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Playa Madera, Zihuatanejo, Mexico The newspaper said Zihuatanejo is a perfect destination for the environmentally conscious. stacyarturogi/Shutterstock

Zihuatanejo is No. 5 on New York Times list of places to visit in 2022

The newspaper cited the Guerrero hotspot for its grassroots environmental projects

A beach destination in Guerrero made the top five on a New York Times list of places to visit in 2022.

Zihuatanejo, 200 kilometers northwest of Acapulco, occupied fifth place on the newspaper’s list of 52 global destinations where visiting could be especially positive for the local economy and environment, or as the Times put it, “where travelers can be part of the solution.”

The first four destinations are Chioggia, Italy; Chimanimami, Mozambique; the Queens borough of New York City; and Northumberland, England.

The newspaper said Zihuatanejo is a perfect destination for the environmentally conscious. “This laid-back beach town … and communities around it have spawned grassroots environmental projects that travelers can support.”

It highlighted the conservation charities Whales of Guerrero, which trains fishermen as whale-watching guides, and Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli, where visitors can join turtle nest patrols and release hatchlings. It also mentioned vegan projects by the musical duo Rodrigo y Gabriela, including the restaurant La Raíz de la Tierra and the “solar-powered regenerative resort” Playa Viva, located 46 kilometers southeast of Zihuatanejo.

Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcali
The Times spotlighted Zihuatanejo’s Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli, which rescues sea turtles and educates the public about conservation. Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli

Mayor Jorge Sánchez Allec said Zihuatanejo was in fashion and well prepared as a tourist destination. He added that it became one of Mexico’s principal destinations during the 2021–2022 tourist season, with visitors from Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

Infrastructural improvements were made to the town while tourism was restricted for nearly two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the community renovated its 50-year-old pier at a cost of almost 90 million pesos (US $4.4 million), and a 20-kilometer cycling path was built to connect Zihuatanejo to the resort town of Ixtapa. Also, a 1-kilometer beach pathway with access to housing was laid for 20 million pesos (almost US $1 million).

Sánchez said major improvements to highways were under consideration to improve connectivity.

There are direct flights from Zihuatanejo to six cities in Canada and seven in the United States, as well as seven daily flights to Mexico City.

With reports from The New York Times and El Sol de Acapulco

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