Playa Viva is one of those places you can’t help but feel incredibly attached to by the time you leave. Paradise is waking up in the infamous bamboo treehouse on a virgin beach, surrounded by friendly faces bonding around home-cooked meals. The founding idea of the “eco-resort” was to be entirely self-sufficient and completely re- generative. Where one’s vacation meets their values.
The owners and founders of Playa Viva, David Leventhal and Sandra Kahn, implement ‘Whole System Thinking’ when it comes to regenerative practices, meaning the entire picture is taken into consideration. They make a point to determine both the environmental and cultural impact of whatever they do, as well as the impact of the design and building process. Playa Viva is 100% off-the-grid solar powered. Everything served is grown in the garden and eaten family style. Once on the grounds, the adventures are endless. There is yoga, meditation, aerial, hikes, and surf daily. Playa Viva is best recommended for their yoga retreats, as they offer two yoga pavillions and a variety of sleeping accommodations. Playa Viva and its team are proud to work intimately with the community of Juluchuca, Mexico, just an hour south of Zihuatanejo.
An optional excursion while staying at Playa Viva is an ATV ride into the mountains to visit a three-generation family-operated chocolate and coffee farm. It takes about two to three hours to climb the mountain and arrive at the Gutierrez family home.
You will surely be offered a glass of delicious wine made from foraged wild grapes, or mezcal. Jesus, the patriarch of the family, is proud of the variety of fruits and vegetables surrounding the home and graciously provides a meal straight from their garden to the table. Because they are so far from the village below, everything they use or operate is powered by hand. At the table and hammocks outside their home, they pull raw cacao beans from their husks and allow us to suck o the sweet, fleshy fruit that tastes something like a tart lychee. The experience is truly unforgettable. If you find yourself in the area, contact Playa Viva to arrange a trip yourself.
On the way back from the Gutierrez family farm, take the trail behind the green house and cool off in the nearby waterfall.
For more of our adventures around Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo, order our book Meet Me in Zihuatanejo