The State of Guerrero, is located in southern Mexico on the Pacific littoral, between 16º 18' and 18º 45' north latitude and 98º 03' and 102º 12' west longitude. Guerrero is a combination of modernism, antiquity, mountains and sea. Guerrero has 64,281 sq.km. (24,818 sq.mi) of fertile valleys, mountains covered with pine trees and coastal steppes. Its territory has been divided into 75 municipalities for a better administration and has a population of approximately 3'079,646 inhabitants.
Guerrero wealth lies in its numberless beaches along the 505 km (313 mi.) shoreline, lagoons, rivers, inlets and mountains as well as in its grottos, churches, convents, murals in caves, archaeological zones, historic monuments, its great variety of folklore and craftmanship, and the extense and marvelous gastronomy.
The main tourist attractions in Guerrero, represent the three tourism development stages in Mexico: Taxco, a colonial town, which arose as a mining area and grew to a place with singular architectonic characteristics; Acapulco, which began to grow in the 1940's; and Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, in which the field of tourism developed in the 1980's, as a place designed entirely by the Federal Government of Mexico.
Such touristic sites are known as the "Triangulo del Sol" (triangle of the sun). The Circuito Chilpancingo Azul, is added to the three and includes the bordering towns of the state capital, which formed by water sites, grottos and historical and cultural cities, are an heterogeneous attraction.
The state of Guerrero in Mexico is characterized by its tropical climate which turns mild as one climbs to the Sierra del Sur. The raining season almost occurrs exclusively during summer and fall.
During the colonial era, Acapulco was the only seaport authorized in Mexico for trading with the Eastern Continent through the legendary Nao of China or Galleon of Manila. Was Diego Fernández de Cordoba who commissioned to the engineer Dutch Adrian Boot to accomplish the project of a fortification that is characterized for its form of irregular polygon called "Fort of San Diego".
Among Acapulco main attractions are:
La Quebrada, a majestic cliff
The main square
The Cultural Institute of Guerrero
The convention center
The Juan Luis de Alarcon theater
The Papagayo park, with sport facilities
The Cici park
The National Park El Veladero, an ideal place for trekking and camping
The Tres Palos lagoon, where one can practise hunting and fishing
The beautiful lagoon of Coyuca
Five kilometers to the east of Acapulco, is located La Sabana, a town where an archaeological site can be seen
Beaches characterized by their low tide and ideal to practise surfing in Acapulco:
Ixcateopan is famous because archaeologist Eulalia Guzman declared that Cuauhtemoc had been buried at the XVI century Santa Maria de la Asunción Church.
South of Ixcateopan, you can visit some pre-Hispanic vestiges such as:
A circular temple
A wide road with a flight of steps
Majestic marble pyramid to homage Cuauhtemoc
Cuauhtemoc monument close up
Access to Cuauhtemoc temple
Tomb of Cuauhtemoc
Tomb of Cuauhtemoc close up
Skull of Cuauhtemoc
Sculpture of Cuauhtemoc
Ixtapa, is located 10 km (6 mi) west of Zihuatanejo in the State of Guerrero , Mexico by the same highway.
Ixtapa is a modern resort development, also known in Mexico as El Dorado Pacifico (Golden Pacific) because of its beautiful beaches emerging from the jungle or from the cliffs forming coves, inlets and small bays.
Being a natural park and ecological reserve, Ixtapa is a place which is inahbited by wild birds and many other species.
Olinala local artisans make this town famous for making:
Trays made of linaloe wood
This ancient technique consists of applying several layers of shellac on wood, which is then carefully scraped off with a maguey needle for tracing a relief of plants and animals. Natural lacquer colors are used and the finished product is then varnished with sage oil.
In Ometepec you can visit the market on Sundays where embroideries from Xochistlahuaca and Santa Maria, leather goods and pottery from San Cristobal, are exhibited and sold.
Nearby of Ometepec is an interesting archaeological site with a head of stone with Olmec characteristics, many pottery pieces with similar traits to Monte Alban and various zoomorphic sculptures such as as ocelot and a turtle made of stone and steles notable for their reliefs.
Activities in Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo Mexico March 08, 2005 4:52 PM
Besides beaching it, there are numerous other activities for both the adventurous and the less energetic. If you like diving, snorkeling, fishing, sightseeing, hiking, sailing, water-skiing, swimming, surfing, bodysurfing, or simply watching nature's marvels then Zihuatanejo will enchant you. We have all this and more, including traditional vacation pastimes such as golf and tennis.
