Back to Zihua 2006 - Mmmm - Make that '07



Las Gatas






Tequila + Cigars

Amor Del Sol



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  Food Adventures
Common Mexican Dishes:

Horchata is a refreshing cold drink made of rice, almonds, cinnamon (canella), lime zest and sugar.  This drink is rumored to be a cure for a hangover and is frequently served at breakfast time. Even though the drink has a milky appearance it is completely dairy-free.

Tiritas - Similar to Ceviche, except that the fish is cut in strips instead of cubed. Tomatoes, cilantro and orange juice are not added... just fish, chiles and onions... red onions, julienned not chopped. You'll have a better chance of getting great tiritas rather than ceviche in local restaurants these days (just my opinion).

Huachinango Frito - Fried Red Snapper

Calzone is an Italian turnover made of pizza dough and stuffed with cheese (usually Mozzarella cheese and Ricotta, but some varieties contain Parmesan, Provolone or a locally substituted cheese), meat, vegetables, etcetera. The dough is folded over, sealed on one edge, baked (or occasionally deep-fried), and often served with Marinara sauce (a sauce based on tomatoes and basil) or Bolognese Sauce (a meat sauce).

Tacos Al Pastor are made from pork meat that has been marinated in a secret recipe and then cooked in a rotisserie with pineapple on top. The tacos should be very small (almost like 2 bites size) and garnished with cilantro (coriander), chopped onion and the pineapple. Add your favorite hot sauce.

Mole is the undisputed national sauce of Mexico.  Its a blend of chocolate, chilies, garlic, onions and nuts.  Chocolate is an ingredient, but if cooked properly, only a hint remains discernible by the time the sauce is served over turkey, chicken, seafood, pork or roasted vegetables.

Pozole is a soup or stew made from hominy, with pork (or other meat), chili, and other seasonings and garnish (lettuce, oregano, cilantro, avocado, radish, etc.).  You want Pozole Verde.

Chiliquiles - cheese-topped mixture of home-made tortillas, fried crispy with mild onions, drenched in sauce.  Sounds deliciious - I can hardly wait to have some.  Here's a recipe.

Huevos Rancheros - A classic Mexican breakfast dish meaning "eggs ranch-style" or "eggs country-style" in Spanish.  The dish traditionally was served at the large mid-morning breakfast, or almuerzo, on rural farms where workers had a much smaller meal at dawn.  The basic version of huevos rancheros consists of corn tortillas fried lightly, and fried eggs with a tomato-chili sauce.  Refried beans (frijoles refritos), slices of avocado, fried potatoes, and extra chili peppers are common accompaniments. Scrambled eggs can be used instead of fried eggs.

Machacha is dried beef mixed with scrambled eggs.

Tampiquena is steak, beans, roasted peppers, guacamole, whipping cream, tortillas etc.  Refers to "in the style of Tampico", a stule carne asada originating in Mexico, specifically from the Tampico Club in 1939.

molcajete is a stone tool, the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle, used for grinding various food products.  Traditionally used to grind maize into masa for use in food items such as tortillas and tamales, molcajetes are now most often used to crush and grind spices, and prepare salsas, moles and guacamole.  Molcajetes can also be used as a cooking tool, where it is heated to a high temperature using an open fire or hot coals, and then used to heat its food contents.

"Salchicha and Huevos" - Although strictly speaking, Salchicha is sausage in Spanish, I understand it is not sausage and eggs. It's hot dogs and eggs.  Pass.  :-))

Mojitos are a light rum (as in using light rather than dark rum - may be the only light thing about it!) drink with lime, sugar, soda & mint sprigs originating from Cuba.

Chicharones are fried pig skin or what we commonly call 'crackling' - almost impossible to find these days in your average grocery store or meat market here in Canada.

Sopes are small cornmeal cakes which you can top with a variety of items, beef, cheese and onions, tomatoes and olives, . . .

Pico de Gallo is basically salsa but with less liquid so it doesn't run all over the place.

Tingas are really stews.  Tingas are related to moles but are a true blend of Spanish cooking techniques and Mexican ingredients. Onions and garlic are sauteed, tomatoes added, then stock, herbs and spices and the mixture is simmered to make a sauce. The precooked meat and, usually, chorizo sausage are then added, with canned chipotle chile.

Sopapilla are a fried dough which forms a pocket in the middle -- much like a donut.  The center is opened and filled with chicken/beef or whatever you choose, plus onions and tomatoes, cheese and similar items.

Michiladas are ice with lime juice and then beer over top.

Pulpo - is Octupus!

Mojo de Ajo - is garlic sauce

The comments after each place are those of others, not my own unless so noted.
LA PERLA ~  On La Ropa - The service was friendly and fast and the food very good: guacamole, chicken Cordon Bleu, Ceasar salad, pulpo al Mojo de Ajo and 2 beers: 340.00 for 2.  Sports Bar & home of the Walk-In Humidor.  Website

LA CASA CAFE ~ Pedro and family moved from Oregon seven years ago and run a great breakfast place. And Pedro is most knowledgeable about what is going on and willing to sit down and share. First cup if coffee is free, place is so relaxed, everyone is so friendly.  Closed Mondays.  Website

SALVADOR'S ~Located at the end of the canal bridge stairs down the street from La Gula on Calle Adelita, you sit in a modest cafe surrounded by a pretty little garden. The food is prepared with care and skill with generous portions, fresh squeezed juice and coffee that are included and interesting side dishes. The prices (factoring in all the side dishes and portions) are cheapest of any place we found. The owner is a polite caring person with a ready smile who truly takes pride in his little outdoor cafe.  Also a good place to get a beer ($8 pesos) on the way back from town.

PATY'S MAR Y MAR ~ on La Ropa for breakfast. They have fabulous French Toast.   Also open for lunch and dinner at very reasonable prices. + Coconut ice cream.  Chock full of coconut and was really good.  Each bowl had three scoops and two sugar wafer cookies for 35 pesos each! Website

MARGARITA'S ~ Next to Coconuts in Zi. Good breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a reasonable price. Unless you are a carb fanatic leave the pasta alone. Mexican pasta is big on noodles, skimpy on sauce. +  Had Chilaquilles at Margarita's one morning, they were the best I have had in Zihua (16 visits in 14 years) Website

MI CHAYITO for Chinese food on Vincente Guerrero.  Has Mexican food also.

POZOLE ALLEY is not a eatery but a street or, more appropriately, lane off Nicolas Bravo No3.  Here at RICOMAR  you find the best Pozole and we were finally on time for Thursday`s Pozole Verde. A broth of tomatillos and pumpkin seeds with hominy corn. Side accompaniments are chicharones, radish, avocado, lime, chopped white onion and green chilies. A substantial meal for only 16 pesos.

