Welcome to Zihuatanejo, a place full of beauty and charm and a must see on the pacific side of Mexico.
Population 2005: 62,376
Airport: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International
Zihuatanejo is built around a large bay made up of four main beaches. Playa Principal, which is on the north end of the bay and is located in front of the main part of town. On the west end of it is the municipal pier where you can catch a water ferry to different parts of the bay, or hire one to take you out fishing, beach hunting, a tour around the bay or whatever you feel like doing. If you’re lucky, you can find one to take you out at night for a moonlit ride to experience the shimmering bioluminescence water that creates waves and trails of illuminated water that makes you feel like your floating through outer space in the milky way. It’s an amazing experience that you will not soon forget.
Next down the bay is Playa La Madera “The beach of wood” just a short walk around the bend where you can swim, boogie board, or just chill out and get a tan. The Spaniards named it that because that’s where they got all the wood for building ships there and also shipped a lot of the same fine wood, cedar, oak, walnut, to different parts of the world from there. Next down is La Playa Ropa “The beach of clothes” is another good swim spot to relax or catch a bite to eat at one of the restaurants just behind the beach. If you’re a seafood fan, at the far end is usually a couple local food stands selling the best mixed ceviche plates full of freshly caught seafood and shouldn’t be missed! It is said that this beach got it’s name from a merchant ship sinking near the Zihua bay and a lot of the fine fabrics and clothes it was carrying washed up on that very beach.
If you make it down to the end of La Playa Ropa you will find the road ends at a point with a tree, rocks, and an amazing view of the bay. This is a great place to relax and drink a cerveza “beer” as the sun falls behind the ocean and the bay starts to twinkle with lights. If you want yet another beach and a little adventure you can keep walking and you will find a small trail leading through the rocks and along the shoreline. There isn’t a road that leads to Playa Las Gatos “Beach of Cats” but it’s worth the walk or the small fee to take a boat over. There you can rent a set of snorkel gear and swim your day away looking at different colored coral reefs, an array of fish, and even a sunken Jesus like the one in Rio De Janeiro, just smaller.
If that’s not enough for you then check out the dive shop there on the beach and see if you can’t go out for dive. No need for certification as they will train you up enough on premises to go out for a shallow dive around the point and down the coast just a short boat ride away. You will usually see a bunch of manta rays, different colored blow fish along with an array of other colorful fish, and maybe even a couple eels hiding in the rocks or coral if you’re lucky!
If you like an all inclusive style vacation, no problem, stay in Ixtapa right next door and you can still experience the beauty of the area but if you’re a little more adventurous and like finding things on your own then stay in Zihuatanejo. Wander the local streets to see some culture, find a nice restaurant or food stand curbside and get the full experience. Zihuatanejo has a lot to offer anyone though and is must see city on the pacific side of Mexico for anyone.
- Beach Bumming
- Mayan Ruins
- Sailing tours
- Sport Fishing
- Spanish Schools
- Regional cuisine
You may know Zihuatenejo as the place where Andy Dufresne beckons Red to visit after escaping from jail in ”The Shawshank Redemption”. Historically, it was not specifically colonized by the Spaniards and remained a sleepy fishing village until the 1970s, when the Mexican government invested in the development of this area. Nowadays it is one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico.
Zihuatanejo is built around a huge bay and has many hotels to choose from, so it won’t be too hard to find one with a perfect view of it!
Unfortunately no hostels in our inventory here yet, but surely in the near future!