15 Best Things to Do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, in 2023

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There are lots of issues to do in Zihuatanejo, resembling lounging on the seaside, swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, together with exploring the tiny however charming city of the identical title.

It’s a superb factor that Zihuatanejo often doesn’t seem on the shortlist of well-known Mexican seashores. This low-key fishing village on the Pacific coast doesn’t get almost as a lot consideration as Cancun, Acapulco, or Puerto Vallarta, giving it a extra relaxed and off-the-beaten-track vibe.

15 Finest Issues to Do in Zihuatanejo

Not solely are there attractive seashores and plenty of different issues to see in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, but in addition fantastic meals, pleasant individuals, and good weather year-round. This is without doubt one of the top places to see in all of Mexico!

On aircraft tickets and tour brochures, Zihuatanejo is commonly paired with neighboring Ixtapa, referred to as Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. A visit to 1 doesn’t robotically imply that you simply’ll be seeing each.

The 2 are roughly 10 kilometers from one another and a bit of totally different: Ixtapa is extra fashionable and unfold out, with tall lodges and massive resorts, and its seashores are on the open ocean, in contrast to sheltered Zihuatanejo Bay.

I’ve visited Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo many occasions over time, often to scuba dive, and I used to be at all times shocked by the good issues I discovered — each above and under the water.

You’ll be able to take advantage of a visit to Mexican paradise by testing this listing of the 15 greatest issues to do in Zihuatanejo.

1. Dangle Out at Playa la Ropa

Sea and sand at Playa la Ropa, Zihuatanejo

Massive and shielded from the massive waves of the Pacific Ocean, Zihuatanejo Bay incorporates a number of seashores, together with Playa Principal (actually, the Foremost Seashore) proper subsequent to the city and secluded Playa Las Gatas on the opposite facet of the bay.

Between these two is the most important and nicest, Playa la Ropa (Clothes Seashore the place this title comes from, I’m unsure). There’s good swimming and snorkeling, particularly close to the big rock on the far northeastern finish.

It’s additionally a unbelievable place for watching the sundown. Chances are you’ll find yourself sharing the view with a tranquil flock of pelicans floating on the water after their lengthy day of diving into the ocean for fish.

Playa la Ropa is a 30-minute stroll from the village, so if hanging out on the seaside comes first in your listing of issues to do in Zihuatanejo, think about getting a lodge there.

2. Wander Round Downtown

Mountain views from Zihuatanejo Bay. Getting on the water is one of the best things to do in Zihuatanejo.

Apart from tourism, the first exercise within the village of Zihuatanejo is fishing.

The east finish of Playa Principal is jammed with fishing boats pulled onto the sand. Earlier than sundown, anglers return with contemporary fish to promote to eating places or to anybody proper there on the seaside.

Playa Principal has stunning surroundings, however sadly, the water could be fairly murky. You could find higher swimming elsewhere, like at Playa la Ropa.

As an alternative, exploring the city is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Zihuatanejo if you don’t really feel like swimming or laying within the sand.

The core vacationer space occupies two or three blocks straight behind the seaside. There are slender pedestrian streets, busy eating places, quirky cafes, and rowdy bars. Search for the stage close to the seaside, which regularly has performances and reside music, particularly throughout Mexican holidays.

You could find some good eating places blended in with the touristy ones within the downtown core. Attempt to discover a crowded spot that has extra Mexican vacationers and locals than worldwide vacationers to get the tastiest and most consultant meals.

After darkish, the bars get noisy and the streets get crowded, making it a wonderful space to search for issues to do in Zihuatanejo after darkish.

If you happen to’d desire some peace within the late hours as a substitute, search for a lodge exterior this central space. When you cross Benito Juarez Road to the east of downtown, issues get rather a lot calmer and extra authentically native.

The municipal market is situated on Benito Juarez avenue simply north of the vacationer space. Go there to browse for souvenirs, purchase contemporary fruit and greens, and eat an affordable lunch of genuine Mexican food within the tiny eating places there.

3. Stroll Down the Paseo del Pescador

View from Paseo del Pescador, Zihuatanejo

Between Playa Principal and Playa Madera is a protracted concrete path constructed into the rocks and cliffs referred to as the Paseo del Pescador — the Fisherman’s Path.