EL MERCADO  The open market on Vincente Guerro is happening in the early morning before it gets too hot to handle. Comedor Delia is a place I like to frequent. Delia and her team of cooks, make the best tortitas de papas (potato cakes), giant chile rellenos, a simple fried fish or caldo de chivo (goat) or caldo de pancita (tripe).  All priced between 30 and 40 pesos, the plates are served with rice and beans and radish garnish and all the fresh made tortillas you can eat.  For those still hesitant about eating in the market, I can't stress enough, the food prepared is absolutely fresh, bought that morning, fish caught that morning, do give it a chance.  It is a wonderful place for breakfast or early lunch. Observe the places that are the most crowded. I particularly adore tortitas de papas, chiles rellenos or a beautiful piece of fresh fish done mojo de ajo style. + 
Comida Corrida – similar to a blue plate special - at Fonda Paloma in the Central Market - always very neat and extremely clean. The women who work there are exceptionally pleasant and helpful.

DONA LICHI ~ Breakfast - the best. They serve hand made tortillas. This restaurant is on Los Cocos. Los Cocos is the street behind the Market and the restaurant is down a couple of blocks. It is shorter to come from the other way.

ROSSY'S ~ On La Ropa and always popular on the board's for a beach hangout and breakfast or lunch. + We ate numerous times, breakfast and lunch, at Rossy`s, friendliest staff, good prices, good food.  Rossy's is a good place to hang with never a minimum or cover charge for a lounge chair & umbrella. + We asked if we could get a big platter of grilled seafood, and that's exactly what we got. Grilled garlic shrimp, lobster, fish, and breaded oysters. It was sooooo good!!! It took up most of our table. We finished our meal with banana flambe with banana ice cream......yum!!    Website

NUEVA ZEALANDIA ~ On Calle Cuauhtemoc #23.  A longtime favorite meeting place for breakfast and lunch.

MJ & RICHIE'S ~ On Play Madera THE Best Beach Café in All of Mexico!  ~~~ Many great comments on this one. ~~~

POLLO FELIZ ~ Talk about good food. We ordered the whole chicken and fries. With water was 92 pesos. We even took about half the chicken back home.

100 % FRESH - at Plaza Kioto has good breakfasts & marvelous fresh juices.

EL PUEBLITO ~ Off the beaten path (past the Mercado, more or less on Jose Morelos) the entrance is hard to find, but once inside you are in a living piece of history. You can spend 30 minutes just wandering around looking at the old hacienda. The courtyard where the food is served is beautiful. The food is authentic...and on my two visits I was only one of two English speaking visitors. Ask for Lucio...he is a waiter with good English and a great sense of humor.  170 brands of Tequila + Lamb Barbocoa (BBQ) on Sundays.  Open from Noon 'til 10PM Daily.  Website

CASA ARCADIA ~ downtown, right at sea level on the beach.  Bloody Marys, a couple of beers, a plate of chips and fresh salsa (pico) and a plate of fresh guac...cost was 70 pesos. $6.30.  Dinners also good.  This restaurant is number 25 on the Zihua downtown maps... it's not really listed... it's the next to the last restaurant along the downtown beach, furthest from the pier, near the Museum. It is away from the bulk of the downtown restaurant action but they really do things right.  Margarita's - Big, slushy, plenty of booze and so icey cold that they give you automatic brain freeze. Six dollars for one.  Paseo del Pescador #6

CENADURIA ANTELIA ~ Simple Mexican fare, no "Mexican" decor, just Mexican families and people (and some smart Gringos). One block in from Benito Juarez and Pedro Ascensio." We concur. Best meal we have had here, and by far, the least expensive.  Their Chicken Tamales are $6 pesos and the chicken is all pure white, nicely shredded.

DON MEMO'S ~ On Pedro Ascencio near Angela's Hostel about a block from Cuahutemoc.  We ran into this very small outdoor dining with 6 tables on a small porch in an alley. I would call this an Italian restaurant with some Mexican menu items. We were both starved for some pasta and tried this small eatery. We both had a Insalata Mista which was excellent. I had pasta with a rich Bolognese sauce and my wife had pasta pesto with two glasses of red wine a piece. I am half Italian and have eaten at some excellent Italian restaurants and this was one of the best pastas, done to perfection with a great meat sauce, that I have ever had. There is only one waiter that serves the diners and he is very personable and attentive. By the way the meal was 26 dollars and the portions would feed 2-3 people but our plates were empty at the end of the meal.  Mr. Memo usually works behind the bar and helps out where needed.

Tamales "Any" (pronounced Ah-nee's) for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  During the busy season, go on Thursday night for the dance show. Everyone seems to know about this place and I have yet to hear an unkind word. Prices are very reasonable. If you are lucky, Jose will be the host when you come in. Great guy who sets the tone for a marvelous experience. Were the rest of the world run like Tamale's, what a wonderful world it would be.  + Tamales Any had a large selection of wonderful breakfast meals that were always hot and accompanied by delicious side dishes. + For dinner we went to "Any's" again. The food and the service were excellent as usual. One rarely sees locals eating at the more upscale places, but this is not the case at "Any's", which speaks well for the quality of their food and the prices.  ~~~I've seen many comments on Any's and all of them were positive.~~~

LA HACIENDA ~ (Ixtapa)....I've written about this restaurant before but have never seen anyone else write about it. This amazes me since it is our favorite Ixtapa restaurant. Their dinners are so delicious and so reasonably priced....wonderful garlic shrimp, Grande something, I can't recall. It's located across from the Barcelo. Every year my husband says to me "Why do you keep complaining that nobody knows about this you want to stand in line?"  +  We loved it. So we went back this year, then we went back again and then again. It's almost directly across the street from the Inter-Continental Presidente. It's not fancy looking and doesn't have an eye-catching menu. My favorite is the Shrimps "Costa Grande." The quality of the shrimp was excellent.....plump, firm and tender. The sauce was a spicy garlic. It's served with fresh vegetables and rice for $12. The "Guerrero" plate is excellent at $8 and our friends loved the Fish Brochette "Virreyna" which was, I think $9. Every time we went we got either a free appetizer or a free second glass of wine.  I highly recommend ordering the Mexican coffee after dinner. They actually pull out the cart and make it at your table....they even do the flaming orange peel thing. Joel is always our waiter and he is the sweetest man.

