Zihuatanejo, Mexico | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
0
No votes yet

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihuatanejo or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Politically the city belongs to the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the western part of Guerrero, but both are commonly referred to as Zihuatanejo. It is on the Pacific Coast, about 240 km (150 miles) northwest of Acapulco, and belongs to a section of the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. This town has been developed as a tourist attraction along with the modern tourist resort of Ixtapa, 5 km (3.1 mi) away. However, Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional town feel. The town is located on a well-protected bay which is popular with private boat owners during the winter months.

There are two possible origins for the name Zihuatanejo. One origin might be from the Purépecha language meaning “water of the yellow mountain;”... Read more

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Destination:
Zihuatanejo or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Politically the city belongs to the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the western part of Guerrero, but both are commonly referred to as Zihuatanejo. It is on the Pacific Coast, about 240 km (150 miles) northwest of Acapulco, and belongs to a section of the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. This town has been developed as a tourist attraction along with the modern tourist resort of Ixtapa, 5 km (3.1 mi) away. However, Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional town feel. The town is located on a well-protected bay which is popular with private boat owners during the winter months.

There are two possible origins for the name Zihuatanejo. One origin might be from the Purépecha language meaning “water of the yellow mountain;” another possible origin might be from Nahuatl (Cihuatlán) meaning "place of women. Cihuatlán, or "place of women," refers to the western paradise of the Nahuatl universe, the home of the “goddess women.” According to tradition, these women arose in the afternoon to lead the sun at dusk to the realm of the dead, Mictlan, to give a dim light to the dead. "De Azueta" is in honor of José Azueta, who died fighting a U.S. incursion into the country in Veracruz in 1914.

Zihuatanejo spent most of its history until recently as a sleepy fishing village. The federal government's decision to develop the nearby resort in the 1970s has had major implications for both the city and municipality of Zihuatanejo. The area is now the third most-visited area in Mexico, after Cancún and Puerto Vallarta, and the most popular for sports fishermen. Zihuatanejo's population jumped from 6,887 to 37,328 by the early 1990s. Recently, a new highway called the "Maxipista Siglo XXI" was built to connect Zihuatanejo with Morelia, cutting the travel time from Mexico City to about six hours.

The bay and its beaches

The town of Zihuatanejo's main attraction is its bay, which is well-protected from the open ocean. It is a favorite place to moor boats from small private ones to large yachts during the winter months. The bay’s width varies from between 950 to 1,750 meters (1,040 to 1,910 yards) in width and averages 18 meters (59 feet) deep. It is mostly surrounded by beaches, most of which have gentle waves. On land, the bay is surrounded by the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains. Development of this area has caused some environmental problems. The town’s five water treatment plants can no longer keep up with demand, with some untreated wastewater and sediment flowing into the bay. There has also been some wholesale destruction of the hills right on the bay to create development space, and there is concern about damage to the local coral reef. Some development projects, such as a dock for cruise ships and Punta del Mar (a complex of hotels, villas, pools and a marina) have been delayed due to the need for environmental impact studies.

The ring of beaches of Zihuatanejo Bay begins with the Municipal Beach which is in front of the town center and next to the port. From there, there is a cement and sand walkway that leads to Playa Madera (Wood Beach). It is a 2-kilometer (1.2 mi) stretch of light-colored sand between the municipal beach and Playa La Ropa. The waves here are gentle with the occasional wave. This beach contains a number of bay-view restaurants, bungalows, condominiums, and hotels, as well as a walkway that extends the length of the beach. Part of the beach is covered in pebbles.

Moving away from the town center along the bay, the next beach is called Playa La Ropa (Clothes Beach). The name Playa La Ropa (Clothes Beach) refers to the sinking of a merchant ship near the bay during colonial times. Its cargo of fine silks, belts, cloaks, and fabrics from Bombay washed up on this beach. This beach is about 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long and considered the best for swimming as there is little wave action. During the winter months, many sailboats moor here. Just behind the beach, the land rises suddenly into cliffs, which are dotted with hotels, large residences, and guesthouses.

