July 3, 2023

Food Photography — My Amazing Vegetarian Vacation at Palmaïa

I and my family are vegetarian, and both of my kids are picky eaters. Dealing with everyone’s dietary needs is a big challenge when we travel. One solution is to rent an airbnb and cook for ourselves, but since I do most of the cooking, this ends up not feeling like a vacation for me. We like the idea of staying in a resort but if you spend any time looking at the dining options at most resorts, even those that claim to be “vegetarian friendly” usually only have one or two vegetarian items on their menus.

Frustrated with this whole situaish, last year we used a travel agent for the first time, and she suggested we look at Palmaïa in Playa del Carmen, Mexico for our family vacation. Palmaïa is an all-inclusive plant based resort. It’s essentially vegan but they’ll serve vegetarian food on request. It’s like a self-contained little village where everyone and everything is vegetarian. It was so nice to not have to navigate food for a change, and the vacation exposed for me that being vegetarian in a meat eater’s world adds a certain amount of low level stress and worry that I didn’t even realize I was carrying.

The resort is situated between the jungle and the beach and it’s super quiet and secluded and wild in the best way. We saw monkeys, hummingbirds, iguanas, just to name a few animals. It’s kid-friendly — there’s a kid’s club and a separate kid’s pool. One nice thing is that Palmaïa considers kids to be part of the collective. I never felt weird taking my kids to a meditation class or out to dinner. In fact, I’m pretty sure Palmaïa, is the only kid-friendly vegetarian resort in the world, and I spent a decent amount of time researching!

We went to Palmaïa last June, and I loved it so much I knew I’d want to go back. I kept thinking about my favorite meals and wishing I had taken photos. So when we went back again last month I made sure to take photos! Mostly of my espressos (no surprise there) and breakfasts and lunches. The dinners were also amazing but I was camera free for those. If you’re thinking about going, you can read abut all the restaurants here.

I have no affiliation with Palmaïa. It’s just an amazing place and I want to sing its praises. So much care is taken into every part of the experience that it feels like a labor of love more than a resort. So, for the food . . .

Palmaïa has this amazing restaurant called Plantissa, which serves, coffee, smoothies, pastry, and light bites all day. We went every day for coffee after lunch. The coffee is from Café Ictze — now I just need to figure out how I can get some at home.

I have a couple espressos a day and these were just so good.
LOL I started reading Outliers the first time I went to Palmaïa and finished it on this most recent trip. Highly recommend. Also those vegan pastries are amazing!
This kale salad at Plantissa was amazing! That’s a ginger and turmeric power shot you see with it.

Breakfast at Su Casa was so good! This restaurant is beachfront, and there is nothing like starting the day in front of the ocean. I stuck mostly to the waffles and pancakes just because they were so good I didn’t want to try anything else.

Breakfast at Su Casa.
Every morning we were greeted with freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee.

It wouldn’t be Mexico without tacos! Palmaïa has a vegan taco truck called El Caminante that’s right on the beach. You sit at picnic tables on the sand under canopies with the ocean right there and munch on homemade tortillas and freshly made salsa.

Pictured above is the Nachos Machos with Gilled Corn.Those pickled onions were as good as they look.

This vacation was about relaxing, so I didn’t bring my camera with me to every meal. And while I like dabbling in food photography, you know family and newborn portraits are my main thing. I managed to get a couple photos of my kids. They loved Palmaia! I wish a place like this existed when I was kid. You can read its gazillion 5 star reviews here.

When you arrive at Palmaïa you receive one of these bracelets which is your room key.
Playing with tarot at Plantissa.

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am looking forward to visiting-and this just added to my excitement for my trip! 🙂

  2. Cynthia says:

    I seriously want to visit. Thanks for the info.! I will definitely be planning a getaway here!

  3. Annie says:

    Thank you! We’re hoping to get there early fall!

  4. Melissa says:

    Do you know what brand of coffee they use?!

  5. Inga says:

    Your food photography is delicious! Beautiful place and a great vacation!


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