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Ixtapa - Crown Jewel in Mexico's Riviera

The Canadian Tour stops this week in Ixtapa, Mexico, on the Mexican Riviera 200 km north of Acapulco in the state of Guerrero. The area is known for white-sand beaches (Ixtapa means white sand), ancient Mexican kings, Conquistadors, pirates, parasailing, big-game fishing, diving, surfing, horseback riding, mountain bandits, a massive MTV concert two weeks ago, and as the fishing village to which the convicts retire after escaping in The Shawshank Redemption (Columbia Pictures 1994). It is also known for the Palma Real Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., set among coconut trees with water hazards guarded by very large alligators! (Thanks for the local rules...)

Ixtapa was created in 1968 as a high-rise resort on the beach just north of Zihuatanejo (zee-watta-NEE-ho, from the ancient Nuatal language) to help preserve the heritage of the old fishing village / resort.

 

Sir Francis Drake (known as The Dragon to the Spanish) stopped here in the 1570s while raiding Spanish shipping for Queen Elizabeth. This is a replica of his ship, the Golden Hind. Tim Robbins finally escaped his prison hell in the Shawshank Redemption and retired with Morgan Freeman to Zihuatanejo. Freeman's line: "Zih .... what?" is still famous here.

 

 

Stay out of the water hazards! This is a mother alligator at the Robert Trent Jones course in Ixtapa, 7th hole, guarding her nest next to a bunker. The Local Committee ruled the bunker out of play for the Canadian Tour stop.

To learn more about Zihuatanejo and its "high-rise suburb resort" Ixtapa, see these nice sites:

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