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.

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