FAQs

Top Quick Links to the Most Asked Questions

We put together a list of the top 10 topics and links for this website based on some of the most commonly asked questions or subjects asked by guests, group and retreat leaders, volunteers, press and others interested in visiting or learning more about Playa Viva.

1) Retreats: Interested in bringing a group for a retreat, workshop, wedding, or event?

2) Turtle Sanctuary: Information about our Turtle Sanctuary and Making a Donation.

3) Volunteering: Volunteering at Playa Viva with the hotel, on the farm and in the community.

4) Holistic Host: Working as a Holistic Host at Playa Viva providing Yoga, Massage and Love.

5) Purchase Products/Store: Acquire more Sal Viva, Chocolate and Coffee from the Sierra Mountain Farm (email us at info@playaviva.com).

6) Travel Safety:  Click here for travel safety information.

7) Photos/Videos for Promotional Use: Need images or video for your article, blog or story? Click here for Hi-Res Images and video.

8) Publications: Quick link from here to our Cookbook, Videos and Social Impact Reports.

9) Activities: View a list of a few of the best activities available at Playa Viva. Activities vary by Season and availability may vary depending on tour operators.

10) Terms and Conditions / Cancelation Policies: Read our Policies.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

  • What Airport do I fly into? – Zihuatanejo Ixtapa International Airport (ZIH). Ground Transportation to and from ZIH is included with stays of 3 nights or more.
  • Do I need a passport to travel to Mexico? Yes. US and Canadian citizens need a valid passport when traveling between the United States and Mexico. For travelers from other countries, please check for rules related to visa and passport requirements.
  • What are the regulations for children under 18 years old traveling to Mexico? If you are a U.S. citizen and a single parent or will be traveling with your children, but without your spouse, or you are under 18 years old traveling alone, we have been informed by the airlines that special paperwork is NO longer required to leave the U.S. and enter Mexico. This may change and it’s always good to double check. Please check with your airline or with the US State Department.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

  • What is the electrical current in Mexico? Same as the US and Canada. If coming from outside those areas, please check on the need for converters for electric outlets.

CASH AND CURRENCY

  • Do you accept Mexican pesos or American dollars? Both. We do not accept other currencies.
  • Do you have an ATM? No. The best ATM is at the airport when you arrive.
  • Does Playa Viva accept credit cards? Yes. We accept US Dollars and Mexican Pesos, cash and credit cards (Visa and MasterCard ONLY, unfortunately American Express). Smaller vendors in town do not accept credit cards. You can charge all incidentals to your credit card – Bar, Boutique, Spa and Excursions even Tips to staff.
  • Is it ok to bargain with vendors in Mexico? The town of Juluchuca has a few vendors that sell local goods, mostly coconut candies, tamarind candies and salt. Prices are low and fixed. You can go to the market in Zihuatanejo and bargain to your heart’s content.
  • What about tipping in Playa Viva? A Tip is included in your room rate already. You are fee to tip an additional amount to specific team members, the entire team or outside vendor/excursion provider. Tips are pooled and distributed to team members every two weeks (with their normal pay). Tips are distributed to EVERY team member, even those you do not see on a regular basis including permaculture/gardens, security, maintenance, etc. Thank you for tipping the team, it is most appreciated.

CLOSEST TOWN

  • What is the closest town to Playa Viva? The closest “town” is Juluchuca, which has about 550 residents at about 5 min (3 km) from Playa Viva. Then Petatlan which has about 25,000 residents and is located about 10 min (12 km) from Playa Viva.

FOOD

  • What is the food like at Playa Viva? Playa Viva food is what we would describe as healthy Mexican. We focus on traditional Mexican meals but prepared with minimal oil and healthy and local ingredients trying to get as many organics as possible and growing as much food on site as we can. When booking your reservation we will ask for any dietary concerns. We are able to accommodate a wide variety of allergies, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and more. Click here to learn more.

CHILDREN


  • What is the policy for children at Playa Viva? Children of all ages are welcome at Playa Viva. In fact, many of our activities, meals and facilities have been designed with children in mind. We ask that parents and children be respectful and mindful of other guests. Playa Viva is open to all families.
  • Do you offer day care? Yes. We also hire local caregivers to work with children as needed to support parents so they can relax a little more and maximize their stay. If you need child care services during your stay, please provide sufficient advance notice.

