Guide to Zihuatanejo, Mexico


We’ve got a secret for you. Ready?  Are you sure, because it will affect every single moment you spend in Zihuatanejo.  Okay, ready…here it is:  Ancient explorers constructed a massive magnet directly under the center of Zihuatanejo.  A magnet?  That’s right.  A magnet whose sole purpose is to slow your heart rate down because that’s what Zihuatanejo is all about…lazy, unspoiled days ambling along the port, making sand castles, gorging on fresh seafood and waddling home to your rustic bed and breakfast.  It’s a truly magical place and while the magnet may be a wee fabrication, once you’ve experienced Zihua, you’ll have a secret of your own. 

Background & History

Zihuatanejo is closely associated with Ixtapa, a mere 5 km away.  While both share a lot of the region’s dense history, the two cities could not be more different.  While Ixtapa is more cosmopolitan, Zihua retains it’s small world charm.  Zihuatanejo, or Zihua as the locals refer to it, spreads out around a beautiful bay framed by downtown to the north and the Sierra foothills to the east. 

Originally, the center of town was simply a very small fishing village surrounded by large haciendas.  However, in the second half of the 16th century, the Spanish shipyards burned and so did the town.  After a modest reconstruction during the Colonial period, the town became a refuge for famous pirates such as Sir Francis Drake, William Dampier and Anzón.  Some curious myths have lingered about Zihua, one story stating that it was a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Cihuatéotl, considered to be the mother of the human race and the goddess of warriors who died in battle. 

Getting to Zihuatanejo

  • By land:  Zihua is 448 km southeast of Mexico City and 268 km from Acapulco.
  • By air  Zihuatanejo International Airport handles national and international air traffic.

Getting around Zihuatanejo

  • Rent a bike or a scooter for getting around.  For more adventurous souls, there are car and jeep rentals.
  • Taxis - always agree on a price beforehand. 
  • Local buses run frequently between 5:30am to 11pm. 

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