This stroll offers nice views of Zihuatanejo Bay and passes cozy artisanal outlets, seafood eating places with thatched roofs, and swanky worldwide eateries with intensive menus and trendy decor.

A stroll down this path is undoubtedly probably the greatest issues to do in Zihuatanejo, particularly at sundown. After darkish, you’ll have views of the lights on either side of the bay. However in any respect hours, this stroll is without doubt one of the compulsory Zihuatanejo actions.

4. See the Shows on the Costa Grande Archaeological Museum

On the Paseo del Pescador is the Costa Grande Archeological Museum, probably the most attention-grabbing locations to go to in Zihuatanejo if you’ve had sufficient of the seaside.

The museum incorporates six exhibition halls with artwork and artifacts present in close by archeological websites from the Olmeca, Teotihuacan, Mexica, and Tarasca cultures.

The museum is open from 10:00 AM to six:00 PM each day besides Monday.

Tackle: Paseo del Pescador 1, Centro, 40890, Zihuatanejo, Gro., Mexico

5. Catch a Boat to Playa Las Gatas

Catch a boat to Playa Las Gatas

Though Playa la Ropa is the largest, many individuals desire Playa Las Gatas (the Seashore of the Cats.) It’s in a tiny cove close to the tip of Zihuatanejo Bay, and though it will get crowded, it’s extra secluded than the opposite seashores close by.

Playa las Gatas additionally has a number of the greatest snorkeling within the space. Apart from coral and different sea life like starfish and infinite sea urchins, there’s additionally a four-meter bronze statue of Jesus Christ erected underneath the water.

Attending to Playa las Gatas is half the enjoyable. It’s doable to stroll all the best way from Playa la Ropa, and it’s a fairly stroll too, on twisting paths that go over and under the rocky bluffs alongside the ocean.

The quicker and extra scenic method, nevertheless, is to take a ship from city.

From sunup to sunset, boats go away the docks situated on the far east finish of Playa Principal. When you’re there, you possibly can lease snorkel gear and eat at a number of first rate eating places alongside the seaside.

Or, you possibly can organize a tour from Zihuatanejo. Some tours include snorkeling and kayaking, whereas others combine with other places to see in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa.

6. Scuba Dive at Los Morros de Potosi

Scuba diving in Mexico

A number of the best diving on the Mexican Pacific coast is situated at a rocky cluster of barren islands referred to as Los Morros de Potosi, which is situated about an hour south of Zihuatanejo by boat.

The shallow waters surrounding the islands of Morros de Potosi are stuffed with coral reefs, colleges of fish, sea turtles, and different aquatic life like octopuses.

If you happen to’re fortunate, chances are you’ll even see a whale on the boat journey there.

This occurred to me as soon as when two humpback whales cruised previous the dive boat, making it the primary time on a scuba diving journey that essentially the most attention-grabbing creatures I noticed have been above the floor of the water as a substitute of under it.

There are different nice dive websites round Zihuatanejo, with some within the small coves situated simply exterior the bay and others on the many small islands offshore from Ixtapa.

Zihuatanejo has a number of dive outlets, all with comparable costs. I went with Dive Zihuatanejo and extremely suggest them.

7. Break Out the Binoculars for Some Whale Watching

Humpback whale in Zihuatanejo

Yearly from late December to late March, round 20,000 humpback whales migrate by means of the realm. Throughout that point, a whale watching journey is without doubt one of the most fun issues to do in Zihuatanejo on the water.

Apart from humpbacks, you’ll have a superb probability of seeing minke whales, beaked whales, a number of species of dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and plenty of birds.

Bilingual whale watching journeys are sometimes guided by a marine biologist. They maintain observe of the whales passing by means of, providing you with a superb probability of seeing them. You can too be a part of a whale watching tour with Dive Zihuatanejo.

8. Devour Scrumptious Mexican Fashion Recent Seafood

Seafood in Zihuatanejo

Mexican food is rightly thought-about one of many world’s finest cuisines, and consuming seafood is crucial if you go to a seaside city and fishing village like Zihuatanejo.

Excellent seafood eating places abound, and discovering them is without doubt one of the prime issues to do in Zihuatanejo. Usually, fancier locations have ocean views, touristy locations are a block or two from the seaside, and native hangouts with essentially the most scrumptious meals are simply exterior the downtown core.

