Sunday, August 2, 2015

ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: A CHARMING PLACE


                                                      Blogging from Zihautanejo! 


Returning to Zihuatanejo (affectionately called Zihua by the locals) after a ten year absence was like returning home to a familiar, warm, and charming place. Although a decade had passed since our last visit, the town of Zihua (actually a small city with a population of approximately 65,000) remained as enticing and lovely as our memories of previous visits.

The sister cities of Zihuatanejo (see-wah-tah-neh-ho) and it’s “sister” city of Ixtapa could not be more radically different. While Ixtapa has been built as a master planned upscale resort community by the Mexican government tourist agency, Zihuatanejo is the real deal.

Zihuatanejo is a Pacific paradise of beautiful beaches, friendly people, and an easygoing lifestyle. Until the 1970s, Zihua was a sleepy fishing village best known as a hideaway for pirates and hippies. With the construction of the master planned resort of Ixtapa next door, Zihua’s population and tourism industry boomed practically overnight.


The colorful and and lush hillsides overlooking the bay at Zihuatanejo.


Zihuatanejo means "place of the women" in the indigenous language.

In sections of Zihua, luxury hotels are slowing replacing old family guesthouses and small charming inns. But for the most part, Zihua has retained its lovely and historic charm. The narrow cobblestone streets of downtown hide wonderful local restaurants, bars, boutique shops and artisan studios.


    Shop, shop 'til you drop, drop!

Fishermen still meet every morning on the beach on the tree-lined pedestrian malecon, also called Paseo del Pescador or Fisherman’s Walkway, to sell their catch of the day. At night, young lovers and families stroll along this romantic beachfront sidewalk. The town is located on a well-protected beautiful bay which is popular with boat owners of all nationalities.


  Vendors selling their colorful arts and crafts just like old-time Mexico.


Shopping can definitely make a person thirsty and hungry. Why not lunch on the bay?

Instead of a traditional plaza, the center of town is a large basketball court which is in front of the principal beach. This “plaza” is surrounded by benches and trees with a large gazebo and the Casa de La Cultura nearby. Quite a unique “plaza” for Mexico or any other country for that matter!



  Ready for lunch on the sand in Zihau.


The scenic beach side pedestrian walkway along Playa Madera.

Days in Zihua can be spent fishing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, walking, biking, exploring, surfing, sailing, horseback riding, adventure hiking, enjoying a variety of restaurants and dining experiences, or just taking a siesta under a palm tree on any of the countless beaches. Zihuatanejo represents the best of worlds combining its traditional charm along with the convenience of modern amenities.



Fishing is still very important to the economy and tradition of Zihua.

I truly enjoy Zihua because of the “human” scale of the town and the bay. Watching the endless parade of boats and yachts of every kind come and go is endlessly fascinating to me. Walking the beautiful coastline beaches and the charming streets of Centro is also immensely enjoyable. The beauty of Zihuatanejo with it’s lovely bay and hillsides is pure magic. For sure, our next visit to charming Zihua will not be so long in coming!





     The bay at Zihua is very much a dream for boat lovers.

Here are more photographs of what you will find in the charming and lovely town of Zihua:

         Our resident iguana, Pancho, also welcomes you to Zihua!

       
  Life's a beach in Zihua and it was definitely being enjoyed by these sisters.


  Zihau is a boater's paradise with all types, classes, and sizes of watercraft. Here is an oldie, but definitely a goodie!

The seaside malecon, or walkway, is a favorite venue in Zihua for people watching, access to the gorgeous beach of Playa Madera, to the charming downtown area, and for exercise (if you must!)


The siren's call of the mermaid lives on in Zihuatanejo.




Murals of the state's main towns and cities are painted by the students at the Vincente Guerrero elementary school in downtown Zihau.



The downtown covered pedestrian walkways are wonderful and we were very grateful for the shade.


Zihua is also a fisherman's paradise and hosts an annual fishing tournament.

     

Another spectacular sunset over Zihua!  

I remember hearing many years ago that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I am a believer of those inspiring words so I am including the link to my WEB ALBUM which has additional photos for this posting.
MEXICO AND BEYOND: ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO

As always I look forward to hearing from my followers with their questions, comments, and suggestions. Until next time, gracias and safe travels! Laura

                                            Memories are just a click away!