Posted by Danielle from 220.127.116.11 (ppp097.195-96-207.hull.mt.videotron.ca) on Wednesday, February 20, 2002 at 01:25:01 :
This is my 1st attempt at writing a trip report; but I feel that I have gotten so many useful suggestions, comments & opinions with this forum, that I should reciprocate.
Here it goes....
We have travelled many times to Mexico, and up until this trip, my husband (Claude) did not share my enthusiasm for Mexico. Ixtapa-Zihua is perfect for us; he is more Ixtapa type, and I am more Zihua type....and I convinced him that this time he would absolutely adore Mexico..and he did !! He now says next vacation will be 3 weeks.
We stayed at Villas Paraiso. The staff was great, layout, pool, lots of vegetation and price was right (vs canadian dollar).... and of course, Lucia is a DARLING! Villas Paraiso is close to the restaurants, within walking distance to the golf courses..... Also the bicycle path is very nice. We managed to walk all the way to Playa Linda ( 8 kilometers)......It is most important to bring water though.... I thought I was in fairly good shape, but after those 8 kilometers, I was huffing and puffing!!!!! We should have started our walk a little earlier in the morning, we had left at around 11:00am.
Claude played his share of golf and we also visited many beach areas. Playa Linda, Isla Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Las Gatas, La Madera, La Ropa, Playa Larga, Barra de Potosi and Troncones.
Isla Ixtapa..... we stopped in at a few places......we visited all sides of the island.....went on the little trail that takes you to the side where it is called ‘ turtle sanctiuary’ ?? The water is very nice for snorkelling on the other side of the island.....
Playa Linda....... I was kind of disappointed at the prices .... 65 pesos for a margarita at Playa Linda.....Wowwwwww......we walked a little further down the beach and had a margarita for 45 pesos....which seems more appropriate. Claude had his first experience at parasailing! He loved it..... we had no idea what were reasonable prices as this was a spur of the moment decision on his part. We paid 200 pesos......and he must have been up for approx 10 minutes...so we figure that the price was more than fair.
Las Gatas. We had an incredible good time.......the water is beautiful; we put our chairs out in the water and just relaxed sipping on margaritas & coronas. Very nice swimming , but watch out for the rocks in the water though! We met a couple from California who were lucky enough to be staying at Villas del Sol. We were invited back to their place for drinks, and enjoyed our visit at VDS. What a wonderful view of La Ropa and we got to see the beautiful sunset from their patio.......! I wish I knew how to post fotos so that I could share them....I will look into it.... After we left VDS, we stopped at Elviras for dinner. We were not disappointed.... very nice dinner, very good service.
Playa Larga is a bit more of a challenge to get to.... seems accessible only by car or taxi, but worth it! We were practically alone the whole afternoon..... the only thing I missed seeing were the dolfins and whales.... Last time I was at Playa Larga , we could watch them in the horizon..... Even though it was practically isolated, we were solicited by the vendors... I bought the usual ‘necklaces’ for souvenirs and also 2 hammacks... On the ride back, our taxi driver (who I should note arrived ahead of time....) was a wonderful ‘host’... When he noticed our interest in the coconut plantation, he stopped and had us eating fresh coconut. He also got Claude to ‘pretend’ to crack one open with an axe... !!
Barra de Potosi was also wonderful, just walking around, swimming.... playing cards, relaxing in the hammacks. One observation though, it kind of dawned on me while we were sitting in the ‘cattle truck’ waiting for it to be filled up.... There was this lady anxious for the truck to leave... who kept yelling ‘Vamonos’ at the driver....we realized she was anxious to get to the beach inorder to sell her wares.....however while we were waiting around (for at least 20 minutes) she never tried to sell us anything.....only when we met again on the beach. Is there some kind of ‘unspoken’ rule that they will not attempt to sell under such circumstances? This is not the first time I have ran into this situation..... anyways, I did happily buy a hammack from her...my 3rd one !! ;-)
Troncones.....wowwww... We started out at La Cocina del Sol where we had a lovely afternoon. We also went kayaking. La Cocina del Sol lets you enjoy their kayaks, boogie boards....we did not stay to eat; but will most definately make it a priority on our next visit. Apparently, the Chef is awesome. We decided to walk along the beach until we reached the Tropic of Cancer Beach Club. Our walk must have taken approximately one hour, and we encountered a total of 3 people! Anita from The Tropic of Cancer is a wonderful lady....we will make it a point of staying 3-4 days in Troncones on our next visit. We made new friends at The Tropic of Cancer who invited us back to their place... what a beautiful evening that was !! Sitting out on their patio, under the stars, listening to the waves.....drinking wine....what more could we ask for...by the way, the sky at night in Troncones is awesome......! Be warned though, it is best to make arrangements for a taxi back. ... Thank you Anita for your kind attention to this... And also, I should mention we had a very good meal at The Tropic of Cancer at very good prices!! Claude had the filet mignon for 90 pesos...which he says was succulent.Can’t beat that !
