Jun 232017

I was somewhat dismayed to find out that,on a recent trip we made to Teotihuacan pyramids, we were were literally within about five kilometers of the incredible Padre Tembleque aqueduct system as we drove from Teotihuacan toward Pachuca. We had no idea the aqueduct was there and that the Arco Norte highway actually crosses the system. I would gladly have made the short side trip to see its impressive arches in the most spectacular section just outside of Tepeyahualco. It is certainly on my list of sights to see next time we’re in the area.

Acueducto del Padre tembleque

By Carmelita Thierry (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Acueducto Tembleque, states of Hidalgo and Mexico

The Tembleque aqueduct system was built in the 16th century by Padre Tembleque, a Franciscan friar, and is a system that runs between Zempoala, Hidalgo, and Otumba, state of Mexico, passing near the towns of Nopaltepec and Axapusco.  It is very near the San Juan Teotihuacan archaeological zone and Pachuca, Hidalgo. It encompasses elements of water catchment, storage and distribution reservoirs, canals, and arched aqueduct bridges fed by five springs or water sources near the foot of Tecajete hill.

According to the website of the Patronato Acueducto Tembleque A.C. (, this system, which runs for a distance of more than 48 km, comprises the “most important hydraulic system in the world.”

There are six sections of arches in the aqueduct system:

  • Ex-hacienda of Tecajete: 54 arches that reach a height of 8.35 meters
  • Ex-hacienda of Los Arcos: 14 arches that carry the aqueduct over 218 meters of ravine and water.
  • The monumental arches of the Tepeyahualco ravine: 68 rounded arches spanning some 900 meters, the tallest of which measures 38.75 meters. The Tepeyahualco arches include the tallest single-level aqueduct arch ever built until then since Roman times. The railroad tracks pass under one of its arches.
  • The Acelotla arch: a rougher arch in an area of heavy storms and washouts. It was reconstructed in 1998.
  • The arch of San Pedro: described on the website as an imposing but simple arch that sets itself apart from the rest of the aqueduct.
  • The arch of San Marcos

The Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System (with explicit component exceptions) was inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in 2015 (

Photos of some of the sections of the aqueduct system can be seen here:


May 042017

Morelia is the capital of the state of Michoacan, Mexico. It is Michoacan’s largest city and features an abundance of beautiful colonial architecture, including its spectacular cathedral and an aqueduct. It is the birthplace of José María Morelos y Pavón (1765), a hero of the Mexican independence movement after whom the city of Morelia, which previously was called Valladolid, was named. The historic center of the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. 

Morelia is an easy 3-1/2 to 4 hour drive from Zihuatanejo via the Siglo XXI highway that runs from Morelia to Lazaro Cardenas. 

More information:

Mar 302017

Toniná Chiapas: I just came across an article stating that recent excavations (undertaken since 2010 by INAH, the Mexican National Institute of Archaeology and History) confirm that the “Acropolis” of Toniná, Chiapas, comprises one off the largest pyramids in Mesoamerica.  See the article link below. 

Toniná Chiapas pyramid Mexico

Toniná Chiapas Mexico

The pyramidal structure measures 74 meters tall and is calculated to be about 700 years old. It consists of seven platforms connected by 260 steps, and the platforms hold a palace and a variety of temples, housing structures, and administrative areas. 

The article prompted me to pull out my old photos of this same archaeological site taken in 2003, back before these latest excavations were undertaken. Even back then, the archaeological site was spectacular and inspiring, with excellent visual command of the surrounding valley. 

Please scroll down to see the photos and a few links to additional informational resources.

Investigadores confirman: Se ha descubierto la pirámide más grande de México.

Getting there

We traveled to Toniná from San Cristobal de las Casas in late August, leaving town in our own vehicle at about 9:45 in the morning and making our way leisurely toward Ococingo and Palenque. We moved through lush, verdant hill country, past peach trees and hollyhocks and red bromiliads hung in the trees by the roadside. We passed women in vibrantly colored traditional dress and stacks of firewood piled on the road shoulder awaiting pickup. Near Ococingo, cane fields and banana plants lined the highway.

