Monday, December 20, 2010

Zihuatanejo Annual International Sailfish Tournament

The XXVIII Edition of the Zihuatanejo Annual International Sailfish Tournament will be taking place in 2011 the first week of May in this Pacific coast paradise of Zihuatanejo..

Last year, the organizing committee of this world-class fishing tournament announced more than 200 competitors participated in the event and the proceeds were matched by the municipal government and destined to a community cause or project.

As in years past, vehicles will be the major prizes to be won awarded to the fisherman who traps the biggest sailfish, marlin or mahi-mahi. During this season, sailfish in this area can reach up to 175 pounds.

Zihuatanejo is considered an important fishing port due to its abundance of species, where you can also catch grouper, sierra, barracuda, yellow tail and bonito.

Nowadays, eco-friendly fishing is the practice with sailfish caught and immediately released.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

7 Tourist Attractions in Zihuatanejo

According to, the tourist attractions of Zihua have attracted very many people from all over the World.

Among them here are my seven favorites:

1. Stunning Beaches
Great for swimmers, surfers and for snorkeling in the underwater canyons and coral formations surrounded by crystal clear blue water

2. Water Sports
Sailing, windsurfing, parasailing, water skiing, scuba diving trips, etc.

3. Local Cruises
There are numerous local boat tours and cruises that include "stops at good places for swimming, snorkeling and diving... watch the sun go down and take a picture of the sinking sun from the cruise".

4. Sports Fishing
Zihua is one of the finest places in Mexico for sports fishing

5. Horseback Riding
On the beach and through coconut, papaya and mango plantations

6. Golf and Tennis
Swing your racquet and your club surrounded by the natural beauty of Zihua

7. Ecotourism Activities
Such as hiking, kayaking, excursions, bicycling, etc.

So many ways to energize yourself in Zihuatanejo!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

¿Frida Kahlo in Zihuatanejo?

American artist, Judith Kindler refers to Frida Kahlo's influence on her work in an article by Rebecca Teagarden of the as "instrumental in a very personal way".

Kindler says of Kahlo. "Kyle [Kindler's husband] and I were in Mexico a few years before the Frida Kahlo craze. We stumbled upon this woman in Zihuatanejo who ran a private museum. She took us on a backroom tour of Frida Kahlo's life through an artist's work... I have always been hiding behind humor. Seeing the strength [Frida] had visually to reveal her pain helped me do that. Being open to letting people see more into me".

The Seattle multidisciplinary artist has a postcard of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on her refrigerator: "She's on here to remind me to open up; we all have these similar emotional experiences."

Judith Kindler has a new series of photographs, "Don´t Hate Me Because I´m Beautiful". (

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2010 Events in Zihuatanejo

According to Zihuatanejo Journal these are the early December 2010 events:

  • DATE: Thursday, December 2, 2:00 pm – 11:30 pm / PLACE: THE FLOPHOUSE BAR

1st anniversary of the Flophouse bar offering cold 10 peso beers and 10 pesos off drinks, with live music. Open from 2 pm on.

  • DATE: Saturday, December 4, 2010 – starting 6:30 p.m. / PLACE: COCONUTS RESTAURANT

Grand re-opening of Coconuts Restaurant with canapes and cocktails. The new menu additions look too good to be true: hand made crab ravioli, goat cheese tortellini, seared foie gras, salt crusted red snapper, Thai seafood curry laksa, palm hearts with lobster medallions, Artichoke carpaccio with wild arugula and poached shrimp… mmmm… as well as the old standbys of coconut shrimp, succulent pork chop, etc.

  • DATE: Wednesday, December 8 – 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm / PLACE: LA MADERA FOODCRAWL

Fundraiser for the 2011 International Zihuatanejo Guitar Festival and sample great food

  • DATE: Saturday, December 11 – 7:00 pm to 8:30 p.m. / PLACE: COCONUTS RESTAURANT

Isahrai Azaria will be giving a presentation on Graphic Design Basics

  • DATE: Saturday, December 18 – 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm / PLACE: COCONUTS RESTAURANT

Art Opening: Tropical memories, Tropical Recuerdos. Art exhibit of works by Zihuatanejo artist, Grace Relfe. Grace captures the colors of Zihuatanejo beaches, landscapes and lifestyle in acrylics and oils.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zihuatanejo in TOP 10 Best Family Destinations in the World

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
was named among the TOP 10 "Best Family Destinations in the World for 2010" by TripAdvisor. (

Listed with such favorites as: Marne-la-Vallee (EuroDisney in France); Urayasu, Japan; Majorca, Spain; Anaheim & Carlsbad in California and Orlando in Florida.