One in every of these is Mariscos El Tiburón de la Costa, which you could find in entrance of a visitors circle after strolling a number of blocks east from the tip of Playa Principal. Their intensive menu has all types of contemporary seafood, some land-based choices, and tropical drinks like piña coladas and margaritas.

9. Expertise a Loopy Potato

Papa loca in Zihuatanejo

Loopy potatoes are an anomaly of Mexican meals that aren’t well-known exterior of northern Mexico. Though Zihuatanejo isn’t precisely north, it’s north sufficient for a lot of native eating places to have them on the menu.

A big baked potato is full of no matter you need: totally different sorts of meat, seafood, or greens, after which it’s smothered with cheese, salsa, and bitter cream. Mainly, no matter may very well be put in a taco will get put within the potato.

There’s a transparent winner for the primary loopy potato on the town: Papa Loca Zihua.

It’s exterior of the downtown core and is unquestionably a favourite of locals. And in case you’re not within the temper for a potato, Papa Loca serves glorious tacos and different Mexican specialties as effectively.

10. Loosen up All Day at Playa El Palmar in Ixtapa

The beautiful Playa El Palmar in Ixtapa

In case your concept of a seaside trip is an all-inclusive lodge with swimming swimming pools and a number of buffets, then the Playa Palmar (Palm Seashore) space of Ixtapa is unquestionably for you.

In contrast to Zihuatanejo, which is a functioning fishing village, Ixtapa is absolutely dedicated to tourism. Positioned in Ixtapa’s essential zone, Palmar Seashore is broad and on the open ocean, that means nonstop waves and good bodyboarding.

Eating places, bars, and small outlets are clustered behind the row of lodges on the seaside.

Centro Mercado is without doubt one of the prime locations in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo for buying, particularly at evening, when the shops and slender walkways between them are lit up in colourful lights.

There are even excursions out there that take you to the outlets and handicraft markets of Ixtapa. And for meals, you possibly can’t go incorrect with some nachos and large glasses of beer at Señor Frog’s, or pizza and cocktails at Frank’s Bar and Grill.

Ixtapa continues to the north of Palmar Seashore, the place there are extra seashores, like Playa Quieta and Playa Linda. These zones are much less developed than Playa Palmar, however in addition they have many eating places, lodges, and vacationer locations.

11. Journey a Bicycle By the Rainforest

Ocean views from the Ixtapa Bicycle Path

The Ixtapa Bicycle Path begins within the Vaso de Miraflores neighborhood on the far northern fringe of Zihuatanejo, passes by means of the Playa Palmar space in Ixtapa, and continues over the mountains to Playa Linda.

Alongside the best way, it passes the Parque Aztlán ecological reserve, the place you possibly can see caimans, parrots, and curious teams of coati, an unique tree mammal from Mexico and Central America.

Using this path and exploring the park is unquestionably probably the greatest issues to do in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo to take pleasure in nature. To lease a motorbike, you possibly can search for a motorbike store close to the trail or ebook a non-public tour like this one.

12. Take within the Views from the Mirador Playa Linda

The view from the Mirador Playa Linda, one of the prettiest attractions in Zihuatanejo

At kilometer 5 on the bicycle path, a smaller path branches off that results in a viewpoint excessive within the mountains above Playa Linda.

Biking down the path takes you thru the luxurious vegetation of the native rainforest, and it’s simply one of many prettiest sights in Zihuatanejo.

The highest of the picket platform offers panoramic views of the forest under and the lengthy twisting shoreline past. There’s little doubt that this viewpoint is without doubt one of the most stunning locations to go to in Zihuatanejo.

That is a kind of actions in Zihuatanejo that you simply’ll have to be in fine condition to take pleasure in as a result of it’s a steep experience as much as the perspective. Don’t overlook to carry a number of water, sunscreen and a hat.

13. Gawk at Crocodiles within the Playa Linda Cocodrilario

Crocodile in the Playa Linda crocodile reserve

On a small peninsula on to the south of Playa Linda is the cocodrilario (crocodile reserve).

Dozens of the large beasts float within the water or lounge within the mud whereas huge turtles, iguanas, and birds go amongst them. It’s a small website, however there’s no price to enter.