CASA BAHIA ~ Right up there though a bit more informal than some other places (the kind of place Jimmy Buffett would like).  +  We also like Casa Bahia in Puerto Mio. Very good food and a view of the bay that rivals Kau Kan except you're looking in the opposite direction.  Has a new (2006) deck upstairs.  Good food and reasonable prices.  On the El Almacen in Zi.  554-8666  Website

CHILI BEANS ~ (Ixtapa) across from the Intercontinental - new in 2006 and another restaurant by Deb of Norma Y Deb.  Great for breakfast & lunch.  Website

RICOMAR ~ In Pozole Alley (see above in Light Eating).  +  Our best meal in 10 days was in town at the Ricomar, 6 meals w/beverages for $13usd...great enchiladas verdes

SANKA GRILL ~ The best tacos in town. Calle Ejido #22 ~~~Another place that always seems popular with 'Zihua Old Hands'. ~~~ 554-6136 / 554-6137

DANIEL'S ~ Good, large margaritas and excellent shrimp and salad.  Open for Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner.  On Paseo del Pescador Website

EL MANGLAR ~ for lunch or dinner.  This is truly a unique restaurant in a "jungle" environment just off the beach (and next to the crocs) at the end of La Ropa. You won't find a more friendly host than owner/ waiter "Memo" (Bill). Rosa cooks up great food. Prices are reasonable.  One large crocodile was basking on the beach behind the fence. Closed on Wednesdays.

JAROCHO ~ discovered this restaurant late into the trip. We had an excellent lunch, excellent service, very good food and extremely clean.  . Nicholas Bravo + H. Galena in Zihua  Open for Lunch + Dinner.  Website  ~~~Think this is the restaurant I took pictures of that was just being finished in 2005.~~~

Caille Adelita.  It's just a tiny place with a 3 choice menu that changes daily & the food & service were wonderful, and so are the owners. truly charming in every way.  The

IL MARE ~ in Zihua overlooking the bay is very nice. Fernando the owner is quite a character.  + We've been going here since Fernando first opened. It is, in my opinion, by far the best. The food is wonderful, the view is wonderful, the service is wonderful. And if you want to get all dressed up for a special night, great. If you don't, that's ok too. I love this had to go 3 times.  ~~~Always gets positive comments.  Italian and Greek based cuisine.~~~ 554-9067  Website

LA CALA ~ at Puerto Mio in Ixtapa is beautiful. Set down in a cove at the water with terraced dining. Lighting by the waters edge is very romantic. Juanito entertains + Enma one of the owners is quite sweet . She is a pleasure to talk with.  The most beautiful restaurant I've been to in Mexico. . . If you want romantic, this is the place. The best part for me was watching the resident sea turtle swim back into the bay after dark, fighting the waves to find just the right sport to spend the evening. I wasn't as impressed with the food but was still glad we went because it was so beautiful. + This is really a magical restaurant, romantic, food is great, wait staff superb! You will not be able to see the sun setting so go after dark and enjoy the candle light.  Enma took wonderful care of us getting us our table by the water.  You must try the chocolate souffle. Email Enma and she will be happy to take care of your reservations.  +  Try La Cala in Zihua. Romantic setting and good food. Take a taxi though, it is difficult to find at night.  Emna is a lovely hostess and the setting is hard to beat - waves lapping a few feet from your table.  Overall good food and good service.  Tel.  755-7075   Website

AMULETO ~  Rang bell several times before being admitted and then treated with some suspicion until our reservation was confirmed. Had one of their potent margaritas and an excellent meal.  +  Their margaritas are still the best we've had in Zihua. I had an excellent chilled roasted red pepper soup and a great scallop salad. The entree, on the other hand, was a different matter.  +  The ambience of Amuleto can't be beat, and we'll return again next winter. . .set up in the hills, looking out onto the stunning bay and the lights of Zihua. Don't miss the leek and mussel quiche.   +  Amuleto appears from the outside as if it is a private home. I didn't notice even so much as a sign to tell you what it was. Go to the large ornate wooden door and ring the buzzer/intercom.  Once inside - an absolutely gorgeous place.. the architecture.. the interior design and the VIEW.   +  Great view, food, service and the best margaritas in town. + Great food, good service, the best view and the tastiest margaritas we've found in the area.  Sunset cocktails would be lovely here.  Reservations are necessary: 544-6222.  NO credit cards accepted.    Website

LA GULA ~ Upstairs on Calle Adelita in Madera neighborhood.  Look for the flags below an upstairs window.  What can I say?  It is still putting out consistently good platters of food.  It was the prefect "first night in Zih" dinner stop for us . .. relaxed . . .attentive service . . . nice presentation . . . and decently priced fine dining.  . . . .  when you enter you won't believe the ambience, Rosalba is a wonderful hostess and her husband Pepe is a marvelous chef. Strangers feel immediately like friends. The prices are surprisingly reasonable considering the quality. I visited it three times. It will be the first place I go to when I return.   +  Fabulous! The service was top-notch, the food amazing and so beautifully presented....the people so gracious and attentive. A gourmet meal at reasonable prices. Website  554-8396

KAU KAN ~  Loved it. The crab & olive torte appetizer could be an entree for a light eater. The stuffed potato is nothing like here in the US. There was a small baked potato on the plate along with a lobster tail and pile of shrimp. Staff/service was wonderful. We ate a little early (6) & had the best table in the place to watch the sunset. + Another beautiful rooftop setting, friendly service.  +  I enjoyed it more than I expected. Hushed, upscale ambiance, even on the outdoor terrace. + Make sure you make reservations for the upper level terrace and get a table on the outer wall to the left as you come out of the staircase for a beautiful view of the bay.  Carr. Escenica s/n above Playa Madera  Website  554- 8446

CASA VIEJA ~ nice setting in Madera neighborhood, well prepared food and nice touches like the complimentary liquor at the end. (Watch out for the no-seeums as the restaurant is located at the foot of Cerro Madera and away from the ocean breezes).  Calle Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez #7 in Madera.  *** I've been here and enjoyed it. ***

We went here twice, as much for the ambiance as the food. The restful garden dining area is dramatically lit and wonderfully decorated. It's a chic and romantic alternative to the overdone.  The bar is filled with really comfy and elegant furnishings and is situated adjacent to the sidewalk of Calle Cinco de Mayo making it perfect for early evening people watching . Relax on the cushy white couch, order a glass of good pinot grigio and some excellent shrimp cocktail. One shrimp cocktail is enough for two people - the serving is huge. . . . Joaquin, the owner, is a bright intelligent young man from Mexico City with a vision.  Chile Relleno con Queso y Camarones - superb!  If you intend to go to dinner there after 7PM, make a reservation as you will need it. +  Romantic setting, excellent food and service. Next to church downtown.  Website   554-3019

ZI ~
at Club Zi Intrawest - between Playas Madera + La Ropa -- Zi restaurant was very good, some unique entrees (scallops with balsamic vinegar reduction sauce and risotto was delicious) but it was also the most expensive dinner we had while in Zihua.  And - For an elegant stop, we found the latest and greatest right beside the Sotovento - Club Intrawest, a drop dead gorgeous complex just opened.  The lofty bar overlooks the water, the sunset and two pools of the club that shimmer from purple, red and green. The menu gives provenance to ingredients of the area, goat cheese from neighbouring Petatlan, organic honey from Maria Aguilar, organic coffee and organic ginger from local El Corral del Diablo.  +  For dinner we walked up to the Intrawest and ate at the Zi. What a great view and the food and service were excellent.

