A handful of bungalows and private casitas are nestled on this 200-acre preserve. Surrounded by basil farms and miles of open beach, solitude is a way of life here. Playa Viva’s owners have created an off-the-grid and sustainable property that is actually improving the area.
The mangrove restoration project is removing non-native plants that threaten this all-important habitat for juvenile ocean life. Gray and black water treatment systems feed gardens of fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables throughout the property. The sea turtle conservation program has released tens of thousands of baby Olive Ridley turtles back into the wild and employs local villagers with meaningful and substantive jobs.
Despite the “eco” focus at Playa Viva, comfort and design haven't been overlooked. Palm thatch roofs fashioned from the hundreds of coconut palms on the property prove highly effective as roofing material, not allowing a single drop into our room during a heavy rain shower. Even when you’re “inside” you still enjoy the ocean breezes as all of the rooms are open-walled. Walk out of your room and you’re on the beach with its wide and gentle slope and sand.
Since Playa Viva is so smallaround 20 guests maxevery meal is enjoyed community style with a large buffet. The food is fresh, local, often organic and always world class. You’re sure to make new friends sitting at the long wooden dinner table each night as the sun sets and the stars appear one by one. Even better, it's one of our favorite places for sharing surf stories south of the border.
About the author: Matt Thomson is the founder of Wavecation.com, a portal that helps both beginner and experienced surfers find the best surf vacation rentals and beachfront hotels around the world. Basically Wavecation shows exactly how close you'll be to the waves. You can follow him on both Twitter and Facebook.
[Photos: Matt Thomson/Wavecation]