The fishing town and resort of Zihuatanejo has a picturesque location on the Bay of Zihuatanejo nestled between the bay and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. The town is the government seat for the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta which includes over 400 local units. The decision of the Mexican government to build a resort nearby during the 1970s has also influenced the evolution of Zihuatanejo Resort as a tourist destination. The resort is known to tourists as Ixtapa and carries the name of the local Ixtapa river. Zihuatanejo has elected to maintain its own distinctive atmosphere as a contrast to what lies close by. The most important economic activity is tourism, with the major attractions being the area beaches. Most of the international visitors arrive between November and December and most of the Mexican visitors come here during April, July, August and December. Beach loving tourists advise to sleep as close to the surf as you can and to select your property based on the amenities and price. All the beaches are easily accessible.
Zihuatanejo has a devoted private boat owning fan base. Together with Ixtapa this area is the third most popular tourist location in the country. The climate is warm and slightly moist with the rainy season from June to September.
U. S. Nationals a local U. S. Consul catering to their needs and demands. If you need ATM locations they are available in Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa and the local airport. ATMs dispense pesos and tend to run out on the weekends and on holidays. Travellers checks can be easy to cash. If you choose the credit or debit card route, inform your card provider of your trip to prevent any restraints on use. A local money exchange house is also available; but, you should compare with banks to see who provides the better exchange rate.
Transportation to Zihuatanejo
The local airport is a thirty minute drive away. It may even have direct flights from limited US locations. Otherwise, travel via Mexico City. From there you can come via bus, coach or rental car.
The town and its neighborhood
The walkway on the waterfront is a major hub of activity in Zihuatanejo with restaurants and stores along its length. The Culture house hosts musical concerts, some cultural performances and some art shows. The downtown is another hub full of stores and other commercial venues. Local crafts are showcased in the market that has more than two hundred stores. Check out the restaurant in the restored oldest building in.
Moving away from the town center along the bay, the next beach is called Playa La Ropa after the fabric a sinking merchant ship washed up in this beach. This beach is considered the best for swimming. The beach contains a small estuary which is home to several crocodiles well-fed by local restaurants. During the winter, many sailboats are moored here. Just behind the beach, the land rises up into cliffs. On the hills are hotels, large private residences and guest houses. Playa Las Gatas is on the opposite side of the bay from the town. A water taxi from the main pier of Zihuatanejo can take you out to Playa Las Gatas more opportunities to eat and shop. Las Gatas was originally named for a small cat shark that used to inhabit these waters.It is located at the mouth of the bay. Las Gatas is the most popular snorkeling beach of the area, perhaps because of the coral reef in the vicinity. Snorkeling equipment can be rented.
To the south of Zihuatanejo Bay, there are a number of beaches and a lagoon on the way to the regional airport. They face the ocean, have heavy undertows and are not recommended for swimming. Behind the beaches are coconut groves, huts and mango trees. Recommended activities instead include horseback riding, whale watching from December to February and dolphin watching throughout the year. The beach has restaurants on the waterfront. Impromptu volleyball and soccer may be played in front of many of the restaurants. On the southern end of these beaches a lagoon. The lagoon has a large mangrove estuary filled with birds. Bird watching and kayaking are popular here.
An ecological park on the foothills of the Sierra Madre is a short distance from town. It has over four hundred plant species. You might be surprised to known an archeological site is also close by. Incubation of sea turtle eggs is supported by a program that collects and protects the turtle eggs. Baby turtles are released to the ocean at the end of the year.
Festivals and other Events
The Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival takes place in March. The town hosts an annual festival called the Annual Sail Fest which is a major charity fundraising event. It lasts five-days and takes place in February. The event includes sailing boat races, cocktail parties, concerts, auctions, chili cook offs and street fairs. In February 2001, the Sport Fishing Magazine rated the Zihuatanejo area second best in the world for sailfishing. Annually, on the first weekend of May, Zihuatanejo hosts the International Sailfish Tournament. Aside from the tourism economy, fishing continues to be a way of life for a large number of local residents. The increasing popularity of the area as a sportfishing destination has given new support to their livelihood. You have to come here to appreciate distinctive charms of the Zihuatanejo Resort.