Close by is a market with native handicrafts and some eating places. Playa Linda is attractive too, and strolling down it after testing the crocodiles is a kind of issues to do in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo if you’d like a bit of extra privateness.

14. Go {Golfing} at Ixtapa

Golfing at Ixtapa

If you happen to’re questioning what to do in Zihuatanejo whereas carrying humorous checkered pants, then Ixtapa has two golf programs: the Palma Real Golf Club and the Ixtapa Marina Golf Membership.

Each have 18 holes and good surroundings, with ocean views and tall palm timber. In addition they comprise a number of native wildlife like birds, iguanas, and crocodiles, so assume twice earlier than reaching into the water to really feel round for a misplaced ball.

Costs differ based on season. If you happen to come at a busy time, it’s best to most likely reserve a tee time beforehand, however in case you go to in off-season, you could possibly simply present up if you need to play.

15. Discover the Xihuacan Archeological Web site

Explore the Xihuacan Archeological Site

If you happen to loved the shows on the Costa Grande Archaeological Museum, then for certain you’ll need to try the not too long ago excavated ceremonial middle of Xihuacan.

It’s probably the most attention-grabbing issues to see in Zihuatanejo, and definitely essentially the most historic.

Xihuacan, also referred to as the Soledad de Maciel Archeological Zone, will not be as large or well-known as Mayan sites like Chichen Itza in southern Mexico or Teotihuacan close to Mexico Metropolis, however it’s a powerful space however.

Constructions embody a mud-brick stepped pyramid and an historic ball courtroom. The small onsite museum homes quite a few artifacts and offers additional explanations concerning the historical past of the realm.

It’s a bit of far and complex to get there from Zihuatanejo by yourself, so a superb choice is to take a small group tour like this one, which takes about 4 hours and consists of lunch.

The Xihuacan Archeological Web site is open from 10 AM to five PM and is closed on Mondays.

FAQs About Issues to Do in Zihuatanejo

Nonetheless questioning what to do in Zihuatanejo? Try these solutions to some continuously requested questions.

What’s Zihuatanejo recognized for?

Zihuatanejo is named an enthralling and pleasant fishing village and seaside city. It’s thought-about a extra laid-back various to Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta. It’s additionally well-known for being the ultimate vacation spot of Andy Dufresne within the film The Shawshank Redemption.

What’s the distinction between Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo?

Zihuatanejo is a small fishing village that’s now principally dedicated to tourism. It’s situated on Zihuatanejo Bay, so its seashores have calm, flat water. The seashores at Ixtapa are on the open ocean and comprise principally bigger lodges and resorts. Ixtapa is absolutely devoted to tourism.

What’s the greatest time to go to Zihuatanejo?

The perfect time to go to Zihuatanejo is within the cooler months from November to April. Nevertheless, it’s a good suggestion to keep away from excessive vacationer season in Mexico throughout that point, which is from Christmas to New Yr’s and Semana Santa, the week earlier than Easter.

Are you able to swim in Zihuatanejo?

Sure, the seashores are good for swimming in Zihuatanejo. Most seashores are in Zihuatanejo Bay, so that they’re sheltered from the massive waves and rip tides of the Pacific Ocean. As a result of it’s proper subsequent to city, the primary seaside (Playa Principal) generally is a little murky, so that you’re higher off heading to Playa la Ropa or Playa las Gatas.

Is it secure to journey to Zihuatanejo?

Zihuatanejo is generally safe, though take primary precautions, particularly at evening. The state the place it’s situated, Guerrero, has many harmful areas, however Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa have prevented a lot of the state’s issues.

Now You Know What to Do in Zihuatanejo

As you possibly can see, there are lots of extra issues to do in Zihuatanejo than go to the seaside. Enjoyable actions in Zihuatanejo embody snorkeling, scuba diving, whale watching, kayaking, {golfing}, mountain biking, and even crocodile gazing.

The charming and fairly fishing village is without doubt one of the prime sights in Zihuatanejo. Good eating places, pleasant individuals, and an especially laid-back vibe make it an ideal base for exploring the realm and a worthwhile vacation spot in its personal proper.

Every time I went to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, I had a very totally different expertise. Whether or not it was after chilling on the seaside, devouring large plates of coconut shrimp, or evening diving amongst neon blue bioluminescence, I at all times left questioning about after I might return for extra.

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