Explore Mexico on $430, Part 4:Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo!

Ixtapa /

Zihuatanejo

Imagine not one, but two hidden seaside havens, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Let me share my story with you…     

It’s another early day and already the sun is shining brightly, the cloud layer is quickly dissipating so the brilliant blue sky is appearing.  Our ship is laying in the harbor of Zihuatanejo, 3 ½ hours north of Acapulco,         

Zihuatanejo is a dreamy, picturesque fishing village with a shallow, but inviting bay. Because of this, a tender – a small boat holding 15 to 50,  picks you up from the cruise ship, and takes you to a dock and dry land at Zihuatanejo for the usual tours of the area, shopping, eating, or just walking around and relaxing for the day.    

The transfer from the ship to the tender was one of the more exciting parts of the cruise – bouncing up and down and trying to step from a big cruise ship into a little boat was pretty unique.   

Ixtapa and Zihuatanjo

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No one had any real problem, though there was a lot of laughing and gasping by most of the women boarding. We were politely escorted everyplace we toured, filled with information, and were very well taken care of.        

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

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The main income for this area still comes from fishing and agriculture.  Zihuatanejo, according to our guide, translates to “The place of the beautiful lady”.      

There are many retired N.A.’s who live here both full time and part time.  Because of this not being a major port, costs are lower, and the natives, as well as the retirees here are hoping this part of Mexico doesn’t change, as many areas have, once the ExPats move in, but stays natural as it is now.     

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

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 Marie, our tour guide, invited us all to come visit her at her home, but she warned us, laughing, that we would have to sleep in hammocks, because they have no beds.  Because of not having air conditioning and because of the humidity and heat, I guess the hammock, with breezes blowing, is the best answer!        

The village of Ixtapa, “place of the white sand”, is just a bit north of Zihuatanejo, along the coast, and is where the more exclusive resorts are located in general. In the 70’s, the government funded the building of some resorts, to help generate additional tourism dollars.  There is an International airport about ½ hour by taxis or bus.    
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

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 It is very tropical here; today the temperature is 93 degrees with 78% humidity.  But, along with the beauty comes a bit of danger –  you must be aware that there are crocodiles around.    

They are found in the ponds and streams  and can even be found in the shallow ocean waters – so be careful.  Dick and I had already experienced that situation with alligators when we lived in Louisiana.  The animal patrol people were often called to remove alligators from people’s pools.  Actually, the area did sort of remind us of southern Louisiana.  
Ixtapa and Zihuatanjo

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Dick and I had a

wonderful day seeing

more of the natural

Mexico.  But it was time

to head back from Ixtapa and

Zihuatanejo, to the little boat for

a short water ride back to

the ship.     

We would have a few more days being pampered on the ship, and then a trip home, until our next adventure.       

 Do you have a question about retiring to Mexico?   You can do a search with the search box at the top-right of my site.  Type in the subject you are curious about, and you’ll find my articles involving that subject.  In fact, it will probably bring up multiple articles (1,2,3, etc.) which appear toward the bottom of the articles.  If you still haven’t found your answer,  just ask me!  If you don’t see the “write a comment” section below, click on Read Full Article and scroll down. Share your thoughts and concerns with me. I will always reply to you personally.     

     

Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo article by Barbie 

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11 Responses to Explore Mexico on $430, Part 4:Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo!

  1. Rob Dengel

    March 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Hi Barbie,

    As always, thank you for your informative info on Mexico. I appreciate it. Because of all the bad press that Mexico gets because of drug related crime as well as kidnappings that are drug related and extremist group related, I would appreciate your take on this subject, especially kidnappings. The way the US press draws the picture, kidnappings in Mexico are quite common place, involving a wide spectrum of victims (i.e. wealthy Mexicans as well as unsuspecting Americans). The crime is perpetrated by a host of organizations that sometimes have police protection all the way up to mexico’s equivalent to the FBI. The perpetrators are rarely caught, making the victims and their families feel hopeless and helpless, with some of them hiring private firms to handle the negotiations for the release of their loved one. Obviously, I’m writing this from the perspective of what I’ve seen on the news in the United States. Is it as bad as the media makes it out to be? Here’s the link my wife sent me that provides a link to a 2 hour NBC TV special on kidnapping in Mexico.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35733098#35733098?from=en-us_msnhp&GT1=43001

    I love Mexico and the possibility of moving there for retirment (I’m 60) intrigues me. But my skeptical wife is fearful. Out of all the times we’ve visited Mexico (Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum, Bara de Navidad, Colima) we’ve seen both the touristy side and the local sides and have had an attempted robbery once and encountered a federali road block once. I know of at least one person who was stopped by the local police for speeding and ended up giving the officer $100 and another person whose yacht was confiscated and never returned when a boat hand committed a murder on the boat.

    We have a friend who is a manager of our favorite mexican restaurant here in the Chicago area. He is a mexican national and we’ve spoken with him many times. Since his family in mexico is rather well to do, he is fearful of visiting his family in mexico with his wife and kids because, in his eyes, the possibility of being kidnapped is very real. If I remember, his family lives in a medium sized town about 40 miles or so from Mexico City.

    With my limited knowledge of places to retire to in mexico, I’ve read a fare amount about Merida, the capitol of the state of Yucatan but I have no idea what kind of American/Canadian presence there is in Merida. From what I’ve read, the area around Guadelajara and Lake Chapala has a large American/Canadian presence. It would appear that it is better live in an area where there is a significant number of Americans/Canadians for safety reasons, but it’s probably more expensive also. Any insight you can give would be appreciated.

    Our first task it to learn to speak Spanish more fluently. Any suggestions on how to learn Spanish?

