Ixtapa Zihuatanejo - General information of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

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General Information

Our beautiful tourist destination is part of the well known Guerrero's Sun Triangle, together with Acapulco, a renown beach resort of Mexico and Taxco, a Colonial Town within our state.

Guerrero's Map

Zihuatanejo is pronounce it as "zee-watt-a-NEH-ho" which means "place of woman" in the Nahuatl tongue. Ixtapa is pronounce it as "eeks-TAH-pa" which means "the white place" in the same tongue. They are hard to pronounce for sure, but they are beautiful to discover and enjoy. If you'll like to know more about our roots, visit "Our History" in menu.

How to pronounce...

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Since inmemorable times natives of Zihuatanejo are called "Sanca" (SAN-kah) that means "Amigo" (Friend), so in some occasions when you talk to local people don't be surprised if they call you that way. Example: "Look Sanca, the church is three blocks ahead..."

In the international code of abbreviations such as in the case of airlines, weather and similar uses, Zihuatanejo is listed as ZIH and Ixtapa as IXT.

In Mexico we use the Metric System. Distances are measure in Meters and Kilometers, spaces in Square Meters, volumes in Cubic Meters, temperature in Celsius or Centigrade Degrees, liquids in Liters including gasoline, etc.

In our pages we list the equivalencies with the English System when applicable, e.g. 100Kms. (62 Miles), 30°C (86°F), etc. If you want to use a basic Meter Conversion Utility click here A pop-up window will open.

For telephones, our Area Code number is 52 (for Mexico) + 755 (for Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo). All Zihuatanejo numbers, excluding cellular phones, begin with digits 554, 544 or 112 and Ixtapa with 553 or 552. Some numbers begin with 555 and they may be located either in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo because their are special digital lines.

Our Zip Codes (Postal Codes) goes from 40880 to 40897. If you are not sure what zip code to use, put 40880 and your mail will surely get to our towns for local distribution. The Zip Code must be preceded by the letters CP, as CP40880.

Electricity is 110 volts AC, same as USA, Canada and some Latin America countries. Most electric outlets are polarized, if not, use an adapter that can be bought very cheaply in hardware stores and supermarkets.


Most sidewalks in downtown's Zihuatanejo and in the boulevard in Ixtapa have ramps in the corners for wheelchair easiness.

By law, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed areas of buildings, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. Quite a few businesses offer open areas for smoking. If you smoke, ask!
If you'll do some driving, it's mandatory that all front seat passengers wear a seat belt and driver is prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. Avoid a fine.

As of January 9th, 2017 for emergencies... If you require an Ambulance, Police, Rescue or Fire, dial 911 from fixed or cell phone. Additional info in "Health & Emergencies" and "Community" in menu.



Unlike any other Mexican resort destinations, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo comprises two entirely different places with distinct lifestyles side by side. In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo you will visit TWO RESORTS for the price of one!

Panoramic view

This panoramic photo is a collage, bays are further apart

Our resort is great for families, singles, couples, honeymooners, old timers... and SPECIALLY FOR YOU! Once you discovered Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo you will return... and return... and return...


Zihuatanejo is a small town which nowadays still keeps its typical physiognomy and the friendly atmosphere of the old fishing village, that gives it that True Mexican Flavor.

The vivid downtown area has its traditional tejabanes (wood structures with terracotta tiles roofing) on all the sidewalks which continues giving the city an appearance and flavor of a very typical and old Mexican town.

Paseo del Pescador

The streets and sidewalks of the downtown area have been totally remodeled with stamped colored cement imitating the terracotta stone-tiles that were in its place for so many years.

The unique design of the tejabanes and the stamped cement, motivated to be architecturally called as "Zihuatanejo's Style" and that way is known in Mexico.

Many of the buildings have preserved the traditional tropical coastal appearance which makes our downtown area a nice mixture of the old with the modern look.

There are many cozy restaurants, boutiques, jewelry and silver stores, bars, hotels from one star to special category, tourist markets, and much more. You won't see any tall buildings, five stories maximum, because they are not permitted by a City Law whose purpose is to conserve the traditional village look as much as possible.

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Every year the picturesque and sheltered Zihuatanejo's bay, of only 1.8 miles wide, is visited by more than 50 Pleasure Cruise Ships as by sailboats and private yachts from many, many nations.

We were a stop-over port for TV's "The Love Boat" series back in the '70's and '80's. In real life, the famous "Pacific Princess" of the Princess Cruises Line that stopped in Zihuatanejo for many years and helped us to be known worldwide. Around 2003 the ship was sold to a South American corporation and renamed "MS Princess" and later was operated by Quail Cruises. It retired in August 2013.

The downtown area known as El Centro is great for walking and browsing, as it is the Paseo del Pescador, a brick-paved beachfront promenade that goes along Playa La Madera and Playa Principal beaches up to the Pier with many restaurants on its way.

