October 21, 2016:  Welcome to the Solana blog! We have been in operation now for three amazing years. Every day we discover more about our new home in Zihuatanejo and continue to explore the pacific coastal region of Mexico. We have much to share as we learn to live each day in the moment.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Mexican wall Solana

October 22, 2016:  A 45 minute hike over the mountains surrounding Zihuatanejo brought us to the rocky Pedregosa beach. Instead of sand Pedregosa lulls the few hardy souls that wander its way with the sound of stones being tumbled about along its shoreline.

Open to the Pacific ocean and surrounded on all sides by uninhabited land it is easy to imagine the mesoamerican way of life that once thrived here. We sat lost in thought for a while before heading back up the verdant tropical forest trail which led us back to civilization.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Pedregosa beach Zihuatanejo

October 23, 2016: The Ecotianguis market is a wonderful place to shop every Saturday morning in the center of Zihuatanejo. Local farmers, bakers, artisans and cooks gather in the square behind the archaeological museum to sell locally sourced, natural and vegan products.

My purchases today included local honey, fresh bread and a delicious vegan breakfast sandwich. As I perused the offerings a cooking demonstration was presented before the crowd. A wonderful start to a delicious and healthy weekend. For more information search @ecotianguissanka on facebook

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo EcotianguisZihuatanejo

October 27, 2016: A walk through the La Madera neighborhood of Zihuatanejo is a glance into the past. One of the original tourist zones of the towns, quiet alleyways meander up steep hillsides and connect to the central part of town via a pedestrian bridge.

Blank walls provide a canvas for budding street artists and the local beach hosts events of the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival. La Madera also houses a variety of restaurants, shops and services just waiting to be explored.

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October 29, 2016: Day four of the Sociedad Protectora de Animales (SPAZ) sterilization campaign has just ended. Every year hundreds of cats & dogs are spayed and neutered which helps to control the local animal population.

This year I volunteered in the dog room, watching and assisting the dogs after surgery as they come out of anesthesia. SPAZ relies on donations and volunteers all year round. More information can be found on their website. www.spazihua.org

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Zihua Animal shelter

November 1, 2016:  We celebrated Halloween by making our baked banana french toast. Baked for 45 minutes in a caramel sauce this breakfast dish is a cross between french toast and bread pudding. Locally grown bananas and starfruit serve as garnish for the plate.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana baked french toast

November 2, 2016:  We followed a procession of Catrinas from the Zihuatanejo pier to the main square of the town. The Dia de Los Muertos festivities were closed with singing and drum beats as the alter candles were extinguished.

Another night of celebration ended honoring the remembrance of lost friends and loved ones. An acceptance of death as much as life and an appreciation of those who came before.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Dia de muertos Zihuatanejo

November 7, 2016: As we prepare for the high season we try to take some time to relax and enjoy the incredible view of Zihuatanejo. Once a very small fishing village dotted with small casitas and palm trees, it has grown into a thriving town and tourist destination.

We often enjoy fireworks in the evening during mexican holidays and to celebrate beach weddings. In the mornings the sun rises over the eastern hills bathing the town in a coral glow. It is a view to forever savor.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana sunset Zihuatanejo

November 8, 2016:  Amazing cloud formations last evening just before a major thunderstorm. Watching the sky with its myriad of motion is soothing and meditative.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana boutique clouds

November 13, 2016:  The final rains of summer are falling and our hibiscus is in full bloom. The flowers lend a splash of color to our gardens and attract hummingbirds in their feeding frenzy. 

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana hibiscus garden

November 15, 2016:  Strings, Sand and Sunsets. The Zihuatanejo International Guitar festival has been announced for the dates of March 4th - 11th, 2017. Locals and visitors alike gather for a week of concerts, informal jams and gala dinners.

Now in its 14th year, past years have drawn musicians from all points on the globe, Mexico, Canada, India, Cuba, Poland and more. Check out their website at www.zihuafest.info for more information on ticket purchases, the musicians and their genres.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo zihuatanejo guitar festival

November 18, 2016:  A complimentary breakfast at Solana boutique B&B always includes fresh fruit. Our garden was planned to maximize space to grow our own fruit and spices.

This year we have been able to include our home grown papaya, lime, bananas, passionfruit and various spices into our breakfasts and bar menu. We are still waiting for other trees to mature and bear fruit and hope in the near future to harvest our own mangos, guava and coconuts. The garden is our labor of love.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana breakfast B B

November 20, 2016:  Today Zihuatanejo celebrates the beginning of the Mexican revolution that began in 1910 and eventually led to the establishment of Mexico as a constitutional republic.