CHULETO'S - International cuisine.  For beautifully prepared food on par with SF Ca quality and flavor dinner; for two around 300 pesos plus tip with drinks but in non-native atmosphere near the muelle,  We LOVE Chuleto's. Their fresh-off-the-boat tuna fillet, grilled rare rolled in cracked pepper served with wasabi cream and shoyu is divine.  On Paseo del Pescador 70, Zihuatanejo. Reservations Tel.. 544 6639. Offering the menu of late Swiss Chef Paul Karrer.

VILLA DE LA ROCA    (need to reserve at least a day in advance) Cash Only.  Reservations, please call 755-44793 (??) between 9 AM and 3 PM. Efrain speaks English.  Website

BOGART'S ~ In the Krystal Hotel in Ixtapa - Romantic + An outrageous Moroccan decor puts you in a Bogart/Bacall mood in a Casa Blanca setting. Indoor fountains, piano music add to the scene. + I hope they still serve the cold creamed avocado soup in a large block of ice. Outstanding, followed by the chateaubriand and flaming cherries jubilee. Bring cash but it's worth the visit.  Tel. 553-0333

LA ESCOLLERA ~ Try La Escollera for dinner.  It is on the main road that leads into the hills just before Amuleto overlooking the bay and La Ropa.  The prices are very reasonable, the view is out this world and if you go at lunch you can use the infinity pool.  Website

ZIHUA BLUE ~ Formerly the Bay Club, is the newest restaurant in Zi.  Owner is Edmond BenLouLou.  (Doesn't really sound Mexican does it!)  Here is a link to the 'former Bay Club' website.

CANTOS DE LAS SIRENA ~ from several different sources as a great place to dance. One night we tried, unsucessfully, to tell the Cabbie that we wanted to go there. Later we asked some young people hanging out by the mercado.. no luck. Finally we asked the waiter, Enrique, at Bandidos about it. He smiled knowingly and said.. "oh yes.. here.. I will write it down so no cab driver can mistake what you are saying. Then when you get there ask for ****** and tell him I sent you."  By the main bus station.

EL FARO ~ If not doing dinner there, go for an after dinner drink and watch the floor show which begins each evening at 9 PM at the bottom of the tram ride.  Monday night show is best with Mariachi band, dancers, singers, etc. Drinks are cheap and it is fun...

LA ESCOLLERA ~ Have an after dinner drink and relax while taking in the most spectacular views of the town of Zihua and the bay.    Website

RICK'S BAR ~ Anytime is a good time but Friday Nite is 'Open Mike" nite and a lot of fun. On Cuauhtemoc Pedestrian Walkway.  Grill your own steaks on Friday & Saturday 5-11PM on the Deck 'Topside'.   Website

BANDIDO'S ~ Good for both dinner & dancing.  Often a good Salsa Band.  Not hugely expensive but somewhat so in comparison to others.  Also an occasional report of 'monkey bizness' with the bill so keep an eye out on that.  Cinco de Mayo & Pedro Ascencio  Website

EL SANKA GRILL ~ a A">good place that we enjoy and very reasonable.A">  Calle Ejido #22

BLUE MAMOU ~ Blue Mamou for ribs and great jazz/blues music.  On Passo del Palmar just up from the Fire Stn but opposite side.  (Passo del Palmar is the road up from Plaza Kioto to La Ropa.)

CATALINA'S SUNSET BAR ~ Very good and very cheap. A true dos por uno between 5 + 7, two drinks for 35 pesos, and the most spectacular sunset.  We will definitely return.


First, the currency of Mexico is Pesos. The use of currency other than the peso (except for exchange to pesos at banks or cambios) shows disrespect for Mexico.   At time of writing (Oct '06), beginning in November, Mexico will be issuing new bills.  $50's begin in November, followed by $100's in December and others thereafter over the next three years.

Foreign Currency - While some businesses may take them don't depend on it.  Neither is it to your advantage as many will not have access to exchange rates and you will lose big.

Ripped/Torn Bills - The aversion to torn (or even about-to-tear) bills extends to pesos as well as foreign currency. It's not a bad idea to check bills you are given as change for that reason. Bills can be refused bills refused because of being written on too. (Not the place to jot down that phone number if you will later want to spend the bill - write it on your hand.)


Debit Card-- Comes direct from your account at the exchange rate at the moment of the transaction. Charges are only what (if any) your bank charges you for international withdrawals. Usually under $2 US.  Find out what bank is your bank's associate bank in Mexico  (For Example: Bank of America is Santander Serfin - Mexico). That will cut out the new charges in most cases.  Keep in mind that ATM's often run out of money on weekends + holidays so withdraw accordingly.

Credit Card-- Accepted at hotels, better restaurants, some merchants. NOT preferred for shopping, see below. Using for cash advances will get you the WORST exchange of the day, involve about a 7.5% to 17% fee for processing PLUS your card company charges of 2% or so AND the international fee. Merchants accepting credit cards AUTOMATICALLY have the VAT deducted from their accounts; IN ADDITION, they have to pay the 7.5% to 17% processing fee, thus using cash usually gets a 10% discount.

Cash-- US dollars accepted, usually at a bad rate. Pesos preferred; Canadian dollars looked at in strange ways in most places but accepted in many and the cambios (exchange marts). Traveler’s checks accepted at banks (with passport), cambios, hotels and many other places--same as cash.

Traveler's Cheques:
It's been reported that (some?) banks are requiring a copy of your passport when you cash these.  If your doing TC's, best to take several copies with you.

Exchange Rates:
Best @ the banks, only because you don't pay the ATM fee but you get to stand in line (sometimes LONG lines).  2nd Best & most convenient -- ATM's, withdraw maximum amount, lose 0 to 1%, locations -- airport, Commercial Mexicana, every bank and many other locations.  3rd Best -- Cambios (exchange marts) -- lose a few dollars on rate, OK for Traveler's checks and cash money.  Last is Credit Cards -- BIG HINT--IF you feel your account doesn't have the cash then take the cash advance BEFORE LEAVING HOME and put it in your account. You will save MAJOR dollars!!! OR spend a lot of time crying over the cost of your vacation after the fact.