One excursion that you can take by yourself is to walk over to the lighthouse (El Faro) from Las Gatas Beach. If you walk down to the far end of the beach you'll find Owen's Beach Club. Just ask at the restaurant for directions and they'll show you the flagstone walkway leading to the lighthouse. It's about a 10-minute walk to the lighthouse. Don't forget your camera!! You'll want a few pictures of the breathtaking view from the cliffs of our coast including the guano-covered islands in front of Ixtapa to the northwest and the ones in front of Playa Blanca to the southeast (Los Morros De Potosí). The small rock island about a mile out in front of Zihuatanejo's bay is called La Piedra Solitaria. Its beacon can also be seen after dark.
Another tour you can take by yourself is a trip to Petatlán, a colonial town south of here on the coastal highway about 40 minutes by car or bus. Petatlán is noted for its open-air gold market located in front of its beautiful majestic church. Truly an enchanting town lost in times of yore. Archaeological ruins are nearby, and several artifacts can be seen on display at various locations throughout the town. The Féria de Semana Santa (Easter week fair) is well worth the trip. The "Omnibus de Petatlán" busline located behind the restaurant "Jaiba Feliz" on Benito Juarez street in Zihuatanejo makes regular runs there and back all day & well into the evening. Just tell the driver to let you off by the big stairway alongside the highway on the right-hand side just a little past the bridge which crosses the river. Go up the stairs and continue straight ahead. From there it's an easy three blocks to walk to the central town plaza by the church. You'll catch the bus back at the same place you got off on the other side of the highway.
La Barra de Potosí is another easy excursion you can take by yourself. If you have a rental car just drive south from Zihuatanejo taking Highway 200 for about 20 minutes until you reach the small town of Los Achotes. Right before the bridge there turn right (there's a sign) and when you reach the waterfront turn left. The road ends at Barra de Potosí. There are numerous seafood restaurants there, and the surf isn't quite so rough as the rest of the beach along Playa Larga/Playa Blanca (the 15-mile long beach in front of the airport). There for a reasonable price you can take a boat tour of the large estuary. You'll see how the fishermen have fished for hundreds of years, the salt-producing flats, and many exotic forms of local wildlife including pink flamingos, roseate spoonbills, rare white pelicans, great blue herons, and maybe even a caiman crocodile or two. Be sure to take plenty of film!
Beaches in Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Barra de Potosi, Troncones, Guerrero Mexico.
Zihuatanejo's bay offers safe haven from storms and is a favorite for boating and all types of water sports. Contained within the bay are 5 main beaches: La Playa Principal (located in front of the town "Centro" itself), Playa La Madera (a 5 minute walk from town), Playa La Ropa (5 minutes from town by car, or about a 20 minute walk. Wear comfortable shoes.), Playa Las Gatas (at the extreme southern end of the bay; accessible by water taxi from the pier, or via a footpath along the scenic coast from La Ropa. There is no road), Playa Contramar (at the northern end of the bay: accessible by boat or footpath). Not only do we have some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, but some of the most beautiful in the world!
The main beach for swimming and water sports is Playa La Ropa.
This perfect beach is about a mile long with, usually mild waves making it perfect for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. It's usually possible to body surf the 1 to 3 foot waves there on a normal day.
There are several excellent restaurants on La Ropa ranging from simple old Mexico style, thatch roofed family operations, as well as a couple four and five star eateries and one of the best beach sports bars in the world.
Playa Contramar(Contramar Beach)
Playa Contramar is a beautiful place to snorkel but the beach is made up of surf-polished rocks and not sand.
It's recommended to go there by boat and take a lunch.
There is no reliable restaurant there but the coral and rock formations underwater are well worth seeing (look for the tunnel!).
Playa Las Gatas(Las Gatas beach)
If you like snorkeling then Playa Las Gatas is ideal whether you're a beginner or an old-hand; it has a reef that forms a haven from the waves, although surfers can sometimes be seen catching waves as they curl around the entrance to the bay.
