Choose from 11 Fun Things to Do in Guerrero
Ixtapa, on the other hand, is a planned resort town, perhaps a bit sterile but perfect for vacationers who are looking for convenient, family-friendly access to truly beautiful beaches, a picturesque marina, and a wide selection of comfortable hotels. The two towns are only three miles apart, so day-trippers can easily explore both.
How to Get to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
You'll arrive in the tender port of Zihuatanejo, which most day-trippers prefer to resort-lined Ixtapa. Most of Zihua's attractions, mainly beaches, shops, and restaurants, are walking distance from the pier. Boat taxis can take you to prettier, more pristine beaches, including those of Isla Ixtapa. It's a three-mile walk or inexpensive cab ride to Ixtapa proper, with more upscale shopping, a fine marina, and other appealing beaches. Seasoned travelers who speak a bit of Spanish will have no problem using cheap public buses that connect the two towns.
One Day in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
There are nice beaches, shops, and even an archaeological museum close to the wharf. Most can be reached on foot along Zihuatanejo's malecón, Paseo del Pescador (Fisherman's Walk), lined with thatch-roofed seafood restaurants and handicraft stands selling the region's attractive rugs, hammocks, shell art, pottery, and other artesanías.
Better beaches are accessible by boat, including Ixtapa Island, with four unspoiled stretches of white sand and coral reefs just perfect for snorkeling; and popular, palm-lined Playa Las Gatas, with calm, sapphire water protected by a reef that explored by snorkel and diving outfits set up onshore. Other activities include horseback riding, surfing, wildlife watching, golfing, sportfishing, zip-line canopy tours, and much more.
- The island offers little shade, so remember to bring sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses.
- Snorkeling gear and kayaks are available to rent.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces, especially if you plan to make use of the trail network.
Though you chose Acapulco for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, the Fort of San Diego (or El Fuerte de San Diego) provides a fine, air-conditioned dose of cultural enrichment perfect for the entire family.
The fortress itself, though small, is an excellent example of classic Spanish defensive architecture, built in 1616 to repel increasingly brazen attacks by British pirates on the deep-water port. Its five photogenic stone arms topped with turrets, once protected galleons that connected the Americas to Asian ports.
Today, they are filled with objects from that era, a part of the Museo Histórico de Acapulco. The permanent collection is solid, and the museum also exhibits shows traveling from elsewhere in Mexico.
The Fort of San Diego is unmissable, its stone fortifications splayed across the strategically important point at the end of Playa Hornos, guarding the deep natural port that today hosts enormous cruise ships. While you can usually find English-speaking guides at any time, call ahead to make sure. An English-language version of a costumed historical presentation, held in Spanish Thursday – Saturday evening, can also be arranged. The fortress is free on Sundays.
Eager for an escape into untamed nature, just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from bustling Acapulco? Cruise north toward peaceful Coyuca Lagoon, a world away from the high-rise hotels and crowded beaches.
The freshwater lagoon spreads across some 72 square kilometers (28 square miles), and is particularly important for migrating birds. As your boat slides past the lush jungled shore - featured in movies such as Rambo, Tarzan, and The African Queen - you will come upon several small islands that act as sanctuaries for colonies of pelicans, herons, storks, and other species.
Most tours include a fabulous seafood buffet featuring the bounty of both the sea and lagoon. If you've got cooking facilities at your hotel or villa in Acupulco, ask your guide about stopping in the tiny town of Embarcadero to pick up the freshest seafood possible.
While the vast majority of visitors book an all-inclusive day trip to Coyuca Lagoon, you can certainly do it on your own. Buses marked "Pie de la Cuesta" leave regularly from La Costera in central Acapulco, dropping you off at the broad, sandy peninsula that separates the Pacific from the estuary. There are several simple seafood restaurants and plenty of places to enjoy the sunshine, though swimming is a bit more dangerous here than in the protected bay of Acapulco.
High in the rugged mountains of northern Guerrero State, the elegant city of Taxco de Alarcon was once an isolated Spanish stronghold. Today it is known for its mines producing rich, gleaming silver, and the generations of artisans who create some of Mexico's most beautiful jewelry.
Though every possible style is represented in the craftshops that inhabit old adobes lining the steep, cobbled streets, it is the smooth, heavy cast pieces of both modern and traditional design that are considered true Taxco style. Before you shop, stop into the city's two siver museums to see truly fine pieces: the Museo de la Plateria, which also covers the Mexico's history in silver, and the Museo Guillermo Spratling, with pottery and other exhibits.
All that glitters is not silver, however, and the city boasts several other worthy attractions. Culture lovers will love the richly detailed baroque facade and soaring interior of 18th century Catedral de Santa Prisca, while active travelers will enjoy hiking to waterfalls and mountaintops around town.
It's about 280 kilometers (173 miles) between Acapulco and Taxco, using the fast, safe toll road. The old Mexico City - Acapulco freeway is slower but much more scenic; you'll need to take it for the last half hour of your trip either way. Taxco is a great overnight stop if you're traveling between Acapulco and Mexico City, with a solid selection of nice, if not luxurious, hotels. Be sure to make reservations well in advance for Semana Santa (Easter Week), when the city puts on its world-famous fiestas.
Several buses make the 4-hour trip between Acapulco and Taxco daily. It's worth spending a few extra dollars for air conditioning.
Formerly known as Exekatlkalli (the "House of the Winds") the Mural Diego Rivera was once the home of Dolores Olmedo, the final lover of Mexican master artist Diego Rivera. He spent the last years of his life with her here, and in 1956 created his final mural.
It is an outstanding piece, made of mosaic tiles, and depicts at its center Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent of the Aztec religious pantheon. Other figures include a frog (a reference to Dolores' pet name for him) and a hammer and sickle, symbolizing his continued commitment to communist ideals.
There were plans to turn the Mural Diego Rivera into a museum, and for several years the interior was conserved, including several sketches and paintings by Rivera. However, the house was recently sold, though the Mural Diego Rivera, outside, remains in public view, the cultural pride of Acapulco.
Casa Olmedo is located on Cerro La Pinzona, the cross-topped hill just west of town past the Terminal Maratima, close to the Hotel Casablanca. It's a 15-minute walk, or take a cab.