Zihuatanejo Travel Guide

  • NCL Sun at anchor in Zihuatanejo
    NCL Sun at anchor in Zihuatanejo
    by bpwarne
  • Local fish market on the beach
    Local fish market on the beach
    by bpwarne
  • Zihuatanejo
    by Nicckie

Zihuatanejo Highlights

  • Pro
    Zihrena profile photo

    Zihrena says…

     Excellent weather, gorgeous natural setting, small-town atomsphere retained 

  • Con
    dragoness86 profile photo

    dragoness86 says…

     It's occupants are all very poor, but that is the fact of life in Mexico. 

  • In a nutshell
    seagoingJLW profile photo

    seagoingJLW says…

     Lots of local color. 

Zihuatanejo Things to Do

  • Chill

    It's sometimes unbearably hot in Mexico during the summer. A British friend of mine moved to Puerto Vallarta a couple of years ago, and she comes back to the States for a couple of months each year because she can't take the heat. This is how we cooled off on our trip...

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  • Wildlife Sanctuary

    In Barra de Potosi, about 30 minutes south of Zihuatanejo, there is an amazing new wildlife sanctuary Refugio de Potosi. Butterflies, hummingbirds, caged scorpions and more iguanas than you can shake a stick at. It is not far from the seafood restaurants. For an overnight stay in the area, check out www.barravista.org; major eco luxury.

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  • Amazing Deep Sea Fishing

    Deep sea fishing IS the thing to do in Zihua! Every night we'd go out to dinner a little late, around 9:00 pm. And we couldn't figure out why the town was so quiet each night. Where did everybody go? We finally figured it one morning when we awoke at 5:00 am to get to the dock before sunrise and meet up with our guide on a chartered boat for a day...

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  • boating around the bay

    we headed down to where the fishermen are after the morning catch, and we were hoping to negotiate a price for a boating excursion. well, we were approached, and we negotiated about $20 per person, for an all day adventure, with just ourselves and the two boat hands! it was brilliant! we bought beer, and in the middle of the day, they brought some...

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  • English and/or French lessons

    Hello,If you enjoyed your holidays in Zihuatanejo, and if you want to discover another side of the city and the population,Come back and help our association! We organize English and French lessons for the citizen of Zihuatanejo from 4th July to 22nd August 2008.We need your help: nowadays communication is indispensable, especially in an area so...

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  • best restaurant in zihuatanejo "punta...

    hi I'm from zihuatanejo but I live in the U.S and I love going to "PUNTA ARENAS" is one of the oldest restaurants in town, great food!! is small, great prices, is close to the pier el "muelle" you can walked and cross the bridge or by taxi like if you are going to hotel puerto mio, it is no open all year. but we love it , the people there is so...

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  • Playa Las Gatas and great Sea Food Tacos

    I arrived in Zihuatanejo, Mexico by cruise ship and wanted to do something special, relaxing, but fun with the short amount of time I was in town. I had read a review about Playa Las Gatas with the calm waters, palapas on the beach and restaurants so I thought, "Why Not?".If you go to the Marina in Zihua (Pronounced Zee-Wah, short for Zihuatanejo)...

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  • Side trip to Ixtapa

    For about $5 you can take a cab from Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa, have them drop you off at the beginning of hotel row, and walk the beach to the end where the entrance to Marina Ixtapa is. At the marina you will find the El Faro Piano Bar which is a great place to enjoy entertainment while watching sunset and enjoying a cocktail! Since it is at the top...

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  • Zihuatanejo International Guitar...

    An annual springtime event with some incredible musicians. A full week of guitar music in this fabulous bay setting on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Music ranges from classical to blues, jazz to country, flamenco to traditional ballads. The 2005 festival was held from April 3 through 10, 2005. The third annual festival will be held from March 26...

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  • Parasailing!

    Ixtapa's Hotel Row - Playa El Palmar. There's lots of opertunities to go parasailing, and they will all have about the same price - about 210 pesos if its tandem. Bring a camera to get some great views!

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  • Playa Principal/Municipal

    Playa Principal is not the most beatiful beach in Mexico, but it is an important outlet to any tourist activities you might want to do. Along the Principal, there will be beach front restaurants that will ask you to come in and sit down. Playa Principal, in contrast to La Ropa, has very cheap yet still very good food. You if you walk only it...

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  • Playa La Ropa

    Definatly the most beautiful beach in Zihua. All of the expensive resorts lie around here, as well as spendy restaurants. However, this is a place to be on a nice, sunny lazy day (what day isn't described like that in Zihua?!).

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  • Isla Ixtapa

    Isla Ixtapa is like a Hanauma Bay in Mexico. The snorkeling is pretty good, but I wouldn't take the kids because the current is pretty strong, and its not always easy to get out of the water. The beach is also coral chunks rather than sand, but its definatly worth the visit! You travel there by boat (30 pesos/person) and like most other restaurants...

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  • Zihuatanejo International Guitar...

    In April 2004 Zihuatanejo hosted the 1st International Guitar Festival with some wonderful music all around town for a full week, in venues ranging from prestigious beachfront restaurants and clubs to a number of smaller, fun, night time bars downtown. Music genres included classical, blues, Mexican ballads and country. If you're a music lover,...

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  • Gators

    We decided to see Ixtapa, right over the hill from Zihuatanejo, so hired a car and driver for a brief tour. He was wonderful and took us through Ixtapa, along the oceanfront and to the "end of the road" where there was a tream and grove full of small, medium and very large gators. I'd never seen so many in one place.