In the category of "Family Destinations for the Caribbean & Mexico", Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo came in first place ahead of well-known touristic sites. (

This award is a result of the votes granted by thousands of travelers based on their vacation experiences all around the World.

Among the reasons cited for voting for Zihua were the wide range of activities, including ecotouristic, that the area offers.

Another advantage of this pearl of the Pacific Riviera is the proximity to major cities in North America with direct flights from many of them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zihuatanejo, the Fishing Paradise of the Gold Coast of Mexico

Why is Zihuatanejo one of the best places for a fishing vacation?

The people in the know will list a few hard facts to answer this question:
  • The water´s temperature year round is between 75 and 86 degrees
  • Storms are virtually non-existent because Zihua is nestled in a natural harbor, so "lost fishing time is mostly margarita-related", says (1)
  • There's always abundant sailfishing, and in certain months it´s mixed up with large yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, dorado, black, striped marlin and roosterfish.
According to this website, this is what the different seasons will bring to the fisherman in Zihuatanejo:

"Winter (November - Mid February) It's all about the sailfish. There will be dorado and in-shore species to go after, but... sailfish is the ticket

Spring (Late February- April) Add blue marlin to the sailfish and some more dorado. This is also the most important period for large yellowfin tuna. If your arms get really tired, you can always go for bonito and jacks one day

Summer (May - August) The sailfish continues to deliver. Dorado is now present in maximum numbers. Roosterfish can now be found reliably along the beaches. The yellowfin is still around sometime into June, blue marlin into July.

Fall (September - October) The most interesting proposition next to the sailfish is the roosterfish, which can be very good at this time". (1)

So grab your fishing gear and take advantage of the Fall rental rates for private villas in Zihua.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New ecotourism attraction in Zihuatanejo, showcases biodiversity of Mexico

There are more than 170 countries in the World, yet out of these, twelve alone harbor in between 60 and 70% of the total biodiversity of the planet and thus earn the privilege to be called megadiverse. Mexico is one of them (1)

Carol Canter of the San Francisco Examiner writes about a new ecotourism attraction in Zihuatanejo called El Refugio de Potosi, a 45-minute bilingual guided tour where adventurers of all ages can "get up close and personal with local flora and fauna".

"Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks whistle while they waddle into the Turtle Pond for their morning dip. Green Military Macaws and Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrots 'converse' at amplified volumes. The Chachalacas, which resemble wild turkeys, are even more boisterous!," writes Canter, adding: "Jewel-like colibris shimmer in the sunlight, their tiny wings aflutter like high-speed engines".

This might also be your best chance to view safely behind a glass, boa constrictors, scorpions and even marvel at the impressive 60-feet long skeleton of a sperm whale.

A crocodile program is also planned for later this year.

El Refugio de Potosi is a non profit venture, developed and funded by contributions and many volunteer hours, that has earned the support of the tourism community in Zihua and which has become a popular stop on eco-tours such as the serene early morning kayak/birdwatching trip on the lagoon at Refugio de Potosi offered by Zoe Kayak Tours (2)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The ABC of Zihuatanejo Beaches

What do Fodor's Travel Guides Online have to say about Zihua's magical beaches:

Let´s start with Playa Las Gatas.

This is what Fodor´s has to say about this beach: "Legend has it that a Tarascan king (from an indigenous, pre-Hispanic community) built the breakwater on Playa las Gatas to create a sheltered area for his daughter's exclusive use. This beach is bordered by a long row of hewn rocks that create a breakwater. Snorkelers scope out the rocky coves, and surfers spring to life with the arrival of small but fun summer swells. The beach is lined with simple seafood eateries that provide lounge chairs for sunning, as well as kayak and snorkeling- gear rentals, and guiding services... Overlooking the beach is El Faro (the lighthouse); the view from the top is marvelous."

TripAdvisor adds in reference to the scuba diving , "King's Reef is a coral formation just offshore now being granted national protection as a natural reserve."