In downtown Zihuatanejo the day is marked by a parade with music, horses and citizens dressed in traditional, colonial costumes. It is a festive time to visit and experience the local culture.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo DiadeLaRevolucion Zihuatanejo

November 22, 2016:  Cruise ship in the bay today. Few ships visit Zihuatanejo but the picturesque bay encourages many passengers to return again to explore the town. This ship transited the Panama canal and is now headed to Los Angeles.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Zihuatanejo cruise ships

November 24, 2016:  Thanksgiving celebrations are alive and well in the ex-pat communities of Mexico. All of the usual ingredients are available in the local market and grocery stores.

We were invited to a friend´s house and enjoyed a wonderful assortment of dishes; yams, turkey, stuffing and, of course, pumpkin pie. We are thankful for our community!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Thanksgiving

December 7, 2016:  A short excursion this past weekend took us to Michoacan´s capital city of Morelia. Stately colonial architecture lines the narrow cobblestone roads that were created for carriages instead of automobiles . The European style combines with a vibrant university scene to create a cosmopolitan center of the arts.

Morelia hosts an international film festival every autumn as well as numerous concerts and dances. Traditional arts are on display in various museums and at the Casa de Artesanias in the ex-convent San Francisco. A trip to Morelia is both a glance into the past and a hope for the future.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Morelia cathedral

December 12, 2016:  And so arrives the Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe this year in Mexico. During the 12 days leading up to the holiday, processions of the faithful wind their way through city streets and small fireworks are set off in her honor. 

In Zihuatanejo, piñata stands are set up and white & red poinsettias are sold on street corners. Families gather for fiestas with music & dance and eat traditional treats such as buñuelos and tortas. It is a solemn yet celebrated tradition and close to the hearts of many Mexicans.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Dia de Guadalupe Zihuatanejo

December 15, 2016:  We are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful tropical beaches, each with their own special characteristics. Playa La Ropa is nearby and the best swimming beach in Zihuatanejo.

As gentle waves fall upon the golden sand of this crescent shaped beach, the best way to relax here is to seek out your own lounge chair at one of the local palapa covered restaurants and order a margarita, guacamole and some fresh fish. Swimming is safe here on La Ropa beach especially during the winter months of calm seas. Let your stress melt away and don´t forget to bring your sunscreen!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Playa La Ropa hotel

December 19, 2016:  We have many native birds visiting Solana but it is rare for us to have a view of our B&B from the air as the birds must see it. If only we too could fly...

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana Zihuatanejo Mexico

December 29, 2016:  The holiday season is in full swing in Zihuatanejo. Many local artists display their creations at art exhibits throughout the town. This elegant and stunning jewelry was created by expat artist Arthur Koby who divides his time between Zihuatanejo and New York.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo ArthurKobyjewelry

January 15, 2017:  A new year has begun and discoveries are underway at the archeological site of Soledad de Maciel ¨La Chole¨. Situated a 45 minute drive south of Zihuatanejo, excavation is in progress on the pyramids and ball court with various artifacts unearthed daily.

There is a small museum explaining the history of the area and english speaking guides are available for tours of the grounds. A visit to the local village can be arranged to meet with the modern ancestors of this ancient culture.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo La Chole2

January 26, 2016:  Friends are visiting from California and dinner last night took us to Los Braseros in downtown Zihuatanejo. We had fantastic baja style fish tacos, guacamole and pastor tacos at this authentic mexican restaurant.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo LosBraserosZihuatanejo

January 28, 2017:  The tropical winter season is the time for art and fashion in Zihuatanejo. Small studios host exhibitions and open houses to view both contemporary and traditional Mexican work. This show was organized by Mezgaleria and showcased hand painted indigenous fashion with a modern twist.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Hand painted indigenous fashion

February 2, 2017:  A glass of wine in hand, we spent a fabulous evening at The Rooftop at LOOT to see multimedia artist, Michael Hackett´s work. Exquisite bead sculptures utilizing locally sourced materials were suspended on surrounding walls and added an artistic allure to the space.   www.michaeldhackett.com

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo mhackett

February 6, 2017:  Solana was created in a contemporary Mexican style. We wanted to blend the simplicity of modern architecture with authentic tropical design and artwork. Always a work in progress, our small hotel continues to blossom.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo 00cactus Solana

February 8, 2017:  Sailboats languidly cruising around the bay, sunny skies and a light breeze combined to present a soothing backdrop at breakfast this morning. Zihuatanejo sailfest 2017 is upon us and the fun has just begun!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo P1000918

February 12, 2017:  Last night after meandering about the La Madera neighborhood of Zihuatanejo we stopped by to view an exhibit of Women Artists of Zihuatanejo. This painting by Grace Relfe intrigued us with its vibrant colors and tropical imagery.

