The Tulum – Ibiza Connection: Discover Today’s Coolest Travel Trend.

By Virginia Villari

You know those moments of clarity, when you realize something, and suddenly all the details add up and it all just makes sense? This is exactly how I felt when an intuition I had about a sort of spiritual connection between two of my favorite places on earth turned out to be true. Luckily, work has been taking me to Tulum and Ibiza quite often and for extensive stays over the past five years. And like me, many traveler friends soon sensed a strong force of attraction between these two places, what I’d describe as a common stream of people, similar shared experiences, energies and lifestyles. Soon enough, this feeling proved to be more than just an intuition shared among friends. 

Today, the Tulum – Ibiza connection is a popular trend, yet still a bit of an exclusive one. And it’s precisely that “stream of people” mentioned above who set it: an international community of travelers who share a cosmopolitan lifestyle, a common taste for music and fashion and a sort of similar attitude towards life. This crowd seasonally gather in those destinations to party and to settle temporary bases to live and work from. Now businesses have caught up and opened locations and pop-ups in both Maya Land and on the (in)famous Balearic island.

But what do Tulum and Ibiza really have in common? And why is this travel and lifestyle trend so sought-after? Read on to find out about the cool places, people, parties and brands that make the Tulum – Ibiza connection real and happening.


Day Zero jungle party in Tulum.

People: An International Party Scene.

In recent years Tulum established itself as a party destination. It started as a getaway from the more commercial BPM Festival in the nearby Playa del Carmen. Tulum would host more private and exclusive parties in secluded beaches, jungles or villas. By now, Tulum has its own party scene and the period of December to March is referred to as the “Tulum Season.” 

During those months this crowd of nomadic jetsetters  travels to the Riviera Maya to revel under the full moon, rock their “tribal chic” outfits and (sooner or later) work remotely from the Caribbean beach sipping on mezcal

The same crowd meets again in the evergreen Ibiza during the summer, for another round of hedonistic fun and for some casual networking (the “scene” also meets in Mykonos and at Burning Man, but that’s for another post!). Both destinations provide excellent occasions to meet fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives (artists, designers, DJs, producers etc.) and seal profitable collaborations to the beat of house music. Besides partying and networking, it’s the “gypsetter” lifestyle that Tulum and Ibiza offer, and that is so charming people often decide to stay beyond their initial return date. Tribal and shamanic-inspired in Tulum and hippy-chic bohemian in Ibiza, those are two sides of the same coin: the nomadic life experience outside of the daily routine and the feeling of being part of something bigger, a likeminded community from all over the world.


Acid Sundays Party at Las Dalias in Ibiza.

Business: Franchising in Paradise.

Ibiza and Tulum are both awesome places to open a business: two sought-after destinations, with gorgeous nature and that luxury yet laid-back way of life that entrepreneurs, jetsetters and socialites adore. The number of businesses and projects that popped up in both locations has been increasing in the past 5 years. Here are a few examples in random order:

Woo Moon:  A party and indie market project born in Ibiza as an ode to the full moon. It takes place at restaurant and lounge Cova Santa on every full moon night throughout the season. On the roster, a line up of international, deep house DJs and a market of independent clothes and jewelry designers. The vibe and the style are definitely tribal and the party feels a bit like a ritual. As if it was its natural evolution, Woo Moon brought its wizardry to the beach of Tulum last year, at Papaya Playa Project Hotel.


Woo Moon at Cova Santa, Ibiza.  


Woo Moon at PPP in Tulum.

Raina Weber: Landscape designer Raina Weber lives and works between Ibiza and Tulum. She picked up those places because she loves living near the ocean and in eclectic communities that gather people from all over the world together. And Ibiza and Tulum have that in common. “Artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, expats, gypsies and pirates come together here. And those are my clients,” she says. Raina and her partner Andy Szymanowicz create landscapes that shape and define “outdoor living rooms,” working with nature as a medium. And in Tulum and Ibiza outdoor living is normal. In Tulum they’re often asked to create “tropical wonderlands” while in Ibiza it’s about enhancing the traditional Spanish finca feel. What her Tulum and Ibiza clients have in common, Raina tells, is “the desire to address environmental concerns within their landscaping” and an appreciation for a rustic, minimal design that is wild and comfortable at the same time. This year she designed the landscaping for Noma’s restaurant pop-up in Tulum and the landscaping around the hotel and villa La Granja in Ibiza.

Lio Malca: the famous Colombian contemporary art collector owns an estate in Tulum called Casa Malca. Formerly a private property hosting part of his extensive collection – including artworks by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marco Brambilla, George Condo and Keith Haring – and exclusive party venue during the season, it is now open to the public as an eco-chic, boutique hotel curated with original artworks from the collection. Last year, Malca turned an 8,000 sq ft old salt warehouse by the sea, near the iconic playa de Las Salinas on the southern tip of the island, into a dynamic exhibition space: La Nave Salinas,  currently showcasing a massive Keith Haring installation.


Left to right: Raina Weber’s landscape designs in Tulum and in Ibiza.


Left to right: Keith Haring installation at La Nave Salinas in Ibiza and at Casa Malca in Tulum.

Design Hotels: A leader in the boutique hospitality industry, the hotel brand has locations all over the world, including Papaya Playa Project in Tulum and La Granja and Aguas de Ibiza on the island.

Caravana: An artisanal clothing brand that perfectly embodies the style that is now a trademark of this international scene of contemporary nomads: a blend of tribal, shamanic and bohemian influences, inspired by the globetrotting adventures of the founders’ (designer duo Francesca Bonato and Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan) and receptive of diverse native craftsmanship. Caravana boutique opened in Tulum in 2015 and this year they did a pop-up in Ibiza at La Granja Hotel.


