Getting Here

Flights

The Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa International Airport  (ZIH) is a major tourist airport and lies at the north end of Playa Blanca. There is a wide selection of flights both direct from the US and Canada and passing through Mexico City.  Here are some useful links.

Direct from United States

Other airlines connecting to Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo

Several charter outfits fly in directly from Canada during the high season and airlines constantly change their routes, so you likely will want to do your own internet search to find the best flight.

Arriving Here

As you approach the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo airport, you will likely circle the Playa Blanca Bay which is just south of Zihuatanejo. You may see Los Moros (white islets just outside the bay), Cerro Guaymilule (the forested point at the south end of the bay) and the Laguna Potosi (lagoon extending inland from Guaymilule). The village of Barra de Potosi sits at the mouth of the lagoon.The airport is at the north end of the bay about 8 miles up the beach from the village.

After landing, you will pass through the immigration line where you present your passport and the visa application that you filled out on the plane. You then pick up your luggage, run it through an x-ray machine and then go up to a little booth where you push a button and get a green light or red light. Maybe one in twenty times you get the red light which means the customs people open and poke around your luggage before smiling and waving you through. Green light and you pass right into the reception area where there are stands for car rentals, taxis, etc. The taxi fares are controlled by the taxi union and are not easily negotiated.  The fare from the airport all the way to Barra de Potosi is about US$35. There are also car rental outfits in the airport. Here is a link to a portal that searches them: Rental Cars. Com.

It is about a 15 minute drive to Barra depending on whether you take the scenic and partially unpaved beach road or the inland highway route. Lodgings on the north end of the beach are closer.

From San Miguel de Allende

If you are coming from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, here are directions.  TAR Airlines, a new Mexican regional airline, also has inaugurated flights from Queretaro to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.  The link is here.

Pesos

There are no banks or ATMs in Barra de Potosi or along the beach and the local restaurants and businesses do not take credit cards. They may accept US dollars but at a poor exchange rate. So you will want to bring pesos. The easiest place to get them is usually your own bank. There are money exchange booths in the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo airport, but you will get a better rate at one of the ATMs in the airport. However they sometimes are out of cash and/or have a limit of roughly US$250 per withdrawal.

Things to Consider Bringing

Your favorite sunscreen and bug spray. A hat, swim suit and sandals. It is very casual and tropical here for the most part but you may also want a pair of long slacks and a long sleeved shirt. Binoculars (if you enjoy bird watching or looking for whales out on the water). Sometimes people have special food items they can’t live without like a breakfast cereal. You can get basic foodstuffs here but the selection is limited. The electricity is 120volt and uses the same plugs as the US and Canada, so your electronics will all work. Bring your own medicine as anything special is hard to get.

Dangers & Annoyances

This is the advice from Lonely Planet:  “Despite often alarming media reports and official warnings, Mexico is generally a safe place to travel, and with just a few precautions you can minimize the risk of encountering problems.

Some cities, such as Mexico City, Acapulco, Monterrey and several places along the US border (such as Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez), have a crime problem, but tourists are rarely involved in the drug ­trade–related violence that brings such a lot of bad publicity.

Enjoy yourself along the coasts, but beware of undertows and riptides on any ocean beach, and don’t leave your belongings unattended on the beach while you swim. Run-and-grab thefts happen.

And everyone should be extremely careful with taxis in Mexico City.

Official information can make Mexico sound more alarming than it really is, and is not always up to date, but for a variety of useful information on travel to Mexico consult your country’s foreign affairs department.”