After perusing beautiful works of art while sipping a shot of mezcal we headed off to La Teresita restaurant for their delicious chilis rellenos and handmade tortillas. Just another Saturday night in Zihuatanejo.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Women artists Zihuatanejo

February 16, 2017:  On a morning hike we spotted these two friends watching us from beside the road. Even in a growing town like Zihuatanejo there are reminders of the not-too-distant past when the only way to get to La Ropa beach from the town was via a hilly winding path.

We hear the stories of those who lived here 40 years ago and experienced the town as a village. A time when coconut trees outnumbered the inhabitants and owning a burro was the most common form of transportation. The reminiscences speak to us of a different age. Once that we wholeheartedly respect.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Burros in Mexico

March 7, 2017:   We are midway through the 2017 Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival and it does not disappoint. This year the beach concerts are being held on the Playa Principal, a truly tropical experience with the star filled sky as a roof and sand underfoot in lieu of a solid floor.

Every evening a gala dinner showcasing two performers is planned. Yesterday we enjoyed fabulous music by a talented local performer at Coconuts Restaurant. What a great way to spend the evening!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Zihuatanejo Guitar festival

April 1, 2017:  In the afternoon nothing is more relaxing than resting in a mexican hand woven hammock. No two hammocks are the same. Each have a unique color and style selected by the weaver. Most of our hammocks at Solana boutique B&B are locally made and purchased after some bargaining from street vendors in downtown Zihuatanejo.

This cotton hammock caught my eye in one of the many shops in the center of town. Woven in the Yucatan, it now graces our terrace just waiting for siesta time.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana mexican hammock

June 16, 2017:  Although we love Zihuatanejo and enjoy living here we also like to travel around Mexico when we have the spare time. Every year our season slows down in May which affords us the opportunity to take a vacation. This year one of the cities we chose to visit was the spectacularly scenic Guanajuato.

Packed full of historical sites, and tight meandering streets, Guanajuato has a charm and vibrance that only a university town can muster. Cosmopolitan cafes surround tree filled squares enhancing its stately colonial architecture. Centered in a valley and accessed by a series of tunnels, neighborhoods are constructed up the hillsides allowing for beautiful views but complicated driving.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Guanajuato SolanaB B

July 1, 2017:  One of the wonderful things that we like about Mexico is the roadside lunch stop. Women fry up hand made tortillas on a wood burning stove while tomatoes and serrano chilis roast on the comal waiting to be crushed into a satisfyingly spicy salsa.

Pork, beef and lamb are the typical plates of the day but we chose their vegetarian option which included red rice, beans & red salsa in a tortilla with a garnish of crumbled cotija cheese. So good!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Zihuatanejo lunch Solana B B

July 8, 2017:  Gardens fill our property and often our guests meander through the lush green spaces of Solana to spot local birds or pick some fresh flowers. We maintain a variety of native trees which attract flocks of parrots in season. Many of our plants are medicinal, aloe for sunburn relief, lemongrass for fever and mexican zorillo for coughs.

What we enjoy most about our garden is the tranquility it brings when we sit amidst it surrounded by the verdant greenery with frigate birds circling overhead. This is the experience that we enjoy sharing with our guests in our tropical retreat.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solana hotel garden

July 27, 2017:  Early morning walks take us to places unique and beautiful. One day after roaming trails along the ridges surrounding Zihuatanejo we descended to a spot to view this cove.

Ocean waves from the Pacific surge onto large boulders scattering a salty spray meters into the air as shellfish harvesters risk their lives descending down the steep cliffside to search for barnacles and percibes among the rocks.


Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Solanabedandbreakfastbeach

August 26, 2017:  Summer is the season for fresh melon. Many local residents grow their own crop and sell it by the road or streetside in the market.

Pickup trucks can be seen driving through Zihuatanejo loaded with watermelons and local cafes make "agua de sandia" which is fresh watermelon water sweetened with sugar or agave syrup. A refreshing warm weather treat!

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Sandia Solana boutique hotel

October 5, 2017:  A trip to Mexico is not complete without viewing the work of its talented artisans. We are fortunate to have a small sampling of stores in Zihuatanejo that exhibit wares from the entire country. Textiles woven in Oaxaca, stone carvings from Michoacan and pottery handmade in Guadalajara & Puebla are just a few examples of the handicraft to be found here.

