Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo a dream come true

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Two destines in one

Located in the golden Mexican pacific. Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa is one of the most beautiful beach destinations of Mexico, is located on the Pacific coast in the state of Guerrero, 245 km. (152.23 miles) northwest of Acapulco, on the federal highway 200; the climate is warm with an average temperature of 28 ° C (82.4° F) and only 30 day of rain during the year.


Is a picturesque fishing village that offers a family and safe ambience, which main attraction is it’s their well-protected and beautiful bay where boaters often spend the winter months in its peaceful clear waters. The place is surrounded by a chain of mountains that seem to descend to meet the sea and frame the picturesque town with its traditional atmosphere and relaxed ambience that offers various beaches for relaxation and recreation, a variety of small hotels that go from inexpensive to small luxury (boutique hotels), as well a great selection of restaurant, from small family restaurants to gourmet and exotic or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery of the nature. Zihuatanejo is also famous for the classic movies that have been filmed here, such as “Shaw shank Redemption” and “When a man loves a women” among others, as well as various Mexican golden era movies.


Was once an extensive coconut plantation now is a modern tourist resort locates at only 6 km (3.73 miles) away from Zihuatanejo (5 minutes’ drive) where you can enjoy El Palmar, a beautiful certified beach with 6 kilometer long. Along the beach you’ll find the hotel zone with prestige hotels, modern condominiums and single luxury homes. The commercial area offers, shops, discotheques, casino, restaurants, cinema and mini golf. Ixtapa also offers two 18 holes golf courses and a marina with capacity for over 600 boats, surrounded by a walkway with gourmet restaurants and romantic scenery.

In this magical destiny you can enjoy of wonderful beaches, ideal to relax and practice al sort of water sports, especially scuba diving, snorkel, windsurfing, fishing, water ski, kayak, bicycle path, dolphinarium, cinema, discotheques, casino, archaeological area or just have fun and enjoy a margarita on its beautiful golden sand beaches, viewing the most beautiful and spectacular sunsets. Among the most popular you can find:


Playa Principal(Main Beach)

Located in downtown Zihuatanejo, close to the main pier and surrounded by a variety of restaurants with great ambience and shops, it is the reunion point for the fisherman when they return with their catch of the day; you can buy fresh fish early in the morning directly from the boats.

Playa la Madera (La Madera Beach)

Located southwest from the Main beach. Fine sand with both gentle and also surfing waves, extends over 200 m in length. It offers hotels and restaurant services.

Playa La Ropa (La Ropa Beach)

This famous beach is located southwest from La Madera beach, is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Mexico. It has gentle waves and a variety of services such as restaurants, hotels, condos and fine homes; it has 1.5 kilometers (0.9320 miles) of length and soft and golden sand.

Playa Las Gatas (Las Gatas Beach)

Located south of Zihuatanejo´s Bay, you can only access by boat. It is a Coral rocky landscape beach with crystal water and is very popular because of the calm waters, almost as a natural swimming pool and is Ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. It is visited by families due to its clear and quiet waters.

Playa Contramar (Contramar Beach)

Is a small beautiful beach with calm and crystal water, with coral formations that offers incredible submarine views. It is Ideal for scuba diving and snorkel.

Playa Manzanillo (Manzanillo Beach)

Is a charming beach located between Zihuatanejo´s bay and Potosi´s bay, it´s an oasis in the Pacific Ocean, the water is very quiet and crystal. You can access by boat or walking, ideal for snorkel and it has a spectacular view of the guano islands known as Los Morros de Potosí.

Playa Linda (Linda Beach)

This beach has fine sand and calm water; here you will find the pier where the boats cross to the Ixtapa Island which is very close (10 minutes away). There you can practice horse ride through the jungle and the coconut plantations. By the street there is a gorgeous mangrove swamp that is habitat for crocodiles which are protected; with no doubt this is a fascinating ecological attraction.

Isla Ixtapa (Ixtapa Island)

Access only by boat (10 minutes). It has four beautiful beaches with relaxed atmosphere: Varadero, Arrecife, Cuachalalate and Carey, all of amazing beauty and ideal for water sports.

Playa La Saladita (Saladita Beach)

This beach is very famous and renowned by worldwide surfers, is a point that has incredible, never-ending lefts; is called “The Wave Machine. It is located about 20 minutes’ drive from Troncones beach.

