Origin of Zihuatanejo

Around year 1400 a. C., Purepechas ruled over the area known today as Zihuatanejo, including Acapulco. Previously, groups such as Chichimecas used to pass by this zone. At the beginning of the XVI Century, the site was already conquered by the Aztec

Around year 1400 a. C., Purepechas ruled over the area known today as Zihuatanejo, including Acapulco. Previously, groups such as Chichimecas used to pass by this zone. At the beginning of the XVI Century, the site was already conquered by the Aztecs. Spanish conquerors, searching routes to China, ruled over the site in 1522. For a long time, Zihuatanejo was an important commercial and fishing village and in the twentieth Century became more important with the development of Ixtapa resort, only 3 miles away.

Purepechas and their leader Iripan, had conquered the area of what we now know as Zihuatanejo, including Acapulco. Previously, the zone was important for groups such as Chichimecas, that in their nomadic processes used to pass by. At the beginning of the XVI Century, the site was already conquered by the Aztecs, whose emperor Tizoc expanded the territories to the coast.

According to a legend, Purepechas had built a royal spa in the Zihuatanejo Bay. A great artificial rock barrier can still be appreciated in the site and some believe that it protected women while they were swimming.

When Spanish came to this zone in 1522, searching for routes toward China, they found only women on the island named Ixtapa. It is possible that men kept women safe there during battles.

In the middle of the XVII Century, many pirates used the bay to spy Spanish galleons. Undoubtedly, one of these pirates was famous Sir Francis Drake. At that time, Zihuatanejo became a peaceful and smal fishermen villa. It is known, according to one explorer, that the village had not more than 100 inhabitants by 1704.

When Acapulco started to be famous, small groups of adventurous tourists came occasionally to Zihuatanejo. However, the village remained almost isolated until the middle 1960´s, when a highway between this point and Acapulco was built. Later, the building of small hotels began to lodge the increasing wave of visitors.

Due to this, the Mexican Government, through the Trust for Tourism Promotion, designed a plan to develop Zihuatanejo area, like Cancun or Acapulco. But inhabitants rejected the project because they considered that the change of the appearance of the town was going to be drastic. Therefore, the project switched to Ixtapa, where enough infrastructure was developed to create the great resort. Today Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo is a tourist destination of first importance, both nationally and internationally.

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