Secondly, Playa La Ropa.
This beach is "touristy", with several hotels and restaurants. Fodor´s describes it as "One of the most beautiful bays in Mexico.... small in scale and giving good, protected swimming. ... there's parasailing, water skiing, snorkeling, banana boats, catamarans, kayaks... and a whole kilometer of wide sandy beach lined with palm trees to just hang out on...up and down the beach are open-air restaurants—some with hammocks for post-meal siestas—and a handful of hotels

And the word about Playa Madera is:

"This is a small, flat, dark-sand beach with a sprinkling of restaurants on the sand (which
provide just about the only shade, and facilities) and a few more hotels on or just above it. Bobbing boats and the green headlands make for stunning vistas. Waves are small or nonexistent, and as there's no drop-off it's a great place for the kiddies", reads Fodor´s

Continuing with Playa Larga:

"This actually is only a small part of a 9 1/2 mile beach that charges to Playa Blanca & finally Barra de Potosi a small native fishing village that also has a large Lagoon filled with wildlife & Kayaks for rent. The beach its self has the occasional restaurants & small Inns scattered about but mostly it's wide open spaces. I often see Dolphins playing a short distance off the shore", explains Fodor´s

And finally, Playa Blanca

"Playa Blanca is actually a stretch of contiguous beach that is about 14 miles long. It is a great beach that has no people on it is still a virgin beach. it is clean and has a lot of hidden beauty.... you will love it and the sun set that is always breath taking".

Yes, there are other beaches in Zihua, but the ones above are what makes this place the paradise of the Mexican Riviera.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Health and well-being in Zihuatanejo

Few places in the World have the healing, preventive and relaxation conditions of Zihuatanejo.

Based on its natural conditions such as vegetation, climate, the ideal salinity of its seas,
Zihuatanejo offers soothing, cosmetological properties and anti-oxidants that
promote the well-being of its visitors. (1)

Recognizing this fact, business, sports, film, music and TV celebrities have become enchanted with Zihua, some of them even buying real estate here and building residences to enjoy the incredible views of the bay and the romantic sunsets.

As a result, the past years have seen the surfacing of numerous spas, restaurants with specialized menus offering healing and/or preventive health alternatives and Yoga studios with
world-renown Yoga gurus such as Belen Soldevila Peiro.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Celebrities in Zihuatanejo from Timothy Leary to Britney Spears

The first celebrities that visited Zihuatanejo date back more than four hundred years ago when
it was the favorite retreat of Tarascan kings, one of whom "built a stonewall breakwater in the shallow cove so his daughters could swim in a sheltered lagoon" (1). With the passage of time, the stonewall has grown into an active coral reef that offers great snorkeling.

Fast forward to the early 20th century, when the American author famous for his Westerns, Zane Grey, wrote his 1925 book, "Tales of Fishing Virgin Seas," inspired in Zihuatanejo, where he caught a year earlier a 135-lb. sailfish that was then a world record catch. The author, enamored with the place, wrote on the back cover of his book: "Zihuatanejo has more authentic South Seas atmosphere than the South Sea islands themselves."

Around 1963, Timothy Leary, an icon of 1960 counterculture, dismissed from Harvard for experimenting with psychedelic drugs, established in Zihuatanejo the "Mexican Freedom Center", where he and his followers aimed to give continuity to his life project of "Turn on, tune in, drop out".

Five years later, Owen Lee, a member of Capt. Jacques Cousteau's diving staff, got hooked by the magic of Zihua-- "In 1968, he sailed into Zihuatanejo Bay aboard an old wooden sailboat. He has lived here and loved it ever since" according to the back cover of his 1996 guidebook, entitled "Owen´s English Language Guide". Lee owns the Las Gatas Beach Club.

