Really Long Trip Report

by bobbybend, Monday, November 06, 2017, 15:08 (403 days ago)

Our waiting was over; it had been 7 years since our last trip to Zihuatanejo so we had been planning, reading and re-reading board posts to make sure we made time to do a few things we had not ever accomplished on our other trips. We still didn’t get to everything, but that’s ok, we will travel back to Zihua again.
I don’t like to be late for anything so I arranged for a hotel next to the airport so nothing would delay our arrival for our flight. You know the usual stuff like discovering our passports were left on the table, or the car had a flat, or a fender bender on the way to the airport, things like that.
We flew Alaska this time so we didn’t have to go through Mexico City which made everything much easier. We have had issues before when connecting through MEX. Our arrival gate in LAX was only one gate away from our departure gate to ZIH. A breeze. Grabbed a quick sandwich and then off to ZIH.
The flight was good flight no issues, zipped through customs, grabbed a taxi, asked him to stop at Andy's where I grabbed a couple of Coronas for each of us (my lovely wife of 19 years) for the journey and sat back and enjoyed the travel past the coconut farms to our hotel.
The Hotel ? Our favorite is the Catalina. Now yes the property is older but to us its charming and most of all quiet. The staffs are always agreeable and helpful. Steps? Was there steps? I suppose you should read Curly's trip report in Rob's personal pages to find that out.
We arrived about 4:00 at the hotel. Our room had been recently remodeled it was one of the Playa Suites (#18) and was very nice. There was a super private balcony overlooking the bay, and the beautiful jungle that the Playa Suites are nestled into. Dinner that first night was at the Linda Vista (Catalina’s own) which has a wonderful view of the bay and the La Noria hills. My beautiful wife took a nap and I zipped down to the pool where I just gazed out at the bay and let the cares of life drift away like flotsam on the bay. AAAH

That night there were great thunderstorms which gracefully left by daybreak to open up a glorious early morning sky. Back up to the Linda Visit for breakfast and then down to the playa,
positioned ourselves in a convenient palapa, instructed Antone the resident beach attendant to make sure our Pineapple con vodkas were never left to long empty, and opened one of the several novels we brought and reee-laxed.

After lounging for a couple of hours with repeated dips into the bay, we noticed there was a convenient little shelter that offered massages. How much I inquired, 200 hundred peso came back as the answer. It didn’t take too long for my now meandering beach brain to realize wow that’s only about 11 dollars American. Into the tent we go being treated by the massage gals all the while listing to the gently pounding surf. For some reason the surf seems louder on the bay than I remembered it was very therapeutic.

During one of my surf bobbing events that day, I met a fellow who offered to take us to the ruins and he kindly offered to throw in a trip to Barra de Potosi at no extra charge. So after negotiating a price that he suggested, it was settled, we would meet again Monday morning for the adventure.

Later we taxied into El Centro wandered around and ended up at Tamales Anys, where we had shrimp tacos and chili rellanos. We vowed to come back for Tamales another day. We had brought some eye glasses for Lupita but found she was not open. Back to the Hotel for a good nights sleep.

Day 3 promises to be warm again. After breakfast we decide to walk instead of taxiing downtown to the basketball court. Easy walk but it was HOT, I was grateful for a cold one at one of the watering establishments we came upon (Zorro’s). Checked on Lupitas to drop off the glasses but still not open so back to the Catalina and down to the beach where Kathy partook of another massage. Myself I did not this time as I had gotten a little exuberant with the amount of sun I had acquired from the day before.

Monday Day 4 but who’s counting. Monday is the day of our big adventure to the ruins of Xihuacán which ended up to be about 40 minutes or so south of Zihua. This should be fun.

When we reach the top of the Hotel where we are to meet our tour guide, there was another man with him which although unexpected, he turns out to be our driver. So off we go with the tour guide and the driver heading south from Zihua. While it took a while for my wife to be convinced that we were actually going on a tour and not just being driven out in the country to our demise we finally arrive at the ruins only to find them closed, locked up, with no sign of anyone. In a few minutes though we see a couple of more people and a man on a scooter is has the keys to the museum and proceeded to take us on a private tour of the very nice facility that houses many interesting artifacts. Then back on the road to Barra de Potsi.

After a quick tour through Barra we stopped at a nice little Enmarada to have a little ceviche and a couple of Sol’s to wash it down with. We took the back way to the hotel on the road that’s behind the airport. There were quite a few interesting looking hotels along there that probably bear more investigation. Dinner that night was at Los Braseros for tacos al pastor. Made a quick stop to renew our pineapple and vodka supply before going back to the Catalina where a heavy thunder and lightning storm began to play out over the bay.

Day 5 ended up being another one of the boring massage and beach days with breakfast at the hotel. Wanted to go to Jungle Pizza but was informed they were still closed for the season so we ended up at a place called Pizza Dario just at the bottom of the hill from the Catalina near the bomberos station, I thought the pizza was good, maybe a little cheese heavy but all in all pretty good. There is a nice little view of that part of town and the beer was cold. Need I say more?