AIRPORT ATM - If your flight arrives later in the day, don't depend on this ATM for Pesos.  Often people find that it is 'out of cash'.

Waiters - 10-20% (same as in US).
Taxis - 5-10% IF they do something besides simply arrive safely to your destination, otherwise no tip is expected or appropriate.
Bars - ALWAYS take care of your bartender! 10% is the norm. ($10 pesos per person minimum.)
Maids - $20 to $50 pesos per day, depending on how much work you make for them and how nice a job they do, fancy designs on beds, etc.. (most local maids are excellent, very hard-working, and often overlooked by guests).  Maids in a Villa/Condo/House - Normally tip 30 (50 for two) a day with a bonus at the end for extra good service. Villas with say 2 levels + full kitchen, living, dining & bedroom plus 2 baths . . . then perhaps 125 to 150 pesos a cleaning.
Bellhops - $5 to $10 pesos per piece of luggage, depending on their size and weight, distance to your room, and if the bellhop is careful with them.
Fishing Captains - 100 pesos per fish caught and released on top of 10% (minimum) if they kept the baits fresh and generally did a good job. Subtract 100 pesos from tip for every fish "accidentally" killed (especially fish you don't plan on eating), unless you believe it really was an accident.

One last thing... Some banks will charge twice for the use of the ATMs - regular Stateside fee and plus an additional 'international ATM fee'. These will bunch up and be charged to your account on a day later in the statement period. Might want to check with your bank to know their policy on that just so you know it's coming. Also a good idea to take out the maximum at any one time so as to keep those charges to a minimum.

If you have trouble with the ATM accepting your card or you punch in the wrong numbers, be sure to not try three times in one day. The machine will eat your card. If that happens, go right inside and explain. They'll check it out and probably give you your card back. If it happens at night, go the first hour the day the bank opens. They like to chop those things up quickly for some reason.

Remember the amount you see in the ATM window is Pesos not Dollars so if you want (approx.) $300 Dollars then the window must read 3000 as its displaying Pesos.  Lots of folks end up with double ATM fees because they need to withdraw more than once not realizing the above.  Also with larger amounts such as 2500 Pesos, often you will receive all large bills which can be somewhat difficult to change so you may want to go for smaller amounts and go more often.

PS: If you decide to go into the bank, go early morning and try to avoid the dates around the 1st and 15th of the month... payday! Those lines can really back up.

ATM Locations:  In Zihua
                            Banamex on Calle Ejido #1
                            Bancomer on Benito Juarez @ Nicholas Bravo
                            Banorte on Benito Juarez #15
                            Banco Santander-Serfin on Benito Juarez
                            Banamex at both Commercial Mexicana & at the Airport near Departures
                            There are others but these are the most central and commonly used ones by us tourist
                            In Ixtapa
                            Banamex in Los Arcos Shopping Centre
                            Bancomer in La Puerta Plaza

PESOS -- For a look at what the peso notes and coins look like - go here and scroll down a bit.  Also note that new bills are being issued -->  read the beginning of this money section.


Mexico Tax Free Shopping July 2006

International tourists arriving in Mexico by plane or cruise ship will be able to make tax-free purchases starting July 1, 2006, thanks to a Tourism Ministry-backed law recently passed by Mexico’s Congress with overwhelming support.
Spearheaded by Rodolfo Elizondo Torres, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, the law will grant international visitors a full refund of the 15 percent sales tax added to purchases if the buyer follows a few simple steps.
In order for international visitors to be reimbursed for purchases, they must adhere to the following criteria:

1. The purchaser must obtain an official receipt (factura) with the tax number (Registro Federal de Causantes) of the establishment on it to present for reimbursement.

2. Only receipts worth a total of at least 1,200 Mexican pesos (approximately US$110 at current exchange rates) per store can be presented for reimbursement.

3. The goods purchased must leave Mexico with the person who purchased them, just as other duty-free goods do.

How the sales tax will be reimbursed, whether a commission will be charged on the reimbursement and whether the benefit will also be extended to tourists entering Mexico by land have yet to be determined.

Remember - Las Gatas is generally more crowded on weekends.

Two ways to get there:

Over the rocks and along the (kinda) path at the end of La Ropa (only if you bring sturdy shores).  Be aware that if you choose to walk over, you'll also be needing to walk back.  (It could be done in flip flops but better foot wear or secure sandals would help.)
the easier method via taking a Panga (Water Taxi) from the Municipal Pier.  $35 Pesos per person round trip.  The Pangas leave frequently between 10AM & 4PM with the last return to the pier being at 4:30PM so don't miss it!

Las Gatas beach itself is a long expanse of water-side restaurants and baking bodies. Be sure to wander down the sand before choosing where you will 'park' for the afternoon. The Cervesa and food pricing is extremely competitive with the better values being found away from the dock area. It is also much more pleasant to be away from 'snorkeling central' located near the pier.

There is a lighthouse past Las Gatas.  The trail begins behind Otilia's restaurant (the second to last restaurant on the beach). Franco there will point you in the right direction. There are areas that are concrete along the path but it is uneven.  Views are great from the lighthouse so bring your camera. Its about 15-20 minute walk so bring some water too. Usually there is a nice breeze to cool you when you are within a few hundred yards of the lighthouse.  You might ask Franco if someone could guide you for a $5/10 Peso tip.  Then if they are really good at answering your questions of all the cool stuff you will see, you could give them more.

Caution on Otilia's - there have been an incidence or two reported of - shall we say discrepancies - in the bills.  Check yours carefully if you go there.  Never the less, it does get good reviews/comments.  Franco is quite the host and will arrange a massage for you should you ask.

Note:  Chez Arnoldo on Las Gatas also gets very good reviews however Tres Palmas does not.

