Ixtapa Vacations

Ixtapa is best known for its excellent white sand beaches, and offers nice opportunities for relaxing beach vacations. The center of the Ixtapa resort town is the lovely Playa del Palmar beach, where most of the large hotels in the area are located. Water sports such as sailing, parasailing and water skiing are available in Ixtapa. However, as in many of the beaches in the area, the waves are a bit rough for swimming. However, the high waves make surfing in Ixtapa quite popular. Playa Las Gatas is nice for swimming, and snorkeling can also be practiced there. Offshore from Ixtapa, Isla Ixtapa is home to four more beaches that offer nice snorkeling as well as seafood restaurants.

Ixtapa is best known for its excellent white sand beaches, and offers nice opportunities for relaxing beach vacations. The center of the Ixtapa resort town is the lovely Playa del Palmar beach, where most of the large hotels in the area are located. Water sports such as sailing, parasailing and water skiing are available in Ixtapa. However, as in many of the beaches in the area, the waves are a bit rough for swimming. However, the high waves make surfing in Ixtapa quite popular. Playa Las Gatas is nice for swimming, and snorkeling can also be practiced there. Offshore from Ixtapa, Isla Ixtapa is home to four more beaches that offer nice snorkeling as well as seafood restaurants.

Besides beaches and surfing, diving in Ixtapa is also great with good visibility, rich marine life and a variety of impressive dive sites. Sport fishing and kayaking are also available. There is a dolphinarium in Ixtapa where you can swim with bottlenose dolphins, and a water park called the Magic World that is great fun for kids.

Nightlife in Ixtapa is not as impressive as in bigger resort cities such as Acapulco or Cancún. Ixtapa has more options for night-time entertainment, then its twin city Zihuatanejo. Typical Mexican festivals are also celebrated. Ixtapa is safe with little crime around. However, pick-pocketing and theft does occur, so take good care of your belongings.  To learn more about all the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Riviera, visit here.  Now view our Ixtapa Vacations Travel Guide to help plan your next Mexican Riviera vacation!

Ixtapa Weather – When to Visit

Ixtapa has a tropical savannah climate, with dry summers and winters. The temperature over the course of the year varies from 67°F to 90°F. Rarely, the temperature goes below 62°F or over 92°F.  The warm season of Ixtapa is from the end of June thru the beginning of September, when the average daily high temperature is above 89°F.  

Plan on traveling in the winter months when the temperatures range between 70°F  and 80°F.  You will avoid the crowds at the beach as well as on the streets, making your shopping experiences easier and more enjoyable. The winter also brings warmer waters to the beaches for you to enjoy without the hassle of large crowds. 

Ixtapa Attractions

Delfiniti Ixtapa, Ixtapa, best things to do in Ixtapa, Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Best hotels in Ixtapa, best Ixtapa restaurants, Ixtapa toursDelfiniti Ixtapa

If you’ve always wanted to ride on a dolphin’s belly, you can do it in Ixtapa. Delfiniti is a well-established company that offers hour-long dolphin swims that include belly rides, a foot push, and of course a few dolphin hugs and kisses. Any hotel or tourist agency in town can arrange the excursion, which is offered at Definiti Ixtapa.  Kids must be at least 8 to swim with the dolphins.  Visit Delfiniti Ixtapa for more information.

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Isla Ixtapa, Ixtapa, best things to do in Ixtapa, Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Best hotels in Ixtapa, best Ixtapa restaurants, Ixtapa toursIsla Ixtapa

Ixtapa’s finest attraction is a beautiful oasis. The turquoise waters are crystal-clear, calm and great for snorkeling.  Playa Corales on the back side of the island is the nicest and quietest beach, with soft white sand, and an offshore coral reef. Enramada seafood restaurants and massage providers dot the island. Frequent boats depart from the pier at Playa Linda. The island gets mobbed by tourists in high season.

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Playa La Ropa, Ixtapa, best things to do in Ixtapa, Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Best hotels in Ixtapa, best Ixtapa restaurants, Ixtapa toursPlaya La Ropa

The area’s most magnificent beach is a 20-minute walk from Playa La Madera and a five-minute taxi ride from town. Parasailers drift above the 1/2 mile stretch of soft light sand; below, concessionaires rent Jet Skis and Hobie Cats. Up and down the beach are open-air restaurants—some with hammocks for post-meal siestas—and a handful of hotels. Kids can splash in the calm, aquamarine water or toss a ball or Frisbee on the shore.

