Located on Mexicoâ€™s west coast in the state of Guerrero, nestled into a quiet bay area, Zihuatanejo is a popular vacation destination for Mexicans, people from all over the world, and Spring Breakers alike. Though it is a beach town, Zihuatanejo doesnâ€™t have the size or â€śtouristyâ€ť feeling such as in the resort towns of CancĂşn, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. Ixtapa; however, does but to a much lesser extent. In Zihuatanejo, it is possible to visit and experience places that are meant to cater to the locals and not just to the tourists.
More than just the â€śquiet little fishing villageâ€ť that most travel guides claim, Zihuatanejo, commonly called â€śZihuaâ€ť, has lots to offer the visitor. There are a variety of beaches, water activities and other sports, nature activities, restaurants, hotels, resorts (located next door in Ixtapa), shopping areas and plenty of true Mexican culture. It is a town where many Mexicans live and work along with a small but thriving community of expats mostly from the U.S. and Canada. However, fishing and tourism are still the primary base of Zhiuaâ€™s economy.
The name Zihuatanejo derives from the word "CihuatlĂˇn" in the Aztec language, Nahuatl. "CihuatlĂˇn", means "place of women," and the area was given this name because it had been a matriarchal society in pre-Columbian times. The Spanish arrived in 1520 and the name was then changed to Ciguatanejo. Zihuatanejoâ€™s current name form has only been in use for the past couple of centuries.
Ixtapa, on the other hand, was a government planned tourist resort town started in the early 1970s on land that had been a coconut plantation and a mangrove estuary. There are more than 5,000 hotel rooms in town that are part of resorts such as Club Med. Cruise ships also frequently visit the area due to its beautiful beaches.
One of the best websites for information about things to see and do in Zihuatanejo as well as business directories is: www.10best.com/destinations/mexico/ixtapa-zihuatanejo/
Other places nearby Zihuatanejo: Tuxtla Gutierrez, Santo Tomas Jalietza, Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Palenque, ToninĂˇ (ruins), Taxco, San CristĂłbal de las Casas, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc and Santa Catarina Minas.