Caravan Boutique in Tulum.


Minimal-rustic design for a bedroom at La Granja, Ibiza.


Minimal-rustic design for a bedroom at Papaya Playa Project, Tulum.

Gem&Bolt: An arty mezcal brand infused with the aphrodisiac herb Damiana, so good I’ve dedicated an entire post to it last year. The founders Adrinadrina and Elliot Coon are artists and alchemists who manifest their creative life philosophy into the liquor’s crafty aesthetic and altar-like installations. Gem&Bolt are regulars of the Tulum and Ibiza Seasons. You can buy or taste this delicious mezcal at Be Tulum, Nomade, Gitano in Tulum and at the Woo Moon party, La Granja and Mezcaleria in Ibiza.

Olivia Steele: An internationally known neon artist whose work can be found in public places, private villas, at parties and in various natural spots in Tulum and Ibiza. Her neon writing installations spread positive messages of self and collective awareness.


Gem&Bolt altar-like presentation.


Olivia Steele’s neon installation “I Love Where This Is Going” at Can Soleil villa in Ibiza.


Olivia Steele’s neon installation “I Like Where This Is Going” on the beach in Tulum.

DJs: With Tulum siding Ibiza as a primary party destinations, many DJs now travel and play in both places during the respective seasons. Bedouin, the duo that just rocked the Ibiza season 2017 with their party “Saga” at Heart Club, are also regulars of Tulum’s beaches and secret parties. Same for LUM, one of the initiators of a sub-genre nicknamed “shamanic techno,” along with NU, Satori, Acid Pauli and Blond:ish (the female duo are regulars at Woo Moon Ibiza and throw their own party “Abracadabra” in Tulum), among others. Even Ibiza Sonica Radio has had pop-ups in Tulum in the past couple of years.


Left to right: Bedouin’s Saga’s tribal design and Blond:ish’s Abracadabra’s shamanic-inspired decorations.

Cream: Our hospitality and travel brand offers a large portfolio of vacation homes, from apartments to luxury villas, in both destinations since 2013.  We’ve handpicked all our properties and we now offer curated and bespoke Journeys to provide our clients with authentic travel experiences of two of our most inquired locations.


Cream Villa in Ibiza: outdoor-indoor flow design that favors the encounter between architecture and nature. 


Cream Villa in Tulum: outdoor-indoor flow design that favors the encounter between architecture and nature. 

Style: The Shamanic Chic

Tulum and Ibiza used to have a very different style: the former was a chill heaven for backpackers whose fashion drew inspiration from the Mayan tribal heritage, and the latter was (and still is) a glamorous and trendy social hub. Recently though, Tulum “glamourized” its style while in Ibiza venues and crowds “tribalized” their look. The above-mentioned brands and places are good examples of this aesthetic cross-pollination. Today is not uncommon to see glittered mini dresses and stilettos in Tulum and tribal outfits, warrior-like accessories and body painting in Ibiza. 

Aside from those radical swaps, more prominent is the stylistic contamination of Tulum’s shamanic vibe with Ibiza’s bohemian, hippy-chic style. The result is long, ripped dresses, caftans, turbants, flowery patterns, geometric shaped jewelry, feathers and so on. This contamination is found not only in people’s fashion (clothing, jewelry, accessories) but also in the interior design of private homes, hotels and public venues, showing an interest in an imperfect beauty achieved through eco-chic, rustic and minimal solutions. At parties, for example, the attention has switched from “debauchery” to a holistic, spiritual experience that can include collective sound meditations, ceremonies, yoga and altar-like, jungly decorations. And that translates into the music too: a deep house infused with strong tribal and ethnic influences.


Caravana’s Resort Collection ‘17.


Ibiza bohemian-chic style.


Altar-like decoration at Gitano cocktail bar in Tulum.

Energy: Feel Gaia.

When you go to a place often you begin to feel its energy. Tulum and Ibiza happen to share a similar energy: a strong and intense one that seems to come straight from the earth itself. Both are, in fact, magnetic poles: the third most magnetic pole in the world is Es Vedra’, a super small island located a short boat ride away from Ibiza. Across the ocean, the Mayas considered Tulum as a major doorway to other dimensions and vibrational states. 

In short, Tulum and Ibiza bring magic to your life. Be it because people go there to get together and have a good time or because of the pitch black roads you have to take when you drive at night – which turn going from A to B into a mystical journey -or because of ancient primordial forces evoked by the gurus and healers present in both places, in Ibiza and in Tulum strange things happen: coincidences (or not), meaningful encounters and life events that will change yourself or the course your existence in a significant way. Remember that intuition I was talking about at the beginning of the post? This is it! It arose precisely from noticing these weird, magical situations happening in both places and manifesting in similar ways.


The island of Es Vedra’.


Gran Cenote in Tulum.

Complimentary Seasons: Get your trendy on!

At this point I would be intrigued!

If you want to live and travel in style join today’s coolest travel movement by planning your winter holidays in Tulum and your summer vacay in Ibiza. The complimentary seasons are also perfect for people who can work remotely and seek to combine work with some fun, adventurous time. Both destinations offer the perfect mix of business and pleasure, inspiration and relax.

Check out Cream’s extensive catalogue of vacation and short-term rental options in Tulum and Ibiza and organize your dream stay.

Click the links below to browse our collections now to get the best deals and a larger choice for the Tulum and Ibiza Seasons 2018.

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