Trip Report

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Posted by Jan in Indiana from ( on sábado, diciembre 28, 2002 at 23:50:45 :

Our family has just returned from the most glorious vacation we've ever taken, bar none! It was a vacation of "firsts" for us - a first multi-generational extended family trip, a first Christmas away from home, and our first trip to the Zihua area. WOW!

We were very fortunate to have our local Indianapolis-based travel club, Ambassadair, have a charter trip going to Zihua. We got incredibly great fares to fly direct from Indy. Once I had the flights booked, I began browsing the Internet and stumbled on this message board where I have received such wonderful advice, guidance and insight by simply reading the posts. Many thanks to all the "veterans" of the Ixtapa/Zihua area. It's amazing how many contacts I made before we even left home thanks to this board and the related links. (Thank you, Rob, and all who contribute!)

As it turned out, we were intrigued with the idea of staying in Troncones and found accomodations at the Villas Atlantis for the week. What a fantastic find! Located right on the beach where you leave your villa door open at night to hear the crashing waves, it provided us with a true home away from home. Bill and Patricia Tucker became friends online before we arrived by carefully and patiently answering all our questions and giving us guidance. The food was great although since it's not an AI, (continental breakfast is included), we did eat other places, too. But the whole atmosphere was one of gracious hospitality with the incredible setting and warm and friendly staff. It has a lovely, small pool, perfect to cool off if you don't want the beach sand ALL the time. But the beach is immediately off the pool deck and beckons all who stay at Atlantis. On Sunday they had jazz music with a wonderful zazz vibraphone player entertaining guests while eating Billy's out-of-this-world barbeque ribs!

While staying in Troncones may not appeal to every vacationer, it was perfect for our family because we had the incredible opportunity to get to know some of the local residents. My daughter, for example, became friends with two of the local Mexican girls who wanted to learn English. As a result, my daughter was invited to spend time at each girl's home and met their families. What an extraordinary treat. The opportunity to spend time in a small, but beautiful village like Troncones lends itself to having the honor to quietly observe the culture in action as opposed to merely staying in a large hotel where you never see the local residents living their own lives.
Our family also enjoyed a myriad of wonderful activities there. All the girls rode horses on the beach one evening, several of us took surfing lessons from Dr. Mark at Jaguar Tours (Mark is an incredible teacher who makes each experience a positive one for each member of the group!), and the Zipline tour down the mountainside and into the cave, again with Dr. Mark leading the way.

One of the blessings of being there at Christmas time was to participate in the local Posada on Monday evening. Mexican and non-Mexican families alike gathered in the local soccer field and watched as the local children processed down the Troncones road and led by the symbolic Mary on her burro, asked to come inside by singing the carols. Watching the children's faces behind their glowing candles singing their Christmas tradition gave our family a glorious Christmas treat and one we won't forget. Likewise, on Thursday evening the new Cafe Troncones hosted some fantastic Mexican folk dancers who performed for guests. The Cafe Troncones is a new venture also operated by the folks at Atlantis and designed to bring people of Troncones together for common gatherings and celebrations. If Thursday's dance performance is any indication of its success, I have no doubts! Not only was the entertainment truly special to watch, the food was fantastic!

There are many wonderful places to stay in Troncones. We walked up and down the road and saw many options to choose from. One place my husband and I did visit was right next door to Atlantis - we stopped in to meet Ellen and Ed Weston at Casa Ki. What a paradise they have created with their magical gardens and total sense of tranquility. With charming bungalows all painted in cheerful, yet, peaceful colors, Casa Ki would be another wonderful place to stay while exploring Troncones.

Again, while we stayed in Troncones, Zihua and Ixtapa are not long drives away and we visited each a couple of times for shopping, eating and exploring. However, at the end of the excursion it was great to come "home" to Troncones. Driving into Troncones and seeing local Mexican residents we had met through our new friends and waving a greeting made us feel like a tad more than mere vacationing tourists. Our sincere and heartfelt appreciation for this community gave us a desire to come back again and again.

I want to stress that this is our first trip to this area and I know from reading this board that there is such an incredible variety of places to stay based on interests, lifestyles, objectives, etc. So, I am abundantly clear that one of the many jewels about this part of Mexico is the huge range of options. I merely offer our recent experience as one that fit our family's needs to a T!

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