Living the Vivo Life
Article and photography by Michael Morcos
This was the perfect get-away. Start with a gorgeous, newly built resort on a secluded sandy beach with blue skies and hot sunny weather. Add to that some genuinely friendly Mexican hospitality, fabulous cuisine and beautiful natural surroundings and you get a vacation stay like no other.
Vivo resort is truly one of a kind, not only for its stunning structure but also for its location, as it is the only building on 21 miles of pristine beach front. All of its units are condos for purchase or rental. Besides the main three story buildings, there is a bunch of lots for single dwellings. The few already constructed are posh and even pleasantly decadent. They are so popular that they have sold out, and now Vivo is offering condos in new, yet to be built structures that will be ocean front locations only.
The newly built Club House is the centre piece of the resort and includes a few smaller condos and features a spa, a fitness facility, lounge and sports bar, a kids zone, tennis courts and conference and event space.
My accommodations were enormous, to say the least. It was one of those situations that I could not stop saying ‘wow’ as I walked around for the first time. It was a four-bedroom, ocean-front condo with a wrap-around balcony that gave a stunning view of the pools, the sea and endless miles of beaches.
It was very well appointed and included beautiful and original local artwork and marble everything in the bathrooms. It also had all the modern amenities: large stylish kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, washer-dryer, satellite TV with over a 100 local and international channels and WIFI to keep connected to the world.
The resort is located in the state of Oaxaca, which is far enough south that the winters are hot compared to northern Mexico, where it can be chilly at night. As secluded as it was, it was still a short car drive from the town of Chila and less than 20 minutes to the airport and the city of Puerto Escondidio.
Our days were mostly spent on the beach or by the pool in perfect weather. Our toughest decision was what to have for dinner at Bistro 216 by the pool, would it be Mexican or international cuisine, fresh seafood or fajitas or maybe even both. On one occasion my thoughts were interrupted. It was time to release baby turtles in to the wild, and it happened right there on our private beach. The Vivo Foundation sponsors a Turtle release and all are welcome to witness or even participate in this truly unique experience.
Besides living the good life at the resort, there are many things to do in the surrounding area and our timing was perfect, as we would be able to celebrate the ‘Day-of-the-Dead’ with locals and the watch a bi-annual surf competition.
On most days we would head to Puerto Escondido. For a small city, it had a lot to offer. There was a vibrant food-market with straight from the farm fruits, vegetables as well as fresh meats and daily caught seafood.
Very popular with tourists, the beach scene and the Zicatela beach strip are the places to be. There is multitude of beach restaurants and bars serving anything and everything from breakfast to late night cocktails at the night clubs.
Zicatela beach is also well known worldwide as a surfing mecca and we had the good fortune to watch a competition that included a local boy who had recently become world champion. Surfing is well associated as a cool sport and there was a host of young people there creating a fun and unique vibe.
A memorable lunch was had at a cliff-top restaurant over-looking Carrizalillo Beach. I had the catch of the day, a Red Snapper broiled on a grill with herbs and species. This was served with a locally brewed Cerveza, and I was in heaven. But this is only part one, as we would then make our way down to the secluded cove to have a refreshing swim and lazy afternoon on the beach.
Not far from the hotel we had a tour by boat of the Laguna Manialtepec. This is a wonderful place to experience local nature and the local flora and fauna. The fresh water basin would empty out into the ocean and we would sit back with refreshments and watch the local fisherman gathering their catch. Along the way, we saw many types of birds, as this is temporary stop over to some 300 different migrating species. The outing would end with another great Mexican meal.
Day of the Dead Festivities
With preparations that last for days and maybe even weeks, the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration is one of the most popular holidays in Mexico and especially for the people of Oaxaca. This is the day that they honour past friends and relatives. Most visit their graves, place flowers and even have a drink celebrating both life and death. But this is only part of it, as by sunset the streets come alive with music, singing and dancing throughout the night.
In the small town of Chila, we would join the celebrations of this fantastic night. The locals dressed up in masks and even total costumes and sang and danced as they made their way through several parts of the town. I was warned not to be alarmed if a group of young men dressed as women were to grab me for a dance and yes, that is exactly what happened. Laughter and fun was had by all! So was the Tequila and Miscall. To settle it all down we had some freshly made and wonderful chicken fajitas along the way.
Our final night had us on the beach at the resort enjoying a candle light dinner. A wonderful way of watching the setting sun and reflect on this paradise in southern Mexico and all it has to offer.
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