The beach contains a very small fenced estuary which is home to several crocodiles. They have lived here for years and are well-fed by the local restaurants, although they are still wild creatures.

In a parking lot at the end of La Ropa Beach, one of the parking spaces has become a place of reverence for the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to local reports, an image of the virgin appeared on the bole of a plum tree on 27 November 2006. This is considered by many to be a miracle, especially as it occurred shortly before the Virgin's feast day of 12 December. The tree has a base constructed around it with stairs allowing visitors to see the image more easily. There are places to deposit candles and offerings and flowers have been planted around the tree. On 12 December, a mass and candlelit vigil are held here.

Playa Las Gatas (Cats Beach) is on the opposite side of the bay from town, is accessible only by boat as there are no paved roads that lead to here and a small, poorly defined, rocky footpath leading from Playa La Ropa. Las Gatas was originally named for a small cat shark that used to inhabit these waters. It is located at the entrance to the bay at a place called Punta del Rey (King’s Point). This leaves the area open to ocean breezes. Wave action is stronger, but not as strong as those beaches that face the open ocean as there are a coral reef and a man-made stone barrier in front of it. According to legend, Purépecha chief Calzontzin had a stone barrier built here to keep the waves down and the sea creatures out, creating a kind of swimming pool. Las Gatas is the most popular snorkeling beach in Zihuatanejo. Gear can be rented at Carlo Scuba, along with PADI instruction and certification. Colorful tropical fish can be seen along the man-made breakwater, as well as the abundant coral and sea urchins. At the far end of the beach, surfing is possible and a path leads to the lighthouse on the point of the bay.

Source:
Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Port Information


Your cruise liner will drop the anchor in Zihuatanejo Bay, and passengers are transported to the shore by tenders (in Zihua).
Ixtapa is about 3 miles away; you can take a taxi, a bus or go on an excursion.

Get around Zihuatanejo, Mexico


Most of the transportation is done on foot. There are plenty of taxis. At the muelle, dockside, there are lanchas, open boats, to various points along the coast, most notably the Playa Las Gatas across the bay. Getting to the flashy sister resort of Ixtapa can be done easily by bus.

What to see in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


Zihuatanejo is a self-grown little resort on the Bahía Zihuatanejo. The feel of the place is very relaxed and Mexican, and it is very unlike its sister resort of Ixtapa, a planned resort to attract the gringo dollar. Expect to find backpackers and other individual travelers along with Mexican holidaymakers. The latter are also among the more relaxed, as the Mexico City jet-set fresas, of course, intermingle with the estadounidenses in

Ixtapa

.
The main attraction of Zihuatanejo is the sheltered Bahía Zihuatanejo with safe swimming. Several lovely beaches surround the bay, including the Playa La Ropa ("Beach of the clothes") and the Playa Las Gatas ("Beach of the she-cats"), the first named after a shipwreck including Chinese silk, the latter named after little, harmless sharks called "she-cats" because of their whiskers.
Playa Las Gatas, across the bay from town, is reached by lanchas, open boats. You buy the tickets at the ticket counter, and queue up at the pier. This is usually a quick affair. The beach itself has white sands and plenty of palapas (thatched umbrellas). You sit down under one for free, as long as you order your drinks and your lunch from the owner of the palapa. Snorkeling is recommended from the snorkel shop located just off of the boat dock. A very nice artificial reef was created in precolumbian times.
The small community amphitheater and basketball courts provide great evening weekend events. Located along the pier near the fish market local families will attend Friday night basketball games (summer timeframe) and Sunday celebrations to watch folkloric dancing on the stage.

What to do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


  • Stay on a beach. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, various water sports.
  • Isla Ixtapa - Catch a boat to the island (which is totally separate from the Ixtapa tourist trap), which has just a few combo restaurant/snorkeling rental businesses. The snorkeling is good and the seafood (served to you on the beach) has probably only been out of the water for a couple of hours by the time you eat it. Very beautiful scenery all around.

