19 Jun Zihuatenejo: Mexico’s Beaches
The city of Zihuatenejo, lovingly called Zihua by its residents, is overshadowed by the opulence of Ixtapa. And if Disneyland is what you’re looking for then Ixtapa is your joint. Every square inch is covered in fancy condos where well-dressed people lick gold flake popsicles and wave their hands at waiters from cushioned beach chairs. Ixtapa was created by the Mexican tourism board, as was Cancun, to bring in the dough …and that it does. Zihuatenejo has a very different feel though.
Zihua is my kind of paradise. Still primarily a fishing village, it’s grown quite a bit since Tim Robbins declared that’s where he dreamed of going in Shawshank Redemption. But even still much of the beaches have retained an almost village like feel to them.
I stayed in Playa la Ropa (the clothes beach) and for such a strange name I never got a clear answer as to why. The only thing the locals seem to agree on is that a boat sank near the beach and a large quantity of clothes washed up. My favorite of the stories is that the clothes were all fine Chinese silks.
Playa la Ropa is considered one of the (if not the) most beautiful beaches in Zihua. I had the pleasure of sharing a house that was once rented by the rolling stones with some dear friends. A five minute walk to the beach landed us, piña colada in hand on a nearly deserted beach, eating camarones a la diabla and licking the spicy sauce off our fingers. Zihua, with its abundance of flowers and sweaty heat is just my speed.
Flights into Ixtapa are your closest. Buses, such as Primera Plus, come from most other cities in Mexico. From SMA, it’s about a 10 hour bus ride or a 6 hour drive, utilizing the toll road, MX37D, which passes through Uruapan and Lazaro Cardenas.