In 2005, Daniel Kennedy released "The Cooking School at Z," subtitled "a novel of romance and food in Mexico." Reviewing the book editor Catherine Krantz said it "reminds us why we love Zihuatanejo, the beauty of the place and the people here." Kennedy says his best-selling bookstore is the international airport in Sacramento, "where people want a novel for a long plane ride to shift them into a vacation frame of mind." (2)

A short time later, Canadian snowbird Elizabeth Ashe released "The Jade Pendant," totally set in Zihua. Ashe says she feels "Zihuatanejo is the most romantic and inspiring place on earth, particularly for women, and it will always hold a special place in my heart no matter where my future takes me." (2)

A moonlit beach in Zihua is the ideal place for love, as it was the place chosen by Mark Burnett, producer of hit shows such as Survivor and The Apprentice, to get down on his knees in 2006 and propose to TV actress Roma Downey. (3)

Last year it was Britney Spears´ turn to enjoy Zihuatanejo. The Princess of Pop Music, her beau, the actor and musician, Jason Schwartzman and her two sons, Sean and Jayden relaxed and enjoyed a few days under a splendorous sun.

Tom Morley, renowned yoga instructor to film celebrities such as Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Helen Hunt has also chosen Zihuatanejo to offer his health and healing therapies.(4)


(1) NYT Travel Section, Sunday, May 19, 2002

(2) Michel Janicot, a writer who lives in Grass Valley, CA in



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zihuatanejo among the best places to retire in the World

International Living magazine has evaluated and compared the World´s best retirement destinations for the past 15 years.

This year thirty countries were analyzed and ranked according to the following variables: cost of living, health care, quality of life, climate, safety, stability, and infrastructure, among others.

And the results were... Italy in the third place with its historic sites and beautiful cities. Ecuador came in second because of its low cost of living, great weather, beautiful landscape and a growing economy tied to the US dollar.

So, what´s the best country in the World for retiring according to this study? Well its... MEXICO! in part due to these powerful arguments:
  • Extremely convenient because it´s so near to the US and Canada
  • Mexico´s Senior Citizens´ Benefits Program offers up to 50% discounts on many services to retirees over the age of 60
  • Mexican government has enacted many new laws encouraging foreign investment
In brief, "Mexico has become an incredible place to enjoy retirement that offers the quality of life that North Americans are accustomed to with numerous other extra benefits".

The study goes on to mention that some of the best places in Mexico to retire are located in the Pacific Ocean coastline which seldom sees hurricanes or troublesome storms and offers more than a thousand miles of incredible views with a climate similar to Hawaii´s.

The most desirable locations are: La Paz, Todos Santos, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Escondido and... our gem of the Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The NYT in Zihuatanejo

The NYT and its
Travel section recently visited the enchanting town of Zihuatanejo in an article entitled "Dreamy Days on Mexican Sands".

The author, Megan Harlan, compares this jewel of the Mexican Riviera to other more famous resorts like Acapulco, Mazatl├ín and Puerto Vallarta, praising "Zihua´s authentic small-town charm".

Harlan, a writer and poet from San Francisco, writes about Zihuatanejo´s unique natural gifts -- "sheltered, diamond-shaped bay... fringed by creamy beaches" with "red foothills of the Sierra Madre, leafy with coconut palms and mango trees" and "by night... little lights from the adobe buildings studding the hills and the sailboats bobbing on the water".

La Ropa, "Zihuatanejo´s most stunning beach" is described by her as a "half-mile crescent of powdery sand snugly bookended by glistening cliffs [where] restaurant tables spill onto the sand, inviting quick dips in the warm ocean waters between refreshments".

Zihua, she recounts, also appeals to the "city people" inside her because of the "good selection of restaurants and shops". The fresh ingredients of the restaurant menus, a delight just like the shopping for local quality artwork.

Harlan enjoys and portrays a fascinating World of palapas, brilliant blue days, large black-winged gulls, dachshund-size iguanas posing motionless on a branch, coral reef lagoon with feathery turquoise, iridescent violet and tiger-striped fish, sunset streaked water...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Taste the Flavor of Zihua with the recipe for "Tiritas"

Authenticity is inherent to any time spent in Zihuatanejo. One way to taste the flavor of the town is through their popular "Tiritas", (fish strips) thah that celebrates the freshness of the sea.

A popular Zihua recipe for "Tiritas" consists of:
- Fresh fish, tuna, dorado, gruper, sailfish, marlin, bonito
- Lime juice
- Red onion
- Chiles serranos
- Salt

Cut the filet of fish in thin strips ("Tiritas"), then cut the red onion and the chiles the same way. Cook the fish in the lime juice by allowing it to marinate for about 20 minutes. Place the fish strips on the plate, then on the fish, lay the red onion, chiles and salt. Pile on to corno chips or crackers.

