Relax on Playa La Ropa
As a beachside location, there's no doubt that one of your destinations should be Playa La Ropa. This extensive stretch of sand provides everything you could want, from open waters to shade under the palm trees, to seafood restaurants galore. Stretch out under the sun or dive into the gorgeous ocean.
If you want a spectacular view and don't mind a climb, you can scale the clifftops for an impressive vantage point over the water. Following the clifftops will ultimately lead you through Carretera Escénica and, if you don't mind walking for over a kilometer, to the adjoining Playa Madera for even more access to a breathtaking beach experience.
Taste the Sea at El Arrayan
If you want to eat at one of the best possible restaurants, follow the local's recommendations and head to El Arrayan. It may be a small, family-run restaurant, but it has traditional cuisine like no other. The scallop ceviche and grilled shrimp are some of the must-have dishes that have exceptional taste, even among other seaside restaurants.
Freshness is the name of the game when it comes to their entire menu, and you can even enjoy fresh-squeezed lemonade made in-house. Settle down inside or take a seat on the patio, where you'll dine among the open display of flowers. Both the food and the location will ensure an unforgettable meal from El Arrayan.
Enjoy Arts and Crafts at Casa Etnika
Zihuatanejo has its fair share of art galleries for the culture interested tourist, and Casa Etnika brings together arts of all kinds. Settled in Old Town, this gallery displays pieces by locals that bring together a variety of styles and brilliant colors.
However, these art pieces don't populate Casa Etnika on their own. In addition to the artwork, this gallery also displays crafts of all sorts, including Michoacán silver necklaces, creating a unique and intimate atmosphere as you explore. Keep an ear out for any of their notable events, and stop by the craft shop for a souvenir before you go.
Enjoy Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Fonda Doña Licha
During your trip, you'll likely enjoy authentic Mexican food in several different forms. When you're craving a down-home style meal, and you're near the Mercado, then Fonda Doña Licha is the place to be. The casual atmosphere is suited to a nice relaxing dinner, and it's all at excellent prices.
If you don't stop by any other time, you'll no doubt want to head to Fonda Doña Licha at least once for breakfast. The portions are more than enough to give you a filling start to the day, if not maybe even some leftovers. Sunday is also a fantastic time to stop by, as it lets you enjoy the special menu, including sweet tamales de elote.
Explore Underwater at Playa Las Gatas
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the ocean, especially when you're beachside, but taking the taxi ride to Playa Las Gatas will give you a special treat. This location is a prime area for snorkeling, as the waters are dense with colorful fish. You don't even need to step off the boat to start to see what awaits underneath the clear waters.
There are also coral outcrops to explore, adding just another flair to the vibrant ecosystem waiting in this protected environment. Pick up your gear at any of the rental equipment stands along the curved beach, enjoy your time under the waves, and relax in any of the waiting lounges once you come up for air.
Go on a Unique Shopping Spree
If you don't mind exploring a bit outside of Zihuatanejo and want to look at more of the Guerrero Coast, then consider venturing out to the La Isla Shopping Village at Acapulco. This area is perfect for a day trip, as it brings together fashion and restaurants in one location with more than enough activity to keep you occupied.
Set up as an open-air mall, La Isla Shopping Village still lets you soak in the beautiful weather as you explore. Whether you take the chance to pick up some souvenirs or enjoy the local culture through window shopping, you're sure to have an enjoyable adventure.
Get Ready to Jam at Loot
If you dip your toes into a little bit of everything when you're on vacation, you and Loot are meant to cross paths at some point during your trip. This multi-tiered location gives you plenty of choices all in one building.
Stop by during the day to enjoy brunch in the downstairs café before you wander upstairs to enjoy the art exhibits. Then come back for a return visit at night to enjoy the open-air rooftop bar for dinner and drinks. You can also count on Loot to have live events like concerts, art festivals, and dance parties, providing you with some of the hippest fiestas in town.
Explore History at the Xihuacan Ruins
If there's only one thing you do outside of the city on your trip, then the Xihuacan ruins are that thing. Located just 25 minutes away from Zihuatanejo, these Mesoamerican ruins became buried in a natural disaster. Now there's access to an ancient ball field and the temples, allowing you to get a glimpse of the early culture.
What makes these ruins especially exciting is that they're a relatively recent discovery. Excavation started shortly after their discovery in 1941, and it continues today. If you've ever wanted the chance to see an archaeological site in progress, the Xihuacan Ruins are your opportunity to do just that.
Party It Up at Temptation
If you want to get in a little dancing, then Temptation is a club worth your time. This place gets its unique vibe from its décor, where disco and cruise ship style combine into one. The club may not sail the seas, but that doesn't mean you can't have a fantastic time inside.
The disco décor is apparent here, with the raised lit dance floor and, yes, disco ball to get the party going. Expect salsa, cumbia, electronica, merengue, and reggae to come from the speakers and keep the party going throughout the night. When you're ready to rest, both the main floor and above mezzanine have red vinyl booths that help complete the atmosphere and get you prepared for the next dance.
Step into the Kitchen
You may feel like cooking's the last time you want to do when you're on vacation, but that's because you haven't had the opportunity to experience the cooking classes at Patio Mexica. Chef Monica Duran Perez offers a fantastic way to step to learn how to prepare local cuisine with your own hands, which isn't something you get to do every day.
You'll get to explore the Mercado Campesino's farmer's market first as you quest for ingredients. Once that's done, you'll take to Perez's kitchen and receive her guidance in prepping up a variety of dishes. And, yes, you get to eat your hard work when you're, which may be the best part.
Learn About Local Architecture
The history of buildings can be more vibrant than you may expect, as they often reflect the history and culture of their locations. The Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande is the perfect place to dip more into the past of the Guerrero cost with is focus on the archaeology of the region.
While it may seem small in comparison to other museums, this six-room building has plenty of exhibits and information. Most of the displays are in Spanish, but there's no reason to worry about comprehension. The Museo also provides an English-language handout, so you'll be able to get the most out of your visit.
Venture into the Jungle
Playa Linda, while near Ixtapa, is another great venture outside of the city. There are biking and walking trails throughout the jungle, letting you explore it with ease. You'll be able to see a variety of wildlife, from scaly crocodiles and iguanas to flying hummingbirds and butterflies—and that's not even touching on the exotic flora.
While you're in the area, visiting Playa Linda is a great chance to catch a water taxi to Isla Ixtapa. The cove and beaches of this island are beautiful, and the opportunity to pick up fresh fish tacos while you're there is a bonus.
Whether you stay within Zihuatanejo for the duration of your trip or decide to explore a bit further, there's plenty to enjoy on your vacation. With this guide, you're well on your way to planning the best adventure possible.