In Ococingo, we stopped for a quick and typical brunch of eggs and chorizo with fresh cheese, beans, and sauce on the side, then found the turnoff to Toniná ruins that are located off Highway 199 out of Ococingo. We arrived at the site at 12:30 noon and spent an engrossing couple of hours exploring the site and the accompanying museum. 

The hours at the Toniná site are Monday through Sunday 8 am to 5 pm. 

Useful information about Toniná and other archaeological sites in Chiapas, Mexico :

Dec 022016
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Not only can you enjoy stretches of fabulous Pacific Ocean beaches while vacationing in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, but if you’re staying for a couple of weeks or more, you can take advantage of some quick side trips into the interior of Mexico for a change of scene during your visit.

Here are some exploratory weekend-or-longer Zihuatanejo side trips to experience Mexico


Side trips to the Easter Craft Fair at Uruapan, Michoacan, avocado capital of the world

If you’re in Zihuatanejo over Easter, buzz up into the interior to Uruapan, Michoacan, for a couple of days during the holidays (from at least a full weekend before Easter Sunday to a full weekend after). There you’ll experience one of the most impressive craft fairs in the country. Thousands of artisans display their wares that range from intricately-woven textiles through hand-painted pottery to ingenious basketry and wood carving. The drive by car takes about 2-1/2 hours, slightly more if traveling by bus. You’ll also experience a refreshing climate change as you first go through the intense heat of Infiernillo (literally meaning “Little Hell”) and up into the cool mountainsides forested by avocado orchards surrounding Uruapan. 

If you’re here at other times of the year, there are plenty of other things of interest in Uruapan, including visits to the San Pedro textile factory, walks through the Barraca de Cupatitzio National Park, and horseback riding in the Paricutin volcano lava field that buried the town of San Juan Parangaricutiro. And don’t forget to eat a few of the best and freshest avocados in the world!

Uruapan Easter Craft Fair side trips from Zihuatanejo


Tingambato Ruins between Uruapan and Patzcuaro

At the town of Tingambato, between Uruapan and Patzcuaro, is a compact archaeological site that has all the incredible elements of many of the larger sites in Mexico: a ball court, a main pyramid, ceremonial platforms, a tomb, and more. To get there, turn off the toll road to Morelia (Highway 14D) at the Zurumucapio toll booth, go through Zurumucapio and carry on until you reach Highway 14, turn right toward Patzcuaro and the town of Tingambato, and follow the signs to the Tingambato archaeological zone (click link for more photos and info). 

Tingambato Ruins side trips from Zihuatanejo


Patzcuaro and the Day of the Dead

A spectacular cultural adventure in Mexico is experiencing the rites and celebrations of the Day of the Dead in which all of Mexico festoons cemeteries and altars with candles and the flowers of the dead (calendula and amaranth are among the blossoms), and partake of food and drink, tears and song, with their loved ones at the graveside long into the early hours of the mornings of November 1st and 2nd. No place is better to experience this balance of life and death than the streets and graveyards of Patzcuaro, one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos (magical villages) and the island of Janitzio. Just make sure you make your plans and reservations for this side trip well in advance, as the town fills up to capacity and spur-of-the-moment accommodations are almost impossible to secure. Patzcuaro is an approximate 3 to 4 hour drive up into the hills of Michoacan from Zihuatanejo, following the Lazaro-Morelia highway (Carreterra Siglo 21). 

Even if you’re not in Mexico for the Day of the Dead festival, Patzcuaro makes a great side trip from Zihuatanejo at any time of the year to enjoy its wealth of arts and crafts, its colonial and native architecture, and the flavor of a small town perched in the cool interior highlands of Mexico.

Patzcuaro Day of the Dead celebrations side trip


Side Trips to Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan 

Copper is king in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan, a small town in the hills above Patzcuaro. The townspeople are expert coppersmiths. The town square has a kiosk in its center with a roof lined in copper, and artisans in copper fashion plates and cauldrons, bathroom sinks, and even pure copper bathtubs in addition to smaller items such as copper jugs and vases, lacquered copper plates, and miniature decorative items.  You can access Santa Clara del Cobre via Highway 120 out of Patzcuaro or via a back road that passes Lake Zirahuen and then carries on to Santa Clara through the surrounding high meadows.