Solana Boutique B&B Zihuatanejo Milagro heart Solana Hotel Zihuatanejo Mexico

November 19, 2017:  Two major markets can be found in Zihuatanejo, one is the artisans market and the other, the Mercado Central. Small shops line the streets of the Mercado Central and farmers from the surrounding villages set up  temporary stands on the sidewalk to sell their unique products.

Anything and everything can be found here including fish & poultry, cookware, DVDs, tortillas and blender replacement parts. The Central Market has been Zihuatanejo´s one stop shop for decades and is still going strong. A visit to the market is to experience the way the local people shop and live...and always save room for a quesadilla at one of the many loncherias!



December 14, 2017:  Wandering around the Mercado Central, it is easy to spend a few hours. The seafood, fruit and vegetables can´t get any fresher. The most interesting section for me is always the small farmer´s market which is tucked away in a covered, open air space behind the Central Market. Bargaining is expected here and knowledge of some Spanish comes in handy.


Mercado Central Zihuatanejo

January 1, 2018:  The first day of a new year and Zihuatanejo is in the middle of its high season. New Year's eve was celebrated with champagne and fireworks ringing the bay. From our vantage point we could see the illuminations of all three beaches; Playa Principal, Playa La Madera and Playa La Ropa. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!


January 10, 2018:  As you can see there is not much left of our lunch. After a fabulous trio of vegan tacos including carnitas de soya and pastor de champiñones, we finished off our meal by sharing a delicious frozen pie made from raw cacao, banana and ground cashews. ¡Muy rico!

Veganism has entered Zihuatanejo and Entre Sankas is a healthy addition to the local vegan scene. Check out their Facebook page and enjoy... https://www.facebook.com/ComidaveganaEntreZanca/


January 13, 2018:  What better way to learn Mexican cooking than while on vacation in Zihuatanejo. Patio Mexica offers classes which begin with a tour of the local market and conclude with the preparation and consumption of local delicacies.

Monica offers a variety of classes and can provide vegetarian and vegan options if requested in advance. More information can be found on her website at http://patiomexica.com/

Monicas cooking classes

January 20, 2018:  An afternoon spent at Kushi Manos y Pies spa in Zihuatanejo is a truly relaxing experience. I usually opt for the spa pedicure which is an 80 minute pedicure, foot massage and neck rub accompanied by soothing music and green tea. Heavenly! http://khushimanosypies.com/


March 7, 2018: The 15th annual Zihuatanejo Guitar Festival is underway. Comprised of a series of concerts on the beach and Gala dinners, the Festival is always fun and attracts a variety of talented musicians. This year we attended the Gala dinner show at Bistro del Mar on La Madera beach.

We are already looking forward to next year´s event! More information can be found on their website. http://www.zihuafest.info/

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March 23, 2018:  Thursday is Pozole day in this part of Mexico. Families and friends gather to socialize, drink mezcal and share pozole, a rich soup traditionally made with pork or chicken.

Most pozolerías are only open on Thursdays and some have live music. In Zihuatanejo, Santa Prisca and Teotsintle are two of the most famous and delicious spots to grab a bite.


May 27, 2018:  We sat having a cappuccino at El Cafecito on the waterfront in town and watched the events of the day unfold. Fisherman were busy selling their fresh catch as tourists ambled towards the pier to be ferried to Las Gatas beach to lounge in the sun and sand.

Saturday. A day of rest for us all.  We woke early to walk into town with a back up plan to take the local mini-bus service if we got tired. We didn't and the morning was beautiful with little traffic on the road. Our first stop was the eco-tianguis to buy fresh bread, mangos and jackfruit. A Tai chi demonstration was underway but we had another mission in mind. Perhaps a cappuccino gazing at the beautiful bay view? Sounds about right!

boats n fish

July 6, 2018: We spent the late morning visiting the seniors in residence at the Asilo Casa Maria Auxiliadora in the La Noria neighborhood of Zihuatanejo. Casa Maria is a last refuge for those who have no other place to live during their golden years. It is a spare place, funded by a combination of local government and community donations. Volunteers and donations are always needed. More information can be found on the Friends of Casa Maria Asilo Facebook page.


August 15, 2018:  Summertime is the season for walks and good conversation. After a 2 hour strenuous hike this morning we relaxed in one of the best cafes of Zihuatanejo, LOOT in the La Ropa neighborhood.