Day six started out with a walk down the beach. There was a late morning turtle hatch going on but many of the poor little fellows where really struggling, some were being attacked by red ants. We along with a few others tried the best we could to help them get to the sea, but I am afraid many of them didn’t make it very far. Breakfast was chiliquilas at Mar y Mar, Afternoon brought another trip into town and a sash- shay through the Mercado and back to the beach.
Day 7 was spent with some good friends who have a work in progress house in La Noria that is coming along well with the improvements. Night brought us for a walk on La Ropa with dinner at Rossi’s.
Day 8 brought on some pretty high tides on La Ropa, some turtle nests were washing out to sea. Frantic attempt to salvage them along with others, I know they got re-buried but not sure if that helps. Our friends pick us up and off we go for a ride into Ixtapa, majahua, and troncones. We were tired at the end of the day so we ordered in chicken from pollo Feliz, and went to sleep.

Day 9 We walked down the hill again into town this morning and had chiliquilas and fruits at Margaritas. We had never been there before but I can highly recommend it. We had been trying to drop off the glasses at Lupita’s for several days so yesterday I had emailed Rob and he arranged to meet us so we could drop off the glasses. This was the first time we had met him and thoroughly enjoyed our conversation time with him. Back to the beach for massage number 5.

Day 10 was a beach day with reading and beverages, then dinner at our friend’s house in La Noria. I purchased some nice beef filets from the market and we barbequed them on the patio at our friends house. Our friends drove us back to the Catalina where sleep came very easy.

Day 11 turned out just laying around the palapa reading novels, having a corona or two and then one more taxi into town where we again wandered around enjoying the day, stopping for another cool one or two at Zorros, picked up some chicken at Pollo Feliz to take back to the room.

Day 12 was our last day, so we were on the beach early with one more massage; two more pineapple con vodkas then our friends took us to the airport where we lounged until take off. Landed back in LA go through the labyrinth to get to customs, then a long lay over with arrival back in Portland at 2:30 AM.

Observations and comments:
We did not feel unsafe in anyway while being in Zihua. We know there are things that happen, but we are not the type of people who party hard or stay out late, and we try to stay aware of what’s around us. We did come home after dark several times, however we either taxied or our friends took us back, but again at no time did we feel threatened or unsafe.

It was very quiet while we were there and I know it is a slow season, but we have always come at this time and it just seemed quieter.

Price of things seemed a little more than before but it has been 7 years since our last trip and anyway it is still a bargain.

The people are still very friendly to us Americans, and welcome the commerce.

A must for anyone coming is an early morning walk down Playa Principle. Watching the fisherman selling their catches and the Zihuatanejo people hustling and bustling around the area going to work, chatting with friends is good fun and enjoyable if you are a people watcher. I recommend the restaurant opposite the fish monger area for breakfast.

Thanks Zihuatanejo, and hasta que nos encontremos de Nuevo.


¡MUY BUEN Trip Report!

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, November 06, 2017, 18:14 (403 days ago) @ bobbybend

Thank you! What a terrific trip report! How many massages was that again? :vacation:

¡MUY BUEN Trip Report!

by bobbybend, Tuesday, November 07, 2017, 21:35 (402 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Only 7 I will try better next time. I am glad people liked the report. I always enjoy reading others
Keep them coming

Really Long Trip Report

by Sandy feet @, Seattle, Monday, November 06, 2017, 18:26 (403 days ago) @ bobbybend

Nice! Thanks for sharing. :brilliant:

Really Long Trip Report

by Susan G @, Zihua/La Ropa, Monday, November 06, 2017, 20:49 (403 days ago) @ bobbybend
edited by Susan G, Monday, November 06, 2017, 21:05

Your story brought back all the years we stayed at Catalina Hotel. What incredible times we had. So much so, in 2015 we decided to retire here, and occasionally we eat there and always say "hi" to Miguel or to whomever is heading up the hotel front desk.

Then, there are the hotel owner's cats who wander through...

Really Long Trip Report

by SaskL&G, Monday, November 06, 2017, 22:36 (403 days ago) @ Susan G

I agree we have had great times at the Catalina and will
Be there 3rd week of Nov. I have so many pics of the cats
especially of my fav Loleeta. Hope the fish I feed her will
Convince her to sleep on our patio chair for our stay. : )

Really Long Trip Report

by maggie, Tuesday, November 07, 2017, 17:16 (402 days ago) @ bobbybend

Thank you so much for this trip report! I will be travelling to Zihua soon~~I have been travelling there almost every year for the past 35 years or so! but this year I am travelling solo. The Catalina is my favourite hotel too. I was very heartened to hear that you never felt unsafe during your time in Zihua. I have never felt unsafe there but the escalating gang violence is rather disturbing and gave me a moment's pause for the first time ever. But I am reassured by your report.
Thanks again,


Really Long Trip Report

by jbmass ⌂ @, Mass,.. N.H...Zih., Wednesday, November 08, 2017, 09:18 (401 days ago) @ bobbybend




Really Long Trip Report

by Grumpy in Lake Cowichan @, Vancouver Island B.C Canada, Friday, November 10, 2017, 16:28 (399 days ago) @ bobbybend

Thanks for the trip report....sounded like you had a great vacation....9 weeks and counting for us


Really Long Trip Report

by dhunsber @, ¡Dondequiera que voy, estoy aquí!, Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 14:38 (394 days ago) @ bobbybend

Wonderful report, thanks!