Trip report - What to do in Zihua

by bav, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 19:06 (3927 days ago)

Thanks to all those that contribute to the message board that led us to the activities that made our trip a week in paradise!

High points

A fantastic tour to Cascadas Mesa De Bravo with William Mertz/ Blue Morpho Tours. The biologists among us were thrilled by his knowledge and enthusiasm for spiders, insects and reptiles (seriously!!) Birds and animals vary depending on daily conditions and seasons. Wil was always alert to what was acually there (and told us what we were missing, guess we will have to go again next year). He had researched information on unusual things that he has seen to share on his tour. We all enjoyed seeing Mexico beyond the city as we drove into the mountains, the beauty of the waterfalls (even in the dry season), the refreshing swim, the delicious local lunch, and walk through village. Great for those interested in something off the beaten track and willing to risk walking over boulders, cable bridges and the more primitive facilities found away from the tourist hotels.

Bicycling through the countryside to El Refugio de Potosi with Alexandro Juarez from Bi-Zihuanas. Another great way to see more than hotels, beach and shopping areas. The route was mostly on unpaved back roads on good mountain bikes. You should be able ride in the heat and ride steadily for an hour or more with brief stops.

No matter how you get there, El Refugio de Potosi is great way to see the local wildlife up close. We have only seen waterfowl and small birds, iguanas and crocodiles in three visits to the ecological park near Ixtapa. So it was interesting to see up close the birds the Refugio wants to breed, reptiles, butterfly house, coatimundi, wild cat, and young porcupine here. Most important the effort seems to be centered around education and improving the area, not just development of a tourist attraction.

Snorkeling at Las Gatas. Franco at Otilio’s suggested that we try the area near the point at the west end of the bay. Rougher water than in the bay, however we did see bigger groups of fish there. We also swam along the inside of the reef in the bay which was easier and also saw quite a few fish. We didn’t swim out to view the sunken statue. On the beach Franco frequently checked that we had all we needed and the seafood lunch was good. Continual stream of hawkers but they moved on when we said no. Since we usually split the bill between the several couples, we end up checking the bills. This was the only place we found an error - 10% overcharge for unordered items and math error-no apology was offered.

Fishing and then feasting on sailfish at Lilly’s. One of our group arranged for a fishing trip by going to the pier. We were on panga Minerva captained by Luis. Three others of us came along more to see the ocean than to fish. It was a beautiful day with many jumping porpoises and sailfish, occasional schools of small fish, several swimming turtles, even a whale spout on the horizon. Unfortunately (from my point of view) a sailfish was caught. We had requested catch and release, but the (small?) sailfish had a damaged stomach and captain said it would not survive. He recommended Lilly’s restaurant at the end of the pier if we wanted to eat it. Not knowing of any alternative, we arranged to leave fish at Lilly’s and return that evening with friends (fish was enough for 10). Pauli at Lilly’s first served us raw fish with lime, soy sauce and wasabi which most found delicious. We chose to have the fillets grilled with garlic which were very good. Pauli cooked the “extra” fillets with hierbes fines (a mixture of herbs seemed to include thyme) that was as good if not better than the garlic fish. The resident parrot entertained us with cat mewing, kazoo like humming, moaning, and “music”. Finished the evening off with ice cream from shop across from the basketball court.

Food and lodging
We enjoyed meals at Lety’s (great coconut shrimp), Rufo’s (grilled tuna), Los Braceros, Don Memos. Made one to two stops at Panadería el Buen Gusto (bakery) every day. Bought cheese and avocados at the market to make sandwiches. The Hotel Irma food was pricier but always good when we didn’t have the energy to go elsewhere. Hotel is clean, staff friendly and helpful, love the view and balcony’s on upper floors. Has worked well for several years for family vacation of 3-4 couples.

Thanks again!

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