Activities report - Zihuatanejo & Ixtapa

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Posted by surfer from ( on lunes, diciembre 09, 2002 at 19:39:34 :

Just back from a long stay where we were based in Ixtapa and wanted to pass on some info on the various activities we did.

Ixtapa Island - Caught the 35 peso round trip panga from playa quieta to Ixtapa Island. From drop off pier, we walked 5 minutes across the island to playa coral.
There we set up camp at one of the palapas and enjoyed a long snorkel trip into the little bay and reef area there. Nice ... a bit larger selection of fish (20-25 species) than was found at Playa las gatas. Water was much calmer at Las Gatas though. Had beans, rice, & hot tortillas and chips & guacamole plus water & beers. I think the bill came to 140 pesos. Stayed at the beach for about 4 hours total. more people showed up by 1pm.
nice, definitly worth doing.

Las Gatas: caught the 35 peso panga from the main pier in Zihuatanejo. We went early.
We were snorkeling by about 8:15 and this time we did a long 2 hr snorkel around the point .... down well past owen lee's jungle palapa hotel. Saw fewer species total but saw more of the 'rockstar' species: Eel, sting ray, octopus, and barracuda .... plus a variety of the reef fish. The area we went is considered 'outside' of the normal snorkel area and is usually a little rough but was very calm that day. You had to keep listening for approaching panga motors as they didnt expect to see snorkelers in one part of that area and it was best to make sure they saw you. Only other people who went that way were 2 spear fisherman and they were kind enough to chat with us a bit.
We lunched at our very favorite place on the beach: Otillia's .... second from the last.
Franco is the headwaiter and is a great guy who tipped us to our excellent snorkel route.
Otillia's is also right by the trailhead that takes you up through the jungle to the light house. This time we didnt go up there but it is a great activity if you don't mind a 30-35 minute hike up a moderate pitch, through the jungle. Ask one of the waiters to take you if you have never done it. A nice lighthouse perched on a rugged cliff that overlooks the pacific (and wonderfully cool ocean breezes) awaits you .... nice photo ops. A nice tip to the lighthouse guards and your guide, is the right thing to do. We find that if we can start our snorkel trip at las gatas pretty early in the morning, the water is clearer and we see more of the exotic species.

We didnt catch the bus to Barra de potosi or out to troncones this trip, but we did catch the bus to Petatlan. My wife had not been there yet and we saw the church & walked around the market. Ate fresh carrots. Enjoyed the juice store near town centre. Took our fresh squeezed watermelon juice & Limon Juice back up to sit in the church courtyard to listen to the services inside, enjoying the breeze that seems to always be there and then caught the bus back to Zihuatanejo. Nice outing. Bus cost about 12 pesos, one way. (make sure to respect local custom and not actually enter the church if your wearing shorts) The bus ride is part of the fun of this outing. You either like it or you don't. We do.

We didnt have our kids with us this trip so we did not go to the waterslide park in Ixtapa but I got the impression it wasnt open for the season yet. Kids (& parents)under the age of 12 usually like it.

This was also our first trip where we didnt find a neat outdoor fair to go to. They had a huge one outside of Ixtapa last year and that was a blast.

We did make it to most of the Sunday night kids night & talent show that they have every Sunday Night at the beachside basketball court & outdoor theater, in Zihuatanejo.
This is a must see if you want a 'norman rockwell' family evening activity.
Lots of neat vendor foods & juice carts and they do all kinds of fun things for kids.

Our little condo needed a cutting board & knife so we shopped at the little stores behind the main 'yellow' market in downtown Zihua. Found both for a total of 42 pesos.
The market is just a fun place to hang out, especially early before it gets to hot.
There is a guy in the main room of the market that will give you small samples of his fresh string cheese. This is a neat business strategy because the stuff is awesome and you end up buying a small bag from him _every_ time you go there. You find yourself walking along with your partner and saying "you know, some of that string cheese sounds good for lunch"

The craving never leaves you ......


Hope this helps ...

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