13 Best Things To Do In Zihuatanejo, Mexico

13 Best Things To Do In Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Are you looking for the best things to do in Zihuatanejo?

Zihuatanejo in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero boasts 4 beaches (which are some of the best anywhere), several piers, and a number of restaurants, not to mention the spectacular views. It is on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, some 240 km. northwest of Acapulco.

Zihuatanejo, or “Zihua” for short, is the place to go if you want somewhere not so touristy where you can experience the authenticity as well as the best of Mexico.

As an up-and-coming tourist hot spot, the resorts continue to sprout in the city. However, Zihuatanejo seems determined to keep its small-town feel. Both visitors and residents love the eclectic fusion of local and tourist living in Zihua.

If you’re visiting Zihuatanejo soon, here are the best activities that you shouldn’t miss in this gorgeous resort city.

13 Best Things To Do In Zihuatanejo, Mexico

1. Take a walk and sight-see at the Paseo del Pescador

The Paseo del Pescador, or Fisherman’s Walk, is a fun way to start your holidays in Zihua. It’s a paved pathway along the shoreline in the downtown Zihuatanejo, where you can browse through shops and eat at restaurants as you take in the local vibe.

The Paseo del Pescador is particularly stunning at night with the lights illuminating the pathway. Head straight to the main square to enjoy an evening of dancing and live music. Don’t skip the street food as well!

2. Visit the Costa Grande Archaeological Museum

Not far from the Paseo del Pescador, look for this intimate museum where you can have some insight on the archaeological history of this part of Mexico.

Costa Grande Archaeological Museum has six rooms which showcase archaeology stuff in thestate of Guerrero from the ancients times to the Spanish colonial period. Also learn about the impact of Mesoamerican cultures on the region as we know it today.

If you’re interested in indigenous history and Mexican culture, this is a must-not-miss.

3. Stroll the Zihuatanejo downtown

Zihuatanejo Mexico

A walk around downtown affords splendid views of Zihuatanejo Bay. Here you will also pass by charming artisanal shops and swanky restaurants with stylish decor and international menus, as well as local seafood restaurants with thatched roofs.

For the best experience, strolling at sunset is highly suggested. Wait for the dark, when both sides of the bay are lit, creating a stunning night view of the water.

4. Travel back in time at the Xihuacan Ruins

Xihuacan is an archaeological city about half an hour from Zihuatanejo. It features a fascinating 3,000-year-old archaeological site which is believed to have been a place of worship for various deities from different tribes such as the Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs, and others.

The site of the Xihuacan Ruins is thought to have reached its heights between AD 650 and 900, but flooding drove its inhabitants away until it slowly became abandoned.

5. Spend time at Zihuatanejo’s most famous beach – Playa La Ropa

Playa La Ropa, Zihuatanejo

Playa La Ropa is a wide stretch of fine white sand that’s always buzzing with activity. It’s got a reef to snorkel or scuba dive around, and the water is calm and warm which is ideal for swimming. However, just lounging on the Playa La Ropa is a already satisfying activity itself.

The powdery sand extends for about a mile and is backed by a lovely stretch of palm trees. Playa La Ropa is perfect for swimming as the water is warm and calm. Here you can also go paddleboarding, kayaking, or parasailing, and even shopping if you hit the stalls set up by the beach.

6. Discover Playa Las Gatas

Playa las Gatas Zihuatanejo

From the Playa La Ropa, you can head to Playa Las Gatas by following a rocky path that leads there. Playa Las Gatas may also be reached by boat.

Playa Las Gatas is much smaller than Playa La Ropa, but if you’re looking for a beach that’s quieter but just as beautiful, this is the best choice as it is relatively isolated.

Playas Las Gatas, or Nurse Shark Beach, is a protected beach, with sunbeds and beach shack restaurants. Here you can go snorkeling on a reef just off shore, swim, or simply relax on one of the sunbeds lining the beach. You can also have a massage for about $15.

Book your ticket online here.

7. Take a boat to Ixtapa Island

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

Isla Ixtapa is a small island on the other side of the mountains from Zihuatanejo. There is no running water or electricity on the island, so that is a novel experience to see. Bunnies and deer roam around the island, with beautiful fish to see when snorkeling. Here you can also enjoy an amazing massage.

There are restaurants on Ixtapa, which you will surely love. Try cute piña colada served in a cute pineapple. The island is open for visitors from 9 am to 5 pm.

Book your tour online here.

8. Go scuba diving at Los Morros de Potosi

An hour away by boat from Zihuatanejo, you will have the best scuba diving experience in one of the best sites on the Mexican Pacific coast. It’s called Los Morros de Potosi, a cluster of barren islands with shallow waters that are teeming with coral reefs and other marine wildlife.

9. Go on a whale-watching trip

Zihuatanejo is a spectacular place for whale-watching, with about 200,000 humpback whales migrating through the area from late December to late March. The experience is not going to be limited to humpbacks as you’ll also have a great opportunity see other whale species like the minke whales and beaked whales.

Whale watching trips last about three hours. You will be guided by a marine biologist to keep track of the whales passing through.

Manta rays and sea turtles as well as various species of dolphins and birds can also be seen on such a trip, so do not miss this activity!

10. See the crocodiles in the Playa Linda Cocodrilario

A crocodile reserve, or a cocodrilario, on a small peninsula directly to the south of Playa Linda welcomes visitors to witness these great beasts lounging in the mud or floating in the water.

This crocodrilario is small, but it collects no entry fees. Apart from crocs, you can also observe iguanas and turtles, as well as birds, on site.

11. Go biking in Zihuatanejo

Biking down Zihua’s dramatic trail is a definite must-do in the area. To experience the beauty of the native rainforest, exploring on a bicycle is the best way to do it.

Your bicycle wheels will take you to the twisting coastline and through the lush vegetation. Stop on a wooden platform to get the best panoramic views of the forest below and stunning coastline beyond. This viewpoint is one of the most gorgeous places in Zihuatanejo.

12. Hit a bar near the marina

You can find plenty of busy bars near Zihuatanejo’s marina if you just wander the streets along the harbor. You can’t miss them at night; just follow the music and the lights.

Mezcal is a favorite drink here, but you may want to try others like the local Coco Loco – if you’re feeling adventurous! Coco Loco is full of heavy stuff and served in a fresh coconut. Drink moderately.

13. Take a cooking lesson in Zihuatanejo

To get the best of both culture and authentic cuisine of Zihua, taking a cooking class is the best thing to do! Patio Mexica on Playa La Madera is highly recommended for this activity – a great way to learn and enjoy the traditional food in the region.

Check out these other tours in Zihuatanejo!

Travel Tips And Resources

Travel Insurance: I never leave home without travel insurance. My personal opinion is if you can afford to travel, you can afford to buy a travel insurance. All things can happen while on the road and you can never be too sure. And it’s something that you’ll be glad to have when you need it. For my preferred travel insurance, I use Safety Wing.

Where To Stay: I personally use Booking.com for all my accommodations. Check out for their latest deals here.

Reading Resources: Check out our best reading resources here.