"LA MAGIA DE MEXICO" Top 5 Page for this destination Mexico by madamx

Mexico Travel Guide: 21,451 reviews and 51,311 photos


We both knew that we wanted to go to Mexico almost a year ago, but were at a loss on how to plan our trip. The only people we knew who had been there had done the rounds of all-inclusives and recommended those to us.

From what we could see, we knew that we were not all-inclusive people. My husband really pushed for one for ease of planning, but I knew deep down we would not be happy. Thus, our real journey started when I began to delve deeper into research, as Mexico was such a mystery to me.


The name was intriguing to me. What was Zihuatanejo other than a place we heard uttered by a character on the movie The Shawshank Redemption? It took us a while to even pronounce Zihuatanejo correctly. Researching further, Zihuatanejo appealed to us more and more. A smallish town, still dependent on fishing, with real Mexican flavor, but still having enough gringos around that we would feel comfortable, as it was our first time to Mexico. Plus, there were no all-inclusives in Zihuatanejo.

We were aware of the hot, humid weather, but not prepared for how long it would take us to acclimatize. The heat sapped any type of energy out of us, yet in retrospect, helped us to realize how much we needed to slow down and relax. After a few days we were revelling in the beautiful, sunny weather.

Christmas Day was spent lazing on a coral beach with sparkling clear water almost as warm as a bath and we dined on grilled fish instead of turkey with the trimmings. Something we could not have imagined a year ago.


After a week in Zihuatanejo, we planned to drive to Patzcuaro, a beautiful colonial town in the Michoacan highlands, located by one of the highest lakes in Mexico. Also very few gringos. Would we be ready for this? I got anxious thinking we might be over our heads, but we kept to our plans, despite our doubts -- kidnapping by our taxi driver, running into bandidos on the highway, any sort of scenerio that would end in our injury or ultimate demise.

Patzcuaro turned out to be the most amazing trip of our lives. Not only did we find we were immersed in history and culture that many people who go to Mexico miss out on, but we came to an epiphany about our whole Mexican experience.

We came to the realization that:

The landscapes are gorgeous. We travelled from hot, sultry jungle and beaches lined lushly with coconut palms; to arid hills dotted with gigantic candelabra cactus; to highland lake country with pine-covered mountainous terrain complete with cowboys. The people are wonderful. Mexicans are the most gracious, warmest, friendliest, hospitable people we have ever met.

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  • In a nutshell:Travel to Mexico and discover your own epiphany
  • Last visit to Mexico: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (35)

Comments (28)

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Wonderful tour here - lovely photos and good info. Thanks especially for the pronunciation challenges!! Ciao, Carol

  • septem's Profile Photo
    Jun 18, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Hi Helen, Wonderful pages with really wonderful images. Have a lovely day. Juliana

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    Places with names like Zihuatanejo and Patzcuaro really do sound promising. Glad you weren't disappointed!

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    You have a great page here with full of useful tips and good photos. thanks for sharing. Bora

  • Tom_In_Madison's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2008 at 5:18 AM

    CR was nice, did a lot of stuff. 3 days on the beach was relaxing. Next year Mexico though--never been there. Glass Castle was great--what a family.

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    As usual, outstanding tips and accompanying photos Helen. Lots of prompts of good memories of Mexico in your pages. Thanks! Ann, The TravelSlut

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2008 at 7:31 AM

    I must go to Lowe's and buy a ceiling fan for in-laws.

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2008 at 4:43 AM

    Nice local customs tips.

  • malianrob's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2008 at 4:48 PM

    Hi Helen, beautiful picture of Bahia Zihuatanejo. I cant wait to go there and Ixtapa.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2008 at 11:42 PM

    Hi Helen, your main photo reminds me of Albany in the South West of Western Australia. Keep well and look forward to future travels.



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