Trip Report, Hotel/Restaurant/Activity Reviews

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Escrito por Scott in Malibu desde ( el día lunes, 03 de enero, 2005 a las 21:49:43 horas :

We just got back from celebrating my 50th with friends & family, and 14 who came (including those who had initially lobbied against our choice of Mexico) are now die-hard Zihua converts!

Many of us stayed at Amuleto, and it truly was the experience of a lifetime. What it may lack in paved roads and beach access is more than made up for in gorgeous architecture, complete privacy, incredible views of the bay, and the steady ocean breezes which keep you cool during the day while the rest of Zihua is roasting. Owners Ricardo & Neglia are the perfect hosts, their food is the best, and their staff leaves you wanting for nothing. If you can afford it, be sure to get one of the suites with outdoor garden bathrooms -- truly unforgetable. Also, their masseuse (Cetlali) is wonderful, but be prepared to leave your modesty behind.

Restaurants such as Kau Kan, Coconuts and La Perla still deserve their reputations but lunch at Villa del Sol was way overpriced and the overall vibe seemed somewhat stuffy (maybe we'd gotten too used to the totally laid-back ambience at Amuleto). El Faro at Club Pacifica had great views of Ixtapa but was very expensive, the food was hit or miss, and the live music was truly awful. Also, for those looking for a break from all the upscale dining, La Mordida in Zihua has some great pizzas, burgers, and chicken breast sandwiches.

As for activities, our day trips to Isla Ixtapa and Playa Las Gatas were both a lot of fun but Jaguar Tours' Jungle/Cavern/Zipline Adventure was a real letdown. Perhaps the latter would have been more enjoyable with a smaller group, but our outing was wildly oversold so what should have taken about two hours turned into five. We ended up spending a lot of time standing around doing nothing as each person was asked to complete their cavern or zipline descents one at a time.

Do not expect to see any wildlife at all: we only saw a grand total of two birds and a small colony of bats during the entire time we were there. Also, do not expect to zip down the entire mountain: their website neglects to tell you that the zipline course is only about half complete, so after three short rides you then have to walk the rest of the way back down the mountain. Finally, while their site lists a price of $55 per person and says they accept credit cards, it doesn't say anything about hitting you up for an extra $5 if you want to pay by card. Never have so many paid so much for so little.

Also, be forwarned about the taxis. The cartel at the airport is now charging as much as US$35 for the short ride into Zihua; they even told some of our guests that they would only take pesos and then ripped them off on the exchange rate (charging $20 per $100 exchanged). They also tried to sell us on attending a time-share presentation. I can't think of a worse way to start off any trip, but the officials whose palms are obviously being greased by la mordida just as obviously don't care.

As for the in-town taxis, some drivers now charge up to US$6 for the short rides which otherwise cost just $2, so be sure to ask them how much they want before you get in their cab.

In closing, a final thanks to Zihua Rob for maintaining this site & message board, both of which were extremely helpful in planning our trip. What a great resource!

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