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Nomade Tulum Hotel (Tulum, Mexico)

Where did we go?

Tulum, a town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast near the ruins of a Mayan fortress city. (Tulum is the Mayan word for wall.) It’s 80 miles south of Cancún on the Yucatán peninsula.

Additional information on sites visited during the SI 2017 Swimsuit shoot in Mexico:

State of Quintana Roo

Surrounded by the waters of the Caribbean Sea, Quintana Roo is home to tourism destinations such as Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox, Isla Contoy (a Biosphere Reserve) and Puerto Morelos. The state witnessed the flourishing of the Maya civilization, from which it inherited its culinary, cultural and archeological wealth, making it a favored destination among national and international tourists alike. The Riviera Maya is a top ecotourism destination in Mexico and throughout the region the natural environment is protected and preserved.

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Yucatan’s natural beauty is unmatched and its rich biodiversity with native flora and fauna paint magnificent landscapes. Visitors to the region can find jungles, cenotes, lagoons, beaches and caves. Lovers of flora and fauna will be particularly happy here, especially those visiting Celestun, the only pink flamingo sanctuary in the country. Yucatan is known for its cenotes, or fresh water sinkholes, a natural phenomenon considered sacred by the ancient Maya civilization.

Valladolid (Yucatan)

Located midway between Merida and Cancun, colonial Valladolid is the third-largest city in Yucatan and a good base from which to explore the surrounding region. Valladolid is built over the ancient Maya ceremonial center.

Where did we stay?

At a gorgeous estate with a modernity that complements the historic tenor of the surroundings: Casa Malca. This contemporary beachfront hotel is a converted house owned by New York City art gallerist Lio Malca. (There are 11 rooms in the house and 30 more on the grounds.) Malca has decorated the property with works of modern art, so you can have a drink in a bar festooned with Keith Haring wallpaper. The house was built with native materials by local craftsmen, and that eco-friendliness is evident in everything at the hotel, from the food to the linens.

What did we do?

Visited—and shot at—the nearby cenotes, natural underwater limestone passages. The area is perfect for swimming, fishing and kite surfing, but the Caribbean coast isn’t just about beach life. In addition to exclusive boutiques and clubs, there’s a burgeoning culinary scene, with chefs giving traditional dishes sophisticated makeovers.

What did we bring home?

Dream catchers, string bracelets—and a new way of thinking about those bare walls of ours at home.