Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed April 27 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | April 27, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    6 Reasons You Ought to Go to Zihuatanejo

    6 Reasons You Ought to Go to Zihuatanejo

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    One of Mexico’s pearls on the Pacific, Zihuatanejo (or “Zi-wa” as many locals affectionately call it) is a chilled-out seaside paradise that still manages to fly a bit under the tourist radar. Well, with one huge notable exception, but we will get to that. I spent a few weeks there once, and ever since, I’ve been telling people they should zoom to Zihuatanejo for themselves. Why did I like it there so much? Well, I came up with six reasons.

    The Beaches

    Obviously, all coastal locales are going to have some sort of beach, but the quality of the beach can sometimes get called into question.

    Not in Zihuatanejo, though.

    All the beaches here are home to powdery stretches and ideal swimming conditions. The town’s main beach, Playa Municipal, is home to a spacious strip of golden sand, along with a daily parade of fishermen and their catch that creates a truly authentic atmosphere.

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    The nearby Playa La Ropa is the most popular beach in town, as it is home to a curvaceous and especially gorgeous stretch of sand set under swaying palms that faces fantastic sunset views. 

    The most fun-to-reach beach is Playa Las Gatas, which can only be accessed by a budget-friendly local boat, and as a result is an oasis of extra clear and calm water — perfect for scuba diving, suntanning, and swimming.

    The Laid Back Atmosphere

    Zihuatanejo feels different from other Mexican beach resorts from the moment you arrive, and I like that. Cancun, it assuredly is not. Sure, Zihuatanejo has all the benefits of being a resort town, but it still has the relaxed friendliness and personality of a village where everyone knows everyone else and they are willing to help people out. Speaking of that …

    The People

    We arrived in Zihuatanejo on an overnight bus from Mexico City, and we came out of the bus station in an absolute stupor of confusion. We were wandering the streets completely lost, when a local man stopped to help us out of the kindness of his heart.

    Not only did he know where the hotel we were trying to find was, he knew the owners. He told us to hop in his truck, and he took us over to the hotel. As we exited the truck and said our “gracias,” I knew we were in a special place. This was the rule during my time here, not an exception.

    The Fishin’ Hole

    Nope, not the local spot where folks reel in live ones; this is a little open-air corner bar in the center of Zihuatanejo, which was my favorite place to grab a drink in town. It’s definitely a dive, but in a really good way, popular among snowbirds and locals alike. The breezy Fishin’ Hole specializes in ice-cold beer and margaritas, but they even whip up tasty chargrilled burgers and tacos, too.  

    Barra De Potosi

    Not technically in Zihuatanejo proper, but just a short hop down the coast, is a tiny village that feels like a step back in time. Home to a wide beach and some wild waves, the village is also home to a set of beachside seafood shacks, which serve up the daily fresh catch. And if you get thirsty, you can’t go wrong with a Coco Loco — a coconut filled with a boozy concoction of juices and spirits.

    The “Shawshank” Factor

    Confession: I hadn’t seen “The Shawshank Redemption” when we booked our tickets for Zihuatanejo. I know, I know, it was a crime. It wasn’t long before everyone I knew was telling me about the connection the town has to this iconic movie, and so I just had to watch it and see for myself.

    READ MORE: IHG Unveils Holiday Inn Resort Ixtapa

    While apparently the last scene of the movie wasn’t actually shot here, it doesn’t stop you from posing for a picture on the beach polishing a boat like my buddy did, and for the rest of your life you get to tell people you’ve been to Andy & Red’s special place. 


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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