Las Gatas has over a dozen restaurants specializing in seafood, so it can be a little confusing trying to decide where to throw your towel. Near the beginning of the beach is a great little place called "Chez Arnoldo" where my friend Noyo and his family run a tight ship! Good service, great food, and an unbeatable view of Zihuatanejo with the Sierra Madre Del Sur as a backdrop. Rather breathtaking even for the locals! At the very end of Las Gatas Beach you'll find Owen Lee's Beach Club: a nature preserve in a South Seas style setting (Owen was the first American to work as an underwater photographer aboard the Calypso with Jacques Cousteau and also wrote various diving manuals for PADI).
The restaurant there is recommended and he also has some great bungalows for rent. It feels very much like paradise there all the time! Be sure to ask about the paved walkway to the lighthouse (El Faro) if you want to see a really spectacular view from its cliffs of the coastline from Ixtapa to Los Morros de De Potosí.
Playa Principal (Municipal)
La Playa Municipal is the beach in front of downtown Zihuatanejo.
At one end there is El Muelle Municipal (the Municipal Pier) where you can catch a water-taxi to Playa Las Gatas or charter a fishing boat, and at the other end is El Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande where you can learn about local pre-Columbian history.
The beach isn't the best place for swimming due to the proximity of so many fishing boats .You'll find a walkway running the length of the waterfront called "Paseo del Pescador" (Fishermen's Walk) where many good seafood restaurants.
Playa La Madera(La Madera Beach)
The waves are usually good for bodysurfing at Playa La Madera where you can wade out quite a distance before reaching the breaking waves.
There is a waterfront walkway from the Playa Principal that passes several small picturesque coves, although you still may have to get your feet wet due to the surf splashing against the walkway.
There's a nice restaurant on the beach there called "La Madera" where you can get a good seafood lunch and cold refreshments.
Enjoy the shade under their palapas and get serenaded by passing mariachis.
Playa la Majahua
Playa El Palmar(El Palmar Beach)
The main beach in Ixtapa is called Playa El Palmar and if you like a beach lined with high-rise hotels then this is for you.
There is a smaller somewhat secluded beach fronting the Westin Hotel called Playa Vista Hermosa which is semi-private and accessible through the Westin.
But very near Ixtapa is an island called Isla Ixtapa which is accessible by water-taxi from the new pier at Playa Linda about a half-mile past the "Club Med."
It's a little crowded with restaurants and boaters, but I would still recommend it for snorkeling.
Barra de Potosi Beaches
Playa Larga - Playa Blanca in Barra de Potosi Mexico
If you fly in in the daytime you can't help but see a 15-mile long beach that actually has two names depending on which part of the beach is being referred to: Playa Blanca and Playa Larga.
The extreme southern end of Playa Blanca is also known as La Barra De Potosí which has many native seafood restaurants and is adjacent to a large lagoon where boat tours are available for reasonable prices.
There the endangered white pelicans, roseate spoonbills, flamingos, and great blue herons can still be seen. Don't forget your camera!
Another fairytale beach is Playa Manzanillo which is between Playa Larga and the bay of Zihuatanejo in front of Barra de Potosi.
It's possible to walk there but only for the stout and sturdy adventuresome.
It's much more convenient to hire a boat at the pier.
The bay at Manzanillo is perfect for snorkeling or simply enjoying the unspoiled beauty of millions of years of evolution with the spectacular view of the guano-covered islands called Los Morros De Potosí which resemble a pair of half-submerged elephants (with a little imagination), a favorite hiding-place for pirates in days of yore.
Playa Troncones(Troncones Beach)
There are numerous other beaches in the area, one of the most popular being Playa Troncones which is about a 45 minute drive north along the coastal highway.
There are miles of beach there and several beautiful unspoiled coves at the south end.
Remember that there can be dangerous waves and strong undertows at all beaches fronting the open ocean.
The safest place for swimming is in Zihuatanejo's well-protected bay or the sheltered coves at Isla Ixtapa.
If you have any complaints against local merchants, hotels or other service providers in the Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Barra de Potosi & Troncones area, you should formally file a detailed complaint to one or both of the below Government offices for investigation and follow up. Remember, no one can act on your complaint unless you formally file it in writing with one or both of the below agencies. Help us keep our services and facilities up to par by taking the time to file a formal compl;aint that can be acted on and corrected. Of course a complimentory report would also be welcomed.
Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor: (PROFECO) - This is the Mexican version of the Better Business Bureau and Ralph Nader rolled into one. They can be very effective in the handling of consumer complaints. Although this is usually an agency used by locals for complaints against local merchants and business's, we advise tourists to file their complaint with both the Tourist Bureau (SEFOTUR) and PROFECO for maximum results. Address complaints to: PROFECO Avenida Morelos s/n, Col. Centro Tel. 554 - 5236.
Secretaria y Fomento Turistico : (SEFOTUR) - General Information and Touristic consumers complaints. Located in the Centro Comercial La Puerta local, 2,3,7 & 8. Ixtapa. (In front of Hotel Presidente) Tels. 553 1967 / 553 1968.
Zihuatanejo is located in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast of Mexico about 240km (approx. 144 miles) northwest of Acapulco. The modern tourist resort of Ixtapa is only 5km distant. Zihuatanejo is the original settlement and the actual town. Ixtapa is a government-planned tourist resort that was begun in the early 1970's and constructed on what was once a coconut plantation. Zihuatanejo has the old-fashioned charm of traditional Mexican culture while Ixtapa is more akin to a transplanted miniature of modern Acapulco. There you'll find high-rise hotels lining the beach, modern condominiums (including time-shares), pricey shops, discoteques, and flambouyant restaurants.
Until the early 1970's Zihuatanejo was a sleepy fishing village with only a handful of families and residents. It was then (and continues to be) a favorite getaway for the "beautiful people" and a few adventurous gringos (NOTE - the word "gringo" is synonomous with United States citizen, but is also used loosely referring to anyone who doesn't look Latin or Asian; it is NOT a derogatory term).
Zihuatanejo's main attraction is its well-protected bay where boaters often spend the winter months moored in its peaceful clear waters. The bay offers various beaches for relaxation, recreation, dining, or simply enjoying the abundantly beautiful scenery.
There are about a half dozen ATM's located in the "downtown" area of Zihuatanejo and several in Ixtapa so that getting cash out of your bank isn't a problem.
Of course they give pesos, not dollars, but the banks give the best exchange rates. Travellers' Cheques are no problem to cash, and are recommended if you're going to be carrying "travelling money" since they're replaceable in case of loss or theft.
The money exchange houses don't give as good exchange rates as the banks, so if you're changing large amounts of currency we definitely recommend taking the time to go to one of the local banks.
Be advised that the ATM's often run out of cash on weekends & holidays.
To see a currency converter for all major currencies please click here.
"Local Money" "Billetes"
20 & 50 Pesos
100 & 200 Pesos
Cents - 5, 10, 20, 50.
Pesos - 1, 2, 5.
10 Pesos, 20 Pesos & 50 Pesos.
Taxis are easily available in Zihuatanejo & Ixtapa. Getting around shouldn't be a problem wherever you are; remote beaches being the exception. Taxis can also be reserved for trips to the airport, for sightseeing as well as getting to those remote beaches and wildlife preserves. You can also arrange to be dropped of in an area where taxis are rare and picked up a a designated time.
If you don't see one passing to wave down, just call. They can be reached at tel.# 554-3680, 554-4583, or 554-3311 They will usually arrive within 15 minutes.(These are handy numbers to have with you!).
They charge $15 pesos for rides in town (within Zihuatanejo; $20 pesos within Ixtapa), $25pesos between La Ropa and El Centro (Zihuatanejo), and $40 pesos between Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. Other destinations can be negotiated with the driver.
Never pay full in advance, and remember to jot down the taxi number and drivers name.
We now have our own American consulate here.
If you are an American in need of diplomatic services or simply want additional information feel free to contact our American consul Elizabeth Williams.
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo—Elizabeth Williams Address: Hotel Fontan, Blvd. Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Zihuantanejo, Gro. 40880, Mexico Courier Address: Paseo de los Hujes 236, Col. El Hujal, 40880 Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Tel.: (011)(52) 755-553-1108
There are also many buses ("micros" pronounced MEE-kros) which run continuously between El Centro and La Ropa and between Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa.
The smaller buses we call "micros." The price is $4.00 to $6.50 pesos depending on the distance (.There are also several buslines with hourly runs to Petatlán (notable for its colonial turn-of-the-century architecture, its church, and its open-air gold market in front of the church).