PETS – DOG FRIENDLY

  • Does Playa Viva allow pets? Yes. We charge a one time fee of $25USD per pet. Pets are invited as long as they are as well behaved as their owners. Rules related to pets: 1) Owners must clean up after their pets 2) pets are NOT allowed in pool and 3) no feeding of your pet or any dog at Playa Viva from the table 4) pets are NOT allowed on guest seating and 5) you MUST respect other guest sensitivities and concerns about pets. If your pet poses any harm/threat to other guests including their pets, we will ask that you make arrangements for your pet not to be on property. We assume that “pets” means dogs. Cats are more of a problem in that they often prey on local birds, lizards and other small fauna. Any animal that poses a threat to local wildlife will not be allowed to roam free on site.

INTERNET ACCESS

  • Does the resort offer an Internet Connection or Wi-Fi? Yes. Internet access is available. We recommend you “disconnect to reconnect.” We know it is important to stay connected sometimes in order to stay relaxed. Yet we challenge you to give us your devices upon arrival and attempt a “black hole” digital detox at Playa Viva.  The Internet is ONLY available in specific areas and not all areas of the property.

ROOM AMENITIES

  • Are safes available in each room? Yes, each room is equipped with a room safe.
  • Does Playa Viva have laundry service? Yes. Fees apply. Laundry list on laundry basket in each room. Allow time for line drying.
  • Does Playa Viva offer room service? No. Food is not allowed in rooms due to insects (ants) and animals (Tejon/Racoon/Badgers). If you bring food, please deliver to our kitchen staff for safe keeping.
  • Do I have to eat all meals in common with other guests? No. Private meals can be arranged for you and your guest(s) upon request. We can arrange separate tables on the beach or other locations for special occasions. Please provide plenty of advance notice to the team to accommodate your special requests.

NON-SMOKING

  • Is smoking permitted? We prefer you do not smoke.  Playa Viva strives to provide a healthy environment for all guests. At the same time we believe that every person should have the personal freedom to pursue their vices as long as they do not disturb others. So yes, you may smoke, we only ask that you follow a few simple rules. 1) Do NOT smoke inside any buildings, many structures are made of wood and other materials that are highly flammable. 2) Respect the personal space of non-smokers, smoke down wind or find a place to smoke away from non- smokers. 3) Do NOT leave cigarette butts on the ground, the sand or elsewhere other than in designated recycling and trash receptacles. Please clean up after yourself. 4) Please do NOT smoke within 50 feet of any building entryway. 5) Please respect smokers and nonsmokers alike.

GROUP DISCOUNTS


  • Do you offer group discounts? Yes. Group discounts are available and generally are part of a planned group visit around a particular activity such as yoga retreat, holistic health seminars, workshop, camp, etc. If you are an instructor or agent interested in group discounts, please contact our reservation team for more information. More information about group bookings here.

OCEAN SAFETY


  • Are lifeguards on duty at your pools or on the beach? No, lifeguards are NOT on duty at the pool nor on the beach. We all try to keep an eye on what’s going on, but the ultimate and sole responsibility of your safety and that of your children and guests depends on you. Be careful and use your best judgment. We recommend that you swim with a buddy at all times.
  • Is it safe to swim in the Ocean at Playa Viva? Caution, this is “open ocean” not a lap bay. We highly recommend that you swim with a buddy. The beach at Playa Viva does not have rocks and is generally safe to swim, however, this is open ocean that can sometimes have strong rip tides. Use your own discretion and best judgment based on your swimming abilities and those of your family and guests. You are sharing the waters with turtles, dolphins, manta ray and many other species of sea life. The water is much cleaner than in larger urban areas, a big plus for Playa Viva.
  • What is the beach like at Playa Viva? The beach is white sand, not too coarse, not too fine, it is just right. The beach contours gently rise to a layer of small dunes. 
  • Are there medical facilities at Playa Viva? We have a first aid kit on site. A new clinic is located in Juluchuca (3 km) and a more staffed clinic in Petatlan (14 km) and a well stocked and staffed hospital is located in Zihuatanejo (45 minute drive). For very serious incidents, we recommend you look into Medivac services for transportation to a major US Medical Center.