Comments on Nature And The Lighthouse Walk from Las Gatas:

You'll see the large wild cucumber vine which grows on the trees and plants, known as estropajos, luffas..and you thought they grew underwater. Also you'll notice their beautiful yellow blossoms all over the hillsides. When they are brown they're ready for your bathroom, just shake out the seeds.
The bright orange plants on the second bend on the way up are pinas and if you open them you'll find an edible red seed which the birds love. The tamarindo seeds are due soon (December) and Mangos in the new year.
The small round cucumbers you'll see are actually used as bleach by the locals, also donkeys eat them. There's a "three donkey walk" which takes you up the mountain. By the red house follow the dirt road. Turn left to the waterworks. Turn right up the mountain. If you turn right at the top of this dirt road it’s a dead end but not before you come to “butterfly alley” where the mariposa surround you as if they had never seen a human before. Many different ones, the biggest I refer to as floating envelopes.
If you turn left you’ll come to a corn field and another donkey. The old farmer sometimes has his grandkids there on the weekend. I’ll take some change with me next time as they pose for a great picture with the donkey. You’ll need a machete down the mountain to three beaches, one of which is Manzanillo.
I refer to the Chachalaqua bird as the noisiest bird on the planet and if you set off early enough, before 8am(ish) you'll hear them. Sounds like a cross between a hyena and screaming monkey; if you've been to Costa Rica you'll know them. It's actually a brown pheasant like bird which you only see occasionally and I've only seen them hop, rather than fly. The locals love to eat them which is  why they keep a low profile.  It's easy to remember the other noisy bird, the large grey jay, Las Urracas also makes a racket... rhymes ...get it?
We met a couple of birders up there who pointed out the the black and yellow bird is known as the Mexican Cacique. Apparently it speaks Spanish. Find a shady spot on the new concrete road and you'll witness all kinds of birds there.  A flock of yapping green parrots is great to see, especially when you look down on them as the fly down to Las Gatas.
If you do the mountain and then the beach it's a 5 mile 8 km hike. The hill makes it seem more. There was quite a bit of pedestrian traffic there in high season last year....see you there!

Rob (who lives in Zi) commented:

The hike you describe is indeed a lovely if not a bit of a treacherous walk, especially on the parts with loose gravel on the eastern hillside and the rocky coastline where you can easily twist or break an ankle and no one would find you, and I don't usually recommend that people attempt it without someone local as a guide. There have also been numerous incidents over the years of robberies of tourists on that path as well as at Playa Manzanillo. Carrying a machete is definitely a good idea even though the robberies have usually been at gunpoint.  The Las Gatas hike is one of my favorites (though I admit I haven't done it for a few years). The Cactus and Frangipani trees along that part of the coast are great backdrops for photos, as are the views from the hill where the lighthouse sits.

NOTE:-  Take PESOS to Troncones.  Credit Cards accepted very few places.

The town Troncones is more of a loose little village with a beach than an actual town. It stretches for about three miles, from where the main road dead-ends at the beach to Manzanillo Bay, a delicious spot where the surf rolls in gently; where you can rent a house, a bungalow or a small room in a small hotel; and where you can eat fresh lobster, ceviche and tangy tacos dripping with salsa at outdoor tables in the sand. The snorkeling is good, and you may even see a surfer or two.

General info on Troncones can be found on this page and here.  If you are four people, a taxi would be about N$250 and about 30 minutes. Buses would total about N$100 (4 time $N25) and about 40-80 minutes.

There is also the possibility of getting a guide.  See bottom under links & notes.

Getting There:  (Courtesy of Ernie Gorrie)

For bus service take a northbound mini bus that has the words, "La Union" written on the windshield. I think this bus is about N$10/person. Ask the driver to let you know when you get to the Troncones turnoff, but pay attention yourself.  You will go through the towns of Salitrera, Pantla and Buena Vista. About three km or so north of Buena Vista is the turnoff for Troncones. If you watch the distance marker posts at the side of the road, the turnoff is between the 30 and 31 km. markers.

When you get off the minibus, there is a stand selling refreshments. A combi (van of some sort) operates a shuttle service between this location and "downtown" Troncones.  Depending on which combi it is, it may go only as far as "downtown" or may also go north to Playa Manzanillo and the village of La Majahua. I believe the fare for this combi is between N$10-15/person, depending on your destination.

Travel time by bus varies. Figure a minimum of 30 minutes from Ixtapa to the Troncones turnoff. (Less from Zi).  Then a wait of one to 30 minutes for the combi. Then 10 to 20 minutes, depending on where you are going within the Troncones to La Majahua stretch.

Eating & Drinking:

Places often recommended for Lunch & Pool/Beach are:

Burro Borracho - a restaurant & beach bar close to the T in Troncones
nn At Manzanillo Bay
Tropic of Cancer Beach Club - eat lunch here and you can swim in there pool
however there are many to choose from.
Hacienda Eden
- has a Sunday BBQ, a interesting looking shop, and a fabulous restaurant called Cocina del Sol and is about a 5 minute walk to the Inn at Manzanillo Bay.  Manzanillo Bay is reported to have good snorkeling.
Comment on Eden worth noting:  "Next door  was a cool place called Eden that would be a really relaxing and comfortable place to stay. There's an excellent restaurant there as well w/a really good chef and a good vibe all around. They had koozies for your beer to keep it cold - a nice touch in the hot weather, especially if you like a cold beer like I do! The gift shop is very unique w/Mexican artisan type quality gifts to buy. If we went back we'd probably stay at Eden. The best food and service in Troncones by far."


Also here in Troncones is Mexhapati, a tile and sink manufacturer.  They told me: Ernesto of Casas Gregorio (Greg Mrachek, a Seattle resident) is our rep in Troncones. He has samples, pictures and can show you many of the expert tile mural installations he's done in places such as El Burro Borracho, Casas Gregorio, Casa Colorida, the Troncones Library, El Eden and many others.

Here is a useful map of Troncones with the restaurants + accommodation locations noted.

Link to a listing of some Troncones Accommodations.

From one of the Zi/Ix Boards I obtained the information that someone named "Reuben" at the Hotel Irma, speaks excellent English, is very professional and helpful. He will take you to Troncones, giving you wonderful info along the way about culture and interesting facts. He will show you around Troncones and help you find a great place to spend your day. He'll wait for you and return you to your hotel.  These folks ended up basically spending most of the day in Troncones and, including transportation and tip, paid him $100.


Getting There:

Two ways - bus or taxi.  Take the bus there for the adventure and a taxi home if you feel like it afterwards.

For the bus you take the same bus to Petalan as you do to Barra.   Buses leave from the bus station just off Benito Juarez on the south side of the Central Market in Zi, ask anyone. It comes down Los Cocos then left on Marina Nacional (just up from Kyoto Plaza) then right on Jose Morelos.  They run about every 15-20 minutes or more & it is a bit less than an hours trip.  Actually the length of the trip depends on if you have to sit over the rear wheels--no springs and 100 lbs of tire pressure can make the trip endless. The closer to the public market that you get on the bus, the greater your seat choice. The bus to Los Achotes is also the bus to Petalan.  The assistant often calls out "PetaPetaPeta!" or "Petalan Petalan" and he helps passengers load huge bundles of food and supplies onto the back of the bus.  You can locate where the two bus depots for the Petatlan bus are by checking Jared's Zihua maps.  Check the two number 59s. (Map Linked Below)

The fare from Zihua to Petatlan used to be 12 pesos but if you did not have any small change or small bills, the driver (or his teenage assistant) would take your 100 peso note and would keep it until such time as he had enough pesos to make change for you. Not always but it could take quite a long time (30-40 minutes) for them to collect enough to make change and meanwhile you are wondering if you will get your change back!   Its a good idea to know what the fare is in advance and have the proper amount ready to give the young man who collects the fare.

