Posted by Eric and Jody from Ohio on June 05, 2000 at 18:29:48:
We just got back from our first (hopefully, of many) trips to Ixtapa/Zihua. After spending many hours scouring Rob's web page and the message board, we were wondering if this place was too good to be true! Happily, we found the info we received to be very accurate and helpful. So for whatever it's worth, here's our two cent's worth:
Hotel - we stayed at the Barcelo, loved it a lot! The staff was outstanding, courteous, helpful. Next time we return, would definitely consider staying there again. We met some folks who were at other hotels in the hotel zone, said thier hotels were over-run by a big group of 18 year-olds on a senior class trip; ours was much more families and couples. We drank the sater from the tap (it's purified) and never got sick. In fact, the only time I got a little sick was whan I had a soda on ice from a little stand on the municipal beach in Zihua...
Restaurants - we were SO glad that we didn't get into one of those all-inclusive packages, the restaurants in the area are awesome! Our favorites: Casa Elvira, Villa de la Selva, La Sirena Gorda, Chez Arnoldo's (the shrimp salsa was amazing),Casa Morelos. We also ate breakfast two or three days at Hacienda in Ixtapa - great food and prices. Best papaya we had!
Activites - Loved the Tri-star! We took the Sunset cruise, had a blast, even though the sunset was only so-so that night.
Went snorkeling at Las Gatas Beach, really liked it. Great place to sit in the sun, watch the crowd and the kids, RELAX.
Went SCUBA diving with Ixtapa divers - Ramone was the divemaster. He did a really nice job. My first time diving in the Pacific. Visibility was ok - not spectacular, compared to the Caribbean - but how can I complain, I live in Ohio where we're not exactly known for world-class diving...
watch out for the surge!
We went to the "Mexican Fiesta" at the Barcelo (I think they have it every Wed. night) - It was an "all right" experience, but certainly not a must see. The food was average, but the Mariachi band was great and the traditional dancing was fun to watch, even if it did last quite a while.
Travel - we booked our trip through Apple Vacation, our first time ever doing anything quite like that. They did a really nice job, much better than I actually thought they would. They always had a rep available, always helpful. I'd take another Apple trip based on this experience.
Misc - The temp certainly was hot at mid-day, but nothing we didn't expect. It rained at night only, it didn't interfere with our trip one bit.
Watch out for the time share people! They were out in droves - we went to one, don't know what we were thinking, maybe too much sun? After being repeatedly promised that it would only take 75 minutes, it took us over two hours to free ourselves from their clutches! My Spanish isn't that great, but I'm pretty sure I said No a dozen times!
Knowing a little Spanish helps a lot. My Espanol is rudimentary at best, but with what I knew, combined with pointing and grunting, I usually could communicate (or at least I thought so). Actually, many of the locals were quite happy to converse with us to practice up on their English skills, so we were able to reciprocate!
Puttering around Zihua was a lot of fun. We spent a day walking around, going up and down the little side streets, crusing through the markets, talking with the locals, soaking it all in.
Rob, thanks again for all your tips and advice. I'm glad we stumbled across your place last Saturday! We're already thinking about our next trip back.......