Playa Quieta (Quieta Beach)

It is located at 6 km (3.73 miles) Norwest of Ixtapa, it has quite waves and is ideal for the practice of all sort of water sports. Here you will fine hotels and luxury houses and condominiums.

Playa El Cantil del Roble o Rancho Capire (El Cantil del Roble beach, also known as The Rancho or Capire beach)

This beach has big waves and break points, it offers fast wave’s left and rights off a point. The sea bottom is covered with stones and it offers incredible sunsets. It is accessible by car and canoe.

Playa Troncones (Troncones Beach)

Troncones is located about 35 kms (21.74 miles) north of Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, there you will find a great variety of bed and breakfasts, rentals and hotels, there are also beautiful luxury homes. It also offers many miles of beautiful, virgin golden sand beaches, sea turtles lay their eggs. It is famous for its surfing waves.

Punto Troncones

Es un punto de quiebre por una línea rocosa. La profundidad es cerca de 6-10 pies en diversos puntos en la formación y es más baja en un rango moderado a la playa. Este lugar es muy famoso a nivel mundial y reconocido por los surfistas.

Playa El Palmar (El Palmar Beach)

This beach is 3 km (1.86 miles) long with soft and golden sand, it offers the most spectacular sunsets. Along the beach you will find hotels, condominiums, villas and luxury houses as well as beach clubs. El Palmar is the largest certified beach of the country and the only one in the state of Guerrero. The Mexican Institute of Standardization and Certification has certified this beach as a clean one due to the quality of its waters and the protection of biodiversity. Some of the beach’s restrictions are: No plastics, Styrofoam (polystyrene), any kind of glass; no camping or cooking on the beach; no animals, no riding on vehicles that uses fuel, no littering or playing outside the areas assigned are allowed. It is Ideal for the practice of water sports and also to enjoy the amenities and services of the hotels that face the beach. At the north end of the beach you will find “Las Escolleras” where you can surf almost all year around. Here you will also find the “Marina Ixtapa” where you can delight the extensive variety of gourmet restaurants that surround the Marina overlooking the shipside.

Barra de Potosí (Potosi´s Bay)

This place is located at 25 km (15.53 miles) south of Zihuatanejo, it 16 kilometers (9.94 miles) white sand beach, an enormous lagoon that joins the ocean is naturally habitat for exotic birds and exuberant vegetation; it also has a salt works and a picturesque fisherman’s town. The landscape is a dream, surrounded by mountains that contrast with the sky and the sea. It offers beautiful golden sunsets and you can find a variety of hotels from 3 stars to boutique hotels, luxury houses and condos, as well as typical seafood restaurants around the lagoon and the seashore. Potosi´s bay is divided in four areas: Barra de Potosí, Playa Blanca, Playa las Pozas y Playa Larga.

But not everything is sun, sea and sand, Zihuatanejo- Ixtapa also offers the following activities:

Scuba diving

Recently was discovered that in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa are located the coral reefs most rich in biodiversity in the American Pacific, even endemic species have been found. There are around 30 sites for scuba diving, from deep cannons to shallow reefs. The average visibility is 50, 80 and up to 100 feet depending on the different seasons of the year.


Sail fish, black striped and blue marlin, yellow tuna fish, dorado (mahi-mahi) wahoo, rooster fish, grouper, shook, etc. The sail fish that abounds in the Pacific Ocean´s waters has turned Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa in the proud place of the International sail fish tournament held every year in May.


There is a variety of beaches to camp.

Bike cycle riding

There is a cycle path along the hotel zone in which runs around the golf course perimeter, further north enters de Aztlan Park and for those who are more adventurers, there is a small town very close called Ximalcota where you can practice mountain biking. Ixtapa is also the place for an annual triathlon, which is celebrated every May.


Most of the hotel and both golf courses have illuminated tennis courts.


There are two 18 holes world class golf courses in Ixtapa:

Palma Real Golf

Palma Real was built by renowned golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones Jr., it has nearly 7,000 yards and the Golfers can enjoy a unique setting: the golf club also preserves the local wildlife where you can find parrots, squirrels, iguanas, crocodiles, eagles, etc. it is cataloged by environmentalists as a true reserve of fauna and flora.

