Zihuatanejo Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, and local culture of Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Plan your perfect trip with our helpful itinerary and travel guide.

Introduction to Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo is a beautiful coastal city located in the state of Guerrero in Mexico. It is a popular destination known for its stunning beaches, outdoor adventures, and rich culture. Whether you are looking to relax on the shore, explore the city’s rich history and culture, or indulge in delicious local cuisine, Zihuatanejo has something for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Zihuatanejo

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

If you want to learn more about the rich history and culture of Zihuatanejo, be sure to check out these cultural attractions:

  • Archaeological Museum of the Great Coast: This museum offers a wide range of exhibits on the pre-Colombian cultures that once called this region home.
  • Zihuatanejo Museum: Situated in the heart of downtown, this museum showcases the history of the city through various artifacts.
  • La Casa de las Artesanias: Here, you can find a wide array of locally produced crafts, such as textiles, pottery, and other traditional items.

Natural Attractions of Zihuatanejo: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Zihuatanejo is home to some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world. Take the time to explore these outdoor wonders:

  • Ixtapa Island: A beautiful island located just off the coast that is perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing.
  • Playa La Ropa: Located just south of the city, this beach is a popular spot for surfing and other water sports.
  • El Refugio de Potosi: This wildlife sanctuary is home to over 200 species of birds and an array of other animals native to this region.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Zihuatanejo

If you are looking for a bit of adventure while in Zihuatanejo, be sure to check out these popular hiking and biking routes:

  • Paseo del Morro: This 2.5-mile trail offers stunning views of the coastline and is a popular spot for jogging, hiking, and biking.
  • El Faro Lighthouse: Hike to the top of this lighthouse for breathtaking views of the city and coastline.
  • Las Pozas Azules: Explore the natural pools and waterfalls while enjoying a scenic hike through the jungle.

Best Things to Do in Zihuatanejo: Activities and Tours

There is no shortage of exciting activities and tours to be enjoyed in Zihuatanejo. Some of the most popular include:

  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Explore the rich marine life that surrounds the coastline.
  • Fishing Tours: Take a fishing tour and bring back dinner to cook up at your hotel or hostel.
  • Horseback Riding: Horseback riding through the jungle is an excellent way to see the natural beauty of Zihuatanejo.
  • Cooking Classes: Learn to cook authentic Mexican cuisine with local chefs in Zihuatanejo.

Week-Long Itinerary for Zihuatanejo

To make the most of your time in Zihuatanejo, try out this week-long itinerary:

  • Day 1: Explore downtown Zihuatanejo and visit the Archaeological Museum of the Great Coast and Zihuatanejo Museum.
  • Day 2: Check out the beaches of Ixtapa Island and enjoy water activities like swimming, snorkeling, and surfing.
  • Day 3: Take a horseback riding tour through the jungle or hike to the top of the El Faro Lighthouse.
  • Day 4: Visit the city’s local market, Mercado de Artesanias, and browse the locally produced crafts.
  • Day 5: Take a fishing tour and enjoy fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.
  • Day 6: Relax on the beaches along Zihuatanejo Bay and enjoy the sun.
  • Day 7: Take a cooking class and learn to make authentic Mexican cuisine with local chefs.

Food and Drink Scene of Zihuatanejo

When it comes to dining in Zihuatanejo, there are plenty of fantastic options. Here are a few must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pescado a la talla: A grilled fish dish with smoky flavors.
  • Mango Gazpacho: A refreshing and fruity soup with local mangoes and chili.
  • Chilate: A traditional corn and chocolate-based drink.

Local Beverages

  • Mezcal: A type of alcohol made from the agave plant that is often served with a slice of orange and worm salt.
  • Coco Frio: A cold coconut water drink that is perfect for hot days.

Where to Stay in Zihuatanejo: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Zihuatanejo offers a variety of accommodations to fit any budget. Here are a few top recommendations:

  • Viceroy Zihuatanejo: A luxury resort with a private beach, elegant rooms, and excellent dining options.
  • Hotel Aura del Mar: A mid-range hotel located on Playa La Madera with stunning ocean views.
  • Casa Adriana: A charming and affordable guesthouse located in the heart of downtown Zihuatanejo.

What to Buy in Zihuatanejo: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you are looking to bring home a piece of Zihuatanejo with you, be sure to check out these local products and souvenirs:

  • Huipil: A traditional embroidered blouse made by local artisans.
  • Handmade Pottery: Beautifully crafted pottery with traditional designs.
  • Mexican Vanilla: A popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, vanilla extract, is an excellent souvenir to bring home.

Local Culture and Customs of Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo has a rich history and culture that is evident in its food, music, and traditions. One unique tradition of Zihuatanejo is the Velas Festival, which takes place every year in May. It is a celebration of the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and features parades, fireworks, and traditional dances.

Best Time to Visit Zihuatanejo

The best time to visit Zihuatanejo is between November and April when temperatures are mild, and rainfall is low. The summer months between May and October are hot and humid, with an increased chance of rain.

Do’s and Don’ts of Zihuatanejo


  • Try the Local Cuisine: Zihuatanejo has a rich culinary tradition that is worth exploring.
  • Be Respectful: Be respectful of the local culture, traditions, and customs.
  • Learn Some Spanish: While many locals speak English, it is always appreciated when visitors make an effort to speak Spanish.


  • Assume the Water is Safe: Stick to bottled water to avoid getting sick.
  • Negotiate Prices Aggressively: Bargaining is expected at the local markets, but be sure to negotiate respectfully.

Safety and Health

Safety in Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo is a relatively safe place to visit, with few instances of violent crime. However, it is important to take precautions like not carrying valuables with you while exploring the city.

Health in Zihuatanejo

Health risks in Zihuatanejo include sunburns, dehydration, and the possibility of contracting Zika virus. Travelers should always use sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and consider using mosquito repellent to protect against Zika.

Getting to Zihuatanejo: Transportation Options and Logistics

Zihuatanejo is easily accessible by air, bus, or car. Here are some transportation options to consider:

Airports Near Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa International Airport is located just 10 minutes from the city center and offers flights from Mexico City and other major Mexican cities, as well as various international destinations.

Bus Stations Near Zihuatanejo

The Estrella de Oro bus line connects Zihuatanejo to Mexico City and other major cities in the region.

Other Options

Taxis, rental cars, and private transfers are also available for those looking for more flexibility in their transportation arrangements.

How to Get Around in Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo is best explored on foot or by taxi. Taxis are readily available and affordable, making it easy to explore the city’s attractions.

Where to Go Next from Zihuatanejo: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have extra time in the region, be sure to check out these nearby destinations and excursions:

  • Sayulita: A charming surf town located just north of Puerto Vallarta.
  • Patzcuaro: A colonial town with a vibrant arts and crafts scene.
  • Taxco: A charming silver-mining town with beautiful colonial architecture.


Zihuatanejo is a beautiful coastal city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who visit. With its rich cultural heritage, beautiful natural attractions, and delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plan your trip today and discover all that this vibrant Mexican city has to offer.