In honor of 50 consecutive, dogged and determined attempts to capture, encapsulate, commemorate this unique and delightful place we call paradise…We celebrated the 50th edition of ADIP with a list of our 50 Favorite Things about Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.
If you have 50 favorite things about Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “50 favorite things” and perhaps we’ll run a compilation!
50 Things I love about Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo
by Catherine Krantz
That “anything’s possible” is even more possible here, any new day can bring a miracle. The fantastic colors of the plastic shopping bags, especially the soft lilac and the candy cane striped ones. Windy days skimming the surface of the bay on a Hobie Cat, like a skipping stone. Tacos al pastor. The magnificent frigates and how they fly so very high in the sky and then just float there. The explosion of vegetation in the surrounding hills right after the rains. Yacht spotting in Zihua Bay. The big quiet trees that once a year burst with huge yellow flowers and you wonder how you never even noticed them before. When you come around the bend from Ixtapa and the big hill fills your view, shrouded in fog like a Hawaiian volcano. Lucky air fresheners, love candles and money perfumes. When the diffused light of a rainy day makes all the greens so super-saturated its like stepping into an impressionist painting. Movie stars. Learning that a little lime, salt, hot sauce or chiles will make anything taste better: hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken, eggs, beer. Going out into the ocean in a little boat, racing at top speed, bouncing off every swell. When you’re on the bus to La Ropa and you crest the hill at the mirador and everyone on board turns at the same time to stare at the bay. The Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival. When you’re out sailing and a pod of dolphins swims up beside you, and one breaks the surface to look up at you and you can swear if it had an eyelid, it would have just winked at you. Every single one of the hundreds of persons it has taken to create ADIP magazine and get it to its 50th edition.
How time stands still here, how dinner with friends and a view can be some poignant life-affirming experience. The extremely generous crowd Zihuatanejo draws. The temperature at sunrise, morning walks on Playa La Ropa. Rick’s filthy dirty vodka martinis with two olives. The random and wonderful, interesting and unusual, delightful and diverse, fun, funny and fascinating folks who congregate here every year. Chile Relleno night a La Perla. The daily opportunity to thwart frustration with mirth. The view from Casa Bahia. Horchata. Lightning storms over the ocean. Fuzzy baby burros. Going to the Spa! Massages and facials at Lavender & Roses. Iguanas that eat flowers and run up on two legs, like Speedy Gonzalez. From the hills over La Ropa you can still see all the stars. With the road to Patzcuaro, you are only three hours from a totally different climate. Cocos Frios and drinking from a bag with a straw. The outright thrill of air conditioning on a steamy day. Funny little animals that make you re-define cute: puffy little black birds with big, big beaks, the grove billed anis, or the raccoon-possum-monkey mix that is the adorable tejon. All the great friends I have been so lucky to meet here, and all the great parties they throw.
The way some random happy little kid will just run up to you and say hi. Movies for 35 pesos. Rice pudding in a cup. Swim-up bars. The freedom of anything-goes fashion, and how you can stumble across a true design visionary wearing a brilliant and bold, sophisticated ensemble, and a bucket on her head. Flan with the consistency of cheese cake. Chicken pozole verde with the squirts of two lime sections, two spoonfuls of diced onions, a sprinkle each of oregano and chile power, a section of avocado sliced in chunks with a spoon, and a good dose of crumbled up pork rinds. Kayaking through the mangroves at Barra de Potosi Lagoon. Fresh Abalone at La Barra, Oysters at La Saladita, and Lobster at La Mahajua. Roosters as colorful as peacocks. Swaying in a hammock with your sweety. Walking down the street waving at everyone you meet. And my all-time favorite: There are no good-byes in Zihua, knowing that if they’ve been here once they’ll be back again someday.
–originally published March 2007