Trip Report - Barcelo/Ixtapa/Zihua


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Posted by Dennis and Diane in TO on January 21, 2001 at 17:57:38:

After reading this message board for months and anxiously awaiting our trip, we are finally able to write our own trip report! Just returned from 2 weeks in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and had the best holiday of our lives. Arrived on Thursday, Jan.4th, 9:00 p.m., stayed at the Barcelo and were very impressed with the resort - the staff, the service, the room, the surroundings, the beach, the pool, all the restaurants were definitely worth the 5 star rating. We went to sleep every night with the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the shore, what a lullabye! We had composed a list from the message board of everything we wanted to do and managed to accomplish most of them. We took a water-taxi into Las Gatas beach early one day in search of Arnoldo's... we ended up missing it but found a wonderful restaurant called Otilia's and planted ourselves there for the day. Franko, our waiter/host for the day was very accommodating and friendly - gave us a tour of the restaurant including the kitchen and livestock on the grounds. Rented snorkelling equipment and did some snorkelling. The day was perfect, had a delicious lobster feast on the beach with our lounge chairs right in the water! We went into Zihuatanejo at least every second day and explored the town, strolled the boardwalk with its many bars/restaurants on the beach, ate at Casa Elvira, had dinner one night at Casa Bahia on Rob's recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed the view as well as the delicious food! The seafood pasta was amazing! Also got to meet Rob's Mom Judith while we were there at the restaurant. Another night we had dinner at La Madera restaurant but did not enjoy the food there too much although the setting and the view were both beautiful. We enjoyed walking around, interacting with the locals, seeing many unique things such as, people walking their pigs, kids walking with fish and using them as play objects, the strolling musicians, Dennis found a pool hall and enjoyed playing a few games of pool with the local poolsharks, met Rob for advice, friendly conversation and use of internet services. We planned our own day trip into Petatlan, took the local bus which was a great experience in itself with the bumpy ride, people jumping on and off at all parts of the road, the loud Mexican music being played by the bus driver that kept stopping and restarting after banging the cassette on the dashboard! It was about a 1 hour bus ride from Zihua to Petatlan - had no trouble finding the right stop to get off and enjoyed the walk through the town to the beautiful church. Being Sunday, all the masses were going on and we were amazed at the amount of people spilling in and out of the church. The gold vendors surrounded the church, great deals on gold, bought a pair of 14k gold earrings. We truly enjoyed walking around the food market and seeing the Mexicans in their own environment, away from the tourists. Everyone was extremely friendly and we were the only tourists around that we could see. On the walk back to catch the bus, we found an incredible spot for a refreshing cerveza, a couple of tables with the walls covered in dead animal skins and deerheads! It was creepy in a fun sort of way and added to the whole experience! On another morning we rented bikes from in front of our hotel and found the bike path from in front of the Dorado Pacifico, through the jungle, and coming out at the other end to find Playa Linda. It was there we met with the crocodiles, at least 13 that we could count in their own habitat, playing and snapping at each other with turtles and cranes by their side. The ride was about 8km one way, thank God we happened to pick the only day that was a little overcast as the temperatures during our trip were all in the 30's celcius! Against Rob's advice, we decided to book a day trip into Acapulco and we were very happy that we did. The Suburban van picked us up at our hotel before 7 am, the cost, $120 U.S. per person included a stop at a restaurant about 2 hours into the trip for breakfast and lunch in downtown Acapulco, and the admission to the cliffdivers, as well as a guided tour of old and new Acapulco and the surrounding area by an extremely knowledgeable local tour guide by the name of Adrian. It was definitely worth seeing for the day as we now know it is not a place we would ever want to book a holiday to, a day was enough. Got back to the hotel before 10pm, even after getting a flat tire in the middle of the deserted, dark highway! Concluding our trip report, we felt we got the best of both worlds as Ixtapa was breathtaking with a beautiful golden sand beach and perfectly manicured boulevards, incredible amount of majestic palm trees and then Zihuatanejo with its own Mexican charm and ambiance, friendliest people and its own rare beauty. It's true what they say, the day we had to leave, I couldn't stop the tears when we went into town for one last look and we asked the strolling musicians to sing "Zihuatanejo" one more time. It was the perfect ending to a perfect holiday! Thanks very much Rob and everyone who contributed to the message board for sharing all your experience and advice. Hasta la Vista Mexico! (We'll be back!)


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