Zihuatanejo, a Gem on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Zihuatanejo is a small fishing village on Mexico's Pacific coast that's just bursting with local flavor. From the beautiful scenery, laid-back and welcoming locals, and ultra-fresh seafood, it's a great place to be.
Sunset at Zihuatanejo panorama
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Zihuatanejo is one of those places you just wish you could get stranded in for a very long time. As I’ve said before, there’s much to love about the place. It’s a small fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast, and it’s just bursting with local flavor.

Just up the road is the sterilized resort town of Ixtapa–the Cancun of the West Coast–but the two places couldn’t be more different. Nestled in a protected bay with coastline of alternating rocky headlands–a bay in which fishermen head out in their small boats–it has great ocean views from all around the bay. A vibrant village market forms a fascinating maze to get lost in, and the beach fish market is both unique and quintessentially local. It is quite a gem.

ANDY: Think you’ll ever get out of here?
RED: Sure. When I got a long white beard and about three marbles left rolling around upstairs.
ANDY: Tell you where I’d go. Zihuatanejo.
RED: Zihuatanejo?
ANDY: Mexico. Little place right on the Pacific. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I’d like to finish out my life, Red. A warm place with no memory. Open a little hotel right on the beach. Buy some worthless old boat and fix it up like new. Take my guests out charter fishing.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994; dir: Frank Darabont)

Deck chairs with an ocean view

Fishing boats on the shore at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Local craft stores

Ocean view at night

Fishing boats at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Local craft stores

Waves against rocks

Downtown Zihuatanejo

La Casa Que Canta Resort, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Fruit and vegetables at El Mercado (the central market) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Luxury Resort at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Playa Principal, Zihuatanejo

La Casa Que Canta Resort, Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Fishing boats at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Shoreline at Zihuatanejo

Beach at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Stores in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Beach at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Beach at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Local craft stores

Playa Principal, Zihuatanejo

Playa Principal, Zihuatanejo

Stores in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Stores in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Fruit and vegetables at El Mercado (the central market) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Fish stall at El Mercado (the central market) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Fuente Cihuatlan | Angel Agurre Rivero

Fruit and vegetables at El Mercado (the central market) in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Beach at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Public clock tower in Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Street sign design

Mexican resort

Chicken stall at El Mercardo

Mexican political sign

Headland of the bay at Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihuatanejo harbor

Night time view of Zihuatenejo Bay

Where to Next?



Travel Advice for Mexico

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Mexico (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Mexico here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Mexico here.

Guidebooks for Mexico

If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Mexico. Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.

Lonely Planet Mexico 16 (Country Guide)
  • Sainsbury, Brendan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
DK Eyewitness Mexico (Travel Guide)
  • DK Eyewitness (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Mexico

I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.

But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.

These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Mexico :

Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!

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