Pardon my hiatus from Loose Gringa!
Mars’ continual retrograding has caused me massive technological glitches, but I think — cross fingers — things are better now.
And it’s summer, and at the end of this July I’ll have marked a huge TWO YEARS since my epic move to the Yucatan. It seems like yesterday, and yet, and yet…
While I was in Mexico the last time, staying at Tulum’s wonderful Azulik, I invested myself in really scouring the local shopping scene. Tulum has pretty much been colonized by the chic set, so pricier boutiques are popping up alongside Tulum’s handicrafts market.
Below is my hit list of must-sees for those on and off a budget.
Splurge: Coqui Coqui
Not my finest hour at this uber-popular boutique hotel/spa/restaurant/perfumer, as I proceeded to knock down a massive display of jewelry. (At least I didn’t freak out at spying Kim Gordon in a yoga pose on the beachfront!) The shopgirl was less than enthused with us already, and even snootier after my clumsiness. No, the staffers aren’t the nicest, but the boutique is worth your while if you’re into hard-to-find, cult perfumes, which I am.
Now with three locations — Tulum, Coba, and Valladolid — Coqui Coqui has staked an empire in Mexico’s beauty and hotel industry, which is why tons of celebrities make their way through here.
I’d visited Coqui Coqui years ago in Tulum, but regretfully never bit the bullet on one of their scents. This time was different. Their rosas secas perfume drew me in, while my shopping partner opted for the tabaco; but the lovely Coco-Coco fragrance is suntan lotion meets coconut meets youthful misty beach memories, and a bestseller. I got the candle in Coco-Coco and light it during the winter. Perfection. Candles are around $50, if I remember, and perfumes top off around $80. One of a kind jewelry, clothing, and accessories can also be had here, if you’re operating with some mega bucks.
Tip: Coqui Coqui is across from delicious, amazing, must-go Hartwood. So shop first, and have the best meal of your life.
Save: Plastic Flamingo
Situated in a dirt lot in an airstream bus, Plastic Flamingo boasts the kind of kitschy look and goods that are a breath of fresh air against Tulum’s wallet-crushing hotels and stores. Screenprinted t-shirts, jewelry, and other knickknacks can be found here — all made locally and by hand and with a Mexican flair.
Splurge: Posada Margherita
This boutique hotel/restaurant is a fantastic option for staying or dining, and they have a small boutique off the restaurant, to boot.
Filled with bikinis, gauzy dresses, creams and potions, and perfumes by model Leilani Bishop, this mid-priced boutique is sparse, but smartly curated. I wanted everything! Definitely worth a browse on your walk by, or after your breakfast, which Posada Margherita does so well.
Splurge: Mr. Blackbird
A tiny beachfront shop (also beside Coqui Coqui and Hartwood) but THE place for gorgeous jewelry. I wanted EVERYTHING.
Photo stolen from Mr. Blackbird’s Facebook page!
Mixik is my favorite place to shop in Tulum. Bike or drive to Tulum’s center and you’ll undoubtedly stumble onto this shop featuring every Mexican handicraft you can image. From notebooks, matchbooks, mirrors, and more emblazoned with Frida Kahlo’s face, to lucha libre masks, to Dia de los Muertos jewelry, to rugs, blankets, home goods, dreamcatchers and more, this place has EVERYTHING and it’s all crafted in Mexico. The prices are totally fair, and you’ll walk away with gifts for all your friends and money left over for lunch, and maybe something for you, too.
Where’s your favorite place to shop in Tulum!?