High white clouds cast passing shadows on the green roll of low hills and ruffled palm tree fringe that shelter the sandy shores of Zihuatanejo. Slightly southwest of Mexico City on the Pacific side of the country, this small city specializes in fresh cuisine from even fresher seafood. Not surprisingly, sport fishing is a noted area attraction. Sign up for a day out on the deep sea and try your hand at bringing home dinner.
Those who would rather eat their seafood than, well, fish for it, will do better to spend lazy sunny days exploring the beaches that rim this stretch of coast. Bright clear waters beckon snorkellers to the waters off beaches like Play Las Gatas and Playa Manzanillo. If you're in town for a few days, take the time to get scuba certified with one of the operators in Zihuatanejo or stick to the surface comforts and join a snorkeling tour.
Small neighbor Ixtapa is just north of Zihuatanejo and popular for similar reasons. Sprawling with big resort growth, the water here can get a bit rough for everyday spluttering, so stick to machine-powered activities like parasailing and Sea Doo driving. A quick boat trip offshore is Isla Ixtapa where the swell is soft enough to make snorkeling safe.
Zihuatanejo is a quick drive south of Ixtapa and 152 miles northwest of Acapulco.