May 08 2008

Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico

Published by at 5:16 pm under Destinations,Mexico,Travel

I just got back from my 10 day trip to Guerrero (North of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa) and Michoacan. We scored two solid swells down there and great waves all around. It was an easy trip from the West Coast (Alaska has direct flights from LAX to Zihuatanejo and last minute fares were cheap ($450). There’s plenty of good breaks down there (favoring the goofy foot though) with good swell exposure. Winds generally picked up late morning, but did not always blow out the surf and many afternoons were still surfable. Don’t expect to partying until dawn every night (or any night), but Zihuatanejo has an old-town charm and there’s incredible fishing up and down the coast. North of Zihuatenajo there’s hardly anything on the coast at all except a few fishing villages. Overall, the area is a great area to plan a trip or to score last minute waves.

manzanillo bay Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico

Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico (Zihuatenajo, Ixtapa, and Troncones)
Time of Year: April to September
Breaks: Manzanillo Bay, La Saladita, El Rancho
Level: All levels
Cost: Inexpensive

Getting there: We flew into Zihuatanejo and stayed in the chill beach village, Troncones. Troncones has a couple of options for surf including a long beach break, the point at Manzanillo Bay (left point), and Majahua (left point). Troncones is about 45 minutes north of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa. Zihuatanejo has an old-town charm. Ixtapa is a modern Mexican resort town. Troncones is a convenient place to stay, putting you closer to the waves at La Saladita and El Rancho.

Past Troncones, are a few decent out of the way breaks. If you’re headed to surf Pasquales, you may consider flying to Manzanillo instead (different from Manzanillo Bay in Troncones).

Breaks: Troncones has decent surf, although probably not the type of surf you came to Mexico for. La Saladita is about 20 minutes drive from Troncones. It’s an epically long wave though on the softer side – ideal for a fish or longboard. In fact, you’ll find plenty of longboarders out in the line-up. It takes the swell smaller than El Rancho, so if El Rancho is maxing out, expect everyone to be out at Saladita. El Rancho is another 20-30 minutes north of Saladita. Although you don’t need a 4×4 to get to El Rancho, it’s recommended in the wet season. The road is in pretty bad shape. El Rancho is a fast long left that can get hollow on the right swell.

North of El Rancho, the breaks get less crowded.

saladita Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico

Accommodations: Troncones is a great place to be based out of. It has a market, a beautiful beach, internet, a yoga retreat center, massage, and pretty much everything you would want on a surf trip. There are some accommodations at La Saladita, and there are no accommodations at El Rancho.

nexpa overlook Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico
Burro Borracho (cheap accommodations, excellent restaurant) (link)

Mi Casa Es Su Casa (mid-range, pool, AC) (link)

Casa Manzanillo (expensive, pool, AC, on Manzanillo Bay) (link)
Inn at Manzanillo Bay (expensive, pool, at Manzanillo Point) (link)

A list of more hotels in Troncones (link)

I would not recommend staying at the Troncones Point Surf Club. Pick a place by the water on the beach in Troncones or on Manzanillo Bay (walking distance from the point wave there). Locations not on the water are brutally hot in the afternoon and evening because of the lack of seabreeze.

Directions and accomodations (link)

Eats: Burro Borracho, Cafe Del Sol, Inn at Manzanillo Bay
Nightlife: None in Troncones, Bars and clubs in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, although I prefer Ixtapa.
When the Surf’s Flat: Fish, yoga and massage (link)
Don’t Miss: Tortilla soup at Burro Borracho

Unfortunately, right after I left Trocnones, a San Francisco surfer, Adrian Ruiz, died of a fatal shark attack at Troncones. I want to express my condolences to his family for their loss. As surprised as I was at the attack, what’s more surprising is how unusual it was. Shark attacks are very rare in Mexico (2006 only had one attack). David Connell, resident, surfer and owner of Casa Manzanillo, posted this regarding the attack (click here).

pixel Destination: Guerrero and Michoacan, Mexico

10 responses so far

  • Don Morrell

    Planning our 2nd trip to La Saladita around Aug. 17th through 24th.
    Surfing was outstanding last year. I surfed 48 hours during the weeks stay.
    We surfed at La Saladita the whole time last year.
    This year would like to adventure out a ways and find some right breaks.
    Can you help with information on where to go, directions and how long would it take to get their approximately?

    Thanks, Don

  • Ray

    Surf here in Zihuatanejo area, specifically Troncones and La Saladita has been great. I just had a few beers with an Ausie that spent 2 days just south of Zihuatanejo, past Petatlan in a place called Barra, said the waves and overall surf was some of the best he´s taken on in some time. Will try to get more details about it, should be downtown Zihua this weekend.

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  • Chad

    Last summer i spent two months just 45 min south of ixtapa. Some of the most beautiful and humbling waves with no one in sight. Lots of sharks saw 15-20foot grays and tigers and a mako swam in between my legs. One of the best experiances and trips of my life. One of the locals down there takes all the team riders, reef girls, and other high to mid pay costumers around the area. fortunately for us my friends dad had know him since he was twelve years old. they named a wave after me a left called Chadwick don’t go there!

  • Mike

    Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. It really is a great area to surf, relax and eat well in. The whole Pacific coastline actually is just fantastic. If you have the time I recommend taking a vehicle (4×4) all the way done the coast checking out all the well and not so well know spots you will find along the way. So much to explore and so many great waves to find.

  • Troncones Point Surf Club

    On a note about the Surf Club, I am the new manager here at the club, and we have made a lot of changes. We are now using a hostel model with many extra’s. You will find that there is no better value in Troncones, and we have an amazing view of the break (in our commonspace, avaliable to all.)

    Just thought I would put that out there, as we are trying very hard to reshape ourselves into something amazing. Come checkc it out!

  • Enrique

    I want to come down April 1-11 but am worried about safety. I know most of the violence is not in Troncones but still have to travel through some more risky areas. Can you lower your price on lodging to make my decision easier?

  • Enrique

    What are lodging options in La Saladita?

  • Anonymous

    There’s not much out there. A couple houses for rent and maybe a guest house. Troncones is about 30 minutes away but has way more going on, cafes, restaurants, hotels, etc.

  • kaz

    troncones is an amazing town! we have been 3 years running and are heading back for another trip in a few weeks.
    i have never experienced anything but pure mexicana hospitality.
    we stay at casa caprice, a great clean affordable and fun place at the end of the road.there is a little pool, outdoor kitchen and fridges in each room to store treats and eats. The hosts – mitch and viri – are gracious, and respectful.
    i am not concerned about the violence. there is a military check point just past the turn off into troncones. i pass through the check point daily to go surfing in Saladitas.
    enjoy the journey