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Cocodrilario, Ixtapa, best things to do in Ixtapa, Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Best hotels in Ixtapa, best Ixtapa restaurants, Ixtapa toursCocodrilario

Playa Linda has a small cocodrilario (crocodile reserve) that is also home to fat iguanas and several bird species. You can watch the hulking crocs from the safety of the well-fenced, wooden viewing platform located near the bus stop and extending toward the harbor.

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Ciclopista de Ixtapa, Ixtapa, best things to do in Ixtapa, Mexican Riviera, Ixtapa beaches, best beaches of Mexico, Best hotels in Ixtapa, best Ixtapa restaurants, Ixtapa toursCiclopista de Ixtapa

This is a wonderful bike trail that goes thru Ixtapa.  The beautiful, perfectly maintained bike track is practical to run or bike to / from some of the hotels to the nature reserve just in front of Playa Linda. It makes a full circuit to the marina in Ixtapa and passes in front of most hotels. You’ll ride through butterflies and under lush green forest trees.. You’ll see all sorts of wildlife on both sides of the trail.

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Ixtapa Tours & Activities

Ixtapa Baby Turtle Release

Watch as baby sea turtles hatch and take their first steps towards the ocean during this half-day, guided experience that lets you guide a sea turtle from nest to the sea. Help take a hatched turtle from the nest and wait while they open their eyes. Next, carry a turtle in a water-filled container to the sand and watch as they instinctively make their way at sunset to the ocean.  Read more about Ixtapa Baby Sea Turtle Release

Private Tour to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica

Visit Dunn’s River Falls, one of Jamaica’s most spectacular natural wonders, during this private tour. With your expert local guide, climb to the top of the terraced falls for scenic views of the surrounding rainforest. On the way down, stop to cool off in one of the many small pools. Enjoy a flexible itinerary, with time for lunch and shopping in Ocho Rios (own expense) and private round-trip transportation from your hotel or villa.  Read more about Private Tour to Dunn’s River Falls

Ixtapa Island Tour

Give yourself a day of paradise on Ixtapa Island with this wallet-friendly, half-day tour from Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Explore three beaches, snorkel in shallow waters full of marine wonders or do what you’ve fantasized about during your normally busy life — simply relax in a lounge chair and dig your toes in the sand. On the way back from the island, visit a lagoon and see crocodiles, iguana and turtles in their natural habitat. A delicious lunch, hotel transport and boat rides are all included in this hassle-free experience.  Read more about Ixtapa Island Tour

Xihuacan Culture and Archaeology Tour

Discover the archaeological ruins of Xihuacan, a recently excavated ceremonial center, on this 4-hour tour from Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo. Visit the zone’s major landmarks and the on-site museum, and learn about the ceremonial center constructed out of bricks and modeling clay during the pre-Columbian era. Then relax at a peaceful lagoon, where you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch. This small-group tour limited to 14 people includes hotel transport by luxury van.  Read more about Xihuacan Culture, Archaeology Tour

Las Gatas Beach Tour

The tranquil beach of La Gatas, one of Zihuatanejo’s main attractions, is the perfect prescription for a harried life. On this half-day tour, wade in the calm waters and relax in a comfy lounge chair with that book you’ve been meaning to read. Get a kick out of the 18-foot bronze statue of Jesus underwater, and partake in water activities as you like (own expense). A delicious grilled lunch and hotel transport from Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are included.  Read more about Las Gatas Beach Tour 

Best Ixtapa Restaurants

Beccofino  $31 – 60

This small, marina-side dining room and cozy bar has been a popular high-season hangout since 1992. Among the best dishes on the northern Italian menu are minestrone soup, caprese salad (with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella), fish fillet (usually red snapper or mahi mahi) with a champagne sauce, and chicken cacciatore. Many of the pastas are made in-house. Enjoy the personalized attention of the owner and all-around excellent service.  Telephone:  755-553-1770  Web:  Beccofino.

Ruben’s $11 – 30

The delicious scent of grilling meats will entrance you from blocks away. Latin music blares from the jukebox inside, so after sundown most clients dine at the white plastic tables on the grassy front yard. The charcoal-grilled burgers, which are made of top sirloin, the french fries, deep-fried zucchini, and baked potatoes are true-to-the-source America  n treats, but with a twist. The burgers are topped with cabbage, and delicious with the Benton’s chipotle sauce that you’ll find next to the mustard and ketchup. Try the corn soup served with a generous dollop of sour cream. For dessert there are grilled bananas glazed with cinnamon and sugar and served with fresh cream.  Telephone:  755-553-0055  Web:  Ruben’s.

