We always tell you that international travel is quite often a lot cheaper than you think it is. Every Tuesday in March we will put our money where our mouth is and recap how much a weeklong trip for 2 to one of our previous destinations would cost you. Maybe this year you could put some of your tax return towards a vacation.
This week: An All-Inclusive Eco-Resort in Mexico
Sleep in the trees. Wake up early for a dip in the Pacific ocean before taking a stroll along the deserted beach. Then return for a bit of yoga by the pool before enjoying a delicious breakfast cooked by an abuela from the local village. After breakfast, help the local volunteers release baby sea turtles back into the ocean before heading out to do a bit of volunteer work in the village, tour the local salt or coconut candy factories, or take a boat trip through the mangroves to do a bit of fishing. Or just relax by the pool all day and then take a hike around the grounds and do a bit of wildlife sighting. The day is yours at Playa Viva, a small eco-resort down the coast from Zihuatanejo.
Playa Viva started with the idea of creating an eco-resort. One with sustainable design that takes advantage of the local environment and ecology, and strives to enhance rather than destroy it. It’s a small resort, designed with the goal of fostering a sense of community, so you easily get to know the staff and the other guests during your stay and the feel is more of a big family staying at a vacation house rather than a hotel or resort.
For a trip in October 2013: It is still the low season in October, but the temps are starting to cool down a bit. It’s a delightful time of the year to go! We actually went in July and, while it was a bit hot, it was still really lovely.
Roundtrip Airfare for 2 from Houston to Itapa/Zihuatanejo (closest airport to Playa Viva): $500/person. It is a short 2.5 hour flight from Houston to Zihuatanejo, and then a 30 minute drive to Playa Viva from there. If you book more than three nights, then your airport transfers are free.
7 nights accommodation at Playa Viva: $215/night for a Studio (You could upgrade to a Deluxe Suite for $295, but we really enjoyed our studio and it has the exact same view)
Sips and Bites: All your meals and snacks are included at Playa Viva. And they are all lovingly prepared by women from the local village of Juluchuca. Looking for authentic Mexican fare? This is the place to go. The homemade tortillas are out of this world! Jugos, coffee, tea, and beer are included but you will pay extra for wine and cocktails. This is an intimate community boutique resort, and everyone eats at a huge communal table to foster that. It’s a great way to get to know the other guests and also the staff. Meals were one of our favorite times of day at Playa Viva.
What to Do: At Playa Viva, you can do as much or as little as you want. They have a spectacular beach and wonderful swimming. And since they are the only resort in the area there is usually nobody on the beach except for a few locals swimming, fishing, or riding horses. Playa Viva offers yoga several mornings a week. There is also a massage therapist on site, and you can enjoy an open air massage from their second story studio. Feel like touring the local area? Playa Viva offers many different types of excursions, from trips to animal sanctuaries, to boat trips and fishing in the mangroves.
The preserve offers you the chance to hike around the property, visit historical and archeological sites, and do a bit of animal watching. And with the Turtle sanctuary just down the beach, you have the chance to help protect baby sea turtles, both in collecting the eggs after they are laid, and also in helping to release the baby turtles once they are large enough to go back to the ocean.
Playa Viva is also deeply involved in the local community and offers its guests all sorts of opportunities to volunteer, from packing with a purpose, to helping villagers with local projects from english classes to improving or building new facilities at the local school.
Or you could just relax in the main house, with an open air view of the sea, and read or chat with other guests.
Total Cost for a week for 2 at Playa Viva:
Airfare for 2: $1000
7 nights at Playa Viva (including meals): $1505
Airport Transfer: free if you stay more than 3 nights.
Grand Total for 2 to spend week at Playa Viva: $2505, which leaves you plenty of money for cocktails and excursions into the local area. Or you could choose to take the leftover money in your budget and donate it to the local schools in Juluchuca.
Playa Viva is a special place. It’s not like other all inclusive resorts in Mexico. If you’re looking for an intimate place where you can really get a feel for what Mexico and its amazing people are like, then don’t hesitate making the journey there. We left Playa Viva more relaxed, optimistic, and full of purpose.We wouldn’t hesitate to go back again and it’s a wonderful place to have a romantic getaway or take the whole family for a vacation.
Looking for more information on Playa Viva? Check our their website.
Here are some of our favorite memories from our time at Playa Viva: