Article

Photo by Meg Laubsher

A treetop night in Tulum

Tulum, which lies 90 minutes south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula, was once a Mayan walled city serving as a major port for the ancient city of Coba.

Mexico

Tulum, which lies 90 minutes south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula, was once a Mayan walled city serving as a major port for the ancient city of Coba.

In Tulum, Mexico, structures made from bejuco vines, plants local to the area, rise from the jungle. A strip of villas skirting treetops look out at turquoise sea. Frothy waves lap white sand below. This is eco-resort Azulik.

Its story starts 20 years ago with Argentinean-born artist Jorge Eduardo Neira Sterkel. While on a sailing trip through the Caribbean, he discovered the town of Tulum and decided to stay. He was a painter and, through the sales of his paintings, was able to purchase land. Without any formal architectural training, he began construction on Azulik.

“I never plan a thing. I never make floor plans,” he says. “A plan does not work if you want to respect nature.”

Casa de la medicina ancestral (Apoteca)
Casa de la medicina ancestral (Apoteca)

Structures at Azulik are built with the same materials Mayans have used for centuries, bejuco and wood, all collected from the area. The first few villas were built in the same ways too – oval-shaped and with thatched roofs.

“The funny thing of the process is that we never know what we will do. Even if I have a previous idea, nature imposes herself. If it can’t be done in a known way, then the answer is to play, to improvise.”

Sterkel works with a team of 200-or-so modern Mayans and describes them as playful and mischievous. ‘It must be something never seen before,’ I tell them, and they laugh as kids planning a trick. When the idea appears, they work to bring new answers.”
To read the full article, subscribe to our magazine now by clicking here.

 

© This article was first published in Aug-Sept 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on World Travel Magazine, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.

And if you liked this story, subscribe to our bi-monthly World Travel Magazine, a handpicked selection of editorial features and stories from Global Destinations, Inspire Me, Insider, Style File, Wellness & Travel, City Travel, Suite Life, At Leisure, Short Breaks and much more.

Social Media
297 views
Ads

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *