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Long before Columbus sailed to America, Zihuatanejo was a sacred sanctuary for indigenous nobility. Artifacts, figurines, ceramics, stone carvings and stelae are still being found in the area verifying the presence of civilizations dating as far back as the Olmecs (3,000 BC).

The original name, "Cihuatlán" means "place of women" in the Náhuatl language. It was apparently a matriarchal society where weaving was the dominant industry. This is evidenced by pre-Hispanic figurines, plentiful bobbins and other related artifacts found in the area. Close to a thousand pre-Hispanic pieces as well as murals and maps are on permanent display at the Museo Arqueológico.

In 1527, Spanish conquistadors launched a trade route from Zihuatanejo Bay to the Orient. Galleons returned with silks, spices and according to some historians, the first coconut palms to arrive in America where brought here from the Philippines.

The Spaniards did little colonizing here. A scout sent by conquistador Hernán Cortés reported back with his evaluations saying the place was nothing great, tagging the name Cihuatlán with the demeaning Spanish suffix "nejo", hence "Zihuatanejo".

While Zihuatanejo's roots are traced back centuries, Ixtapa's birth came about in the 1970's, conceived and developed by the Mexican government. As one of mexico's newest west coast resorts, Ixtapa has managed to coexist nicely with the charm of Zihuatanejo. Not many resorts deliver modern comfort, tropical beauty and village charm better than Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo.


Museo Arqueológico
Over 900 pieces of pre-Hispanic artifacts, murals & maps are on display permanently at the museum in Zihuatanejo. Open: Tues- Sun. 10am-6pm
East end of Paseo del Pescador * Tel: (7) 553-2552

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