Santa Clara del Cobre side trip from Zihuatanejo


Marveling at the Monarch Butterfly sanctuaries

Every year millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico, weighing down the oyamel fir trees in the high mountains of Michoacan between Morelia and Toluca. It is a fascinating and awe-inspiring experience to sit silently amongst the trees laden with these delicate creatures and hear the whisper of their wings as they warm up in the sun. The whole forest rustles with mystical energy. The sanctuaries are located near the towns of Zitacuaro and Angangeo, both of which offer accommodations. This side trip takes one a bit farther afield from Zihuatanejo than the others and would probably need three full days or more to fully appreciate the butterflies as well as the town life and surrounding countryside.

Monarch butterfly sanctuaries in Mexico

Nov 282016
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihuatanejo Bay and the beaches in and around it are awesomely beautiful, but when you want a bit of a change, there are plenty of day trips to see different aspects of our tropical paradise.

Exploratory day trips out of Zihuatanejo


Explore the Xihuacan Museum and Soledad de Maciel archeological site:

A short 40 minute drive outside of town is the small but intensely interesting Xihuacan Museum and Soledad de Maciel Archaeological site. The site features a large ball court and pyramid that are under excavation and restoration. The museum holds a number of artifacts from the various cultures that inhabited in and traded with the area. The site was first inhabited c. 2500 BCE, and it reached the height of its influence between 650 and 950 AD.
Xihuacan archaeological site (La Soledad de Maciel) day trips, Zihuatanejo


Birdwatching day trips to Barra and Laguna de Potosi:

A great day trip out of Zihuatanejo is to the Barra de Potosi lagoon to the south, where you can take kayak or boat trips into the lagoon and mangrove wetlands to birdwatch and enjoy nature. Top off your day with a feed of fresh local seafood at one of the many beach front restaurants.
Barra de Potosi boats for birdwatching day trips


Beachcomb along Troncones Beach and tidepool at Manzanillo Bay: 

If you love walking the strand, over three miles of wild open-ocean beach with stretches of pure sand punctuated by rock outcroppings await you at Troncones Beach and Manzanillo Bay, a beach front community about 30 minutes’ drive northward from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Manzanillo Bay has a series of tide pools where you can watch tiny fish in the shallow pools and flocks of seabirds on the rocks as the waves roll by. 


Snorkeling day trips to Isla Grande (Isla Ixtapa): 

Take a bus or taxi out to Playa Linda, check out the crocodiles, iguanas, turtles, and wetland birds, and then jump on a boat to Isla Grande, where you’ll find four beaches with excellent snorkeling and fresh seafood for a day-long adventure. Tours can also be arranged through many of the hotels. 
Snorkel at Isla Grande Ixtapa


Day trips to surf at La Saladita: 

Grab your board or rent one at the beach (try Lourdes’ Restaurant) and take a long ride at La Saladita’s rivermouth point break. It’s a great spot for learners, too, and you can sign up for lessons at surf shops in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. La Saladita is located about 40 minutes north of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The beach offers rental accommodation as well as several beach front restaurants serving local seafood and traditional Mexican fare. 
La Saladita surf break


Jul 262016

Searching through the digital libraries that are currently available on-line can render some wonderful finds. Here are a couple of illustrations from the Tovar Codex, attributed to Mexican Jesuit priest Juan de Tovar, from the John Carter Brown library online. Many more illustrations are included in the JCB Archive of Early American Images. 

Mexican Dance in the Tovar Codex

This colorful image depicts the dress and accoutrement of the traditional dance of Mexico’s native inhabitants, now often called “La Danza Azteca.” One of the central drummers is playing a teponaztle, a drum made of a hollowed log or cylinder, often elaborately carved, and with two tongues of different sizes producing different pitches. The other large drum appears to be a huehuetl, an upright hollow wooden cylinder with animal skins stretched over the top.

Title: “El modo de baylar de los Mexicanos. 17a y última del primer tratado.”
Source creator: Tovar, Juan de, ca. 1546-ca. 1626

Description: Dance of native Americans or Mexicans. Two drummers at the center wear the feathered epaulette seen in the portraits of the two Moctezumas. To the right of the drummers are the high priest wearing a tilma with the sun and soldiers representing the jaguar and eagle military caste. Decorative elements include feathered ornaments. (From the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, R.I.)

