A photographer’s guide to Tulum, Mexico

written by:
Kristen Kellogg


A photographer’s guide to Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is a town bursting at the seams with color. From the depths of the water to the purple cabbage covered fish tacos, explore the bohemian beaches and town of Tulum with me.


Bump up that shutter speed and grab action shots of friends at play in the turquoise water. Tulum has dreamy beaches with some of the finest sand I’ve seen. I switched the shutter speed to 1/1000 and sat my camera on the Manfrotto Compact Action tripod while snapping away as my friend dove and splashed around the waves.

Papaya Playa Project Beach


There are only a few ruins left that you’re actually allowed to climb up and Coba Ruins is one of them. A beautiful hike up, but get there early or you’ll have 8,000 people climbing up looking like primates in the planet of the apes. After you’ve worked up a nice sweat, head over to Chonha Cenote, a lesser known gem. Since this cent is fully underground, natural lighting is pretty low for photography. I loved shooting action shots of my friend taking a plunge into the natural pool below in black and white. It gives the impression that the image is as old as the cenotes themselves.

Chonha Cenote


Part of the experience of being in Tulum is the excitement that surrounds it. I love walking into the restaurants just before dusk and seeing all the energy after a long beautiful beach day. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the dishes making their way from the open kitchen and to their table at Hartwood. We loved our meal so much we thought of ordering a second round.

Hartwood Restaurant


Sprayed and painted among shops yet to open, you’ll stumble upon plenty of street ‘murals’ throughout Tulum Town.

Tulum Town


Eclectic cafes line the streets adorned with bright floral table runners, fresh flowers, and pan chocolate to fill you up.

La Estancia Jujena in Tulum Town


There is much to be had through your lens when playing with color. I love fresh fish especially when it’s served under a thatch roof. When you stay at a place where the bowl your ceviche is in matches the backdrop you can’t help but lean outside in the sun to snap a picture.

Papaya Playa Project Restaurant


I can’t even tell you how many times we asked our driver to pull over so we could photograph someone we saw on the side of the road. Butchers to local ladies selling a gamut of embroidered shirts. It helps when you know the language and when getting up close and personal ask permission before snapping away.

Snapped somewhere between Tulum Town + Coba Ruins


Hammock are everywhere you turn (or lie) in Tulum. You simply cannot leave Quintana Roo without snapping a friend in a lust-worthy way as they fall into a hammock coma. I loved playing with shadows while relaxing away midday heat and less appealing high light.

Villa La Semilla in Solimon, Bay

Enjoy planning your next trip to Mexico! Follow along for more adventure inspiration @BorderFreeTravels on Instagram.

Kristen Kellogg


Exploring rugged to refined, filmmaker and digital storyteller Kristen Kellogg travels the world creating content for brands and destinations through her creative agency, Border Free Travels. Kristen recently produced work for Rosetta Stone and Thailand Tourism, and she has been featured in a variety of outlets such as Yahoo, Daily Mail, Refinery29, Huffington Post, AFAR, and MSN among others. She loves inspiring others through her lens always looking to discover the next off-the-beaten-path destination to share on her blog. Adventure with Kristen everyday on instagram here.

Our Brands