See allThe 10 Best Places to Go in Mexico

by , SmarterTravel Staff - February 21, 2010
Zihuatanejo: Sailboat in the sunset

Zihuatanejo

Referred to as the perfect escape in the movie, Shawshank Redemption, Zihuatanejo lives up to its Hollywood fame. The small fishing village sits about 15 minutes from the lively city of Ixtapa, making it the perfect place to unwind yet still be near all the action. Our readers love the dual options of the two cities, as well as the laid-back atmosphere of the bay.

Reader Dianne W said, "... my favorite by far is the Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo area. Ixtapa is the newer resort area and Zihuatanejo is the older 'real Mexico' town. There are wide, fine sand, beautiful beaches. The weather and water are always warm. The people are friendly. It has a real small-town atmosphere and it is safe to walk around the entire area, even at night. There are many nice beachfront inexpensive hotels and condos to choose from and you can go out to eat/drink without spending a lot of money. Shopping always results in finding very inexpensive and unique items. There are also great picturesque calm beaches for swimming and other beaches perfect for bodyboarding. Las Gatas and Ixtapa Island have great snorkeling and great little palapa restaurants. The deep sea fishing is also excellent. There is a paved and well-maintained walking/biking trail that goes through a beautiful tropical jungle. The sunsets over the Pacific Ocean in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo are some of the most beautiful in the world. I have been on the Picante' sunset cruise a few times and it is always a blast. There are many other fun activities in the area, such as horseback riding and ATV tours and tours of coconut plantations and small mountain towns."

Reader letsgonow said, "Zihuatenajo is a charming fishing village with great restaurants and old-world charm. Stay in Ixtapa where hotels and resorts abound and grab a taxi to sleepy Zihuatanejo! The sailfishing is decent, too!"

(Photo: iStockphoto/YinYang)

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