The Seven Caves: Origin of the Mexican tribes

The second image from the Tovar Codex depicts the seven caves or origins of the seven tribes of the Nahua people.

Title: “figura 1a. Cuevas de los siete linajes que poblaron en México y alrededor dél”
Source creator: Tovar, Juan de, ca. 1546-ca. 1626

Description: Chicomoztoc, which means “seven caves,” the place from which the Aztec believed they came, was the Nahautl word for the mouth or womb. In the Aztec myth of creation, the Mexica left the bowels of the earth and settled in Aztlán, from which they acquired the name Aztec and from whence they undertook a migration southward in search of a sign for where they should settle once more. (From the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, R.I.)

Nahuatl legends relate that seven tribes lived in Chicomoztoc, or “the place of the seven caves”. Each cave represented a different Nahua group: the Xochimilca, Tlahuica, Acolhua, Tlaxcalteca, Tepaneca, Chalca, and Mexica. Because of their common linguistic origin, those groups are called collectively “Nahuatlaca” (Nahua people). These tribes subsequently left the caves and settled “near” Aztlán. (Wikipedia contributors. “Aztlán.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Jul. 2016. Web. 26 Jul. 2016.)
Jun 132016

Chiapas Legado Verde is a grass-roots photographic and ecological initiative in Mexico. Three professional Mexican photographers, Jorge Silva Rivera, Sergio Perero Villanueva, and Luis Felipe Rivera Lezama, joined forces for a year to create a pictorial record of the current state of the more than seventy protected natural reserves and their buffer zones in Chiapas, Mexico.

The aim of the initiative is to document the diverse ecosystems and the interaction of lifeforms within them. It is to show all of us the beauty of the areas as well as the sad and widespread exploitation and destruction of these natural environments that continue at an accelerating rate despite their protected status. The project marks the 42nd anniversary from when former state governor Dr. Manuel Velasco Suarez decreed the forests, wetlands, and jungles of the state of Chiapas as natural protected reserves.

The initiative surely means to evoke a personal and societal response and a sense of care and responsibility. The photographers share in photographs, videos, and written materials the stunning scenery and wildlife of the intensely rich and diverse protected ecological zones in the mountains and jungles of this southern Mexican state that borders on Guatemala.

Below is their video as well as links to other resources and information.

LegadoVerdeEnCampo from luis felipe rivera on Vimeo.

A full-color smple of the publication on (72 pages with photos):

Here you’ll see some of the fabulous photos and, if you know Spanish, you can read the accompanying summary of the project. This sampling lists the major biosphere reserves in the state and gives you a glimpse of this impressive photographic record of the habitats, flora, fauna, and the influences at work on each.

Today, ecology cannot be clearly grasped if we insist on separating it from the social element. The clear path to conservation is to broadcast and educate, and to make society a participant in what is really occurring on the planet at this moment.

(Own translation from the prologue of the book)

Article in Spanish from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, the photographers’ alma mater:

Facebook page at

Montebello Chiapas Mexico

Lagunas de Montebello

Feb 262016

We’re on the home stretch toward the 2016 edition of the Zihuatanejo Guitar Festival that will take place from March 5 through 13, 2016 in various venues in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival 2016

This year, in addition to our own Jose Luis Cobo–local guitarist and balladeer par excellence–the musician’s lineup features newcomers Andrea Perrone from Brazil;, Lipbone Redding out of North Carolina; Manan, who hails from from far-off India; and Shai Sebbag with a repertoire of world music/jazz fusion. Also new this year is a delightful pair of brothers, Roberto and Mehida, from Uruapan, Michoacan, playing guitars fashioned by the luthiers of nearby Paracho. This lineup is rounded off by a number of guitarists who have participated in previous festivals: Axemunkey, The Croweaters, Maneli Jamal, Nick Vigarino, and Mark Wayne Glasmire.

