Guide to Ixtapa, Mexico


Ixtapa can guarantee you one thing…your all-time favorite “spot.” No, no, no, not spot as in nightclub or world class restaurant. Ixtapa has mountains of those. A “spot” is that off-the-beaten path nook, that special place you and yours find where the rest of the world melts away. It could be under a remote tree in a calming breeze, dangling your feet over a cliff as waves crash below or at the tippity top of an ancient ruin with not a soul in sight. It’s here. Your spot awaits.


Ixtapa (“White Place”) is the most brilliant jewel along the Mexican Riviera and located only a few miles from Zihuatanejo. In fact, the two towns are so intertwined locals call it Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo or Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa. While controversy lingers as to who first tread on its powder white beaches, some say the Taraskan ruler Caltzontzin and others King Tanganxoan II, the area is undoubtedly home to volumes of history. The explorer Cortez produced his majestic sailing ships here and once upon a time pirates took refuge in the endless coves. Home to important archaeological finds, including an underground pyramid, the mountainous and jungle riddled lands surrounding Ixtapa are as vibrant as the colorful Mexican culture that seems to shine from every face you’ll meet.

Things to Do

Take a deep breath…ready…okay, GO! Fishing, snorkeling, wild-life/bird sanctuaries, 30+ dive sites, boating, para-sailing, water skiing, jet ski, tennis, golf, ruins exploring, jungle tours, horse back riding…and that’s just the first day. Then, of course, there are the 12 miles of white sandy toe-tickling beaches. For a lazy, secluded beach day hit Playa la Ropa or venture a bit off-shore to Isla Ixtapa, a mecca for scuba diving and snorkeling. Steep yourself in local archaeological finds at the Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande or be a hero to your kids at Magic World, the local water park. If you’re lucky enough to be there spend some time at the annual Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo Carnival, the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival or the Ixtapa Food and Wine Festival.

How to Get There

By Land: Ixtapa is 448 km southeast of Mexico City and 268 km from Acapulco.
By Air: Zihuatanejo International Airport handles national and international air traffic.

How to Get Around

  • Highly suggested that you rent a bike or a scooter for getting around. For more adventurous souls, there are car and jeep rentals.
  • Taxis run between Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo (M$140) - always agree on a price beforehand.
  • Local buses run frequently between Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo from 5:30am to 11pm (M$7).


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