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ZIHUATANEJO


GUERRERO, MEXICO

Author's note:
All material on this website is covered by copyrite, `01/02, `01/03, & `04/02.
Copy, in whole, or in part, without express permission of the author is illegal.

(Panorama of Zihu. Bay.)
BAHIA DE ZIHUATANEJO
(Panorama of Zihu. Bay.)

(Pic. of Hotel 3 Marias.)
HOTELS:
POSADAS:
INNS:

Staying there.
(graphic image of airport and beach. )
POSTCARD:

Photo-essay contest.
(Pic of Playa las Gatas.)
SNORKELING AND
SCUBA DIVING:

Zihuatanejo
(Pic. of child with machete.)
STRANGE:

A cyclone in March.
(Pic. of Alexi.)
ZIHUATANEJO:

Businesses,
Friends, & Streets.
(Pic. of statue of mermaid.)
DAMAS NEGRO:

Les Sirenas
(graphic image of airport and beach. )
ZIHUATANEJO:

Impulse to travel.

(Las Gatas Bay.) `LAS GATAS',
KNOWN AS
`THE ISLAND'
BY THE
LOCALS
(Las Gatas Bay Beach.)

END

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    ZIHUATANEJO
    * Impulse to go there. *


    by
    LEE A. WOOD

    I have always had the impulse to travel. As a youngster in Edmonton we once jumped in the car at two in the morning and went to Calgary for coffee, and I don't like coffee.

    I don't think I have ever had the impulse as strong as I have it right now. Until last November I had never travelled long distance nor had I seen Mexico. Sure, I had seen border crossing towns but that isn't Mexico. Not really.

    The real Mexico is much further South where there is less crime, more sunshine, more water, and lower prices.

    As I write this I listen to the sound of my space heater, I tug at the sweat shirt that covers my T-shirt, and I look out the window at the ice on the roof of my van.

    I know that if I were to wait a few hours until the offices open I could book a flight for this afternoon or tomorrow. A flight that would follow the coast line South for about twenty-five hundred miles and would run me, about, one thousand dollars.

    If I were to take a less direct flight, through Texas, or some other state, I could probably fly for three or four hundred dollars less.

    In under ten hours I could be in the sun, on the sand, and in the crystal blue waters. Water that is so salty it is hard to dive. Water that is warmer than the air outside my apartment. Heck, warmer than the air inside my apartment. I don't have to wear a T-shirt to snorkel or even scuba dive (above 10 M.) in Zihuatanejo.

    (Pic.of Sunset over Ixtapa.)

    From the highway above Ixtapa, the sun sets beyond Ixtapa Bay.

    (Pic. of sunset over Ixtapa.)
    Sunset over Ixtapa
    Photo taken `04 while returning from Parque Ecologico Lavainilla (an ecological park), high in the mountain East of Ixtapa

    I look in the website and I see articles about Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa and the beautiful villas and think I can't afford that, but I know, having just returned from there, that I need not book ahead and I can find much cheaper accommodations by simply walking off the plane, taking a taxi into town, and walking the streets until I find a cheap room.

    Hint number one. If you are on a tight budget don't book ahead.

    Hint number two. Don't follow the crowd when you walk off the plane. As you clear customs the passengers surge to the right, into the arms of the taxi hustlers. The fare is eighteen dollars, US, for a ten minute ride into town. Instead, once you have cleared inspection, before you get to the taxi hustlers, turn to the left, walk the length of the building, and exit through the entrance. Walk past the taxis unloading, walk along the driveway into the airport, it's just a short walk, until you are off the airport property. Here you will find taxis and small busses returning to town, empty, and you can get a ride for much less. How much will depend on your bartering skills, and your command of the Spanish language.

    Through the arrivals gate there is no bartering of price nor is there within town. The flat rate for tourists, only two pesos higher than the price for locals, is fifteen pesos, from anywhere to anywhere, within downtown.

    (Pic.of airport.)

    Alaska Airlines unloading at Zihuatanejo airport.

    From anywhere to anywhere it is cheaper to walk, if you don't mind getting lost. But lost is fun. If you walk in circles long enough you will find where you are going. The downtown core, at its widest is ten blocks. Any of the local travel agents will give you a small map of downtown for free. If you still get lost don't be surprised. At the end of two weeks I was still getting lost downtown.

