Our Opinion of Ixtapa
Ixtapa is an approximately 3 mile stretch of beach-front development where modern high rise hotels are strategically placed, one right next to the other (careful spacing ensures one does not cast a shadow on the other's pool). Two world class golf courses, a new Marina, a commercial shopping center, numerous restaurants and smaller shops all make up the pristine Ixtapa vacation destination.
The Barcelo Ixtapa and Melia Azul are great resorts for families, while the Las Brisas is good for couples and honeymooners.
In an beautiful site, in the heart of the Mexican Pacific, surrounded by mountains covered with tropical forest that come down to the coast, lies the peaceful, picturesque fishing village of Zihuatanejo, with its wonderful combination of tranquility, exuberant surroundings and affordable tourist facilities. Only 7 km away you will find the more modern city of Ixtapa where the Playa Palmar awaits, you with its 3 km of soft golden sand, a perfect beach vacation destination.
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has managed to preserve all the attractions that have made it so highly sought after. Although it has been modernized, Zihuatanejo still retains the village atmosphere that has made it famous throughout the world.
The beaches are of brown sand with deep blue water, and the Sierra Madre mountains covered with the lush tropical vegetation of the region serve as a backdrop to great resort. Ixtapa beaches are wide, but tend to be a bit too rough for ocean swimming. They are, however, well tended and manicured, offering palapas and chaise loungess.
Things to know about Ixtapa, Mexico Vacations
Watersports & Activities
Many facilities offer water sports, excursions and walks. Facilities are available for several sports, such as golf, tennis, cycling, motor cycling, horseback riding and beach volleyball.
Sport fishing enthusiasts can catch marlin, black marlin, sailfish or mahi-mahi, according to the time of the year.
Zihuatanejo's beaches are famous for their horse rides. All you have to do is walk down to the beach and find a place where horses are available for hire. At the Scuba Center in Zihuatanejo, beginner and advanced divers can dive with instructors who all have dive master certificates. Surfers should head for the beaches at Majahua, El Palmar, San Juan and Don Rodrigo near Zihuatanejo, which are all ideal for surfing.
Dining & Nightlife
There are lots of dining choices in restaurants and bars overlooking the bay in Zihua and along Playa del Palmar in Ixtapa. Casa Morelos and El Faro are great places for Mexican cuisine, and El Galeon and Beccofino's have seafood specialties.
Ixtapa's nightlife has something for everyone, since it offers Mexican fiesta shows, bars with romantic music and discotheques to suit every taste. During the high season some of the major hotels arrange a Mexican Fiesta Evening one day a week, which begins at approximately 7 p.m. with a sophisticated dinner-buffet, live folk music and regional dances. Plenty of nightclubs abound for those who wish to dance the night away.
There are a number of malls located near the beachfront hotels which offer clothing, souveniers, and arts & crafts. Visit the authentic Mexican markets in Zihuanatejo for ceramics and other local crafts.
Flying time from:
Toronto: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Montreal: Approximately 5 hours
Calgary: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Vancouver: Approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Currency: Mexican Pesos. U.S. currency widely accepted.
Climate: Sub-tropical with average tempuratures of 28'C
Electricity: Same as Canada and the U.S.
Documents: Canadian citizens require a valid passport or birth certificate and government issued photo ID (ie. drivers licences). All other nationalities please consult a vacation specialist or the Mexican consulate.
Note: Some hotels require credit card imprint upon check-in for any incidental charges. Hotel check-in is typically between 3pm and 4pm. If your flight arrives early, it is a good idea to pack essential items in your carry-on luggage (i.e. bathing suit, suntan lotion, medications, etc.), so you do not miss any valuable vacation time.
Mexican tourist cards are supplied & validated with vacation packages. Some restrictions apply to tourists 18 years & under, when travelling without parents. Contact the Mexican Government Tourist Office toll free at 1-800-446-3942.
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