Nueva Zelanda  $11 – 30

Although it’s open all day, this sparkling little coffee shop is best known for its breakfasts. This branch opened after the success of the original eatery in downtown Zihuatanejo. It’s both more polished and more endearing, yet serves the same deli-style fresh Mexican food that’s been served for 30 years at the original restaurant. Sit at the counter, at the varnished wood tables with six swivel chairs, or in the tiny booths. Options include fresh fruit juices, coconut milk shakes, banana splits, omelets, enchiladas, salads, soup, and tortas.  Telephone:  755-553-0838  Web:  Nueva Zelanda.

Casa Morelos  $11 – 30

The wooden bar, ocher walls, and handcrafted furnishings make this tiny restaurant seem like a true cantina, although it’s in the middle of a shopping center. Patio tables are more elegant at night than during the day, with potted trees dressed in little white lights and lively tropical music at a level that doesn’t drown out conversation. The chiles rellenos de camarón, fajitas, and tuna steak topped with three kinds of chilies are all filling and delicious. You can also come for a generous breakfast.  Telephone:  755-553-0578  Web:  Casa Morelos.

Bext Ixtapa Bars & Nightlife

Christine Night Club

It’s lights! camera! disco! at this cavernous dance club, a veteran on the Ixtapa scene. Known for its light-and-sound system, the club is open until 4 am.  Telephone:  755-555-0510  Web:  Christine Night Club.

Kopados Music Bar

Find hot live bands and cold beers under this Ixtapa palapa that opens at 6 pm every night.  Telephone:  755-553-2000  Web:  Kopados Music Bar.

Piano Bar Galeria

Piano Bar Galería, in the Hotel Sunscape Dorado Pacífico, has a wonderful happy-hour pianist playing romantic songs nightly from December to April and July and August. Telephone:  755-553-2025  Web:  Piano Bar Baleria.

El Alebrije

A fog machine, banks of computerized lights, pop, rock, house, salsa and merengue, plus an open bar: what more do you want?  Telephone:  755-553-2710  Web:  El Alebrije.

Best Ixtapa Hotels

Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa

Cala de Mar is a Mexico luxury resort set inside a rock cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The property features suites, private plunge pools, a world-class spa, restaurants, tequila bar, beach wedding locations, and more.

Club Med Ixtapa

Discover the wonders of Mexico during your stay at Ixtapa Pacific, a heavenly Mexican hacienda-style all-inclusive resort, elected as one of the ‘world’s best’ family resorts by Trip Advisor.  A hassle-free stay for you, an adventure for your kids: practice your favorite sports, indulge at the Spa* or relax on a lounge chair on the breathtaking beach while your children are entertained at Club Med’s world-famous Children’s Clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals.

Pacifica Resort Ixtapa

Pacifica Resort Ixtapa our tourist development “All Inclusive”, a unique and privileged area of ​​Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, on the coast of Guerrero, and recognized for the quality of its facilities and warm service. Two bedroom suites located in Playa El Palmar Ixtapa just 17.3 Km. Airport and 2.8 Km from shopping area, 4 Km from Marina Ixtapa, 3.55 Km from Marina Ixtapa Golf Club with beach access via funicular center. Wi-Fi in public areas, parking, air conditioning, restaurants, SPA and Thalasso Pool.

Azul Ixtapa Grand All Inclusive Suites – Spa & Convention Center

Luxury resort with an eco-conscious environment, offers suites with spectacular views along with multiple dining options so you can pamper your palate throughout your stay. Relax in a tropical environment while enjoying captivating views of the Pacific Ocean. The details, the sophisticated architecture and the refined comfort of Azul Ixtapa Grand combine to make a resort like no other.

Las Brisas Ixtapa

Nestled into the side of a mountain and surrounded by tropical vegetation on one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mexican Pacific Riviera is where you will find this secluded tropical paradise that offers the perfect balance between recreation and relaxation. A private hilltop entrance leads into a stone courtyard with dramatic fountain, where porters escort new arrivals to the open-air reception area. Bright colors, high ceilings, and keyhole views of the Pacific Ocean highlight hotel’s striking architecture. Las Brisas Ixtapa is a particular favorite of honeymooners for its romantic setting and rooms with private terraces, all with ocean views.