The program starts with a pre-opening evening concert at Las Brisas in Ixtapa on the Friday, March 4, with the gala opening concert set for Saturday, March 5 from 6 to 11 p.m. on the beach at Playa el Palmar, Ixtapa.

Throughout the week there will be daily Gala Dinner Concerts at Viceroy Resort, Coconuts Restaurant, Bistro del Mar, and Loot in Zihuatanejo, as well as nightly concerts at the Casa de la Cultura in Zihuatanejo Each gala dinner concert will feature two acts and each nightly concert will feature three acts.

On Wednesday, March 9, there is a free Children’s Concert at the Casa de la Cultura. The closing concert will be held on Saturday, March 12 at Madera Beach from 7 to 11 p.m. A final free public concert will be held at the Casa de la Cultura on Sunday evening from 8 to 10 p.m.

For more information on the artists and festival activities, and to download a printable program, visit the official festival website at

Dec 172015

In memory of Evencio García Bibiano XXX. Place: Playa Bonfil, Acapulco

This Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20, 2015, surfers will honor Evencio Garcia Bibiano, Mexico’s first national surf champion, who was born on the Costa Chica of Guerrero, on the 30th anniversary of his disappearance.

Acapulco beaches

Acapulco beaches

He was an excellent swimmer, worked as a lifeguard, won countless local, state, and national surfing tournaments, and was awarded the first national surfing championship in Petacalco, Guerrero in 1978.

Evencio disappeared on November 3, 1985 during a state selection event at Playa Bonfil in Acapulco. After taking his last wave, only his surfboard emerged from the sea. His body was never recovered despite a long and intensive search.

The prize purse for this memorial event will be $30,000 pesos.


Dec 092015

Rucco Surfer Reunion 2015, Playa Linda, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico

The eighth edition of Surfer Rucco meeting took place this past Sunday with more than 80 participants from Canada, USA, and the Mexican localities of Colima, Mexico City, Acapulco, and Zihuatanejo. Children, adolescents, and adults competed in this traditional event organized by Leonel Pérez of Catcha L’Ola Surf Shop (

The conditions at Playa Linda were difficult but the competitors did a good job working the waves and giving the spectators a great show.

In the children’s category the kids were so stoked that they wanted to get out into the waves on their own without their adult companions to help them.

In the girls competition the current national champion, Kristal Hernández, had no difficulty beating her opponents. A pleasant surprise came from Sahian Guerrero, who came in first in the sub 15 category and second in free style.

In the SUP competition, winner Mario de León shone despite the difficult conditions, choosing his waves wisely to come in the SUP winner of the day.

The best part of the competition was the Rucco category of seasoned surfers fifty years and older… some of them “legends” who initiated this sport in Mexico and elsewhere in the world. The Rucco Surfer category champion for 2015 is Alfonso Polidura of the\ Federal District.

Information and photos courtesy of:

Isaac Avila, Press Office, Mexican Surfing Federation

Dec 012015

This weekend is the 8th Annual Rucco Surfer Reunion at Playa Linda rivermouth surfing break, just north of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

This eighth edition of this surfing event features friendly competitions in the following categories: Rucco (seasoned surfers!), Children 8-11, Teens 12-15, and Women’s open.

Even if you don’t surf, go out and join the fun on the beach!


Dates: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday December 4-6, 2015

For more information, contact: CatchaLola Surf Shop | Loot Surf and Lifestyle Store

Rucco Surfer Reunion 2015


Oct 282015

Galart & Viceroy Hotel Zihuatanejo are pleased to announce the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration 2015!

Enjoy this traditional Mexican celebration including an ofrenda to Marc Pouliot, “El Mexico de los Mexicanos,” with folk art by “El Santo Madrazo,” a “prehispanic dance,”  a Day of the Dead sand sculpture, and a contemporary dance performance by Jas Suinaga & dancers presenting”Butoh” at the Viceroy Hotel Zihuatanejo October 31 to November 2, 2015.

Galart Viceroy Day of the Dead 2016

Photo and information provided by Galart and Vicetory

Dia de los Muertos Program

Oct. 31


Ofrenda to Marc Pouliot, “El Mexico de los Mexicanos”


Nov. 1



Nov. 2


With live music & “El Santo Madrazo” FOLK ART EXHIBITION

Don´t miss it, come & enjoy cocktails!!!