Marina Ixtapa Golf

It was designed by Robert Von Hagge, has 6,781 yards and challenges the golfers with the salt water entering in holes 13 de 18.

Ecotourism, Flora and Fauna

The area of Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa has more than 320 bird species of which approximately, half are residents and the rest are migratory. Among the residents you may find: the black bird, magpie, sparrow, “picuyo”, buzzard, green heron, cormorant, hummingbird, cardinal and as for the migratory birds are: white pelican, blue heron and stork among others.

Another of the most attractive activities is the release of turtles, mainly done between June and December. The turtles that nest on Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa’s beaches are Olive Ridley, leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles.

Ecological Park Aztlan

This place is spectacularly beautiful with enormous tropical trees like “ceiba”, “parotas”, cedar, “bocote” and “ujes”. The park is habitat for a large number of birds, wild cats, raccoons, “armadillos” badgers, crocodiles, iguanas, etc.

Ecological Park La Vainilla

It is located at only 11 km (6.80 miles) away from Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, the altitud is about 300 metros (984 feet) above sea level and is a natural reserv with an extention of 303 hectars (749 acres) and is habitat for different species of animals and plants.

Bio Park La Escollera

It is an ecological park, shelter for more than 50 native species. Has insectaries, iguana’s sanctuary, reptiles, birds and typical mammals of the region, also it has a botanical garden with more than 120 plants, flowers and fruit trees, herbs and orchids.

Refugio de Potosí

It is an ecological park located 25 km (15.5 miles) south of Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, on the road to Barra de Potosi. It features an observation tower 15 meters (164 feet) high; it has walkway with tropical vegetation, iguana’s reserve, butterflies observatory, macaw’s refugee and a hummingbird’s sanctuary.

Adventure Park

Fun for the whole family, tropical trees with hanging bridges, lianas, woody climbing plant hanging from trees, foot bridges, zip lines for adults from 4 to 9 meters (13 to 19 feet) high and 1 meter (3 feet) for children.

Magic world

Is an aquatic park located in the heart of Ixtapa, it offers wave pool, slides, pirate ship, slides, restaurants and lots of fun.

Archeological Zone “La Soledad de Maciel”

Locally known as “La Chole”, it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico, aged from 800 b.C. – 300 a.C and it was occupied for over 3000 years, rediscovered in 1930, it has 5 pyramids, ball game, petroglyphs, currently under excavation and reconstruction. The place is located 30 minutes south of Zihuatanejo. They found artifacts and jewelry from different cultures including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Olmecs, Zapotecs, Tarasco and Mayan. The adobe pyramids..

Archeological Museum

Located in Zihuatanejo’s downtown, on the Main Beach, this museum exhibits evidence of prehispanic settlements of Guerrero; it has six showrooms with utensils and pottery of Olmeca, Teotihuacan, Tarascan and Mexica. It contains 54 pieces of archaeological sites discovered around Zihuatanejo.

Dolphinarium “Delfiniti Ixtapa”

It offers several options: Swim with dolphins for adults, children aged 3 to 7, babies 6 to 30 months and dolphin assisted therapy. There is also a puppet theater that teaches in an educational and fun way the evolution of dolphins.


It is a town located 36 kilometers south of Zihuatanejo, on the highway to Acapulco, is famous for its church and its legend of Father Jesus de Petatlan, whose sculpture of Christ appeared in strange circumstances and is considered miraculous. There is a market selling gold with high quality parts at a great price. The town celebrates two holidays a year; Easter and August to celebrate the patron saint with processions carrying the sculpture of Christ through the streets of the town.

In Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa you will find the following


Located in downtown Zihuatanejo where you can find daily fresh fish, all kinds of seeds, fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, herbs and everything you can think of for cooking. From the sea and the garden to your plate.


It is located in Zihuatanejo by the archeological museum, is a reunion, reflection and social participation point towards an ethical, social and ecological food consumption, you can find fresh fish, organic food, workshops and cultural activities, recycled products, paper jewelry, handicrafts, etc. Open only Saturday morning.

Arts and crafts

There are two flea markets in the area, one in Zihuatanejo and the other in Ixtapa, both have small stands located in halls that offer crafts from all over the state of Guerrero.