Tulum is a beachy destination on the aquamarine Caribbean Sea for lovers of yoga, dream catchers, and glamping. A two-hour drive from Cancun along Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a paradise of sublime tropical vistas pervaded by the good vibes of sustainable development and new-age mindfulness.
In March, I joined a group of about a dozen folks there for a five-day retreat-cum-artist-residency part of Ontopo, a larger series of site-specific curated experiences. In the midst of this pseudo-summer camp for adults, we snacked on ceviche, swam in cenotes, and listened on psychedelics to synth drones. All the while we critically discussed tourism, global inequality, and colonialist quests for authenticity, provoked by a love-hate reaction to Tulum and its development.