Around 240km along the coast from Acapulco, ZIHUATANEJO (“zee-watt-a-NEH-ho”) for all its growth in recent years, has retained something of the look and feel of the traditional fishing village it once was. In stark contrast to neighbour Ixtapa, what building there has been is small-scale, low-key and low-rise, and the town looks over an attractive bay, ringed by broad, sandy beaches excellent for swimming and snorkelling. This said, it is definitely a resort: taxi drivers are forever advertising for customers, trinket and tacky T-shirt shops are abundant and as likely as not there’ll be a cruise ship moored out in the bay. Despite the proliferation of luxury hotels, though, there are at least a fair number of small, reasonably priced places to stay as well as some inexpensive restaurants. For some, Zihuatanejo is the ideal compromise – quiet by night, yet with the more commercial excitements of Ixtapa nearby.
Continue reading to find out more about...
The Virgin of the tree
The car park at Playa La Ropa might seem an unlikely place for a miracle, but according to locals, on November 27, 2006 an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe – Mexico’s patron saint and most revered apparition of Mary – suddenly appeared carved into the trunk of a plum tree right here. The image was quickly deemed a miracle, and though officially unsanctioned by the Church, it is now a mini-pilgrimage site, with candles, offerings and bright flowers enveloping the tree.
Barra de Potosí
For absolute peace and quiet, the best thing you can do is to take a day-trip out of Zihuatanejo to Barra de Potosí, a tiny community situated at the southern end of the expansive, postcard-perfect, golden sandy beaches of Playa Larga and Playa Blanca, which curve steeply round the bay and keep going as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of enramadas (beach restaurants) here that sell delicious seafood for half the price of the restaurants in town, and boat trips into the Laguna de Potosí, a large mangrove estuary teeming with birdlife.