A little helpful info. about calling long distance from or to the Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa/Troncones and Barra de Potosi areas: Calling to Mexico:
Mexican country code is 52. Our local area code for Zihuatanejo. Ixtapa, Troncones and Barra De Potosi is 755 All Zihuatanejo and Barra De Potosi numbers currently begin with a 554 or 544. All Ixtapa and Troncones numbers begin with a 553. So, for example, to call from the U.S.A. to Zihuatanejo or Barra de Potosi number you would dial 011-52-755 then the local seven diget number. Example: The local number 554- 5555 would be dialed from the US as 011-52-(755)-544-5555). The same number in Ixtapa and Troncones would be dialed.
Note ! As our area population is growing new prefixes are being added. But for the moment, you can take the above information as a rule of thumb.Calling from Mexico to other countries: Using credit or telephone cards:
You must first dial 001 (not 011 as your used to in USA) than the area code and number. You can also place a LD call from Mexico using a phone or credit card via US Carriers by dialing:
AT&T: 001-800-462-4240 MCI: 001-800-674-7000 Sprint: 011-800-877-8000Calling Collect: Note you can also use these US carriers above for calling "Collect" OR you can call collect nationally or internationally through a local operator by dialing 090. The 090 operators usually speak English as well as Spanish. The Spanish phrase for calling collect is " Por Cobrar" Local Information:
Local information number is 040. Spanish only.
Long Distance Telephone Locations: There are pay phones available in the downtown area. You will need a prepaid card to use them. There are also many LD telephone boutiques, where they will place you call for you. They will add a charge to the cost of the call.
Cellular Phone service: We have cellular phone services that include the areas of Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Troncones and Barra de Potosi as well as the some areas further North and South of those locations. The cellular phone company is named TelCel. It's system is compatible with Verizon. TelCel service stations can be found at various locations in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa.
The main Tel Cel offices can be found at: IN ZIHUATANEJO: Calle Vicente Guerrero # 3, directly across the street from Restaurant Coconuts. Tel: 554 7603. Inside the Super Market Comercial Mexicana located at Paseo de la Boquita 1-2. Tel: 554 5720You can check out TelCel services at http://www.telcel.com/gsm/international/roaming2.htm
Be sure to check with your local cell phone company to find out if your equipment and plan can receive calls here on your cell phone.
If your phone is compatible with Verizon, you can purchase a call card starting at about $10.00 US and have the local TelCel office code you in a temporary local telephone number.
We also have "beeper" services here, but again, check first with your local company, as many don't offer international service.
CRUISE SHIPSCAPITANIA DE PUERTO Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Guerrero México.
Continental Airlines, Mexicana de Aviación, and Aeroméxico are the principal carriers; but Alaska Airlines has been offering some low-priced flights recently and there are numerous charter specials. You can check directly with the airport here at (country code 52) 7/554-2237 or 554-2227. There are many flights with connections at the airport in Mexico City, the only problem being that sometimes there is very little time between landing, going through customs, and reaching your connecting flight. From many places it may actually take two days to get here if you aren't able to time your flights with about 2 to 3 hours between arrival and departure. Customs is usually no problem but you never know when it might be your turn to get the red light which means a full search. Estrella de Oro and Estrella Blanca are a couple of the more reliable and safer buslines. Driving Routes...
If you are driving here the best route is to go towards Mexico City and take the detour AROUND it taking the route towards Cuernavaca and eventually getting on the Autopista Del Sol which is a tollroad leading to Acapulco. From there you want to take Carretera Nacional 200 north to Zihuatanejo. The major routes are as safe as any, but the less traveled secondary roads are poorly maintained. Never drive at night if you can avoid it (the cows and burros are a little harder to dodge after dark) and always plan to stay at a motel/hotel when dusk rolls around.
If you encounter mechanical or other difficulties on the road, there are what we callLos Angeles Verdes (The Green Angels) who cruise the highways helping stranded motorists. They usually carry an assortment of tools and spare parts with them in their green trucks and don't charge for their labor. They're paid by the government and won't accept money unless they have to purchase a part for you at an auto-supply store. They really are heaven-sent and we're thankful to have them!
This was our notorious "Golden Gate Bridge" in Zihuatanejo near the pier & Navy base which took you from town to the "colonias" called El Almacén and La Noria. It was recently replaced by a sturdier concrete & steel structure.
A view of La Madera Beach from the town pier.