Please RSVP
555-5500 Hotel Viceroy Zihuatanejo
554-7774 Galart


Oct 262015

Every year at the beginning of February, Zihuanejo Sailfest is held in and around Zihuatanejo Bay. It is one of the most astoundingly successful of Zihuatanejo fundraisers. Since 2002, Sailfest has built more than eighty classrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and playgrounds supporting disadvantaged children at twenty-nine schools in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Thanks to your Sailfest participation.

The fifteenth annual ZIHUA SAILFEST 2016 will be held from Monday, February 8th thru Sunday, February 14th

Zihua Sailfest logo

Boatloads of fun!

The detailed daily schedule will be posted closer to Sailfest dates, but the fun activities that the Sailfest committee sets up during the week usually include:

  • A welcome dance party to celebrate the arrival of participating cruising partners.
  • A rousing live auction party to get the fun rolling. Local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and individuals donate items and gift certificates for a variety of goods and services that are auctioned off, with all proceeds going to needy local schools
  • A pursuit race in and out of Zihuatanejo Bay
  • A benefit concert with local and international musicians
  • A chili cook-off, street fair, and silent auction in downtown Zihuatanejo
  • A sail parade around Zihuatanejo Bay, then to Ixtapa and back, in which the fleet “dresses ship” for a colorful
    procession in which guests can sign up for spots on participating boats and spend the day on the water
  • A kids’ beach day on one of the local beaches, with beach games and competitions for over 100 students from local schools
  • A wrap-up beach party with awards presentation and raffle

Buy $10 peso raffle tickets for thousands of pesos in great prizes, all donated by local merchants to benefit children’s education. Drawings held during all major events.

For more information, please visit the Zihuatanejo Sailfest website

Oct 072015

Orchids grow in warm, humid climates and are found largely in the tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Their unusual, long-lasting blossoms and often heady scents have inspired curiosity and wonder over the ages.

orchids of MexicoA handsome volume titled “The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala,” written by James Bateman, 1843, forms part of the Biodiversity Heritage Library of It documents the orchids’ many fascinating characteristics as well as gives information on the early culture and collection of orchids by botanists and naturalists of the era. The book contains a number of beautiful, full color plates of the orchids as well as several other small illustrations.

Although the vanilla plant is what comes to a lot of minds when thinking of Mexican orchids, “The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala” has this to say:

In this list the Vanilla is not included, as this plant has recently been separated (no doubt, most judiciously) by Dr. Lindley, from the natural order “Orchidaceae,” and constituted the type of new order of its own.

Orchids listed in the book as having been observed in Mexico include:

  • Many-Flowered Epidendrum (Epidendrum Polyanthum)
  • Mr. Rucker’s Variety of Corythes Speciosa (Coryanthes Speciosa)
  • Trumpeter’s Schomburgkia (Schomburghia Tibicinis)
  • Von Martius Stanhopea (Stanhopea Martiana)
  • Tiger-Like Stanhopea (Stanhopea Tigrina)
  • Beaked Oncidium (Oncidium Ornithorhynchum)
  • Mr. Barker’s Peristeria (Peristeria Barkeri)
  • May-Flowering Laelia (Laelia Majalis)

Browse the book and color plates at the Internet Archive

Jul 142015

This past year has brought to Zihuatanejo more than one good, new restaurant with exciting flavors and presentations.

One of these is Sabores y Colores, a small restaurant in downtown Zihuatanejo that is both elegant and unpretentious. Chef Antonio works his wonders melding traditional and exotic ingredients into his beautifully presented dishes to create specialties such as quesadillas with huitlacoche (an exquisite corn fungus with overtones reminiscent of truffles), hibiscus flower vinagrette salad dressing, and an omelette with purslane, squash blossoms, and poblano peppers, to mention only a few.

Sabores y Colores

Sabores y Colores Restaurant is located on Cuauhtemoc No. 4, Centro, Zihuatanejo, only a couple of blocks up from the downtown core of Zihuatanejo, almost directly across from the municipal library.

Sabores y Colores is open for breakfast (8 am to 12 noon) and dinner (6 to 10 pm). Telephone for reservations is (755) 103-4635.