Las Gatas Beach

Zihuatanejo is also very famous for its great fishing (sailfish, etc.), its diving and snorkeling, and it's a place where you can practice and enjoy most water sports.

All beaches within our bay, Playa Principal, Playa La Ropa, Playa La Madera and Playa Las Gatas are very safe for the very young to the very old in age, but not in mind swimmer.

In spite of the progress and the inevitable and continuous modernization of the city but with the idea to try to preserve its origins and roots, up to now, Zihuatanejo has been able to retain most of its look, its charm, its traditions, its friendliness and those sincere smiles of our people... NO MANY TOURIST PLACES CAN SAY THAT!!!


Ixtapa is a modern world-class resort that was designed and created from the ground-up by Fonatur (National Tourism Development Fund, a federal bureau that is in charge of developing and urbanizing new tourist destinations) in an old coconut plantation that was expropriated and began its developing in 1968.

Aereal view

Today, its constructions are modern or colonial-coast styles buildings with vast and well kept gardens and large residential areas that are located away from the hotel zone I (Ixtapa Blvd.) and hotel zone II (Playa Linda beach).

Its bay is wide and it is one of the best places to view and admire spectacular and awesome sunsets.

The city maintenance is still done by Fonatur with federal funds in contrast with Zihuatanejo where the City Government does all the chores.

Ixtapa has several colonial and modern style Malls interconnected by plazas and gardens which makes it very difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

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There, you'll find many restaurants, bars, boutiques, shops, grocery markets, drug stores, etc. On the other side of the boulevard from the malls are the beachfront hotels with their typical restaurants and bars.

Ixtapa has many high-rise hotels of four and five stars. Most hotels are of well known international and national chains. The main hotel strip known as "Hotel Zone I" is about 2 miles long and its beach is called El Palmar.

In Playa El Palmar beach you can partake on most water sports, including surfing in the area know as Las Escolleras.

Aereal view

At the end of the boulevard you'll find La Marina de Ixtapa with capacity for more than 100 yachts, a golf course, stores, luxury houses, condominiums and a charming promenade along La Marina with  cozy restaurants and bars overlooking the area.

Nearby is Playa Linda beach and Playa Quieta beach with hotels on their shores. Ixtapa also has some Time-Share properties.

Many people falls in love with Ixtapa... WE ARE SURE YOU'LL BE THE NEXT ONE!!

Where to stay

If this is your first trip to our destination, maybe the first question you should ask yourself before deciding in a hotel should be... What part of the destination do I think I would like the best for lodging? Ixtapa for its modern buildings, green areas and a prevailing international ambiance? or Zihuatanejo for its typical fishing village look, traditions and a mixture of international and Mexican atmosphere?. To help you decide, we give you a brief description of the lodging available in each part of our double destination: 

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo offers you a great variety of lodging services. From the very economic and basic One Star hotels to the luxurious Five Stars, Grand Tourism and Special Categories. 

In our destination we have approximately 6500 rooms distributed between hotels, suites, bungalows and villas for tourist lodging. Many hotels are located on or near the beach, each one offering a full list of different amenities and comforts.

The lowest rates for accommodations are found in Zihuatanejo. Most of the hotels are small to medium size and are family owned and operated properties that will assure you of a very friendly attention and personalized services. But also, here are located the most luxurious "boutique-hotels" of our destination with very high class lodging facilities and amenities, some of them rated in the "Top Best 100 Boutique-Hotels" in the world.

Ixtapa has mostly high-rise hotels of renown national and international chains and a few independently operated with rating classifications of Grand Tourism, 5 stars and 4 stars, where first-class lodging services are in hand in some of them. Many offer ample gardens and great sea views from their rooms.

Other options for lodging in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo are the small family Inns, Bed & Breakfast little hotels, "Casas de Huespedes" (very basic house-type hotels), etc. You'll have a large selection to choose from. For lodging choices check menu.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has one lodging facility
for every taste and every budget !!!

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is used as background for many international big screen movies and national television programs. It's not unusual to see a major movie or TV star working or vacationing in our area.


One of the luxurious hotels located in Zihuatanejo's bay can be seen in the motion picture "When a Man Loves a Woman" (Touchstone Pictures, 1994) starring Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia. After  the movie went around the world, quite a few people questioned in internet... where is the hotel where part of this movie was filmed?

Another movie that talks about Zihuatanejo is "The Shawshank Redemption" (Columbia Pictures, 1994) starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. This movie motivated many tourist to come and visit Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo for the very first time. "Red's" (Morgan Freeman) famous phrase "Zih... What?" is still very fresh in the mind of the people that came and felt in love with our place.


"I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope" -- Red. (As you can see I'm a big fan of this great movie - Webmaster)


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