View of the bay of Zihuatanejo from the Sotavento Hotel on La Ropa Beach
North view of La Ropa Beach
This is a view of Zihuatanejo taken from the balcony of the Sotavento Hotel at La Ropa Beach.
Typical fisherman´s boat parked on La Ropa Beach
Las Gatas beach, nice for snorkeling and surfing.
Las Gatas beach seafood restaurants
Take a walk from Las Gatas beach to the Lighthouse "El Faro" in Spanish. The view from here is spectacular!
Playa Manzanillo coral beach wonderfull for snorkeling
Playa Manzanillo a hide-away beach only accesible by boat
An areal view of Playa Larga beach. Below are more photographs of Playa Larga beach.
Population: 3,100,000 Size: 24,614 square miles Location: southwest Mexico Borders: Pacific Ocean and the states of Michoacan, Morelos, Mexico, Puebla and Oaxaca Important cities/sites within the state: Acapulco, Chilpancingo (capital), Grutas de Cachuamilpa, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Laguna de Coyuca and Taxco Major airports: Juan Alvarez International Airport (ACA) in Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH) Time zone: Central Standard Time Web site: www.guerrero.gob.mx
Guerrero is one of the most beautiful states in the country, bordering Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Michoacan and the Pacific coastline. It was formerly occupied by the Nahua, Mixtec, Tlapanec and Amazugo indigenous groups and later colonized by the Spaniards.
The state’s tropical climates and mountainous regions serve as ideal settings for some of the country’s colorful fiestas that mix rituals with legends and religion. Guerrero also houses one of the most internationally renowned bays in Mexico, Acapulco, as well as charming colonial cities like Taxco, impressive caverns in Cocahuamilpa and first-class beach resorts in Ixtapa and Zihuatanjeo. Its residents are mainly skilled craftspeople and its cuisine combines fresh seafood with fruits from its lush vegetation.
Acapulco is the largest tourist destination on the Mexican Pacific, with stunning beaches, lush vegetation and pleasant climate. Founded in 1566 as a trade route with the Far East, the city was repeatedly attacked by prowling pirates looking to steal the goods. To protect the city against these attacks, the Fort of San Diego was built – a structure that has been well-preserved over the years and now houses the Historical Museum of Acapulco. Today, Acapulco is the most popular holiday resort for tourists from all over Latin America, offering contemporary infrastructures and tourist facilities nestled in a wonderfully preserved natural surrounding. From beautiful beaches to delightful international and local cuisine, Acapulco is one of Guerrero´s treasured jewels.
The picturesque fishing village of Zihuatanejo is also part of the state of Guerrero. Located in the heart of the Mexican Pacific, the city is surrounded by mountains, tropical forests and nearly three kilometers of beach, equipped with top-quality tourist facilities. Formerly known as Cihuatlan – “place of women” – the city served as the monarch’s favorite place of retreat in the 1500s. Today, although much of the city has been modernized, it has managed to keep its village ambiance.
Five miles outside Zihuatanejo lies the modern tourist complex of Ixtapa (meaning “Place of White Sands” in Nahuatl, which, together with Zihuatanejo, forms what is known as the Dorado Pacifico or "Golden Pacific."
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has managed to preserve all the attractions that have made it so highly sought after; virtually unspoiled beaches, year-round sun, a calm, clean sea, exuberant vegetation and exotic birds. It also has a first-rate infrastructure, hotels and restaurants to suit every budget, golf course and above all, facilities for water sports, excursions and walks.
Taxco, known as the "silver city," is located in the northern part of the state and is one of Mexico's most famous colonial cities, just a few hours' drive from Mexico City to the west and Acapulco to the east. With approximately 100,000 inhabitants, Taxco has a small-town feel and to this day, remains loyal to its silver mining past. Its cobble-stone streets, cable-car rides, silver shops and numerous outdoor activities are only a few of the reasons travelers are taken by Taxco.
As one of the loveliest states in Mexico, Guerrero is the ideal destination for travelers interested in natural diversity and comfort.
