First though we spent four days in Ixtapa which was a town created by Mexico tourism in the 1970s specifically for tourists. As a result there is little true Mexican character and just a bunch of large hotels. What I didn't know before we went is that the waves in Ixtapa are extremely high as in 3-5 feet most of the year and due to that nearly impossible to swim in that area, even though there are some really nice beaches. We still managed to enjoy ourselves but our trip really got enjoyable when we switched hotels to our beachside hotel in Zihuatanejo which is a true fishing village with known history back to the 1400s. The bay is also protected so the public beaches are nice and safe for swimming.
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are in the Mexican State of Guerrero. The American government has issued a do not travel advisory to this area due to it being ran by Mexican drug cartels. The Canadian government however has issued a similar advisory but excluding both Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo which are very safe to travel to. At no time did we ever feel unsafe on this trip - I often feel more unsafe in the USA than I ever do in Mexico. One thing we did note though was that the military has taken over policing in this area due to the previous police force being influenced by the cartels.
|Crashing waves in Ixtapa|
|View from Las Brisas Ixtapa|
|Beachside in Ixtapa, enjoying some Tecate Beers|
|Enjoying some chips and salsa|
|View in Zihuatanejo from our hotel Aura Del Mar|
|A true Mexican meal in Zihuatanejo - chicken tacos|
|Tiny 3 legged gecko the size of a quarter (other leg will grow back,not sure how he lost it)|
|Small religous shrine|
|Zihuatanejo street - the decorations say Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas)|
|Amazing view from our balcony in Zihuatanejo Aura Del Mar|
|Carola the parrot and her turtle friend down below - Aura Del Mar Hotel|
|Watching basketball at the beachside municipal basketball courts (we did this a couple times)|
|Sunset in Zihuatanejo|
|Catch of the day - Fisherman laying out their fish for sale|
|Fisherman's area of Zihuatanejo|
|Playa Linda crocodile sanctuary|
|Where you catch the panga (boat) at Playa Linda to go to Ixtapa Island in the distance|
|Large fish everywhere - two feet offshore!|
|Smiling as I am surrounded by fish, a natural aquarium|
Two years ago hubby bought me an underwater Canon camera which all the pictures at Ixtapa Island were taken including the video. I hope it loads for you - you can see how cool it was to be sitting in the water with the fish around you.
We played, ate, drank, sunned, swam and then did it all over again. We love Mexico and the people there. It was an absolutely lovely trip - one of our most relaxing ones ever. So much so that I've already looked into going back to Zihuatanejo - maybe next year........our new Happy Place.