Posted by Steve from Upstate New York from 126.96.36.199 (alb-24-58-150-18.nycap.rr.com) on Saturday, March 30, 2002 at 13:08:42 :
My wife Keiko and I got back from Zihua last Saturday and wanted to thank everyone, especially Rob for all the great info we took from this board and used. Following is my version of a trip report:
Best Things We Did Or Experienced:
1. Talked to and enjoyed the wonderful Mexican people who made us feel like old friends rather than visitors. There is a very easy way to do this. I am interested in languages and spoke very little Spanish when we went down. I would ask every Mexican that we spent any time with, "How do you say _______ in Spanish", picking a couple of items that I wanted to learn to say. I would then use the phrases or words where appropriate on the next people we met. People were very appreciative of the fact we were interested in them and their language. I was astonished my last night when Herman (sounds like herr mon) at Garrobos told me the majority of visitors make no attempt to speak any Spanish or find out anything about the local people they are interacting with. There is nothing wrong with not doing it; you just miss out a lot.
2. Kayaking Tour of the Barra De Potosi Lagoon with Brian of Zoe Kayak: A magical 4 hour entry into another world. We are not bird people but the number of species that Brian led us to was unbelievable. I don't have his number with me but there is a message in the archives from someone named Toni that has the number and led us to take the tour; thanks Toni. The cost was 540 pesos or $60 american. Perhaps you can find a cheaper lagoon tour, but having Brian as a guide made it worthwhile for us.
3. Snorkling at Las Gatas and Spending The Day at Amado's Restaurant which is the furthest restaurant away from water taxi dock. The food was fantastic (try the baracuda tacos)and Miguel and Amado made us feel like family. If you are not that strong of a swimmer this is the perfect beach to snorkel at. If you are comfortable in the water, swim out to the point near Las Gatas beach club; that is where I found the most fish.
4. Chilling out at Playa Larga at Guerro Restaurant. La Ropa is pretty but you never get that deserted beach feeling. We got it at Playa Larga and the food at Guerro was truly excellent. Their octopus sauteed in garlic was near orgasmic and their Tiritas and red snapper (Huachinango) almost reached that level. The surf is pretty intense so it is a walking, wading and book reading beach.Say hello to Marco the owner for us when you are there.
5. Taking a panga to go snorkling at Bahia Manzillo. We chartered a boat from for 3 hours from Amado the las Gatas restaruant owner and he charged us 750 pesos. It was neat to get out into the open ocean in a private boat. We fished for an hour and snorkeled for 2. Just be aware if you have a weak swimmer in your group that you are going from a boat into deep water, unlike Las Gatas. Keiko was uncomfortable with that.
Also Felipe, Amado's son-in-law who took us out does not speak any English.
6. Food: Aside from Guerro and Amado's. Garrobos near Paseo El Pescador in Zihua had incredible seafood and very friendly service from the aforementioned Herman. There was a recent posting saying they were overpriced. We had 2 super fresh huachingo dinners, 3 stiff margaritas, a beer, a flan, 2 teas and the bill was 400 pesos. You be the judge! Casa Bahia in Zihua-very good food and an incredible view. Just to stoke controversy we were not impressed at all with La Perla or Sirena Gordon.
7. Caving/rappelling and hiking tour with Adventours in Ixtapa. It was great to get off the beach and do something on dry land. You should be in reasonable shape because the hike can be a little challenging in the heat and humidity. half of the fun was talking to and getting to know two great guys Pablo and Javier. Keiko rappelled for the first time in her life and did it like a pro! The other couple on the tour did a combined mountain biking, kayaking and (isla Ixtapa) snorkling tour which they raved about.
8 visitng with Rob in person. Rob thanks for the gracious welcome to Keiko and myself and we will make it a shorter visit next time so you can actually get some work done. Rob seems to be getting so many visitors these days that if we are going to drop by we should try and make it a short visit.
Other Misc Thoughts
Villa Mexicana-Nice clean rooms, very friendly and helpful desk clerks (especially Raoul), fantastic maid service, and very convenient safety box (accessible all hours without going through the desk clerk). Our hot water broke once but was fixed quickly. No bathtub and our rooms had two slightly larger than twin beds and we could not upgrade to an ocean view with a queen size, but we were not in our room much.
Prices in the Zihua area did not reflect the super cheap Mexico prices that many Americans and Canadians believe they will find down there but we consider our money well spent.