Zihua trip report

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Escrito por allison desde (altapix.atlahq.org) el día viernes, 22 de junio, 2007 a las 13:45:01 horas :

Just back from a week-long vacation in Zihuatanejo--my husband, Jeff, and I had a great time. Thanks to many of you for your suggestions! Below is some of the stuff that stands out in my mind, both positive and negative (the latter not to complain, but to point out things that ended up being different from what I'd expected, in case it might be useful to other newbies).

We stayed at Brisas del Mar, on Playa Madera, and liked the hotel a lot--we had a nice oceanview balcony and much-needed AC in the room. The rooms were cleaned really well every day, except that they kept forgetting to give us new soap, so we kept running out!

We liked that Zihua has different beaches to choose from along the bay, and although we were on Playa Madera, we liked Playa La Ropa better, so if we went back, we'd probably stay there instead. Although Madera's locat1on is closer to the town, so we could easily walk back and forth. The walk from town to Playa La Ropa is a giant hill. Playa Municipal was tiny and right next to all the fishing boats so I wasn't inclined to swim there.

I was not prepared for how hot it would be. I knew it would be hot, but the sun was so intense that both of us got badly sunburned while staying in the shade and covered in sunscreen (and I am half Filipino, so I have relatively dark skin and don't burn easily). My husband's feet got so burned that they blistered and he couldn't really walk much for a day or two! We thought we'd be OK staying under umbrellas and palapas, but they apparently don't block enough of the sun! I think I'd rather go back at another time of year, but this time June was our only option.

The surrounding hills weren't as green and lush as I'd imagined. I had been interested in hiking around, but I guess the climate is more arid, and it would not have been the pretty, green walk that I imagined. That's not Zihua's fault, but it was something that was different from how I expected it to be.

Because of the sunburn problems (I broke out in a horrible sun rash), we missed some of the things we really wanted to do, like go snorkeling at Isla Ixtapa. We did make it over to Ixtapa for lunch one day, and it was pretty much like I expected. I thought the beach itself (water and sand) was a little nicer than the ones in Zihua, but it's surrounded by high-rise hotels, which sort of made me feel like I was just in Florida, not in Mexico. On the drive from Zihua to Ixtapa, we saw more well-tended, pretty plants and trees along the roads, which looked kind of like San Diego to me, and then once we got to all the hotels, it looked like Florida. Another thing we didn't like: We thought there would be more restaurants along the beach that we could go to, but all of them were connected to hotels, and one we tried to go to doesn't let non-guests in. It sort of looked like that might be the case along the whole beach, but we found one that let us in for lunch. We spent a nice afternoon there but headed back to Zihua and were glad we decided to stay there.

We like walking to restaurants and shops, which we could do in Zihua, and we had better restaurant options there. It was also a good thing, and interesting, to have locals (or at least Mexican tourists) around, rather than feeling like we were in a separate area for Americans. We liked strolling through the town and shopping at the artisan market. We didn't have enough cash on hand when we were at the market--we should have planned that better!

I LOVED all the fresh salsas, pico de gallo, and spicy sauces. Even if I wasn't that excited about my meal, there would be a delicious salsa that would make up for anything that wasn't great. And the fish, predictably, was amazing! Specific restaurants:
-La Sirena Gorda: blackened red snapper that's probably the best either of us has ever had. Ceviche was also amazing. And I loved their salsas.
-Casa Elvira: good but not amazing.
-Paty's Marimar on La Ropa: Excellent garlic red snapper and fish fajitas, and great setting in the sand.
-Tamales Any: Jeff really liked his enchiladas, but I didn't like my quesadillas. They were weird and deep-fried when I thought they'd be pan-fried. Salsas were good but not as good as other places.
Margaritas for breakfast: I had a good omelette, but Jeff had some other egg thing that looked gross and that he didn't like.
-Paccolo: Not Mexican, but pizza that was surprisingly delicious! (and we're picky about pizza) They used lots of fresh basil.
-De Donde Eres: Also not Mexican, but really good. I had a yummy sesame noodle stir fry, Jeff had mussel linguine--he loved the pasta and sauce but said mussels themselves weren't that great. The woman who runs it is so likable and welcoming. While we were there, they blew a fuse so the power went out--but it got fixed quickly enough--it just added to the entertainment. It's a tiny restaurant that we walked right by and didn't notice when it was closed.
-We ate at our hotel restaurant, Bistro del Mar, several times, and it was really hit-or-miss. I think we were happy with all breakfast choices. Ceviche was a huge disappointment (tasted like ketchup) and pizza wasn't very good. But avocado soup, shrimp tacos, and this basil dip they give you for the bread were delicious.

We thought more restaurants would take credit cards, but most didn't. So we needed to go to the ATM more than we expected.

Overall, it was a great trip! Zihua is very pretty, and I especially loved the food and the handmade local crafts.

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