When Fonatur decided in the
late 1960's to tack a major ultra-modern resort development onto the charming
fishing village of Zihuatanejo, it hoped to strike an inviting balance between
the old and the new. Today, the area has a nicely established reputation
as just that, a double destination that fits anyone's notion of tropical
The two romantic seaside paradises,
however, are as different as can be. Ixtapa stretches along a 24 mile beachfront
whose heart is the Playa del Palmar. Although a strong sense of "newness"
is inescapable, an appealing mix of luxury and tranquility stakes Ixtapa's
uniqueness from other Pacific resorts.
Zihuatanejo, just 4 short miles
away, is a complementary opposite. This single bay curves deeply inland,
sheltering the town and its beaches from any Pacific turbulence. Still a
working fishing village, the beaches are dotted with colorful small boats
pulled up on the white sands. Many of the hotels are perched on the various
hillsides and offer spectacular views of the bay and ocean beyond. Zihuatanejo
is colonial in style with narrow, cobblestoned streets begging to be explored.
Paseo del Pescador, the beachside promenade, overlooks the town pier and
is lined with tiny cafes and breezy restaurants.