If you are looking for a vacation in Mexico that is more laid back than other beach resort towns like Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, you’ll love Zihuatanejo.
It is one of Mexico’s less visited and lesser-known beach resort towns, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot to offer. For example, there are a few great beaches in Zihuatanejo, as well as a number of day trips.
Thompson Zihuatanejo is a refined luxury beach resort situated along Playa La Ropa, Mexico’s premier swimming beach on the Pacific coast. Unwind to tranquil waves and roam a lush jungle landscape punctuated by cool waterfalls.
Inside, the 56 airy suites – framed by rustling palms and coconut trees – carry Thompson’s signature mid-century aesthetic, featuring Parota woods, brass details and Oaxacan clay light fixtures. Many of the rooms and suites also offer private infinity plunge pools.
The culinary program is led by Chef Miguel Baltazar, a national finalist in the annual “Chef of the Year” competition who draws inspiration from indigenous fire cooking traditions for his menus at Ceniza (fire-roasted) and Hao (translating to ocean wave in the Nahuatl language). A lively day-to-night restaurant and beach club, HAO offers an all-day menu with sunset views.
If you are looking for a resort with a great pool and beach, then Embarc(r) Zihuatanejo is worth a look. It is situated right by La Ropa beach and offers a roundtrip airport shuttle.
Guests can stay in one of the 73 air-conditioned guestrooms that feature kitchenettes, a refrigerator and microwave. Rooms also offer coffee/tea makers and a private balcony.
The hotel is smoke free and features a restaurant. Additional amenities include a business center and conference/meeting room(s).
Zihuatanejo is a cobblestoned, charming city with many restaurants and stores that sell handicrafts. You can find artisanal mezcal and coffee, high-quality jewelry, rugs and more–all woven by hand.
Qualton Club Ixtapa
The Qualton Club Ixtapa is an all inclusive, beachfront hotel in a prime location for tourists and locals alike. The hotel is home to 2 impressive pools and 4 bars. It also has a plethora of amenities for the traveler in tow including a swanky spa, gym and pool bar. The hotel’s biggest draw is its size and the staff, which is a mix of English, Spanish, and Mexican nationals with a good smattering of US tourists and Canadians. The resort is also a short drive from the city’s best and brightest as well as the airport.
The Qualton Club Ixtapa has a hefty price tag to boot but the high tea is worth the splurge and the staff is on a par with the best in town.
Xihuacan Museum and Archaeological Site
Xihuacan Museum and Archaeological Site is one of Mexico’s most unique archaeological sites. This 3,000-year-old site does not belong to one tribe, as many ancient ruins in Mexico do. It was a ceremonial center for the Cuitlatecas, Tarascans, Mixtecas, Aztecs, Olmecs, Zapotecas and Toltecs.
A visit to Xihuacan is the perfect way to see a part of Mexico’s past. Tours of Xihuacan include a stop at the Xihuacan Archaeological Site Museum, which houses an incredible collection of artifacts from this ancient city.
In town, you’ll find plenty of quaint artisanal shops selling handicrafts and artesanias made by local artisans. There are also a few markets here that offer a variety of souvenirs, including an organic market that’s held on Saturday mornings.
You’ll love riding the bike path from the marina to Playa Linda, or exploring the ecological park, Parque Aztlan, where you can spot curious groups of coati, parrots and caimans. This is easily one of the best things to do in Zihuatanejo for nature-lovers.