SURFING


  • Is there any good surfing nearby? Yes, the waves at Playa Icacos and La Barrita, next door to Playa Viva, are for better surfers. Surfing for beginners and intermediates is within a one hour drive of Playa Viva. Playa Viva sits on the coastline that faces to the south and southwest, which is directly exposed to swells generated in the southern hemisphere by storms marching across the South Pacific, roughly from March through September or even October, with the main months being May through July. Northern hemisphere Winters (Nov through March) see less surf along this coastline, but good swells can and do make their way into the region. Good sources for regional surf information include the travel pages on surfline.com and magicseaweed.com.  Playa Viva has a few longboards for guests to surf on the ‘beach’ break right out in front of Playa Viva. La Barrita is a break approximately 20-30 minutes south but some surfing guests have noted it to be a powerful beach break for experts only. To the north, several breaks can be found at Barra de Potosi (30-40 mins away), inside the bay at Zihuatanejo (40-50 mins away) or further afield north to Troncones (1 hour and 20 mins away) and La Saladita (1 hour and a half). The “Ranch” is a bit further north of Saladita. The surf in this region offers something for every level of surfer, and Playa Viva has a great local “Surf Guide”, Chimi, who can help you meet all your surfing needs in and around the area. Chimi provides boards of all sizes and will be happy to help you find the surf that’s right for your level given local conditions.

WATER

  • Is the water safe to drink at Playa Viva? Water at Playa Viva comes from a well on site. Water used in the kitchen for washing and treating food is filtered using an ultraviolet light system. We also use bottled water for all drinking water. Ice is purchased from reputable ice vendors who sell a sanitary product. Water used in showers and room sinks is NOT filtered so we recommend NOT drinking this water. We provide a jug of filtered water in each room by the bathroom sink.

MOSQUITOES

  • Are the mosquitoes bad in Playa Viva? The good news is that you will find no mosquitos on the beach at Playa Viva during daytime hours or during windy evening hours. However, Playa Viva has mosquitoes as do all resorts located near bodies of water. We have taken several ecologically sound and preventative measures to reduce the nuisance of mosquitoes. We have protective mosquito netting on all beds to protect you while you sleep, if necessary. The ocean breeze provides the best defense against mosquitoes but in early evening hours when the breeze fades, mosquitoes have more of a fighting chance. We recommend you wearing long-sleeve shirt and pants during dusk hours. We recommend you bring repellent, we provide non-deet based repellent that is quite effective for those who do not bring their own. We surround the Common Area with citronella torches/candles and fans to limit the number of offending mosquitoes. Finally, we are working with our conservation biologist to add inert bacteria to stagnant water that eats mosquito larvae. All these measures combine to make mosquitoes a significantly reduced nuisance. WARNING: We do have sand flees so DO NOT stand, sit or lay in dry sand for extended periods, you will be bitten, so use a towel or stay in the wet sand.

AIR CONDITIONING

  • Does Playa Viva have Air Conditioning in the rooms? NO, none of the Casitas have “artificial” air-conditioning. The only air-conditioning available is the natural breeze flowing from the ocean. We have engineered the rooms and common areas to maximize natural air flow, minimize the heat effect from the sun and make the environment as pleasant as possible. If you must encase yourself in a refrigerated room to be comfortable, Playa Viva is not for you.

ADA/HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE

  • Does the resort have handicapped accommodations? Kind of. Currently, none of our facilities are 100% handicap accessible. The King EcoCasita, Room # 10, has ramp access and flat floors except for entrance to the shower.

LUXURY AND SUSTAINABILITY

  • How can you be luxurious and sustainable? Simple, luxury is not gold plated faucets and marble floors. Luxury is about attention to detail in design and service. An old tree branch can be crafted into sustainable and luxurious towel rack; making sure that you have a sun dried organic luxurious bath towel handy that was washed from water sourced from a bountiful well on site, cleaned in a washing machine powered by solar energy, and waste-water that flows to an onsite natural waste-water treatment facility for cleaning and discharging back into nature to replenish the water table – now that is sustainable luxury. This is how luxury and sustainability coexist.

REGENERATIVE TRUST

  • What is the Regenerative Trust Fee on my bill? NOTE: You will see a 2% Regenerative Trust Fee on your final bill at the time of departure. 100% of the funds from this fee are deposited with the Ocean Foundation, Playa Viva’s fiscal sponsor for environmental and community development projects including the Turtle Sanctuary volunteers. You have the option to opt-out of this fee at time of departure. However we hope you will round that number up and give more to support the turtles and other activities we do to support the local community. Lest we forget to tell you, for US Citizens, this is a tax deductible donation, thank you very much!

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