Location: Guerrero State, Pacific coast, southwest Mexico Distance from Mexico City: 200 miles south Population: 640,000 Closest major airport: Juan Alvarez International Airport (ACA) Time zone: Central Standard Time
The vibrant Mexican Pacific port city of Acapulco is home to one of the most spectacular bays in the world, making it a favorite stop over the decades for celebrities of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Placido Domingo and Julio Iglesias. But Aca, as the locals call it, offers much more than just stretches of beach: Mexicans and foreigners agree that it is the perfect place for people of all tastes and budgets to swim, shop, dine, party or just soak up the sun.
A drive along the Costera Miguel Aleman Avenue offers a spectacular view of the bay and its grandest attractions. These include San Diego Fort, originally built to protect Acapulco from pirates; Cici, a water theme park for children; Papagayo Park, which offers a roller rink, Aviary, a racetrack for kids and model of a Spanish Galleon; and the Cultural Center (Casa de la Cultura), with an art gallery, handicraft exhibit and small archaeological museum.
Although Acapulco attracts throngs of tourists year-round, many of its beaches remain relatively secluded. These include Pie de la Cuesta and the Coyuca lagoon, whose hidden coves and tiny islands teeming with wildlife can be toured by small motorboat (lancha). Another beautiful, less-crowded beach is the pristine Puerto Marques, sheltered within a small bay east of Playa Icacos; it boasts the most tranquil waters in the area, breathtaking sunsets and charming little restaurants.
After basking in the sun, a good place to visit is the bustling central square (zocalo), whose crafts market (mercado de artesanias) and town market (mercado municipal) open daily, offering everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to love potions.
And no trip to Acapulco is complete without seeing the world-famous divers at La Quebrada. Trained divers plunge 130 feet into a narrow cove of just 11 feet of water, which is safe only when a wave has come in. You can see the dives while sipping a drink at the Plaza Las Glorias Hotel or enjoying a prix-fix dinner at El Mirador Hotel. Dives are scheduled at 12:30 p.m., and nightly at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. At night, the last divers (at the 10:30 p.m. show) carry torches.
When dinnertime approaches, the rich and famous both within and outside Mexico head to Madeiras Restaurant, an Acapulco institution. Another popular restaurant is Tabachin, located in the exclusive The Fairmont Pierre Marques Hotel, which offers exquisite French-Asian cuisine in a contemporary setting.
When night falls, revelers head to Baby O, Palladium and Enigma (electronic music and house); Yucca, Salon Q and Ninas (salsa and tropical music); and Zucca (60s, 70s, 80s and 90s music). And for those preferring a sunset cruise along the bay to a disco, Bonanza’s offers afternoon and evening cruises leaving from the downtown area near the zocalo; many hotels and shops sell the tickets. The cruises leave at 4:00 p.m., returning at 8:00 p.m.; and at 10:00 p.m., returning at 1:00 a.m.
Although Acapulco is known for its nightlife, it is also increasingly being recognized for its world-class golf and spa offerings. The Tianguis Golf & Spa trade show took place October 19 to 22 2003 at the prestigious Fairmont Acapulco Princess Hotel to promote Mexico as the world's greatest golf and spa destination. The Acapulco Convention Center, one of Mexico’s most important venues for meetings and conventions, is home to Mexico’s famous annual tourism trade show, the Tourism Tianguis.
Last but not least, Acapulco offers a tremendous array of lodging options, from inns (posadas) to luxury hotels. The exclusive Las Brisas resort offers 263 guest houses with private or semi-private pools as well as breathtaking views of Acapulco Bay and/or the Pacific Ocean. The historic Villa Vera, meanwhile, is an oasis of exotically-designed white houses, suites and villas decorated in contemporary Mexican-Mediterranean style.
A two-hour drive northeast of Acapulco leads visitors to the beautiful colonial mining town of Taxco, which offers the best selection of silver at excellent prices.
Taxco Location: Guerrero State, western Mexico Distance from Mexico City: 110 miles southwest Population: 100,250 Closest major airport: Benito Juarez Intl. aka Mexico City Intl.(MEX) Time Zone: Central Standard Time
Taxco is one of Mexico’s most beautifully-preserved colonial cities in addition to being the center of the country’s silver industry. The city’s whitewashed buildings with red tile roofs are nestled across a hillside with narrow cobblestone streets, cozy plazas and a cosmopolitan atmosphere despite its small size. Taxco is two hours by car from Mexico City, reached via a pleasant road featuring spectacular mountains and fields.
