The village is situated in a protected bay, surrounded by beautiful beaches, forested hills and cliffs
Once little more than an obscure fishing village, the low-key beach resort of Zihuatanejo is an increasingly popular alternative to overdeveloped Acapulco. It owes much of its fame and prosperity to its less attractive neighbour, Ixtapa, a planned resort that brought unprecedented wealth and attention to the area. But despite being spruced up, ‘Zihua’, as it is called locally, still retains much of its Mexican village charm. For now, it remains reassuringly quiet, low-rise, laid-back and friendly. Perched inside a sheltered bay, the town centre is compact and easily explored on foot. There are an abundance of gaudy souvenir shops, little art galleries and, thanks to its burgeoning popularity, some very good restaurants.
The small Museo Arqueológico (Av 5 de Mayo, US$0.60) in the old customs and immigration building, has exhibits on state history and anthropology, and at the town entrance, the Plaza de Toros has seasonal corridas. Various watersports can be pursued in Zihuatanejo, especially sports fishing, diving and snorkelling . Tourist information (Zihuatanejo Pte s/n, Colonia La Deportiva, T755- 554 2001, http://www.ixtapa-zihuatanejo.com, Mon-Fri 0800-1600, with bilingual assistance) can be obtained from the Palacio Municipal, 2 km northeast of the centre. There is a smaller office on Paseo de la Bahia, near Playa La Ropa, and a kiosk during high season, Alvarez s/n. At sunset, thousands of swallows meet in the air above the town and settle for the night on telephone poles, all in the space of a single minute.