28 Comments

  1. jeremy9

    Count me in on this Ixtapa location!   Traveling to such an wonderful destination sounds amazing to me.  I have been searching for my next beach vacation, and I think I just found it.  I just need to not look anymore on your site, LOL.  Do you also work as a travel agent?  Can you get me the best deals on a hotel/air package?  Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you are ready to head to Ixtapa Jeremy!  You will have a wonderful time.  Yes, I can help you with a package deal.  I will shoot you an email with a few questions, and then I can get right on it and give you a couple different options.  Thanks so much for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  2. Steve

    Wow, great review of Ixtapa. So comprehensive!

    I never heard of this place before. But I love visiting these type of places. Some of the bigger places like Cancun can get very crowded and commercialized. It’s great sometimes to visit the smaller lesser known locations. It can be much quieter yet you can still do most everything. Especially for things like snorkeling and scuba diving, these places can be much better locations to visit.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Steve and thank you for visiting Ixtapa Vacations!  I hope you found everything you need to plan your next vacation here!

      Reply
  3. Alysanna

    Great review of Ixtapa; you definitely got everything covered and you have given me all the reasons I need to want to visit this place.

    I love beaches and it’s one of my dreams to visit more places and more beaches to expand my horizon and experience. I’ve seen quite a lot in Asia and it would be nice to go somewhere I’ve never been before like Mexico.

    What I am most excited about is riding a dolphin and taking an adventure walk in the wilds. I always enjoyed watching a dolphin show but haven’t experienced actually riding on their belly, that must be fun.

    By the way, do you know if there are travel agencies that are offering package tours or special discounts and what season of the year do they usually offer them?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Alysanna, I am glad you enjoyed my Ixtapa post. You will be able to get a package deal or discount pretty much any time, if you are planning ahead. Usually, the discounts are going to come during off season, which of course is not always the ideal time to travel to Ixtapa due to the weather. I can help you with putting together something, and I know that I can get you a great price. I will send you an email 🙂

      Reply
  4. Fred

    I like the thought of going there and being able to snorkel and swim and learn to surf and enjoy all the activities. This is kind of what I am looking for! Yes, you have so many wonderful places that you have reviews for. I am going to look around some more and decide on my next vacation. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Fred and thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com. You will enjoy doing all of these activities in Ixtapa. Of course, I do have many destinations, where you can do these as well. Please let me know if you need any help planning your vacation. I might also be able to help you narrow it down to the perfect spot for you 🙂

      Reply
  5. Ramandeep

    Beautiful place and wow the night life sounds fun. I totally agree winter is the best time to travel as the weather is pleasant. I think I need to explore Ixtapa as well. I went to Cancun and it was so much fun, I wanted to go again this year in June, but I cancelled it as I heard June it gets pretty humid due to rain. Looks like Ixtapa is the place I will go to instead 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    Best Regards
    Ramandeep

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      If you like night life, then you will like Ixtapa. Since you have been to Cancun, I would definitely plan a vacation to Ixtapa. Thanks you so much for visiting and reading about Ixtapa vacations!

      Reply
  6. Anirudh

    This is one detail post, which cant be overlooked for people like me who just loves beaches. Thanks for covering all the aspects which are generally missed. Seems like I can plan all with this one post for my next vacation. I love the Mexican Riviera, and am looking forward to vacationing in Ixtapa. I have everything I need now! Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Anirudh, so glad that everything you need to plan your trip to Ixtapa is right on the Ixtapa Vacations post 🙂 I know that you will have a great time. Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  7. Bob

    We are hoping to go sometime this winter when it is very cold here and wonderful in Ixtapa, will there plenty of sailing around there? I have always wanted to try sailing but never took time out to do it. Is there places that would take an old man out and show him how to sail? When do most people travel to this place? Thanks for showing us some very beautiful places in the world.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Bob, you are going to be able to sail anytime while you are there. I have a company listed on the article for Picante, a sailing company, and they can take you out and also teach you how. November thru may is the high season for Ixtapa, when most people vacation in Ixtapa. It is still not overly crowded like some other beach destinations. The weather is not extremely hot, it is nice and dry and sunny, and you will have a fantastic time!

