We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

San Francisco
Level Contributor
18 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

First off-- thx to Peddler, TravelJudy, Dorado and all the other TA posters who provided accurate info. making our trip to Zihua most excellent. I hadn't been to Z for 20 years but am glad to see development hasn't ruined a beautiful place. We stayed at Casa Medina (private home) just across from the entrance to La Perla on La Ropa beach. La Ropa was very clean despite being peak-peak season. Nary a rock nor trash, clean ocean water with a perfect temperature in the mid-80's. Good mix of 80% Mexican nationals and 20% Norteamericanos/Europeos.

We had dinner at a real find up the road overlooking La Ropa-- La Escollera. To be honest, the food at dinner was not that great-- but they have a beautiful 50-ft. infinity pool perched on the south end of La Ropa. You can show up at Noon to swim or lounge by the pool and they open for lunch at 1 pm. The lunch food was much better and the service was excellent. Our group spent three afternoons at La Escollera and never saw more than 15 people around the pool. We had the outstanding view of the entire bay all to ourselves! They also have three rooms for rent.

Of course we had to get some food and drink at the very crowded La Perla restaurant out on the sand. And yes, the service was slooooooow (45 minutes to get drinks and then another hour to get guac & chips.) Fortunately we took advantage of the wait by renting waverunners at 350 pesos per half hour. Great fun and worth it to circle the bay and get a sense of the environs.

To avoid the New Year's crowds and get better service we paid 200 pesos for a boat over and back to Las Gatas beach. Restaurante Otilia's Franco and Scott provided us with fast service and an excellent Mexican platter and many drinks over the two afternoons we visited. Decent snorkeling at Las Gatas and near the big rocks at the north end of La Ropa beach near the Tides.

Probably the best value meal we had on La Ropa was dinner at Elvira's. We had delicious Rib Eye and Shrimp Mojo de ajo for 150 pesos ($12) each. Not bad for dining by candlelight on a gorgeous beach! We also ate dinner our first night at Dona Prudencia in the Villa Mexicana hotel. Very nice setting but Elvira's had it beat IMHO.

If you want to go high end-- we had a tremendous New Year's dinner at Casa que Canta. Amazingly beautiful hotel, accommodated by the extremely classy Teresa who enabled our friend's small dog to dine with us on an important night. It wasn't cheap but at 980 pesos ($75) a head, the five-course meal was simply outstanding. Stuffed mushroom cap appetizer was delectable, followed by wonderful crab/spinach ravioli in a garlicy broth to die for. My wife raved about the duck with mango chutney and the other entree choice-- shrimp adobo in creamy risotto. Definitely the best of these dishes she ever tasted. Followed by a diverse cheese tray and guayaba sorbet-- this meal was actually a tremendous bargain when you factor in the location and great service.

We also visited Lety's-- which was at the other end of the spectrum: Funky place on the waterfront across the bridge from downtown's El Mirador complete with plastic furniture and tatooed waitress. Everyone was friendly and Lety (we assumed it was her) recommended the relleno stuffed with seafood. We also had the famous coconut shrimp-- butterflied, filled with a ricotta-like cheese and fried in a heavy coconut batter with coconut milk sauce on the side. Everything was very fresh and what a great deal for six to eat their fill with beer and drinks for a total of $60 bucks. The coconut shrimp are a little heavy for lunch so make sure you can take a siesta and mention to the cab driver that it's across the footbridge from El Mirador because ours had a hard time finding it.

We took a cab to Petatlan (400 pesos RT) because we didn't have a lot of time. If we had more time taking the bus would have been a better experience and much cheaper. Petatlan is a nice, pretty average rural Mexican town with a really good gold market near the church. Many different stalls selling a wide variety of gold and silver jewelry.

Got some excellent cuban cigars at Casa Tequila in downtown Zihua but found the outlet in Ixtapa has a better variety. We also had some tasty wood-fired thin-crust pizza at Emilio's in Ixtapa. The caesar salad was very good but the large-enough-for-two Greek salad was among the best I ever had. We did the Delfiniti dolphin swim in Ixtapa as well. Spendy for about 30 minutes of swim time but it was a great experience to touch and play with these amazing mammals. They quoted us $90 U.S. each over the phone but then charged us a total of 1,800 pesos for two. That works out to a little less than $70/person at the 13/1 exchange rate we got at banks and casa de cambios. You'll find that many people will accept your dollars at only a 10/1 rate so I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get money from an ATM or convert your dollars to pesos at the bank or Casa de cambio before going out on the town.

Saw the crocodiles at Play Linda near Ixtapa (the playa really isn't muy linda) We saw the coatimundis at Villa de la Selva in Ixtapa (good meal but expensive with another killer view).

We also had a great Italian meal, and another outstanding view and excellent service at Il Mare on the north end of La Perla beach. Bandido's downtown= very good table-side salsa made by Nadia, nice big screens to watch the game, but over-priced touristy food for the most part.

Forgive my long windedness, but we loved Zihua and I hope our experiences are as useful to others as the suggestions we received from Trip Advisor prior to our vacation. Que les vayan bienes!

new york
Destination Expert
for Isla Mujeres
Level Contributor
20,351 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Thanks for the wonderful report. It brought our trip back and makes me want to go ASAP :)

Houston
Level Contributor
25 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Forget your "long windedness"! I loved it. Our first trip will be the end of Jan. Great ideas we can use. Thanks so much for the report. Tell me about the money conversions - you mentioned Casa de cambio. What is that?!

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
Level Contributor
11,197 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Thanks for the trip report...sorry I missed you at Lety´s...but glad you loved the food. I just tell everyone to take the cab to the fishing pier...then just walk over...easier...and you get to the right place that way. Got to remember...cabbies don´t eat out at such places...so they do not know them at all...they know hotels and places like Bandido´s and Villas Mexicanna and LaPerla...so glad you found it.

Hope to see you all come back again...and not wait 20 years to do it!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
18 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Moose-- a "casa de cambio" is an exchange house set up specifically to change money. Your best exchange rate usually will be from an ATM (minus the fee) or by using your credit card. The second best is to go inside any of the major Mex banks and exchange your dollars (bring your passport). The third best are the casas de cambio which you can ask a local or cab driver to point out. We found several in downtown Zihuatanejo and also in Ixtapa. Remember-- any of these three methods will be better than just getting the 10 to 1 rate offered by most merchants. We usually got at least 12 to 1 from the casas de cambio, 13 to 1 inside the bank and approx. 13.2 to 1 or so from the ATM's. Good luck!

someplace cold
Level Contributor
35 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Panino55, I am curious about this restaurant La Escollera. You mean you can swim in their pool while having lunch? I have never heard of that, but I like it!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
18 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

Yes, it's up on a hillside overlooking La Ropa Beach. La Escollera only has three rooms so I think they are happy for the extra business. As far as we could tell, anyone who shows up can swim and pull up a lounge chair, enjoy the gorgeous pool and then order lunch/drinks after the staff shows up at 1 pm. I'd stick to the simple items for best food: chicken tacos, club sandwich, hamburger, chips, salsa, guac, etc. At dinner when we ventured to more complex items (e.g. grilled tuna, shrimp, etc.) the preparation wasn't as good. However, the service is great and the view can't be beat. Also EXCELLENT margaritas.

7. Re: Zihua Trip Report 12/26- 1/4/09

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 26 September 2009, 01:20