Walking Zihuatanejo Centro

Zihuatanejo’s downtown core is so easy to walk. It covers hardly more than a dozen or so blocks of town bordered roughly by the Municipal Beach and Cinco de Mayo, Morelos, and Benito Juarez streets, as well as the area around and behind the municipal market.

Around the market there is a concentration of small businesses and outlets offering food, hardware, general household goods, clothing, shoes, and pharmaceuticals. In the maze of smaller streets and passageways behind the market, many of the local sellers offer their locally-grown produce to the public: here you can find piles of squash and shucked white corn, truckloads of watermelon and papayas, and sardine tin-fulls of radishes and peanuts. This is where you’ll see the more unusual, seasonal produce such as fresh hibiscus blossoms for tea, green garbanzo pods (very similar to edamame beans in flavor and texture), and freshly harvested seaweed.

Garbanzo Beans and Tomato

Garbanzo Beans and Tomato

In the central area of downtown, closer to the beach and the town plaza/basketball court, you can find more tourist-oriented shops with souvenirs, silver jewelry, and surfing supplies. Along Fisherman’s Walk (the beach front walkway) and in the tourist crafts market on calle Cinco de Mayo, near the church, you can pick up any variety of handmade and specialty articles such as painted ceramic and wooden trenchers, pewter, handbags, hammocks, baskets, carved and painted wooden and ceramics figurines, lacquerware, talavera pottery, and typical embroidered and woven textiles. For the beverage gourmands, there are several specialty shops that sell organic coffee and vanilla as well as tequilas of all varieties.

Zihuatanejo Arcades

Zihuatanejo Arcades

The downtown core is, of course, where many of the restaurants are concentrated. We’re lucky in Zihuatanejo to have a  variety of food styles offered in addition to the typical, regional cuisine centered on fish and seafood. You can find Italian, Thai and Chinese, Swiss, and Middle Eastern specialties as well as general international dishes and down-home comfort food in many of the downtown restaurants.

During the past few years, much of Zihuatanejo’s downtown center has been seriously revamped. Many of the services have been moved underground, and sidewalks in the core of the city have been converted into covered arcades with attractive columns made of wood, cement, or brick, supporting red-tiled overhangs and providing pedestrians both with sun-shade during the winter season and rain shelter during the rainy season.

Fisherman's Walk

Fisherman’s Walk

Signage has been standardized with hanging wooden signs in front of each business to give Zihuatanejo’s downtown area a coherent look. The downtown area has acquired a somewhat quaint appearance that now invites idle wandering and street strolls where before one often would only take to the sidewalks out of necessity, or walk gingerly for fear of being laid low by a turned ankle from stepping in an unseen hole or tripping over a badly-placed guy-wire.

The renovation process also has included the beautification of other aspects of the city such as updating and renovating parks and other public recreational areas and replacing and refitting public lighting and services. This included the repositioning around Zihuatanejo Centro of the wonderful sculptures of the Women of Guerrero, which display the typical dress and accessories of the women of each of the seven regions of the state of Guerrero.

There’s also a great walk to be savored if you’re looking for a more breezy route than through the downtown streets, and that’s the Madera Beach walkway over the rocks that starts in the area of the archeological museum on Playa Principal (the eastern end of Fisherman’s Walk).

Playa Principal

Playa Principal, Zihuatanejo