When you get to Petalan, there is the Gold Market & a lovely Church across the street.  Wander thru the streets & enjoy a helado (ice cream) and poke thru the shops.  Spend awhile and then carry on to Barra.

BARRA - From Petalan, return to Los Achotes by bus, then get off & catch the pasajera to Barra de Potosi.  You'll find it on the corner in Los Achotes.  A Pasajera is a small truck with benches around the sides of the 'truck bed'.

In Barra you find Betseyville, one of the homes of fashion designer Betsey Johnson.  Here also you will find Laura's place - Casa Del Encanto.  Laura's husband Noyo's family owns Chez Arnoldo on Las Gatas.  The long sandy beach has Enramadas with food and drink aplenty.

BARRA WEBSITE with lots of local info.  And another Barra Website with info.

If you've a spare room in your suitcase going down and you are of a charitable nature, then perhaps you want to give some thot to this link:  Children of Mexico.  Also Laura @ Casa Del Encanto does much to help the children of Barra and would be pleased to accept school supplies if you bring them down.


"Picante" is a Catamaran formerly known as the "Tristar" (I believe). The reports I've read on this snorkel cruise to Manzanillo Bay seem positive.  The Snorkel & Sail leaves at 10:00AM and returns at 2:30PM.  Website
I've read of various places for so long that I've developed a list of *check it out* places to create my own opinion.  I'll list them here & fill in my comments on my return (should the Marg's not delay this adventure).

Villa Carolina - a hotel with only about 6 rooms so it is very intimate & like staying in a private home. The staff was right there whenever we needed anything and our room was gorgeous with a private outdoor pool/jacuzzi & hammock with a small ocean view. We had a two minute walk to Elviras on La Ropa & Villa del Sol, where we had several breakfasts & lunches. I think this hotel offers the biggest and nicest room for the price, so long as you don't mind being one block off the sand.  Rumors of this being for sale.  Also a 'not very complimentary report' on their business ethics.
Brisas del Mar in Madera Area
Hotel Irma in Madera Area - I gather it's pretty basic.
Villa Mexicana - next to VDS with Paty's Mar y Mar on the other side.  Check out the new pool.
Catalina in La Ropa area - Catalina  (Catalina, if 'total quiet' is really important to you, then the "new" terrace suites on the southern side of the Catalina property are your best bet.... AND.... the LAST room at the end of those halls is recommended. They are the farther ones away from the main public access stairs, bars and restaurants.)
Casa Iguana (La Ropa)
Villa Cruz del Mar near La Madera Beach - we stayed there last year and we will be back again this winter.  It's spotlessly clean, a beautiful property, and wonderful staff.  Just a moment from the beach and an easy 10 minute walk downtown.  +  Toured it when I was there in March. WOW.. this place is gorgeous. Intimate.. CLEAN.. nicely decorated with a fabulous pool. We seriously considered it for a stay next year. It doesn't have a suite or we probably would have gone for it. Book #8 as it overlooks the pool and has a nice balcony and is probably the most pleasant room. BTW You are NOT far from the beach - about a 2 minute walk. No ocean view.. but the grounds are lovely.
La Quinta Troppo on la Ropa beach
Casa Sun & Moon in La Ropa area
Casa Adriana in Madera - also gets excellent reports
Villa De La Roca - on the hill above La Ropa?
La Quinta Troppo
Cinco Sentidas - La Ropa

You can only call it "Tequila" if it is made in the state of Jalisco. Everything else has to be called Mezcal. When buying Tequila, make sure you buy Tequila that comes from "100% Agave Azul".  Agave is the plant Tequila is made from. There are 2 types of Tequila, Clear (Blanco) and "Reposado".

Do you have a spare $225M for ONE bottle of Tequila?  Check this out!

Ian Chadwick's Tequila Forum

Ian's Tequila Web Info  also here.

Tequila Planet - Reviews, Ratings and Rankings

"Andy's", a small store across from Bananas Restaurant on  Nicholas Bravo #9, has a wide selection of alcohol, Tequila included and prices are good.

As you may know, US Citizens aren't (by law) even allowed to smell Cuban Cigar smoke.  :-))  However us Canadians can partake to our hearts content.  La Perla's Walk In Humidor Info.  Another source of quality Havana's is reported to be the big liquor store in Zihua across from the center square (Zocalo).  Not every place sells quality cigars so do use your head if the 'deal' is almost too good.

Other Notes:
Look for don Pepe's "Casa Tequila" on Calle Cuauhtémoc #14, 2 blocks inland from the main waterfront plaza on the right. He has the freshest genuine Cuban cigars and the best selection of mezcals (all tequila is mezcal). Look for a bottle of "El Guache", our finest locally brewed mezcal.
If you want good "moonshine" mezcal keep an eye out for Rob's old friend don Eladio, a white-haired elderly gentleman who often carries a large sack over his shoulder with his homemade mezcal in plastic 2-liter Coca-Cola bottles. It's from the same region as "El Guache" but is less refined and usually has an extra dose of pure cane alcohol added to roughen it up. ;~)

Commercial Mexicana - on Boquita behind the Bus Station.  Basically Costco Mexico, they carry many Kirkland brand items.

Bodega - on Paseo Zihua, this is Walmart de Mexico.

Hammocks - Try the shop on the Paseo del Pescador right next to the Cancha principal (Zocalo) in Zihua with Rodrigo Krebs.  I have one left of those I bought (to sell last year) directly from a woman from southern Oaxaca who gets them from the prison there. I wouldn't sell it for less than $700 pesos. I'm not sure what Rodrigo is charging these days but their product is good.  The truly silk ones made of a fine grade of silk and double weave, family size... may run up to $2000 pesos... just so you know the range. It's the silk that is soft and will last and last and last even if it gets some sun. The cheap ones made of polyester will rot and break, sometimes after just a year or two... in my experience.

Sea Salt - It is unbelievable in taste and can be purchased in the market for an unbelievable 3 pesos a kilo. That is like 30 cents. You can also buy sea salt in La Barra from Mune (found at Casa del Encanto) who is also selling locally grown songbird coffee.  The sea salt she sells is made here on our own lagoon of Potosi. As well sea salt can be purchased in the coffee shop "El Caracol" on the corner of Juan N. Alvarez and Vicente Guerrero streets (next to Lupita's Boutique) in downtown Zihuatanejo.

