Exploring the surroundings is one of the pleasures I like to indulge in while on vacations. If you feel adventurous and want to explore Ixtapa Zihuatanejo surroundings for a day, one of my recommendations would be to visit adjacent town Petatlan. Roughly speaking, Petatlan is known for three things: Typical Mexican street scene, the church, and its gold market. The city was founded in 1550 and was previously inhabited by Cuitlatecos, Chumbias, Pantecas & Mexica tribes. “Petatlán” comes from the nahuatl ‘Petatl’ (Petate: The woven from the fibers of the Palm) and ‘Tlán’ (next to) meaning then: “Next to Petate”.
Petatlan is located a short half hour drive from Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. You can’t miss the the Church “Father Jesus of Petatlan”, strategically placed in the heart of town, in a lush setting surrounded by trees, the gold market and the street market. Though the church design does not boast a historical or colonial style, I admire its beautiful stained glass, arches and vaults. I learned that the use of circles and squares in architecture descends from classic Aztec culture, where these elements represent heaven and earth.
Across the street from the main entrance to the church, you will find the gold market, where you can buy beautiful gold jewelry for the best price (it can be cheaper to 10-15% than regular stores, but I advise you to be prepared for some bargaining – it can be lots of fun as well!). The tradition of selling gold outside the church has more than 50 years as one of the local artisans commented me. When you’ve had enough of gold, get ‘lost’ in the nearby Petatlan street market, with stalls piled high with fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing, general housewares, car parts, traditional handcrafts, utilities and items you never even imagined existed (or that you needed). The street market will give you a taste of old Mexico markets, which are still often the center points of smaller towns and villages all over the country. Not to be missed are also Petatlan’s famous fruit waters at ‘heladería’ (ice cream shop), in the corner of the ‘zocalo’ (city main plaza).
On the way back to Capella Ixtapa, you can stop at Barra de Potosí and enjoy this beautiful lagoon sanctuary at sunset.
Your Personal Assistant will be more than happy to give you more information, directions and organize a tour for you. Enjoy your day trip!