Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa airport is very convenient to the hotels in the area, with many hotels offering free shuttle service. The airport is serviced by direct flights from Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston, plus Mexico City and Vancouver (seasonally).
Most of the transportation is done on foot. There are plenty of taxis to take you out to the airport or the bus station. At the muelle, dockside, there are lanchas, open boats, to various points along the coast, most notably the Playa Las Gatas across the bay. Getting to the flashy sister resort of Ixtapa can be done easily by bus.
Zihuatanejo is a self-grown little resort on the Bahía Zihuatanejo. The feel of the place is very relaxed and Mexican, and it is very unlike its sister resort of Ixtapa, a planned resort to attract the gringo dollar. Expect to find backpackers and other individual travellers along with Mexican holidaymakers. The latter are also among the more relaxed, as the Mexico City jet-set fresas of course intermingle with the estadounidenses in Ixtapa.
The main attraction of Zihuatanejo is the sheltered Bahía Zihuatanejo with safe swimming. Several lovely beaches surround the bay, including the Playa La Ropa ("Beach of the clothes") and the Playa Las Gatas ("Beach of the she-cats"), the first named after a shipwreck including Chinese silk, the latter named after little, harmless sharks called "she-cats" because of their whiskers.
Playa Las Gatas, across the bay from town, is reached by lanchas, open boats. You buy the tickets at the ticket counter, and queue up at the pier. This is usually a quick affair. The beach itself has white sands and plenty of palapas (thatched umbrellas). You sit down under one for free, as long as you order your drinks and your lunch from the owner of the palapa. Snorkeling is recommended from the snorkel shop located just off of the boat dock. A very nice artificial reef was created in precolumbian times.
The small community amphitheater and basketball courts provide great evening weekend events. Located along the pier near the fish market local families will attend Friday night basketball games (summer timeframe) and Sunday celebrations to watch folkloric dancing on the stage.
A true Mexican tourist resort (i.e. a lot of vacationers from Mexico City), there are loads of things to buy in Zihuatanejo. In addition to swimwear and other beach accessories, you can buy a lot of Mexican handicraft. There is of course anything from cheap junk to high-quality artworks.
Visit the shops and market close to the Playa Municipal, fanning outward from the pier. There is an excellent textile shop right along the water.
- Porto de Mare, Paseo Del Pescador, 56. A fine dining restaurant with a great atmosphere. It is located across from the small fish market and provides incredibly fresh fish with superb service. The open patio flows into the nice décor of the restaurant. The selection is broad with most dishes moderately priced. The food is well presented and very good. Open for dinner only.
- Fonda Doña Licha, Calle Cocos #8 (southeast of the Mercado Municipal). 8am-6pm. The best restaurant in Zihua, according to one who lived there for a year and tried just about everything. Homestyle regional dishes, including the traditional pozole on Thursdays and "rica pancita" (tripe) on Sundays. Serves breakfast and lunch only. Good-sized portions, and cheap (40-120 pesos)! cheap.
- La Bocana, Playa la Ropa. Beautiful setting on the main road to Playa la Ropa, amazing food and good prices
- Casa Cuitlateca, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations: Beautiful five-bedroom boutique hotel overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay, infinity swimming pool and deck with restaurant and bar. Very friendly staff and excellent service.
- Casa Que Canta, ☎ . Camino Escenica a Playa Ropa. Boutique hotel on Playa Ropa, consistently rated by travel magazines as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Infiniti pool, full spa services, and gourmet dining.
- Tides Zihuatanejo Hotel (formerly Hotel Villa del Sol), ☎ . Playa La Ropa, Small luxury beach resort, tastefully decorated with Mexican art and crafts. Its cheerful rooms reflect the colours of the tropics. Tides Zihuatanejo Hotel ex Villa del Sol is located right on Playa La Ropa beach, by the village of Zihuatanejo. 35 suites located in villas among tropical gardens. A tiny blue stream runs by your side wherever you walk, filling ponds, splashing into fountains or spilling over an aqueduct right into one of the swimming pools.
- Hotel Irma, Playa la Madera, ☎ . Affordably priced rooms, most with air conditioning and balcony that overlooks Playa la Madera. Poolside food and bar service. A staircase off the patio takes you right down to the beach. Fantastic, friendly staff.
- Solimar Inn Suites, ☎ . 12 fully equipped and nicely decorated suites for a very comfortable vacation for families and couples. Located in charming Zihuatanejo. A family owned & operated property. English spoken.
- Hotel Zihuatanejo Centro, ☎ . For relaxation, adventure, fishing or just to enjoy the real Mexico with your family or friends. We are your best option !!!
- Playa Troncones 25 minutes north of the twin resorts of Zihuatanejo & Ixtapa and the Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa International Airport. It looks like Ixtapa but without the crowds. Troncones offers many miles of beautiful, unspoiled, golden sand beaches. Stroll, the virgin clean beaches and go barefoot in the surf where flocks of pelicans skim the crests of the waves and endangered sea turtles lay their eggs in the warm sand. Troncones is "the real Mexico"
- Isla Ixtapa - Catch a boat to the island (which is totally separate from the Ixtapa tourist trap), which has just a few combo restaurant/snorkeling rental businesses. The snorkeling is good and the seafood (served to you on the beach) has probably only been out of the water for a couple hours by the time you eat it. Very beautiful scenery all around.