The Top Bars to Visit in Tulum, Mexico
Nomade is a Bedouin-inspired hangout serving up inspired original cocktails | Courtesy of Nomade Tulum / Expedia
Fashionable Tulum might be Mexico’s wellness capital, but it’s also home to a slew of ultra-hip bars serving up innovative cocktails using local ingredients.
As Mexico gave the world tequila, mezcal and margaritas, it’s no surprise the coastal town of Tulum knows a thing or two about memorable bars. From late-night hot spots that draw a party crowd fresh from the beach to laid-back lounges for cocktails with your toes in the sand, there are plenty of places to check out after dark in this trendy town.
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, Pub Grub, $$$
If you’re mad for mezcal, this restaurant and bar can’t be beaten. It offers more than 50 mezcals from Oaxaca plus juices made fresh with local fruits and herbs each day for a killer cocktail list served under fairy lights and disco balls hanging from the trees. Kick the night off with a classic Jungle Fever – a spicy combination of mezcal, chili, lime and cilantro to get you off to a fiery start.
Courtesy of Nomade Tulum / Expedia
The party can start early at Nomade, an upscale beach bar that’s the place to be seen by day and transforms into a nightclub on the sand once darkness falls. Start the night lounging on colorful cushions on the beach and feasting on tofu skewers or a mountain of clams then turn to the drinks menu. The juices and smoothies are out of this world while adventurous cocktails including the daring Ba Alche Taak are made with Tanqueray gin, red berries, basil, citrus, black pepper and a splash of prosecco.
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
It’s not the cheapest bar in town but Casa Jaguar’s Thursday night party is legendary in Tulum. The jungle-themed extravaganza often includes international DJs taking to alfresco decks under the stars to get the party started, Tulum-style. Prefer something a little more sedate? Drop by on a Tuesday for a casual-chic cocktail party with live music and a secret garden feel where non-drinkers are treated to original Masala chai flavored with lemongrass, cacao and more.
Nana Rooftop Bar
© Oliver Rein / Alamy Stock Photo
Everyone loves a rooftop bar and this is the best in town for bird’s eye Tulum views. Cocktails prepared with seasonal fruits and herbs are a specialty but there’s also a wide range of mezcals from across Mexico and a fine line in tacos for soaking up the damage. Don’t go for quiet conversation though. This popular bar often hosts electronic and house music DJs so be prepared for a party.
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Don’t panic, you didn’t accidentally take a wrong turn and end up in Cuba. This Cuban-themed bar is actually the place to be in Tulum and serves some of the best mojitos outside of, well, you know the rest. Flavors include the weird (prickly pear cactus and peppermint) and the wonderful (watermelon and lime) but we don’t think anything beats the classic mix of lime, mint, rum and sugarcane. Don’t forget to peek at the repurposed, painted VW car, where the bar chooses to press all of its sugarcane.
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican
© Cavan Images / Alamy Stock Photo
What better way to celebrate a swim in an extraordinary cenote than with a celebratory tipple? This astonishing bar is centered around one of Tulum’s dreamy underwater sinkholes, formed when limestone is eroded and considered sacred by the Mayans. Grab a table by the water and enjoy a Mexican beer, then take another dip to cool off. When post-swimming munchies strike, the shrimp burger is the best thing on the menu.
Papaya Playa Project
Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Mexican, Pub Grub
Courtesy of Papaya Playa Project / Expedia
The only place to be in Tulum on a Saturday night, this hip hotel on the beach is a magnet for visiting musicians, models and superstar DJs. Its expansive, elegant beach club welcomes huge crowds each weekend for dancing in the sand, while its monthly full moon parties are the hottest ticket in town. Get there in time to eat if you can – the ceviche and tacos are particularly good.
Pasito Tun Tun
Bar, Mexican, Spanish, Beer, $$$
Courtesy of Katrina Parente at Pasito Tun Tun
Don’t worry about crowds at this trendy spot in Tulum town. Fight your way around to the garden patio away from the loud music to sip tequila on swing seats and work your way through an impressive mezcal list. Get back inside at 10pm when live bands and DJ sets start and the party ramps up a gear.
Bar, Ice Cream Parlour, Cocktails
We know what you’re thinking – this jungle bar at the I Scream Hotel is better known as an unmissable vegan ice cream shop. Return when the moon’s out and the shack made from scraps of a VW bus transforms into an alfresco bar with live music, rattan swinging chairs, happy hours and a bohemian party atmosphere. Did we mention its specialty is homemade ice cream with tequila poured on top?
Bar, Cafe, Coffee
© Rainer Lesniewski / Alamy Stock Photo
Another dual-purpose Tulum secret, Ki-bok on Centauro Sur in the downtown district is already the best coffee shop in Tulum, with a no-frills shop front, cozy corners aplenty and even a garden area. At night, the upstairs terrace transforms into an easy-going bar under the stars, with cheap drinks and great people-watching over the lively street below. It’s not open late so start your evening here before moving elsewhere afterward.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Lauren Cocking.
These recommendations were updated on July 28, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.