    (Pic.of Neighbourhood pub.)

    Jose Gallo, a cab driver, on his day off, relaxes at his friend's bar.

    Don't have Mexican money? Take your bank card with you. Some businesses will accept Canadian money but there are lots of banks, and some stores, with ATM machines. There is an ATM machine in the airport and you can try it but chances are, if you are not the first one off the plane, or the first plane of the day, it is probably empty.

    Many businesses post their exchange rate in Canadian and American, but they prefer you to use pesos. The ATMs will run you three dollars but this is cheaper and less hassle than using travellers cheques. Few business will cash travellers cheques and some banks will only do it during certain times of the day. The exchange rate, using an ATM, is whatever the exchange rate is with your bank back home at the time of day that you use the machine.

    I found that taking out two thousand pesos at a time was the cheapest and most convenient way to do it. Then I hid most of my money and my card in my room.

    With two hundred pesos in your pocket you can meet all your needs for the day and not have to carry a bulky purse or wallet which is an attraction for a thief.

    In Zihuatanejo there are Policia Touristo which look after tourists, but they can't be everywhere all the time and a friend of mine did have her purse stolen off the outdoor table at a restaurant. The thief was seen and chased but not caught.

    (Pic.of police station.)

    The main office for the Policia Touristo. (Later, demolished , along with the building to the right .

    Like any other town it is not wise to carry bulky targets. You are going for sun and sand, the only thing you need with you is your swim suit.

    (Pic.of Hotel Del Angel.)

    Hotel Villa del Angel.

    Hotels are secure and low cost. We stayed right downtown, at the Villa Del Angel, within a block of the main beach, Playa Principal, for less than one hundred pesos per night each. If the hotel is not busy you can often ask and receive lower rates than what are posted on the wall and if you agree to stay for a week you can get an even lower rate.

    In the low cost hotels don't expect hot water or air conditioning. If you want these luxuries you will have to be a little further from downtown and you will have to pay a bit more. By shopping slightly further from downtown you can also find slightly lower rates but no matter where you stay, if it is important to you, check the room first to make sure it has a seat on the toilet.

    Also, right downtown, though convenient to everything, can be a bit noisy as there is a night club `Tequila Town' that is open, and quite loud, until three AM.

    While walking about, carry a small bottle of water with you. The air is very dry and warm. A 500 Ml bottle will cost you three or four pesos. Once you empty a bottle, save it and refill it from a larger bottle. If the hotel doesn't supply you with water you can buy a one point five L. bottle for eight to ten pesos and at the military PX you can get a three point eight L. jug for nine pesos.

    If you plan to get a kitchenette the cheapest place to buy your supplies is in the PX but I found for the price of a kitchenette and the time it takes to prepare, as compared to the price of food in restaurants and time taken away from getting lost, it was more enjoyable to try the different restaurants.

    There was only one or two restaurants that I went back to more than once. Other than that I ate in a different restaurant every meal, just to try them, and never got to them all. As I was there to learn about Mexico I avoided the Canadian style restaurants and Canadian style foods and concentrated on Enchiladas, Tostados, etc., trying different foods each meal.

    (Pic.of New Zelanda Cafe.)

    New Zelanda Cafe and Bakery.

    I never worried about the cooking as Zihu. is a tourist oriented town and all the foods are fresh and prepared with good water.

    The very most I paid for a meal was forty pesos but a good meal would generally run around twenty-five to thirty while a light snack would cost me five to ten.

    One meal I did enjoy was tortas for breakfast. At the entrance to the pier around seven in the morning when the fisherman are heading out there is a table set up that specializes in tortas to go for the fishermen to take with them. One of those, with your choice of filling, is only five pesos.

    (Pic.of Moses.)

    Captain Moses, salesman for sailfish fishing. Usually found at the foot of the pier wearing a cloth on his head and large sunglasses.

    Of course while you are in the area you must expect to be accosted by salesmen who will offer you the opportunity to go fishing for sailfish. If you are not interested just say, "No, Senor, Gracias".

    If you are interested, a small boat will run you two hundred fifty dollars for seven hours and a larger boat with more conveniences will run you as much as six hundred, Canadian.

