This article is from the June 1998 The Mexico File
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Leigh Roths Commentary on Zihuatanejo
After a week in Zihuatanejo you will be convinced you have arrived in one of the world's finest places to kick back. This is a town where the verb descansar (to rest) is revered. A friend calls me. "What are you doing?" she asks. "I am resting on a cloud of laziness," I tell her. "Que rico (How delicious)," she says. "Don't let me disturb you."
This profound soporific effect is created by the environment. Your eyes will see one of three things: a beach or harbor view, the dense green foliage of the mountains which are Zihuatanejo's other boundaries, or some typical imagery of Mexican pueblo life. Zihuatanejo, except the ubiquitous craft and clothes shops, is still unspoiled.
The town was settled by a few families, and everyone knows everyone's business in Z. Therefore it is not hard to find whatever you might need. Accommodations are limited to clean but humble economy hotels, four small luxury hotels, and private housing, mostly condos.
Visit the beautiful places:
La Ropa Beach:
La Casa Que Canta: Preview by video "When a Man Loves a Woman." Wear resort clothes (long pants) and enter at 6:00 p.m. to have a drink at the bar and weep at the unbelievable architecture (Enriques Zozaya and Muller, both lads in their thirties) and view. Bring your attitude the staff are very pretentious. Check the menu and see if you want a dinner reservation. $380-600, no kids
Down the hill is Villa De La Roca, a beautiful bed and breakfast with superb views from the cliff. Martha, the daughter, makes excellent dinners by reservation, call 755-44793. $197peak rate.
The Villa del Sol Hotel is the aesthetic centerpiece of La Ropa Beach, but to spend the day under their palapas is $20 per person, entrance only. $2700 per week at peak season, no kids. Buy a drink at their bar instead and keep moving south to Gitano's, Rossy's (the food had deterioated at Rossy's) or La Gaviota, unless you want to watch sports television at La Perla (I don't admire their food or their mistreatment of parrots). Gitano's is the in hangout for locals, or go upstairs at Rossy's for sunsets and live music. La Gaviota is my favorite for fresh fish (don't arrive before two or the fish won't be there yet).
At sunset, preferably, near the Sotovento Hotel you will have noticed a Greek Temple up on the hill. Called the Temple to Corruption, this palazzo was built by the infamously corrupt Mexico City Chief of Police Durazno's adored ex-prosititute who became his second wife.
Across the Bay, north, is Puerto Mio, a must for long lunch. A caprichio (caprice) built by a 'junior' (son of magnate) Hector Rebaca, once a leading race car driver to entertain his girlfriends, is colored in all soft pastels and opens onto a tiny private bay with rocky beach which produces the sexiest of noises. Lay on overstuffed cushions by the pool drinking the especialidad de la casa, a frozen turquoise item made of cane liquor with a slightly psychedelic effect.
Have drinks for the awesome view, but the meals are expensive, at ex-president Echevveria's ex-home, Villa del La Selva, past the Westin. Afterwards walk further and see La Canoa, the entrance of which is now their house. Also near there is El Farol, which has wonderful views and spinach crepes. At the marina, try Beccofino's and tell the Italian owner Rolly I sent you. The Italian food is good and you can see rich Mexicanas lifestyle very European. Cruise the shops (the crafts are best at Mic-Mac and next to Las Magaritas en Centro Commerical). Also check out the furniture in Zozya's Casa de la Playa. Los Mandiles (Spanish, International) is a good restaurant, and you can also try Da Buffone (Italian) or El Infierno y la Gloria (continental and Mexican).
Restaurants in Zihuatanejo:
For dinner, Ziwok (veggie, Asian) can be found on Calle Juan Alvarez, as well as Sirena Gorda (next door, oceanside). Pauls (which has moved to the main drag across from Lopez Impressores) is a good choice, as well as Los Braseros for tacos al pastor, and you can try the old fashioned La Bocana. My newest favorite (oysters, chateaubriand) has long been there Taboga near the town square ("la Cancha") on the Paseo de Pescador one block north.
For breakfast, The Deli and Nueva Zealandia are the best hangouts. Along the Paseo de Pescador (beachwalk), Arcadia and Villamar, close to the museum, are cheap and good. For other dining, cheap tacos al pastor can be found at La Fogata after 8:00 p.m., and big heavy eats are at the Sanka Grill. Find excellent hamburgers and potatoes at Rubens, at Playa Madera. For takeout service call 755-44617 from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., and please say hello to Chela and Ruben for me. Around the corner is pretty
Casa Viejo, a new venture by a gringo who made his fortune on a Milton Bradley game. Pizza "with pepperoni," which turns out to be a type of delicious salami, is the best in Z, and it is delivered too, from Kon Tiki: 755-42471. The best ice cream comes from Bing on Ejido near the artesanias market.
For women only: treat yourself to a GREAT facial and/or massage for under twenty dollars, one to two hours long, by excellent practitioners, at the aerobics studio, Centro de Reduccion Corporal. Call Diana at 755-43180 or go by from 9-11 or 5-6 (Monday through Friday) and chance a drop-in.
Scuba diving: marine biolgist Juan Barnard and crew, whose shop, Zihua Scuba Center, is in the town center across from Banamex; this is a NAUI pro facility and is very professional, 755-42147. You can make queries by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Next door is a frozen yogurt stand with yogurt better than ours.
Fishing: go down to the wharf to the unions and make your own deal. Two names: John Hanline, 34 foot diesel, 755- 30967; Leo Guiterrez Sanchez who has the Boat Poseidon, 755-42056.
MD: Rogelio Grayeb, English speaking, know all and makes home visits too. On a cellular
phone dial 9075570452.
Hospital and clinic: 755-42497
Taxi: 755-42816 will come pick you up if you can explain your location
US Embassy: 9152110042
Local Tourist office (near City Hall near la cancha) 755- 42001 or 755- 43453