. Depending on where you stay you might need to catch a cab there. Was trying to find a picture I took last year, but unfortunately couldn’t find one – you simply have to trust me on this one 😉 

Last but not least – my little sad Taco al Pastor story

When I was in Tulum last year I fell in love with this super local Pastor place. We came back so many times because the super local tacos al pastor were so good. You can imagine how excited I was to go back there this year. Literally days before getting to Tulum I was dreaming of those Tacos. Well, long story short – we spend half an hour driving up and down Tulum main street trying to find the place. We were certain we still knew perfectly well where it was located. After a while and passing the same street multiple times we could make out the building of the Pastor place. Empty, deserted. We found out the had closed the place down. You have no idea how disappointed I was for the next 15 minutes. I had been looking forward to this place for week by then.  Sad story, but luckily still so much other amazing food around to make up for the loss. 😉

Tulum Restaurant Guide

Tulum restaurant guide and Insta photo spots

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you ever go and visit you might find this Tulum restaurant guide helpful. If I had to choose one place out of all the ones I mentioned about I would strongly urge you to go and have dinner at Gitano. It is one of the most magical restaurants I have ever been to. 

Regarding the best photo spots you need to take a picture at Matcha Mama on the cute swings. When you walk up that same street a bit in the direction of Tulum downtown you will find a sign that says „Follow that dream“ which is also perfect for photos. Besides that any of the stylish hotels offer plenty of photo spots (Be Tulum, Azulik, the Nest) and the Jungle Gym is also a great opportunity to get some workout photos. 

Make sure to also check the blog post on the Riviera Maya photo spots and travel places sharing my entire travel route.