There are plenty of cool people, places and things to do in Zihuatanejo, Mexico or Zihua as many fondly call this place. This used to be a sleepy fishing village from what we have read. They even filmed a beach scene from the film Shawshank Redemption right here. Zihua has beauty, beaches and tropical weather and now attracts many tourists especially during their high season (which seems to be all months except September, October & November).
We just want to highlight a few things in no particular order that have sparked our attention during our journey in Zihua.
Smashed nonis. When you walk by the fire station (the only one in town) you will go past a noni tree and often have to watch out for fallen noni fruit. Nonis are white fruit that taste like blue cheese. Few people love this fruit but here they seem to fall from the tree, get stepped on and forgotten. Just be careful you don’t step on one.
Singing girls. One afternoon we heard singing and turned around to find four school girls dressed in their uniforms all singing in perfect English to an Ariana Grande song called Bang Bang. We wish we had recorded them or at least taken their picture. What a delight!
The Gum Tree. There is a tree branch covered with gum that we pass on our walks to various places. It has been called the Bubble Gum Tree or may be for lovers. Not really sure but it’s a fun spot to stop and see.
Coffee Lovers. If you enjoy some really good café then you will want to shop at Cafe Costa Del Sol. Each day we walk by and see numerous men sitting out front in plastic chairs holding their cup of joe and talking. (Please note only one of us adores coffee – guess who? It’s Octavine. Alex would never indulge in any of that “bitter seed juice” as he calls it.)
Sapodilla Woman. We already wrote about her but if you ever come to visit and want some quality fruit, please find this woman. She sits on a corner street in downtown Zihua, Centro area. She is kind and sells super fruit almost every day of the week. You won’t be disappointed if you buy from her.
Basketball Court. Cancha Municipal is an outdoor basketball court, all cement, but right next to the ocean. Have you ever played ball while listening to the waves rush in? It’s a great spot (although very hot during the day) and they hold tournaments in the evenings and host other events there as well. It’s in downtown Zihua next to various tourist restaurants and near a fishing spot in Playa Principal (Main Beach).
Patti Lilly. Yeah, she’s got a cool name for starters. A Canadian born woman who now lives in Zihua, Patti Lilly is a vegan force to be reckoned with. She serves amazing dishes at Eco-Tianguis Sanka (the Saturday morning market) including pad Thai noodles and raw spring rolls. Many love her kombucha drinks. She also participates in most events at Cooperativa Eco Vegana. In addition, Patti teaches inversion yoga classes (and has amazing abs to prove it). You can contact her via email here firstname.lastname@example.org
The Comercial. There is a big box store similar to a Walmart where you can find pasta, rice, almond milk, toilet paper and basketballs, among other things. It’s overpriced for fruit and veggies but a good spot if you’re hot and want a blast of air conditioning. They’ve had a giant Christmas tree up since mid October. If you bring a backpack with you be prepared to leave it at the storage spot while you shop. Most store clerks do not speak English but we did manage to find one recently who came up to us and asked very politely in English if we needed help.
Dance Studio. There is the Imagine Dance Studio, an open storefront, where you can often hear lively music and see dancers practicing in the evening. It’s along the walk to downtown (on a street called Paseo de la Boquita).
Cooperativa Eco Vegana. This place is a haven for vegans and we can’t say enough about this fabulous house where workshops are held and you can buy lunch on Tuesday and Thursday each week from 1-3pm. The meal is just 45 pesos and includes a main dish and drink. Just be sure to take your own containers. They are very ecologically minded so they don’t want to waste anything. They recently started growing more of their own herbs and often sell fresh salads too. For more details call them at 5446335 or 7551080685. They are located in the cottage ecovegana at Mediterranean Sea 9, behind Telmex. Here is their Facebook page.
Israel Rodriguez – amazing musician, photographer/artist. Israel and his band Son d’AKA performed at Eco-Tianguis Sanka (the Saturday morning market) during one of our first visits to the market. We were totally enthralled with their music, his soulful singing and the entire band. They performed a set of heartfelt tunes and got everyone dancing by the end. Be sure to look up Son d’AKA, and if you can hear them live, run to catch their set. All super talented musicians.