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  • Zihuat

    The markets and restaurants in Zihuat are very interesting to browse. I especially liked the market near the water front.

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  • Sailing and Snorkeling

    Many of the hotels can help you make arrangements to take day trips. We had a wonderful time sailing out to a remote beach and then snorkeling. There were dolphins and many other amazing sites along the way!

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  • A Mexican vacation.......

    This is me on the hotel bridge!There is so much to do in Mexico and to see the sand, beach and ocean is breathtaking!

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Zihuatanejo Hotels

Zihuatanejo Restaurants

  • Best Breakfast and Lunch in Zihua!

    Located on a quiet and cozy street in Zihuatanejo, ITA Cafetería Restaurant y Arte is a hidden gem. Open for breakfast and lunch, this restaurant serves authentic and traditional Mexican cuisine. The food is absolutely amazing! The meals and ingredients are fresh, colorful, clean, healthy and full of flavor. Each dish is prepared with exceptional...

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  • Lonely Planet calls one correctly (for...

    We had read about this Cafe in the Lonely Planet Travel Guide. Milk based espresso drinks were highly recommended. We were not disappointed.This cafe has two entrances, one on the bigger street it is located on and one from the smaller street in the back. Both sides have outdoor seating but the back street is much quieter and better shaded. There...

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  • Watch your Feet!

    Its not named Cocodrilo's Cafe for nothing. Just a few footsteps away is a lagoon full of crocodiles and there's nothing between you and them, but some beautiful white sand. This hotel restaurant serves fresh local seafood and fresh juices, and also caters to the tourists with some basic food options on the menu. But that definitely wasn't the...

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Zihuatanejo Nightlife

  • Zihrena's Profile Photo
    Blue Mamou Founders

    by Zihrena Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Blue Mamou opened in November, 2004 - a great spot for live music in Zihuatanejo, with some killer guest musicians coming in from all parts. The club was open the 1st year through the end of April and will open again in the late summer/fall of 2005, hopefully to stay open the whole year. Full bar with barbecued ribs and chicken being served.

    Dress Code: Whever goes... in a beach location like Zihuatanejo, expect to see and wear anything from neat long dresses and pants to short-shorts and t-shirts. Dancing is always better barefoot!!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music
    • Family Travel

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Zihuatanejo Transportation

  • local buses

    http://www.zihuatanejo.net/localtransport.htmlthe buses will get you around town for about 55 cents. from the main bus station, you can get to other cities by simply looking at the kiosks that sell the tickets and reading the destinations. you can ask for the price or it will be listed. buses are not actually going to each destination listed. i saw...

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  • Zihuatanejo – Acapulco Intercity

    There are three bus stations in Zihuatanejo sitting side by side along the highway. The Elite / Futura station is the largest, with Estrella Oro in the middle and finally the independents in an office closest to town but not much larger than a convenience store. Having not particularly enjoyed my experience with Elite, I also wanted to arrive at...

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  • Zihuatanejo – Ixtapa Connection

    The two towns, Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, are so close together that you only need to take a local bus for 7 pesos and 15 minutes later you're in the other town. The buses are frequent, well marked and easy to get on and off. In Zihuatanejo, the main embarkation point where Jose Morelos and Benito Juarez meet. Several buses may be waiting for...

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Zihuatanejo Shopping

  • seagoingJLW's Profile Photo
    More Vendors

    by seagoingJLW Updated Dec 24, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We bought some lovely blankets at a very good price at the flea market near the church.

    December 2003

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Zihuatanejo Warnings and Dangers

  • Taxis are not for the faint of heart

    Taking a taxi from Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa takes only a few minutes as the distance is just about 5km, but the narrow winding road up from the port and over to the next "village" also is the route horse-drawn (better stated donkey-drawn) carts who move a whole lot slower than the taxis that are looking for every peso they can fit into a day of...

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  • military check points

    it is common to be traveling on a bus, either during the day or night, and be stopped at a military checkpoint. don´t be alarmed. this is routine. i was told by a local that they like to interrogate foreign women. they came onto the bus, one person guarding the front of the bus with a rifle in hand, and one making the rounds...my friend´s bag was...

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  • pollution

    this area has one of the 16 most polluted beaches in all of mexico, according to an environmental survey. you will see the trash, especially during june, july and august, in the height of the mexican tourist season. DON´T DRINK THE WATER and i would absolutely steer clear of eating seafood. all you have to do is walk on the beach (playa madera in...

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Zihuatanejo Tourist Traps

  • Tax/tourismi scammers at ZIH

    Upon arriving at the Zihuatanejo airport, look for a taxi kiosk. I learned this the hard way. Do NOT buy a ticket before you see the cab and definitely do not pay for a round trip ticket. A man named Jorge Grotewold Sanchez gave me a voucher saying I had paid upfront and that's the way it was done there, that I would have to pay for both ways. I...

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  • Exchanging Cash

    Sometimes you just need to exchange cash. Be sure that when you do, you keep a REALLY good eye on what they are counting back at you, and that they do it on top of the counter where you can see. One time we needed $1200 pesos but the girl only gave us $1100, and when we asked her to recount, she "slyly" slipped that extra 100 in. She seemed pretty...

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  • Taxi ride from the Airport

    Aparently there are busses that are at the airport that are available to take you to Zihua. We couldn't find them, so be prepared to shell out some money for a taxi. Its about $20 - 30, depending on how much they think they can take advantage of. Although this is definatly a major rip off, it might be easier to find your hotel unless you are...

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