Buen provecho! (Enjoy!)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Direct flights from USA and Canada to Zihuatanejo

In recent years, more tourists in North America are discovering Zihuatanejo and as a result there has been an increase in the number of airlines offering nonstop flights to this beautiful and picturesque town in the Mexican Pacific.

Among the airlines with regular flights are: Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles, Continental from Houston, US Airways from Phoenix and Air Canada from Vancouver.

Those with seasonal flights especially offered to escape the freezing-cold winters are: United Airlines from Los Angeles and Denver; Apple Vacations flying in from Minneapolis and Milwaukee; MLT (Worry Free Vacations) from Minneapolis; Mark Travel (Funjet) from Chicago and Minneapolis; GoGo (Liberty Travel) arriving from to sunny Zihuatanejo from Chicago, Houston and Kansas.

The charters from Canada are the following: Conquest from the cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal; Sunwing from Toronto; Sunquest departing from Calgary and Vancouver; Vacances Air Transat from Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, and Tour Mont-Royal from Montreal.

And just a few days ago, Frontier Airlines announced adding seasonal (Jan. 15-March 26) direct flights from Denver to Zihuatanejo starting in 2011.

The other good news is that the flying times to Zihuatanejo are very accesible:

East Coast and Vancouver: 6 hours
Chicago: 5 hours
Denver: 3 hours
Los Angeles: 3.5 hours
Houston: 2.5 hours

So... reserve your seats now on the next flight to Zihuatanejo!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So very many things to do in Zihuatanejo!

Zihuatanejo is one of those vacations spots so blessed that you can practically do everything you dream of.

Of course, as soon as you hit the beach, you´ll be tempted to try the parasailing and "ride like the wind".

The warm blue sea will seduce you to swim, surf and kayak. And you can also snorkel or scuba dive the colorful Pacific coral reefs.

Anything more inspiring and romantic than sailing to the sunset?

Or if fishing is for you, Zihuatanejo is the fisher´s paradise...

But Zihuatanejo is not only blue, but also green and the spirit of the lushious mountain will call you with ecotourism activities like hiking or bicycling.

"Tennis or golf anyone?" Spas, Jacuzzis, infinity pools...

And for the "night creatures", there´s fine dining, picturesque bars and dance-until-the-sun- comes-out discotheques.

Already salivating for Zihuatanejo?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seaside Wedding in Zihuatanejo

A Seaside Wedding in Zihuatanejo, Mexico is for you if:

  • You always envisioned your wedding dress softly dancing with the sea breeze while sunlight highlights your hair
  • If you close your eyes, you can hear the murmur of the waves in the background while you say "I do!"
  • If you think the best treat to your senses are lush gardens and tropical flowers
  • You always dreamed of your maids of honor barefoot in the sand
  • If you think wedding banquets in hotels are for people that lack imagination

To top this all, another great advantage, according to Lorin of San Francisco is what you can save by having a seaside wedding in Zihuatanejo: "I spent half of what my friends did on their weddings" (

So, honey, check out these faaaabulous Villas in Zihuatanejo and... make your dream come true!

Monday, May 31, 2010

When is renting a Luxury Villa in Zihuatanejo less expensive than a hotel room?

This is a well kept secret that only seasoned travelers know about.

It might sound incredible, but sometimes you end up paying less money when you rent a Luxury Villa than when you stay at a hotel.

Case in point: The high-season rate (arriving Dic 1, 2010) quoted in Expedia for a double room in Tides Zihuatanejo Hotel in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, starts at $350 dollars. That is for a double room for two persons.

Yet for $1,000 usd per night you can rent a Luxury Villa just for yourself and family and friends with 4 suites (8 persons) AND private infinity pool and jacuzzi, free cable & internet access, all the services included and the best view of the beautiful Zihuatanejo Bay (check it out for yourself at

To "rest my case", let's do the math: in Tides Zihuatanejo Hotel you would need to ditch out $1,400 dlls per night for the 4 rooms needed to accommodate 8 persons (2 per room), compared to the $1,000 bucks you would pay in a Luxury Villa, a savings of 40%! ... and let me tell you that the experience of staying in a Villa surely beats staying at a hotel in privacy, exclusivity, uniqueness and the "overall enjoyment" factor.

So now you know-- next time enjoy your vacations more while you spend less by renting a Luxury Villa!