Club Intrawest, photo by Jeff Fisher

Rise early for morning coffee and huachinango (grilled red snapper) in a café along the Paseo de Pescador (Fisherman’s Walk). In the cool of the morning, stroll the adjacent galleries and The Artisan’s Market on Avenida Cinco de Mayo. Shop for authentic silver and turquoise across the street at 5 de Mayo jewelry store or for hand-blown glass at nearby Rosimar Artesanias

Take a cooking lesson with Club Intrawest’s chef Mario Ramirez or chef Monica Duran Perez at Patio Mexica. Both offer tours of Zi’s public food market—Mercados Municipale Centrale—where the colourful stalls overflow with ripe mango, freshly chopped cactus leaves and fiery chilies. 

As the day heats up, the beachside cafés of Playa La Madera and Playa La Ropa are perfect for cooling down with ceviche and cervezas between plunges in the warm Pacific waters. Enjoy happy hour while sipping salty lime margaritas with panoramic views of Zihuatanejo Bay at either tiny Casa Cuitlateca or bustling Il Mare, and sample the platos of tiritas de pescador (fish strips) served with chips and guacamole.

On Sundays, join the locals in an after-dinner stroll to Zi’s festival plaza and basketball court for a lively night of song and dance.  

Getting there: WestJet flies to Ixtapa three times a week from Calgary.