Off the Beaten Path: Quiet Retreats in Mexico

Discover the blissful seclusion of these intimate beach destinations south of the border.


Set on Mexico’s Pacific coast, this paradisiacal enclave is as exotic as the name sounds. It’s not a stretch getting here (there is frequent non-stop service from Los Angeles and Houston) but Zihuatanejo is still the lesser-known beach destination compared to its neighbor, Acapulco. A waterfront walkway, lined with seafood restaurant and souvenir shops, is the heart of town — but the main allure is the beachy bay, surrounded by the foothills of the sierra Madre Mountains. Playa la Ropa, the most popular beach in Zihuatanejo, is almost a mile long with water so calm it’s perfect for swimming and myriad watersports.

Where to Stay: Viceroy Zihuatanejo, a five-star boutique hotel right on the sand. Rooms are spacious with Mexican-inspired interiors but most couples spend most of their time on the beach. The property boasts a “beach boy” who helps with activities, palapa-shaded cabanas and an open-air spa palapa. The resort is the first and only establishment in the area to offer paddleboard yoga — you stand-up paddle to Playa las Gatas, a beach at the end of the bay, have a yoga-on-the-board-session, then SUP back (room rates start at $336 a night;

viceroy zihuatanejo

viceroy zihuatanejo
Photos courtesy of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Where to Eat: Paty’s Mirimar serves traditional, gourmet Mexican fare and seafood right on the beach.

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