The discovery of rich silver mines brought fortune seekers and great wealth to Taxco. Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes discovered Taxco as he and his men combed Mexico in search of silver. However, despite the wealth of silver, its riches were not fully exploited until two centuries later with the arrival of Joseph de la Borda, a Frenchman of Spanish descent.
Taxco’s colorful main plaza – Borda Plaza – is the hub for day and night activities and features the Santa Prisca Church with its pink façade and filigree spires, beautiful silver shops and top-floor restaurants with flower-decked balconies overlooking the action below. Smaller squares surrounding the Plaza de Borda are also worth a visit for their magnificent colonial buildings and ambiance.
Several museums and antique buildings adorn the area. The Spratling Museum, for example, exhibits an interesting collection of prehispanic archaeological relics found in the region, while the beautiful 17th-century Casa Humboldt houses the Museum of Viceregal Art, displaying liturgical objects from Santa Prisca. Casa Humboldt formerly served as a hospital, the city’s first movie theater and as a fine hotel before becoming a museum.
For a safari-type expedition, Zoofari, located 30 minutes north of the city, offers the opportunity to experience close encounters with elephants, zebras, elks, llamas, ostriches and other free-roaming animals. Nearby are the Cacahuamilpa Caverns with their impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Shopping in Taxco is focused on silver objects. Shops in Plaza Borda and along the main highway offer retail, wholesale and custom-made items. Pineda´s Taxco and Sebastian, located in the main plaza; and Elena de los Ballesteros, located near Pineda´s, are some of the best shops in the area.
Several restaurants in the main plaza offer both local and regional specialties and are a great option for a pleasant evening. Paco, for example, is a wonderful restaurant with a great ambiance, perfect for good food, a drink and people-watching. La Hacienda and Pozoleria Tia Calle are also great options for both lunch and dinner.
Each year from late November to early December, Taxco showcases the amazing work of fine silversmiths at its Silver Fair.
The Arteaga region, Michoac‡n, southern Mexico is one of the few areas with basement outcrops in the Guerrero terrane. The Zihuatanejo subterrane is characterized by Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous island-arc volcanosedimentary sequences that rest unconformably on metamorphosed rocks of the Arteaga Complex, of possible Triassic-Jurassic age. Gravity and total field magnetic measurements were taken along two SW-NE profiles across the metamorphic and igneous complex. Spectral analysis is used to estimate depths to the Moho and major crustal interfaces. The crustal thickness increases to the N and NE away from the margin and is in the order of 28-32 km. The metamorphic complex has an average thickness of 15 km. In the southern sector near Arteaga, the uppermost metamorphic units present a lower density contrast possibly due to regional alteration. The granitic and granodioritic batholith has a thickness of up to 8 km in the SE sector. The gravity and magnetic models are consistent with proposals that the Arteaga Complex constitutes the basement of the Zihuatanejo subterrane.
In a posting above, it says that Taxco is located in the state of Guerrero. It is not only located in but is the state capital.
Guerrero means warrior, fighting on or similar and an attempt to stop and rob our night bus was made at 22.15 during our first visit in 1968. However that is long ago and the towns and villages north of Acapulco which were then almost inaccessible are now part and parcel of the tourist route/destinations
If and when I have to show somebody Acapulco again, then I head for Puerto Marqueus (on the right of the map in Tere's first posting) which is a much quieter place to beach and the first place I ever sailed in my life. You can hire those little traditional, nutshell boats for next to nothing (or used to be) and speed across the large bay faster than any yacht. It is advisable not to turn the boat over, however, due to ..... well lets say fish!
The other beach in/near Acapulco is opposite the small island of Roqueta. I think the beach is Hornos (could be wrong there).
I also always wanted to (but never did) get to Manzanillo but that is in the state of Colima. The big white hotel there featured in several films.
Back to Guerrero, on no account miss the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa (see above) and whilst in the Taxco region, check out
The antique Hacienda Minera of San Francisco Cuadra
The Cacalote Falls
Yes, nice state is Guerrero and Acapulco is not as snobby as it used to be (although the sea on the main beach is influenced by the shipping!)
Puerto Marqueus is but a short taxi or bus ride away and much much nicer
If you go to Acapulco, and you go in a boat tour, DON´T BELIEVE this house is of Stalone, or Luis Miguel, or Capetillo, it is Family Mendez house. (They try to impress tourists with these celebrities.)
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