      Reply
  8. Amanda

    Wow, great information on Ixtapa! I have been wanting to go to the Mexican Riviera and have been looking over the various destinations in this area. I think that Ixtapa sounds like the place for us to vacation to. We both are surfers, so this will be ideal with the water being a little rougher made for surfing 🙂 I also like that the weather really doesn’t go over 90 degrees. I am quite interested in going to Isla Ixtapa while we are there. Do you know how much is cost for a boat ride over to the island? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      If you like surfing, then you will love Ixtapa. It is definitely more for surfing than it is swimming with the rough waters. The cost for a boat ride to Isla Ixtapa is going to be about $2.50 each way. They also have a variety of guided tours and snorkeling tours. I can’t quote the prices as it really varies depending on what type of tour you get. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  9. Theresa

    Hi there and what a wonderful post on Ixtapa! Me and my boyfriend are planning to spend our honeymoon somewhere for a dreamy beach vacation. I have been looking on the Internet trying to find the perfect spot for us, and this looks to be it! You certainly have covered everything from A to Z, which will make it easier for us to plan. Thank you so much for all the wonderful information. The Casa Del Mar Resort & Spa looks like the perfect place for us to stay! Do you know how long of a flight it might be from Los Angeles and would we be able to fly non-stop?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on Ixtapa Vacations Theresa! This would make a great honeymoon destination, and you will have a great time. The Casa Del Mar Resort and Spa is a very romantic hotel, and for a honeymoon, it will be perfect! A non-stop flight is going to take about 3 hrs. and 40 minutes from Los Angeles. Not a very long flight at all. Please let me know if I can help in any way to plan your trip. I know that I could get you some great deals!

      Reply
  10. Charlotte

    This is a very good post. You have every inch of information here. From travelling notes to visit spots and nightlife and food. Amazing. Makes me wanna pack my bags and head off there now. Looks like a beautiful place on our earth too. Added to my bucketlist.
    Have you been?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      HI Charlotte and thank you for visiting Ixtapa Vacations. I am glad you enjoyed reading and learning about Ixtapa. The Mexican Riviera is a wonderful place for a vacation. Yes, I have been there and it is awesome! Thanks for taking the time to leave me some comments!

      Reply
  11. remy

    Very comprehensive review Leahrae. I am in Australia, so planning a trip to mexico seems daunting. But, they are two very different cultures, food, etc., so I am kind of excited. Had Cabo in my mind, but after visiting this Ixtapa page, I have decided this might be a better choice for us. We are spoiled here in Australia with our beautiful beaches here on the gold coast. But…..There is something about the Mexican music and Mexican lifestyle I don’t think we could ever replicate here in Australia. So it will be a lot of fun to plan my trip to Ixtapa and check out the Mexican culture and food. Thank you so much for all this wonderful information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Remy! Yes, Australia is a wonderful place for sure, and then so is Mexico. You are right that they are two very unique destinations, and totally different with culture, food, music, etc. You will enjoy Mexico. I love Mexico, and I have been too many times to count actually. Thank you so much for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com and reading about Ixtapa Vacations!

      Reply
  12. Fleur

    Ixtapa sounds amazing Leahrae! I love to sail so sound like I’ll get along there just fine. When you say the winter months do you mean northern hemisphere winter? So December to February? I’m from Australia so just to clarify however I think I’ll avoid during hurricane season, just to be on the safe side! Am adding to the bucket list!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Fleur, Thank you so much for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com and reading about Ixtapa Vacations. Yes, I do mean winter months as in December thru February 🙂 I think that the winter months are the best time to go really. I live in the hurricane belt, so yes I am not going anywhere else during that time that is also in the hurricane belt. I think this year though, has been exceptionally bad. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  13. Bob

    How! Wonderful does that look? I would love to visit there for about 9 months out of the year.
    Are these places that are kid friendly? Lots of things for a family to do. When we go on vacation, my wife and I always take along all the kids. Do children travel cheaper than adults?
    This may be a place we go when the kids are gone. That would be cheaper.

    Who would be the person to contact in order to plan a trip?
    Thanks for the very beautiful site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Bob, yes Acapulco is kid friendly and I do believe one of my hotel recommendations is very family friendly. There are more that are as well. Between the beaches, the sea life, the wild life, and the dolphins, kids have a ball here! The only extra expense with your kids is going to be for the food and airline tickets mostly. I have always taken my kids with me, and it has created for them, a love to travel and to go to the beach…just like their mom 🙂 So don’t wait till they are gone. Enjoy life with them. I find that this time, for me, is great quality time that we spend together.

      Reply
  14. Keith Hightower

    Wow, I wish I could head there right now! Very complete presentation–if I were able to go now, I would have a great idea of where to go and what to see. I especially wish I could do the bike train–that’s kind of my thing. I don’t surf, but snorkeling would sure be fun.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I hear you Keith, I’d certainly like to go right now too! Yes, the bike trail is pretty awesome 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed reading the Ixtapa Vacations Guide. Thank you for visiting!

      Reply

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