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Nestled on the Pacific coast in the state of Guerrero, a little north of Acapulco in Mexico, this is a relatively quiet town with 100,000 inhabitants.

Discreet hotels are perched on the hills or built in the bay by the sea.


A long walkway, the Paseo del Pescador (The Fishermen promenade), is lined with shops and restaurants and runs along the main beach for half a kilometer. It is where fishermen offer their daily catch, repair their boats and nets, or simply relax between two outings, sharing a game of cards or taking a nap in a hammock.

La Madera beach has beautiful sand sculptures and is where small craft shops offer jewelry, bags and embroidery, competing with the quaint market where dozens of shops of all kinds are lined up a few streets away.

A marina is where boats and crocodiles bask in the sun.

Picturesque streets have art galleries, some even offering outdoor painting classes, fashion boutiques, small bars and restaurants that are always happy to offer you a coffee, a beer or even a meal!

A great treat for the taste buds 

More and more often in Mexico, wherever you go, cooks and chefs take pride in offering varied cuisine that has been rejuvenated and lighter than what we were served several years ago. Also, there are no fast food signs in sight in Zihuantanejo!

Since in Zihuantanejo we are located on the seafront, the fish is used in many different ways. Tiritas de pescado, a typical dish from Zihuantanejo – a raw fish fillet cut into fine strips, cooked with lemon juice, red onions, pepper, chili and accompanied by Totopos (tortilla chips) - is particularly delicious when accompanied by a local beer or Pepino (cucumber juice, mint, lime, sugar - to which mescal can be added if desired). In this part of the country, mescal, produced locally, is often preferred to tequila. Its smoky taste is highly appreciated.

Shrimp and lobster are also often on the menu. We were served a remarkable lobster bisque at the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico resort.

And how about an evening meal on the beach of La Ropa in the ruins of an ancient theater, lit by candlelight, with an unobstructed view of the bay? The young chef, Felipe, from Angustina restaurant, has concocted a menu that combines local flavors with lighter, more refreshing cooking combinations using lobster, pork, fish, shrimp and ... grillos (grasshoppers)... unforgettable!

A small pancake, which is very light and so beautifully presented, is served at breakfast at the Casa que Canta.

Next door: Ixtapa

Great hotels, resorts, nightclubs and luxurious restaurants compete along the seafront, interspersed with perfectly manicured golf courses and tennis courts in Ixtapa.

You can choose to go across town by taking the well-designed cycling path that crisscrosses welcome shady areas, or you can always refresh yourself by taking a dip in the ocean, which is never far away.

Hotels such as the Barcelo, the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico and the Las Brisas, whose particularly successful architecture evokes a modern pyramid, all offer floral environments and gardens amidst swimming pools and beaches.

You can also choose to take a jaunt in a boat to Isla Ixtapa - a 10-minute crossing - to find calmer waters that allow you to kayak, use a pedalo or an inflatable banana. Snorkeling is also done in the clear waters, where you can observe the fish with a mask and snorkel only a few steps away from the beach. Or, you can just watch the dozens of floating tubas while enjoying a Margarita or a snack under small thatched roofs.

On the way back, make a stop at the Crocodilario, where the huge crocodiles and their friends, the turtles, can be observed closely but safely from up high, which is not the case at the Zihuantanejo marina!

For a long stay

This is a part of Mexico where you can very easily choose to stay for one or several months to escape winter. The temperature was close to 30 degrees when we were there in March and in January and February, the thermometer stays around a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius with seawaters at 30 degrees.

In Zihuatanejo, we stayed at Villa Mexicana. With 64 rooms decorated in a sober Mexican style surrounded by gardens of cacti and flowering plants, this hotel is located directly on the beautiful beach of La Ropa in the bay. The beach owes its name to a legend that holds that a Spanish galleon was wrecked there and clothes and silks brought back from the East scattered on the beach.

We ate well (try the Tiratas de pescado); the beach is beautiful and the lounge chairs provide a bit of shade for compulsive readers or romantics who are always in search of spectacular sunsets.

Nearby, for the romantics with a well-stocked wallet, we recommend a stay, or even simply a meal, at the Casa que Canta. It is a small and charming boutique hotel with unprecedented luxury with 25 suites filled with refined furnishings and works of art.

In the pool, which seems to fall directly into the sea below, just imagine Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia! They swam in the same pool in the famous film "When a Man Loves a Woman".


This is a word that one will often see and hear about in Zihuantanejo. A word that means friends, because in fact it is a city where one will feel comfortable, almost at home, surrounded by friendly and warm people.

Whether you choose Zihuantanejo for its calm and more traditional and intimate hotels or Ixtapa for its all-inclusive resorts, this destination has it all for a successful stay! And we will definitely come back.

Christiane Théberge

Our stay was made at the invitation of the Mexico Tourism Board. 



Fishermen near the Paseo del Pescador

La Ropa beach

Small church in Zihuantanejo

Outdoor art school  

Villa Mexicana

Pancake serving at La Casa que Canta

Pool and sea at the Barcelo, Ixtapa

Hotel Las Brisas, Ixtapa





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