Mexico has a long tradition of folk art and music, yet a new generation of artists and other cultural exponents are successfully marrying past traditions with modern innovation. From street art to local handicrafts and inspiring photography, the new cultural scene is thriving, particularly in Mayakoba, a luxurious resort on the Riviera Maya. It’s known for it’s eco credentials and stunning wildlife but is fast making a name for itself as an arty hotspot too. Come with us as we explore the fantastic art and culture in Mayakoba…
Senkoe murals at Andaz Mayakoba
Andaz Mayakoba has some striking murals painted by Senkoe, chosen by Andaz to be one of their Cultural Insiders. He’s from Playa del Carmen but his colourful creations are popular worldwide. He takes inspiration from Mexico’s bright colours, the sea, nature and comics to bring animals to life. We met him as he was putting the finishing touches to one of his artworks, celebrating the birds of Mayakoba.
There are several adorning the resort’s stairwells and Senkoe has also created many murals in the surrounding towns.
The octopus by the beachfront pool at Andaz is my personal favourite!
Its tentacles have spread over the side of the building. Much of Senkoe’s work is focused on regenerating existing public spaces so it’s fascinating to see what he has come up with for this brand new hotel.
Frida Kahlo Experience
The octopus mural was the star of the show during my recent Frida’s Wardrobe Experience at Andaz Mayakoba. Whether you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo or less familiar with this iconic Mexican artist, the photo shoot is great fun. You get styled up in a couple of lovely outfits before having your photo taken by Sol and her expert team. She’s also one of the Cultural Insiders at Andaz and knows the very best locations throughout the property.
You can get to our next port of call, El Pueblito, by golf buggy, by bike or on foot along the nature trail. The buggies at Andaz Mayakoba are adorned with quotes by famous artists like Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali.
At El Pueblito, the resort’s traditionally inspired village square, you can purchase vibrant Mexican handicrafts like this Frida Kahlo knitted doll and these colourful masks.
On Sundays there’s a Farmer’s Market with local producers selling their wares. It’s a good place to pick up organic beauty products and gourmet food.
Adding to the ambiance, these musicians were playing in the square’s pergola while a couple danced.
There’s a picturesque chapel, La Santa Cruz which has a Sunday mass and hides a surprise inside…
It has a stunning interior with a thatched roof, crystal chandeliers and striking pebble floor.
Approach the gilt altar a little closer and you’ll discover these incredible cherubs.
They’re all slightly different and equally intriguing! The chapel is available to hire and a lovely spot for a wedding or christening.
At Andaz Mayakoba, there are lots of colourful decorative touches like these traditional baskets decorating the walls of our suite and of Olla Taco, the casual beachside eatery that serves up delicious Mexican cuisine.
Over at Rosewood Mayakoba, a giant whale composed of a multitude of baskets adorns the walls of Punta Bonita. Diners can enjoy beautiful views of the Rosewood’s swimming pool and the Caribbean Sea while feasting on specialties from the Riviera Maya.
And to round off the art and culture in Mayakoba – tequila!
Of course, the culture in Mexico isn’t limited to art, crafts and music. Food and drink plays an integral part and tequila is the tipple of choice. Aren’t these tequila bottles artworks in their own right? We’ll be writing more about our tequila tasting experience and the dining scene in Mayakoba in an upcoming post. We hope you enjoyed this guide to the exciting art and culture in Mayakoba.
Which of these experiences is your favourite?
Check out our vlog for more behind the scenes footage of this Riviera Maya paradise.