What to eat and drink in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


Eat

  • Porto de Mare, La Madera: A fine dining restaurant with a great atmosphere. It is located across from the small fish market and provides incredibly fresh fish with superb service. The open patio flows into the nice décor of the restaurant. The selection is broad with most dishes moderately priced. The food is well presented and very good. Open for dinner only.
  • Fonda Doña Licha, Calle Cocos #8 (southeast of the Mercado Municipal). 8 am-6 pm. The best restaurant in Zihua, according to one who lived there for a year and tried just about everything. Homestyle regional dishes, including the traditional pozole on Thursdays and "rica pancita" (tripe) on Sundays. Serves breakfast and lunch only. Good-sized portions, and cheap (40-120 pesos)! cheap.

Drink

La Bocana, Playa la Ropa. Beautiful setting on the main road to Playa la Ropa, amazing food and good prices.

Shopping in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


A true Mexican tourist resort (i.e. a lot of vacationers from Mexico City), there are loads of things to buy in Zihuatanejo. In addition to swimwear and other beach accessories, you can buy a lot of Mexican handicraft. There is, of course, anything from cheap junk to high-quality artworks.
Visit the shops and market close to the Playa Municipal, fanning outward from the pier. There is an excellent textile shop right along the water.
  • Adventure Divers (Adventure Divers Scuba Diving), Calle Adelitas #68 (along the main road from La Ropa beach to downtown Zihuat), 7555579787, 9 am-8 pm. Adventure Divers is a PADI affiliated scuba dive shop that runs daily scuba and snorkel trips to the nearby reefs and rock-bottom sites where there is plenty of tropical fish to swim with.  

Safety in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


The nationwide emergency number is 911.

Try to avoid public transport - a taxi requested for your restaurant, for example, would be much safer. 

As in any city, do not wave cash or credit cards around. Use them discreetly and put them away as quickly as possible.

If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law in Mexico, the punishments are a lot more severe than in many other countries.

Beggars are not usually a threat, but you will find lots in urban areas. Avoid being surrounded by them as some can pickpocket your goods. Giving away two pesos quickly can get you out of such troubles (but may also attract other beggars). Most poor and homeless Mexicans prefer to sell trinkets, gum, sing or provide some meager service than beg outright.

Advice for the beach

  • Jellyfish stings: vinegar or mustard on the skin, take some to the beach with you.
  • Stingray stings: water as hot as you can bear - the heat deactivates the poison.
  • Sunburns: Bring sunscreen if going to beaches because you might not find it available in some areas.
  • Riptides: Very dangerous, particularly during and after storms

Language spoken in Zihuatanejo, Mexico


Spanish is the national language. English is widely spoken in tourist places.

LOCAL TIME

9:36 am
October 22, 2019
America/Mexico_City

CURRENT WEATHER

28.32 °C / 82.976 °F
light rain
Wed

28.9 °C/84 °F
light rain
Thu

28.87 °C/84 °F
moderate rain
Fri

28.51 °C/83 °F
moderate rain
Sat

27.64 °C/82 °F
heavy intensity rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

MXN

1 USD = 0 MXN
1 EUR = 0 MXN
1 GBP = 0 MXN
1 AUD = 0 MXN
1 CAD = 0 MXN

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Isla Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Mexico
Average: 9.9 (11 votes)

Isla Ixtapa (Spanish pronunciation: 'izla iks'tapa) is a small island near Zihuatanejo (Ixtapa) in the Mexican state of Guerrero. It is known...
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ||| GNU Free Documentation License La Soledad de Maciel, Ixtapa, Mexico
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

La Soledad de Maciel is a Mesoamerican archeological site located on the Costa Grande of the Mexican state of Guerrero, near Zihuatanejo. While...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Public domain Troncones, Ixtapa, Mexico
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

Troncones is a relatively undeveloped, uncrowded beach village located about 20 miles (32 km) north west of Zihuatanejo on the coast of the state of...
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ||| Public domain Sierra Madre del Sur, Ixtapa, Mexico
No votes yet

The Sierra Madre del Sur is a mountain range in southern Mexico, extending 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) from southern Michoacán east through...
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html ||| GNU Free Documentation License Costa Grande of Guerrero, Ixtapa, Mexico
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

Costa Grande of Guerrero is a sociopolitical region located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, along the Pacific Coast. It makes up 325 km (202...