Arte Mexicano Nopal - Located at Avenida Cinco de Mayo #56 a half block inland past the church across from the Artisans Market and next to a money-exchange house (casa de cambio); specializing in handcrafted Mexican furniture and artistic decorations for the home. Very exotic and unique selection of fine Mexican artisanry! Tel. 554-7530.

Click - Extensive assortment of lighting fixtures, lamps, and fans for the home or business. Located next to Calli Design on the Zihuatanejo-to-Ixtapa highway. Tel. 554-8220, FAX 554-5177.

Galería Maya - Fine folk art, crafts, and leather articles. Featuring beautiful hand carved statues of women and goddesses of Mexico. A one-of-a-kind collection of Mexican art in one of the most unique stores you'll ever see! Located 3 blocks from the waterfront in town at Calle Cuauhtemoc #42, Tel. 554-4606.

La Puerta de Zihuatanejo - A fine store for guayaberas (mexican wedding shirts), sport shirts, t-shirts, shorts, traditional women's wear, beach wear, beach towels, and lots of accessories and souvenirs. Very reasonable prices and quality products. Located in the first block from the waterfront in Zihuatanejo on Calle Juan N. Alvarez #17 across from La Casa Marina. Tel's. 554-2155, 554-3768.

Mexhapati Artesan Ceramics - Handmade ceramic decorations including tiling, sinks, and talavera pottery. Made to order. Located at Troncones and San Miguel de Allende.

Cafe Caracol - Delicious fresh-roasted whole bean and ground coffee from Atoyac, Guerrero. They also sell whole vanilla beans and extract, fresh honey (including agave honey), scented beeswax candles, ceramic planters and pottery, plain and decorated Mexican shopping bags, and coffee liqueurs. Located in the first block of downtown Zihuatanejo on the corner of Juan N. Alvarez and Vicente Guerrero streets.

Zihuatanjeo Coffee - (formerly Ixtapa Coffee) Exportation quality organically-grown coffee cultivated locally in the Sierra Madre del Sur not far from Ixtapa. My personal favorite! Be sure to get a kilo or two to take home with you. Believe me, you WON'T be disappointed!!! Organically-grown by my friend Juanita Sanchez and her husband Darío Galeana on their plantation. Find their store at Calle Cuauhtemoc #170-B in downtown Zihuatanejo between Calle Ejido and Calle Nava.  Tel/Fax: 554-3890

La Casa de Tierra - appears to be a neat store - on Heroico Colegio Militar #120, Centro Zi Tel 554-60-90

Holliday House -  #75 H. Colegio Militar in Zi - Fabrics, Blinds, Upholstery & Flooring

Decora - Across and up a bit from Bodega on the Zi-Ix Hwy.



Our stay this year (2007) is in Bahia Suites, a five storey building, in a Condo called "Amor del Sol" just off the beach on Playa Madera.  Located on the second floor, it has a full kitchen, two bedrooms, one bath (shower only)  & a living/dining area.  While I've NO intention of doing a bunch of cooking, the fridge will be handy for beverages & ice and the micro handy for heating those 'doggy bags' I always seem to have after a dinner out!  See some photos here.

This link is to another unit (actually two units) in Bahia Suites.  It also shows photos of the building itself taken from the beach.

Calle Adelita Descriptive Website

Getting into Zi and to Playa Madera:

There's a path at the dead end of Eva Lopez . . ., at Casa Adriana with steps down to the walkway to the footpath & bridge. At the bottom to your right is town, to your left is Playa La Madera.  Between Bahia Suites and Bungalows Allec, which is a few steps to the south, is another pathway down which puts you right on the beach.  You can see the walkway on the right side of the photo below.  ( Picture courtesy of I don't know who but please contact me if it's yours and you'd like credit.  I'll happily oblige. )


Rob's Zihua Forum Rob's Zihua Accommodation Pages
Jared's Zihua Maps Cruise Ship Arrivals '06/'07
Spanish Menus + Food Interpretations Spanish Travel Helper + More
Zihuatanjeo-Ixtapa Dot Com Spanish / English Translation
Jared's Map of El Centro Jared's Map of Playa Madera
Jared's Map of Playa La Ropa Spanish for Travel at I Love Playa
Virgin of Guadalupe in Zi '06 Wikipedia Spanish Language Pages
Calgary (YYC) Arrivals Level Calgary (YYC) Departures Level
Cinco Sentidos - looks kool to stay at Troncones/Zi/Ix Area Maps
Trek Trio's Reports ('06 & earlier) Spanish Verb Conjugation

~~ The custom in Mexico is to tip the kids who pack your bags when you buy groceries. From what I
      understand, CM and others get around child labor laws by not paying these kids. They give them CM
      clothing and permit them to work for tips.
~~ A good Internet Access office is at the end of Nicholas Bravo close to the Artisan's Market. They have
      terminals available but we were allowed to plug our laptop into their network. Unlike other internet
      cafes, they are on satellite so the connection was quick and reliable. The charge was about a buck an
~~ Search out and find the hidden and historic cemetery in the overgrown lot at the end of Calle Adelita.
~~ Sunday Evening Fiesta at the Zocalo/Basketball Court - get there early to get a seat!
~~ Early AM walk along Pescadero to see fisherman leave + early AM activity
~~ Massages at Bungalows Lei - $20 USD for an hour of heaven
~~ Elvira's on the beach -- *Caution* -- they always used a big marking pen to obscure the tip, which
     they added into tabs for three or more people. So, we would ask if the tip was included, which it was, at
     10%, so we would add no more. If they'd not done that, we would have tipped more than 10%. On the 
     last morning, Fernando, who's been there for twenty years, waited on us, and I asked him not to write 
     on the bill. He gave me a knowing glance, and brought back a bill with the tip not added in, and I tipped 
     as I would usually. This is kind of irritating, but we like going there for breakfast, so we just worked 
     with it.  Also, it ’s important to say "“quiero cambio" or something to that effect if you want change, or
     you may not get any.
~~ Independent Tour Guide Referral who was great. If you want a personal driver to give you a tour of the
     area, or to go fishing with a local, give Fernando Sotelo a call. He is a Zihua native, speaks English, & is a
     nice guy. Cell phone 044(755)100 60 06. We spent 2 days with him. One day to go towards Ixtapa and
     the other to go down to Petalan & La Barra de Potosi. Visiting the clay brick tile factory was a special
     treat & we each got to make a roof tile. The Ixtapa day we ate lunch at Los Potrillos that was in the
     countryside. I think only a local could get you there.
~~Should you experience any tummy problems, there is something called "Lomotil" which is available at 
     any pharmacy.  Of course having some Immodium along would be handier.
~~This website has an excellent listing of the areas beaches.

Photos + Travel Log
Having taken quite a few photos, I decided to create a separate page or two for the photos & log of our two weeks which you'll find here.

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