    Whisky II. Cpt. Jose Luis, 1st Mate Alberto Reyes, Deck Hand, Jamie Martinez.

    (Pic.of Whisky II.)

    Whisky II cleans up after a successful trip.

    Near the end of the pier, close to the torta table, which disappears when the boats leave, is a small office that sells tickets. Thirty pesos will buy you a round trip to the island. Along the left side of the pier you will find two sets of stairs going down to small landings. You want the one closest to the shore. If there is no boat there, stand at the top of the stairs and wave your ticket. When there are enough people waiting to go a boat will appear.

    Coming back is a different story. The last boat home from Las Gatas will leave at 5 PM. People start leaving the beach about 3:30 to avoid the rush.

    (Pic.of myself in a dive boat.)

    Myself and fellow divers returning from a refresher course.

    Silvio Maciel, Dive master from Carlo Scuba and fellow divers from Seattle, USA.

    Las Gatas is not really an island but it is a nice place to go and snorkel. It is a very popular beach and is only attainable by boat. It is a must see but it is not a great place for swimming. The beach is nice out of the water but, except for a couple of small areas, is mostly rocky in the water.

    Last restaurant at Las Gatas, Amado's Seafood. Indio, the waiter, speaks very good English. There is no charge to use the beach chairs but you are expected to buy your drinks from whichever restaurant owns them

    . (Pic.of Indio.)

    Wensles (Indio) Lao (sitting).

    Las Gatas is one of your locations if you wish to arrange for scuba diving. About the middle of the beach, amongst the seaside restaurants, you will find Carlo's Scuba. If you are not there to dive but just to enjoy the sun, tan topless on the beach in front of Carlo's and let Jean Claude add your bikini top to his collection. He starts a new one every year.

    (Pic.of boats on the beach.)

    Fishing boats beached for the day.

    The fishing boats go out at night and sell their catch during the early morning hours.

    The beach downtown is quite swimmable but by strolling the seawall you can get to whiter sands, Playa Madera, where you will find more swimmers. By back tracking into the streets and climbing a steep hill, be sure to pause along the way and enjoy the view. If the hill doesn't wind you the view will take your breath away for sure. At the bottom of the hill you will find Playa Ropa. Ropa means clothing. At one time a ship sank in the bay and its cargo of clothing washed ashore.

    (Pic.of beach from the hill.)

    (Pic.of basketball court at El Centro.)
    Downtown Zihuatanejo.

    The early morning sun catches basketball enthusiasts using the beach side court at El Centro.

    A newly arrived cruise ship sits in the bay.

    I could go on and on about the beauties of the area and the low prices, in two weeks I spent less than one thousand dollars on meals and motels, but I just checked my bank account and the impulse to return is too strong.

    See you on the beach.

    END

    LATEST CURRENCY VALUES

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    WEATHER ACROSS
    MEXICO

    The WEATHER NETWORK
    (Weather. Com Logo.)
    El Canal MeteorolÊgico

    El Tiempo en MÌxico

    TRAVEL TIPS:
    Bargaining, Cameras, Computers, Taxis, Tipping, Upset Stomach, Water.
    VACATION PACKAGES
    Australia, Caribbean, Cuba, Europe, Hawaii, Mekong River.

    RELATED WEB SITES

    (Link to Ixtap/zihu website.)
    Information about the Zihuataneo area
    (Zihuatanejo net logo.)
    Information about the Zihuataneo area
    (Zihua net logo.)
    Information about the Zihuataneo area

    « To the Top of This PAGE

    (Head shot.)
    LEIGH KIRKWOOD
    Travel Consultant
    CLICK HERE
    For all your; Adventures, Cruises, or Resorts
    « Go back To My MEXICO Page
    « Go back To My TRAVEL Page
    « Go back To My HOME Page
    SITE MAP
    search tips advanced search
    site search by
    free find logo
    Active Search Results
    Page Ranking Technology

    Search Engine

    Send me a comment (and I will add it to my Guest Book), or correction, or just say, "Hi"!
    (Mailbox)
    CONTACT FORM

    Thank you for visiting Lee's `ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO' Page.
    Please come back and visit again!