Trip Report 1/7 - 1/15

[Archives Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Troncones Message Board]

Escrito por drgm desde ( el día domingo, 15 de enero, 2006 a las 12:34:40 horas :

January 7 – 15, 2006

I’ve been using this board as a reference since about six months before our first trip to Zihuatanejo in January, 2005, so I felt like it was time to give something back and hopefully help another first-timer in the process.

We flew on Mexicana from LA to ZIH via Mexico City. We had a 35 minute connection in MEX and our flight left LAX about twenty minutes late so we were prepared to miss the connection. But we arrived on time, breezed through the airport and made our flight in plenty of time. Don’t be scared off by the very long customs line – those folks are not catching connecting flights.

The flight to ZIH arrived on time, but the airport was full!!! So we sat on the tarmac for about twenty minutes before we could taxi to the terminal. But everyone was in good spirits so the time went quickly. Of course, we got the red light at customs (for newcomers: to get through customs you press a button that randomly triggers a red or green light…you want the green) so it took another few minutes to get outside.

Last year we took taxis and busses. This year my daughter and her fiancé came down a week before us so they could surf in Troncones and La Salditas. They had a reservation through Thrifty, but there was no car for them when they arrived. After much argument, Thrifty agreed to bring the car to them in Troncones the following day, but they still needed to take a taxi. I’m told that this is not uncommon, and that if you persist you might even get Thrifty to pay for your taxi fare. Buyer beware. It was great to have a car for trips to the market, to visit other towns, etc. But if you plan to stay in Z, the taxi service is sufficient.

This is the second year we’ve rented a house. It works better than hotel rooms for our family and allows the five of us to spend more time together. The house is at the south end of Playa la Ropa and has a spectacular view of the bay and a not so wonderful view of a cruise ship that has just appeared as I’m writing this. We found the house on this website, and recommend this type of rental if there are more than two travelers.

The seafood, of course, is phenomenal. Go to the Mercado in the morning and find Francisco and Rosa. Francisco speaks English and is extremely helpful in every way. They will clean and prepare the fish while you wait. We stuck with snapper and shrimp – the best we’ve ever had. We also went to the Comercial Mexicana (supermarket) to get staples for the house, but picked up other items as needed at the Mercado. If nothing else, both places are quite an experience.

During the day we had snacks and drinks wherever we parked ourselves. Chips and guacamole, quesadillas, fish tacos, etc. All great, as was the plentiful cold beer (favorites were Victoria, Indio, and Bohemia). We had an occasional pina colada, too. For non-alcoholic drinks, try a coconut. After you finish the juice they will usually cut the meat for you and service it with lime and hot sauce.

We ate at home a few times, and went to Any’s for one dinner. Our splurges were at La Gula and Il Mare. Can’t say enough about La Gula. Food and service were exceptional. It was one of the best meals we’ve had anywhere, and reasonably priced. We spent about $125 US for 5 people, including appetizers, entrees, dessert, 20% tip, and drinks. They brought us each an appetizer and after-dinner drink on the house. Il Mare’s food was good and the view is spectacular, but if I had to choose, I’d recommend La Gula, and all five of us agreed on that.

We like La Ropa, especially due to its convenience for us. We walked over to Las Gatas one day and camped out in front of Otilia’s. Franco is every bit the character as described elsewhere on this board. We felt a little pressured to buy more food, even though we spent about $50 US there. We never felt this at El Marlin, next to Rossy’s on La Ropa, so that was our place for most of the week.

I have to say one word about Paty’s. They don’t have lounge chairs so we didn’t spend our days there. But they have a great 2 for 1 happy hour and very good, inexpensive food. We went there around 5:30 one afternoon for drinks and really wanted to stay for dinner but they don’t accept credit cards anymore. I told the waiter (in very rudimentary Spanish) that we needed to go elsewhere for dinner unless we could pay the following day. He checked with Paty and, to our great surprise, that was ok! As it happened, the five of us had enough cash between us, but last night I walked back to Paty’s and thanked her personally for her graciousness, hospitality, and trust. She told me no one has ever cheated her when she has done this before. That’s the kind of place I like to patronize.

Since we’ve only been here twice, it’s hard to compare what it used to be vs. what it is. But we sure enjoy ourselves here. The town is very walkable and feels safe, given normal precautionary behavior. Merchants definitely want to “hustle” you, but even that seems to be the norm in most tourist-oriented economies.

Overall, we have had nothing but good experiences here and hope to come back again. But for now, our flight leaves in a couple of hours so I will post this and enjoy the bay breezes and the view, until next time.

Follow Ups: