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Zihuatanejo is located on the Mexican Riviera, about 240 kilometres northwest of Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero. The old fishing town is quite small and has great weather all year around. If you plan on coming here, keep in mind that a short rainy season goes on from June until September. Ixtapa is a tourist destination located only five kilometres north of Zihuatanejo, which was the original settlement. The two cities are often referred to together, as "Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo". Ixtapa was a government planned destination and has been a major tourist resort area since the 1970’s, when both Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa became popular getaways for the rich and famous. Zihuatanejo still keeps a calm feel to it, while Ixtapa is more like a miniature Acapulco. Pick one of the two, or combine them for the perfect holiday.
Both Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa are great destinations for entertainment and relaxation. Enjoy the vibe at relaxing Zihuatanejo or party it up in Ixtapa. Wherever you go along the Mexican Riviera, you will find an endless array of beautiful beaches, water activities and world-class dining.
One of the main attractions in Zihuatanejo is the large bay, most of which is surrounded by beautiful beaches, all located on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Because of the bay protecting the beaches from the stormy ocean, the waves here are mostly gentle, making the whole area great for swimming and other beachside activities. If you are lucky you might come across one or two turtles on the beach, as many hotels sponsor the turtle conservation campaign.
When dining in Zihuatanejo, the beautiful views over the bay are often included. You can enjoy some great traditional Mexican food and numerous seafood dishes, or try some of the local specialties like Huachinango (red snapper) with tomato or garlic sauce. Zihuatanejo is also surrounded by several mango farms, making them a staple at most tables.
In this old fishermen’s village, the waterfront is filled with cafés and bars. Here you can sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the waves roll in. You will definitely not have difficulties finding a place for lunch or a drink on the inviting seaside promenade.
Zihuatanejo is not your typical party destination. Instead you will find tranquil bars, classy lounges and romantic hang-outs here. The nightlife lasts until midnight, so if you do not want your evening to end you should head to Ixtapa, which is full of bars and clubs where the party keeps going until morning. Do not forget to try the national drink Mezcal, a strong drink related to tequila.
Both in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa there is a wide selection of shops, including clothing boutiques, beachware shops and great places to find souvenirs, particularly in downtown Zihuatanejo. There are also numerous galleries that showcase the best of Mexican art and traditional crafts, as well as fine jewelry in gold and silver.
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