In Zihua, we had dinner a few nights on the beach on the Fisherman’s walkway, one night at Daniel’s, another night I forget the name of the restaurant.... On one of those nights, we seemed to be the only table on the beach; it was beautiful....candlelit dinner, full moon....toes in the sand....2 for 1 margaritas.... ;-)
We also stopped in at Rick’s Bar to meet with my friends Heike & Esperanza... We had a few drinks and it was nice to touch base again. For those that are interested, Rick’s has Mexican dancers and singers which makes for a very nice evening... I even made a lame attempt at dancing the Mexican Hat Dance...!
Sunday nights in Zihua at the basketball court are a must !.... Listening to music, people watching, eating...more people watching....more eating.... It is so beautiful to see the families together, each and every Sunday...to see the young children with their little ‘bags’ of juice, balloons.....corn on the cob....many of them dressed in their Sunday best. This takes me back in my ‘young’ days when Sundays were ‘dressing up days’ and we would wear our best clothes with our white shoes....and we would spend the day with family.
We stopped at Rossy’s one night to watch the spectacular sunset..... and dinner at La Perla. Claude had the Dona Raquel special ( a recommendation from the board, from Rob if I am not mistaken) and he enjoyed it. I had sangria and I forget what else..!! Probably cheese quesadillas and totopos again ... ;-) because I do not eat seafood, so many times I had to eat quesadillas and totopos con salsa mexicana....which I love...so that is no hardship! While at La Perla, we saw this chicken climb a tree!! I never knew chickens could climb trees!!!!!
In Ixtapa, we ate one night at Beccofino’s..... food was good, I had ceasar salad and pasta primavera and Claude had the house salad with Mahi Mahi..... We did feel rushed though. Seems like they are anxious to get you in, and to get you out. It felt like a race to see how fast the tables could be cleaned up and ready for the next diners... and I did find it pricey. 78 pesos for a ceasar salad and 128 pesos for pasta primavera.... they were good but I could not justify the cost. I had practically the same dinner later that week at Soleiado’s for half the cost and I enjoyed the ceasar even more at Soleiado’s....and the cost there was 80 pesos for 2 people.... I had penne arribiata for 65 pesos and Claude had pasta also ( I forget what he had...but he had only good comments ). The atmosphere was also very relaxed... We would have liked to go another night but it did not plan out.... but we will be back there most definitely. .. Soleiado’s has extremely good food ....with great prices to boot!
El Faro....... it seems there are 2 restaurants named El Faro, one at the marina and the other one, at the Pacifica... ? I forget the name....the El Faro we went to, was the one on the beach...where you take the cable car up.... We had a very very nice dinner at El Faro.... Food was extremely good, service excellent......prices ...in accordance with what one should pay at such restaurants.... we were expecting ‘so-so’ food......but we were pleasantly surprised! We did say we were going to go back....but lack of time again.....next visit!
We were walking on the beach after our meal at El Faro, and one of the beach ‘bars’ was playing beautiful music. I forget the name again..... but they are not very far from El Faro. We stopped for a drink.. and I just loved the music. It turned out to be a ‘karaoke’ night. The manager noticed that I seemed to know the songs, so gave me the list....and said the Chef would be happy to sing any one of them..... I picked ‘ Yo naci para amarte’ by Alejandro Fernandez....but unfortunately that one was too tough...... he did not know it.....!! I did choose a few more, and it was a lovely evening....... again on the beach, listening to music....what more could we want ?
In Ixtapa we also ate at JJ’s.... Casa Morelos....Reuben’s Hamburgers.....we had no complaints with any of them... Moderate prices.....good food, pleasant staff...
Emilio’s in Ixtapa has great pizza..... !!!!! Fairly reasonable prices also. I had pizza here back in Ottawa, and it was nothing compared to what we had at Emilio’s.
We stopped another night to watch the sunset at Carlos 'n Charlies (?)...
And of course I sampled many ‘tortas de pollo’....and the best one I had......was at the Mercado! Most of the time I was paying between 20 and 30 pesos.... and the one I enjoyed the best was at the Mercado, for 8 pesos!! Incredible! I also found very good prices for coffee at the Mercado, which make for great souvenir gifts... I bought 10 bags in total!
I’m sure I am forgetting many things.....as I have said, this is my 1st attempt at writing a trip report.... Bottom line is that Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a wonderful place to visit....... People are absolutely wonderful.....food is great, weather is fantastic....! We will be back... as a matter of fact, I am seriously contemplating middle March or middle April.....wish me luck!! ;-)
p.s.: Rob, we did walk by your place a few times but it was closed .....We did see your wife at her boutique, and we were tempted to stop by, but figured you were in ‘hiding’ in order to catch up on your work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for this forum...keep up the good work! It is a most interesting site ..... gracias..and also thank you to all of you who contribute to it.
p.p.s: Please refrain from comments on the writing style... I am French speaking (and note to Tony from Vancouver....not from La Belle Province), but from your national capital... Ottawa!