Ixtapa Travel Guide
Overview A popular port of call and destination for cruise passengers,
the Mexican resort of Ixtapa is set on one of the Pacific
coastline's most spectacular bays and is justly renowned for its
beautiful beaches. It's located just three miles (5km) from the
municipal seat of Zihuatanejo. Ixtapa was constructed in the 1970s
on a coconut plantation and mangrove estuary and in recent years
has given way to high-rise hotels and luxury villas, making it one
of Mexico's most modern resorts with an energy and atmosphere that
is reminiscent of Acapulco's earlier years. In fact, Ixtapa is only
152 miles (245km) northwest of Acapulco, so the attractions of that
famous resort hub are accessible on daytrips and long
Ixtapa is home to the all-inclusive luxury resorts,
international restaurants, and upscale shopping most people
associate with Mexican beach holidays. The neighbouring town of
Zihuatanejo has a very different character, and has become known as
a quaint backpackers' hotspot with picturesque winding streets,
lots of art galleries and folk appeal, small boutique hotels, and
traditional seafood restaurants. The proximity of this more
bohemian beach hangout offers visitors a change of scene and mood
and more options for dining and accommodation.
With breathtaking views, sugary white beaches, offshore tropical
islands, two world-class golf courses, exciting scuba diving and
snorkelling opportunities, mouth-watering restaurants, and a
pulsating nightlife, Ixtapa is fast becoming a popular choice for
holidaymakers looking for the perfect beach holiday in Mexico.
Ixtapa Sunset © RussBowling
Shopping There is a good selection of shops available throughout Ixtapa,
from boutiques and famous brand and designer names and jewellery
stores to specialist shops and craft markets selling local wares.
Ixtapa Boulevard is the place to go for shopping centres and
stores, as well as the artisan market where popular buys include
huaraches (handmade leather sandals), wooden
sculptures, art, jewellery, furnishings, beachwear, sarongs and
traditional masks. Those looking for the quintessential Mexican
souvenir need look no further than Tequila Por
Favor, Zihuatanejo's first liquor store, which offers an
amazing variety of tequila, fine spirits, and Cuban and Mexican
Restaurants With some of the most picturesque and romantic beach-side
settings, those looking for a night of wining and dining will find
there is no shortage of quality restaurants and eateries in Ixtapa.
For some of the best seafood around, try 4 Hermanos, and for bit of
spice, look no further than Deborah's Chili Beans on Ixtapa
Boulevard. For a more familiar dinner, head to Porto di Mare for a
bit of Italian fare.
Nightlife The nightlife in Ixtapa is second to none with a good selection
of restaurants, bars, clubs and discos to keep you partying into
the early hours. Sip a cocktail under the tropical overhang at La
Playa Bar in the heart of Zihuatanejo. Head for the world renowned
restaurant-cum-disco on Ixtapa's beach, Carlos 'n' Charlie's, to
enjoy some of the finest BBQ ribs and dancing. Or head to Bandido's
for live music from Wednesday through Saturday. Senor Frog's and
Christine on Ixtapa Boulevard see the DJs spin a mix of pop and
disco to keep the party going.
Activities There are plenty of exciting watersports and activities to enjoy
while on holiday in Ixtapa. Go surfing at one of the nearby
beaches, such as the popular Playa Escolleras. Enjoy a round of
golf at the Marina Ixtapa Golf Course or a tennis match at the
Palma Real Golf and Tennis Club. Go scuba diving and snorkelling in
the beautiful underwater world of the Pacific Ocean. Take a fishing
charter and enjoy some fly fishing and even game fishing where you
may even land a Blue Marlin.
Negatives There are a lot of peddlers and hawkers along the beach in
Ixtapa which can become a nuisance for travellers.