Facebook page:

Jan 272015

In going through my old travel journals, I came across photos (taken on my first digital camera at what is now a miserably low quality!) and a journal entry that describe a fabulous restaurant, Restaurante Bar Atzimba, in the Michoacan town of Quiroga. It was 2001, and we were on a driving tour around Lake Patzcuaro. We had stopped at many of the small villages along the lakeshore during the early part of the day to look at their craft specialties: furniture, pottery, basketry, masks. In Quiroga, we were on a quest for leather. While wandering through the streets and market of town, the charming entrance to Atzimba restaurant beckoned to us in the middle of the hot afternoon. We were, by then, in much need of food and refreshment.

Restaurant Atzimba Entrance, Quiroga

Entrance to the restaurant

The entrance corridor was lined with potted plants, inset with art deco tiles on floor and walls, and painted with a riotous array of Mexican color. High ceilings were supported by the typical wooden beams of the heavy colonial architecture of the interior of the country.

Walking into the dining room, our senses were assailed–delightfully so–with the vision of a wildly tiled staircase flanked by neon-colored and geometrically-patterned walls that threw sparkles into our eyes. Wow!

Restaurant Atzimba Entrance

Atzimba staircase

Looking up and around, we saw richly hued vintage glass light fixtures and yet more color, even on the ceiling. The dining room was empty of customers but populated with closely fitted ultra-heavy hardwood tables and chairs, each slung with a tablecloth as brilliant as the floors and walls. The planters that stood in the dimly lit corners of the dining room were also riotously painted and artfully decorated with sparkles and mirrors. Our senses were overwhelmed. Would we every be able to eat in a place like this? But, how could we not?

Sitting down, a waiter languidly took our drink orders and presented us with menus. He left us alone for several minutes to study our meal options, which was quite fortunate because we were emitting somewhat gutsy exclamations, making all sorts of weird noises of wonder as we examined the decor and our surroundings. Could anything be more fantastic?

Well, yes, and it was the menu. The translations of the food offerings were just stunningly entertaining as the general atmosphere:

  • Mean white fish (Pescado blanco mediano, or medium white fish)
  • Rice soup with dashed egg and banana (Sopa de arroz con huevo estrellado y platano / dry rice soup with fried egg and banana)
  • Order of beast filet fried, roasted, rancher, or to the Mexican (Filet de res frito, asado, ranchero, o a la Mexicana / beef filet fried, grilled, ranch style, or Mexican style)
  • Lace-bobbin bread (bolillo / bread roll)
  • Candy bread (pan dulce / sweet bread)
  • Fish broth with a kid fish (Caldo de pescado con un pescado chico / fish broth served with one small fish)
  • Trout with 1 wet of garlic or to the natural (Trucha al mojo de ajo o al natural / trout with garlic or plain)
  • Mass order with a chicken and soup piece of rice (Orden de mole con 1 pieza de pollo y sopa de arroz / mole with 1 piece of chicken and rice)
  • Termagant Soup (Sopa Tarasca / Tarascan-style soup)

Even the bar list had us in paroxysms, as many of the brand names were translated instead of just being left as is:

  • Rested Horseshoe (Herradura Reposado, a brand of tequila)
  • Hunting Tequila (Tequila Cazadores)
  • Founding Brandy (Brandy Fundador)
  • Mescal of the Saw (Mescal de la Sierra, meaning mescal from the hills, but sierra means saw as well as hills)

In all our wonder and excitement over the visuals of the installation and the nuances of the menu translation, I did not record, nor do I remember, what in the world we ate or if the food was any good. Someone else will have to report on that aspect.

Although we haven’t been back to Quiroga or to Restaurante Bar Atzimba since, I believe it is still open. I have no idea if they have updated their menu descriptions, especially now that English has become much more widespread in the more rural areas of Mexico, or if the interior decorations have changed much. I can only hope that the restaurant preserves its special and colorful personality. One day, I will go back!


Potted plant, Atzimba Restaurant

Potted plant, Atzimba Restaurant

Light Fixture, Atzimba Restaurant

Light Fixture, Atzimba Restaurant