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Ixtapa Zihuatanejo travel guide

There are a thousand words to describe something beautiful, there are many ways to express oneself, but nothing is more delightful than experiences, to feel and enjoy them for oneself.

Zihuatanejo is a unique town in Mexico which has evolved in time from a quiet fishing village to an enchanting vacation destination. Zihuatanejo’s gorgeous bay, one of the most admired in the world and host to an extraordinary sunset, as well as its tranquil and warm beaches have inspired national and international artists, some of whom are regular visitors, and others residents who find flavor, warmth and romanticism in each of Zihua’s little corners.

Zihuatanejo possesses one outstanding particularity, it radiates the warmth and simplicity of its people, who, day in and day out offer their visitors services and products. Many of the best restaurants in the destination are located in Zihuatanejo, local gastronomy is one of the most delightful discoveries one can enjoy; from the most sophisticated of restaurants to the most traditional but no less delicious beach-side eatery.

Visiting Paseo del Pescador and experimenting the daily comings and goings of the fishermen, walking through its stone-paved streets, browsing in the small shops and boutiques along it which offer a wide variety of crafts, silver ornaments and beachwear; stopping at one of those little cafés or bars from which the rhythms of salsa and trova emerge; these are only some of the experiences that one must not miss. Some art galleries exhibit works by local and international artists; to visit them and admire their exhibits is just another one of the many Zihua “musts” you can’t possibly miss.

A great diversity of hotels can be found in Zihuatanejo, from the most exclusive and highly recognized worldwide Small Luxury Hotel resting on the bay, to the charming little hotels or bungalows in which the warmth and excellent service of their owners is never absent. Zihuatanejo is a truly Mexican-Pacific town where romanticism, glamour, simplicity and intensity come together. For many, it is a place to rest and relax, to forget and let go, to be inspired and to inspire.

Ixtapa harbors first class hotels along El Palmar Beach. For many, it represents tranquility and sophistication. It has two magnificent golf courses: Palma Real Golf Course and Marina Ixtapa Golf Course, both designed by golf professionals Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Robert von Hagge respectively. Both courses host national as well as international golf tournaments. To play golf next to the sea while admiring the incredible flora and fauna of the region will make you feel like no other place on Earth.

Night life in Ixtapa is the perfect way to bring the day to a close. A handful of bars and discos are open until the early hours of the morning, or, if you prefer, you can enjoy a wonderful evening out at the Marina where the nautical scenery gives the perfect touch. It is so easy to walk through Ixtapa, everything is at walking distance, the major boutiques, the arts and crafts market and most restaurants are located to one side of Paseo Ixtapa which is the main avenue and is hard to miss. The dolphinarium, is located almost at the end of this avenue, where you can swim with the dolphins and learn more about these interesting mammals.

The recently remodeled bicycle path was left impeccable and is great for skating, cycling or simply jogging; its intense and colorful vegetation give it freshness and the great diversity of species that inhabit its trees and El Popoyote estuary also known as Playa Linda, make it a great place to learn about the natural wonders of the region. For those who enjoy birdwatching, this is paradise, since not only in this area, but throughout the coastal area of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, more than 320 species have been recorded including migratory species and resident species, this represents at least one third of all species recorded in Mexico.

The flora and fauna are framed by the majestic Southern Sierra Madre mountain range, giving the place a touch of magic not found anywhere else in the world. In these mountains, there are many adventures to be had. Diverse activities and ecotourism have been widely developed recently: rappel, zip-line rides, rafting and hiking are possible at two exciting adventure parks. If you prefer, a ride through the orchards, mountains or beaches on a four-wheeler is also possible to make your visit more intense.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has been recognized by one of the most renowned fishing magazines as one of the most preferred fishing destinations not only in Mexico but in the world. The great diversity and abundance of species, the climate, the water temperature, the size of the fish, the distance at which they are found, the nautical services, air connections and hotel availability are only a few points in its favor. The sea has been noble not only with fishing but also with scuba diving. A recent study by the University of the Sea (Universidad del Mar) of the State of Oaxaca has determined that the coral reefs with more density and abundance and those in the best condition in the American Pacific, are those in front of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. We do not have the visibility that the Caribbean does, but we do produce more plankton, and thus, have more diverse and abundant marine flora and fauna.

Of course, Surfing is a must for some people and there are several great spots for this sport in Ixtapa as well as in Zihuatanejo and in near-by towns. The surf here has thrills to please the very demanding pro as well as the amateur.

No doubt Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a destination with identity, with a past and with memory, where there is always something new to be discovered, where smells and tastes transport one, where a soft, warm breeze makes every walk an absolute delight, where the smiles of the people make you come back. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo cannot be compared to any other place in the world, it maintains its quiet peace notwithstanding its growth, its inhabitants refuse to see it grow, to get lost among others; but no doubt, there are no two places like Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, only Two Destinations in One, a Destination Twice as Pleasing.

Source: Conventions and Visitors Bureau of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (OCVIZ)

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