    Thank you,

    Rob Dengel

  2. Kay Jackson

    March 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Barbie: What is the cost of living in Mazlatlan? Any drug troubles near where you are? I am a single woman who would love to move to Mexico, but can’t figure out how to do it alone. No one will come visit with me because of the drug problem. If I take a cruise there, could you meet me and show me where the Americans live?I put it all of my mind until I get a note from you, and then I get all pumped up again. So good to get your blogs.
    Thanks, Kay

  3. Barbie

    Barbie

    April 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hi. Most of that info can be found in my blogs at http://www.moneysavingmexico.com and the newsletters at http://www.retireinluxury.com
    I can arrange for a realtor to meet you and show you around Mazatlan. Just let me know. Barbie

  4. Barbie

    Barbie

    April 1, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Hi – I’ll do the easy one first – be around people who speak it. Get an electronic translator – maybe from Radio Shack or Best Buy – and get a “basic” Spanish book. Now – read everything I’ve put up on my site!! You’ll even get lists of everyday Spanish/English words. You won’t need to be fluent – and you will pick it up when half the people around you are speaking Spanish. Go to http://www.retireinluxury.com and read every newsletter I’ve posted – then, go to http://www.moneysavingmexico.com and read every blog. You’ll find a lot of info, easily served to you. Your questions are all answered there. Best to you, Barbie

  5. Amy

    April 23, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Barbie: What is the cost of living in Mazlatlan? Any drug troubles near where you are? I am a single woman who would love to move to Mexico, but can’t figure out how to do it alone. No one will come visit with me because of the drug problem. If I take a cruise there, could you meet me and show me where the Americans live?I put it all of my mind until I get a note from you, and then I get all pumped up again. So good to get your blogs.
    Thanks, Kay

  6. Anthony

    April 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Barbie,

    As always, thank you for your informative info on Mexico. I appreciate it. Because of all the bad press that Mexico gets because of drug related crime as well as kidnappings that are drug related and extremist group related, I would appreciate your take on this subject, especially kidnappings. The way the US press draws the picture, kidnappings in Mexico are quite common place, involving a wide spectrum of victims (i.e. wealthy Mexicans as well as unsuspecting Americans). The crime is perpetrated by a host of organizations that sometimes have police protection all the way up to mexico’s equivalent to the FBI. The perpetrators are rarely caught, making the victims and their families feel hopeless and helpless, with some of them hiring private firms to handle the negotiations for the release of their loved one. Obviously, I’m writing this from the perspective of what I’ve seen on the news in the United States. Is it as bad as the media makes it out to be? Here’s the link my wife sent me that provides a link to a 2 hour NBC TV special on kidnapping in Mexico.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/35733098#35733098?from=en-us_msnhp&GT1=43001

    I love Mexico and the possibility of moving there for retirment (I’m 60) intrigues me. But my skeptical wife is fearful. Out of all the times we’ve visited Mexico (Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum, Bara de Navidad, Colima) we’ve seen both the touristy side and the local sides and have had an attempted robbery once and encountered a federali road block once. I know of at least one person who was stopped by the local police for speeding and ended up giving the officer $100 and another person whose yacht was confiscated and never returned when a boat hand committed a murder on the boat.

    We have a friend who is a manager of our favorite mexican restaurant here in the Chicago area. He is a mexican national and we’ve spoken with him many times. Since his family in mexico is rather well to do, he is fearful of visiting his family in mexico with his wife and kids because, in his eyes, the possibility of being kidnapped is very real. If I remember, his family lives in a medium sized town about 40 miles or so from Mexico City.

    With my limited knowledge of places to retire to in mexico, I’ve read a fare amount about Merida, the capitol of the state of Yucatan but I have no idea what kind of American/Canadian presence there is in Merida. From what I’ve read, the area around Guadelajara and Lake Chapala has a large American/Canadian presence. It would appear that it is better live in an area where there is a significant number of Americans/Canadians for safety reasons, but it’s probably more expensive also. Any insight you can give would be appreciated.

    Our first task it to learn to speak Spanish more fluently. Any suggestions on how to learn Spanish?

    Thank you,

    Rob Dengel

  7. Dave

    April 25, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Hi. Most of that info can be found in my blogs at http://www.moneysavingmexico.com and the newsletters at http://www.retireinluxury.com
    I can arrange for a realtor to meet you and show you around Mazatlan. Just let me know. Barbie

  8. Jeff

    April 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Hi. Most of that info can be found in my blogs at http://www.moneysavingmexico.com and the newsletters at http://www.retireinluxury.com
    I can arrange for a realtor to meet you and show you around Mazatlan. Just let me know. Barbie

  9. Rick

    April 27, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Hi – I’ll do the easy one first – be around people who speak it. Get an electronic translator – maybe from Radio Shack or Best Buy – and get a “basic” Spanish book. Now – read everything I’ve put up on my site!! You’ll even get lists of everyday Spanish/English words. You won’t need to be fluent – and you will pick it up when half the people around you are speaking Spanish. Go to http://www.retireinluxury.com and read every newsletter I’ve posted – then, go to http://www.moneysavingmexico.com and read every blog. You’ll find a lot of info, easily served to you. Your questions are all answered there. Best to you, Barbie

  10. Simon

    April 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Barbie: What is the cost of living in Mazlatlan? Any drug troubles near where you are? I am a single woman who would love to move to Mexico, but can’t figure out how to do it alone. No one will come visit with me because of the drug problem. If I take a cruise there, could you meet me and show me where the Americans live?I put it all of my mind until I get a note from you, and then I get all pumped up again. So good to get your blogs.
    Thanks, Kay

  11. veterinary technician

    July 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

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