A tranquil place to start the day, the shaded open air terrace is surrounded by palm trees. Location is only one of the elements of a great morning; friendship and excellent cappuccinos are also essential!

September 22, 2018:  One of the benefits of living in Mexico is learning how to speak a foreign language. Although we already had some language skills obtained from prior travels, a more advanced level of spoken Spanish evaded us.

We were referred to Coffee Break by a friend. Located in the heart of Zihuatanejo, Lili tailors her lessons to your experience and adjusts for a more structured or relaxed class according to your wishes. It is a friendly atmosphere. Often, a more authentic vacation experience awaits when a shared language is spoken.
November 8, 2018:  The end of our green season with its abundant rain ushers in the season of wildflowers. Flowers of every imaginable shape & color line the roadside enveloping the trees.

The beauty is in the minute detail of their form. Some enclose seeds, others bristle and close when touched, a few emit an intoxicating scent.  All are spectacular and worth exploration.
November 17, 2018:  The Cocos grand suite is one of our most popular rooms. Located on the second level in the building closest to the pool, it is only one flight of stairs up from our dining/bar area.

Our Cocos guests wake in the morning to a panoramic view of the bay which can be seen from the comfortable king size bed, spacious terrace and private outdoor shower. During the fall season parrots feast upon seed pods of the tree adjacent to Cocos, yet another reason to enjoy this stunning room!
Cocos bathroom
November 21, 2018:  A trip to Petatlan was planned for the day. We took a small white minibus, 45 minutes south, to browse in the central market, visit friends and enjoy a leisurely lunch. We also toured the cathedral which is rumored to have been constructed on the ruins of a pre-hispanic pyramid .

Murals depicting the history of the country are commonplace in Mexico. At the Cultural Center we paused to view this interpretation. We were fascinated by its bold colors and robust gestures which depicted the earliest inhabitants of Mexico and progressed through the modern era.
Petatlan mural
January 6, 2019:  Choosing the right season to visit Zihuatanejo will set the tone for your visit. The Christmas and New Year's holidays are a busy time. Although Solana is always tranquil, the beaches and town are full of vacationers enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Many of our guests who visit during these two weeks love the energy of the season. But if you prefer a bit more relaxed ambience just wait two weeks and plan your trip for early January when schools start up again and Zihuatanejo once more regains its mellow pace.
February 13, 2019:  Zihuatanejo Sailfest is wrapping up and what an event it's been. Held every year to benefit local schoolchildren, the festival is always lively with a chili cook off, art & prize auction and cruises galore.

We spent an afternoon sailing over to Ixtapa and back on a beautiful Beneteau sailboat owned by a friendly Canadian couple. We spotted dolphins, sea turtles and took advantage of the brisk winds returning to harbor just after sundown.
Zihuatanejo Sailfest cruise 2019
March 20, 2019:  While wandering around Zihuatanejo you will find arts & crafts from all regions of Mexico. Many small stores sell a beautiful selection from the entire country.

This shop, located on the Fisherman's walk, specializes in the southern state of Oaxaca. In addition to these intricately detailed wood figurines named Alebrijes, woven blankets, throws and cotton bedspreads can be found.
Alebrijes from Oaxaca
April 10, 2019:  Sitting outside in the backyard I witnessed eight trogons feasting on one of our native trees. First a scout appeared and after determining a safe environment called to the others. Subsequent trogons arrived in pairs with one always watching out for the other as they dined on berries. Taking turns to allow enough for all. It is trogon season here in Zihuatanejo.
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April 14, 2019:  Semana Santa (Easter week) in Uruapan is the place to be to experience a true Michoacan experience. Artisans bring their crafts from surrounding mountain towns and set up in the central square area.

We were lucky enough to attend the parade on Saturday morning where the participants dress in traditional costume and dance to the music of their own marching bands.
Uruapan pots
June 18, 2019:  Every now and then a guest will ask us if we get tired of the gorgeous Solana view. Perhaps, at times, we become too busy to take note but it is always there as our backdrop. Reassuring us with it's warmth and tranquility. Reminding us that we are home.
August 24, 2019:  Summer is a leisurely season here in Zihuatanejo. We have had the opportunity to focus on many long overdue maintenance projects and found time to relax and enjoy ourselves a bit.

Today was a day for some R&R so we headed to the restaurant La Terracita in the La Madera neighborhood of Zihuatanejo for an authentic Mexican brunch. My dish was called pobretones which is a mixture of scrambled eggs with small tortilla chips in a mild red salsa. A delicious way to start the morning!

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