Zihuatanejo: Mexico’s Secret

Zihuatanejo: La Ropa Beach

Zihuatanejo: La Ropa Beach

Zihuatanejo is a place where first-time visitors tend quickly to become regulars, where new-comers scheme about how to return—be it next month or next season—to stay longer, or maybe forever. Our tropical, white sanded beaches are lined with coconut palms in whose peaceful shade the unsuspecting visitor can be entrapped and enchanted for life … beware!

Maybe forever…

Zihuatanejo, with its neighboring and complementary touristic community of Ixtapa, is located in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero, Mexico on what is known as the Costa Grande. This “great coast” encompasses the Pacific shoreline from Acapulco northward to the border of the state of Michoacan. The twin vacation destinations form a special part of Mexico, with a largely symbiotic relationship between modern, comfort-rich Ixtapa—with its golf courses, manicured boulevards and deluxe hotels—and Zihuatanejo, a growing but still small town that clings to its fishing roots, with a typical town market, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, protected beaches, early-morning roosters, and a slow-moving pace.

Zihuatanejo Style

Zihuatanejo Style

Beaches of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

The Zihuatanejo area is blessed with a number of fabulous beaches of varying traits. Within Zihuatanejo Bay and in the area around Isla Ixtapa, there are calm stretches of sand and coral ideal for the regular swimmer, snorkeler, and watersports enthusiast. The more open beaches of Ixtapa, Troncones, and Playas Larga and Blanca are somewhat wilder and unprotected, often with a heavy surf in which the swimmer should exercise caution.

Beaches of Zihuatanejo Bay

Playa Municipal and Paseo del Pescador (Fisherman’s Walk): Along the Municipal beach in front of Zihuatanejo town proper, the Paseo del Pescador or Fisherman’s Walk will take you from the regional museum beside the flood control canal over to the pier. Along the tree-lined walkway are many seafood restaurants and cafes, shops, a shell market, and a fish market. Town kids hang out on this beach after school, as do fishermen tending their boats. It is not one of the popular beaches for swimming, but it’s a great place to watch the town go by and feel the breezes coming off the bay.


Zihuatanejo Mexico: Paseo del Pescador

Zihuatanejo: Paseo del Pescador

Playa la Madera (Madera Beach) is located between the municipal beach and the outcroppings between town and La Ropa. The municipality built a walkway leading from Madera beach across the rocky shore of the bay toward town. This special walk affords some spectacular views to both sides of the bay and the boat moorings in front of Playa Municipal. Playa Madera is a favorite for boogie-boarders and, when the waves within the bay are right, some of the younger, local surfers. Several small hotels and vacation rental condo complexes overlook the shore.

Playa La Ropa: Lying within Zihuatanejo Bay, many consider La Ropa Beach Zihuatanejo’s finest. Along the 3/4 mile palm-lined beach lies a series of bungalows, hotels, and seafood restaurants. La Ropa beach offers water and beach sports of all kinds, and plenty of room for stretching out and sunning–or just beach walking–along its length.

Playa Las Gatas: An excellent and extremely protected snorkeling beach near the mouth of Zihuatanejo Bay, Las Gatas Beach is accessible by boat from the Municipal Pier.

Zihuatanejo Mexico Coastline

Zihuatanejo Coastline

Ixtapa Beaches

Playa el Palmar: Ixtapa’s popular beach and hotel row offers swimming, watersports, and many other activities. It’s open ocean here with possible undertows; exercise caution. Surfing is popular in the area near the Marina Ixtapa jetty, known as Las Escolleras.

Playa Linda: Located an approximate 10 minutes drive north of Ixtapa, Playa Linda offers a nature preserve, horseback riding and good surfing.

Ixtapa Island: Ixtapa Island, accessible by boat taxi from the Playa Quieta area of Ixtapa, is a snorkeler’s paradise, with a number of great seafood restaurants, beautiful coral beaches, and winding paths affording a range of views.

Zihuatanejo: Barra de Potosi

Zihuatanejo: Barra de Potosi

 Other beaches outside of town:

Troncones Beach and Manzanillo Bay: The Troncones Beach community is located about one-half hours’ drive to the north of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. Miles of white beach and plenty of water and land activities. There is a popular surfing point at Manzanillo Bay.

Playa La Saladita: A longboarder’s paradise, La Saladita offers long stretches of beach, a growing local community, and one of the best left-point breaks on the coast.

Playa Larga and Playa Blanca: Parts of one continuous beach near the airport with miles of pristine, white-sand and long stretches of solitude. Great for horseback riding and beachcombing. Here you can often see dolphins cavorting in the waves, or during whale season, see whales spouting offshore.

Barra and Laguna de Potosí: At the end of Playa Larga lies Barra de Potosí, lined with numerous palm-thatched enramadas serving fresh seafood, and boat and kayak tours of the Laguna de Potosí—an excellent birdwatching excursion.

Zihuatanejo Mexico: Sunset

Zihuatanejo Mexico: Sunset