Ella Toal-Gangar can lay claim to many talents as a Fashion & Lifestyle PR Consultant - stroke - Project Manager - stroke - stylish girl about town. However, in My Secret Mexico we asked her to turn her hand to being an (incredibly well-informed) tour guide. Read on to discover all of Ella's off-the-beaten-track haunts in Mexico, most of which come with an obligatory drenching of Mexican sunshine.


El Camello

One of my all-time favourite places to eat in Tulum is El Camello which serves huge plates of ceviche and fish tacos for next to no money to mainly locals. Early in the morning you can see people waiting outside to get the fisherman chef’s catch of the day! The ceviche is definitely the one to go for, the space is simple with plastic seats and mainly Mexican families.

This is a great place to come for lunch. Although one day I did accept a recommended ‘hangover cure drink’ only to find after the second gulp it was full of shellfish!

El Tabano

El Tabano is a twist on Mexican food. It is located in the jungle, the best dish would be albondigas el tamarindo and fresh fish cooked in a red pumpkin seed sauce with a cucumber margarita!



Gitano is by far my favourite bar in Tulum, the staff are amazing and huge fans of Mescal - so be careful, I had one particularly bad hangover from a night here! They often have live music and as you walk in the space is lit up to reveal a magical looking bar hidden amongst the jungle. It is a great place to meet people and many couples come here on a quiet weekday as the perfect date spot.


Papaya Playa

Papaya Playa has been kind enough to welcome me in to their ‘family’. The hotel is amazing, the staff are friendly and outgoing and the location is deep in the jungle by a beach-side that will blow you away! My room was a cabana with sea views, incredibly private and bright! The rooms are simple and everything is very eco-friendly! You often see the odd Iguana outside your door in the morning!

The Papaya Playa full moon party is by far the best in Tulum! This was one of the funniest experiences I had and the staff all got involved, including the amazing Shaman who lives on site and provides Temezcal courses!

I would 100% recommend Papaya as the place to stay – the beach is also the best.


Tulum Town

If you want traditional Mexican goodies head to Tulum town, I would often come here for a local 50p street taco and some Frida Kahlo goodies. I also loved buying traditional Mexican dresses!

Stop off at the amazing fruit stalls and pick up a selection of tropical fruit

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