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 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 between June 30 and September 2, when the average daily high temperature is above 89°F. The hottest day over the year is July 28, when the average high temperature is 90°F and the average minimum temperature is 76°F. The cold season of Ixtapa is between January 12 and May 1, when the average daily temperature is below 86°F. The coldest day of the year in Ixtapa is March 14, when the average low temperature is 67°F and the average high temperature is 85°F.
Best Time to Travel
Plan on traveling in the winter months when the temperatures range between 70 degrees and 80 degrees F. It is during these times that 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. You can also view the beautiful sunsets of westerly located Ixtapa during these months, viewing the pinks, oranges and golds that fill the evening sky.
June may be the hottest month in Ixtapa and often marks the beginning of the rainy season, which runs through October. The waters tend to be turbulent in the summer months and into early fall, offering great waves for surfers to enjoy.
Hurricane season runs from late September to early November. Use caution when planning a trip here during that time, including making preparations for immediately departure if danger should arise. Beginning in November and into late spring, the fishermen thrive, catching sailfish, yellowtail tuna and mahi-mahi in large quantities.
Getting to Ixtapa
U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a valid passport. U.S. and Canadian passports in good condition must be valid for the duration of the passenger’s stay in Mexico. The U.S. Department of State recommends that passports be valid for at least six months after the expected return date.
Traveling to Ixtapa is done by air or by road. Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo have a common international airport, receiving flights to the Ixtapa area from Mexico City, as well as from several Mexican, US and Canadian cities. Comfortable long-distance buses to Ixtapa can be found from many Mexican cities.
Getting Around in Ixtapa
Moving around in Ixtapa is really simple due to its size. The most convenient option is the taxi , which you can find everywhere; their fairs are fixed and you can check them inside the cabs, however, it is a good suggestion to confirm the prices with the driver before taking the ride.
Alternatively, there are a great number of local buses, which is the cheapest way to get a lift, they offer rides between Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo as well as several beaches. The service is available from 6 am to 11 pm, and the price goes from 4.50 to 7 pesos depending on the origin and destination.
Must See Places
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.
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.
Playa 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.
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.
Ciclopista 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.
This romantic cruise aboard the Picante catamaran takes you for a sail around the bay of Zihuatanejo, past the caves of Majahua and then along hotel zone of Ixtapa. View the blowhole in the twin island volcanic outcroppings canopied with soaring frigate & booby birds. Keep your eyes open for the green flash! Includes open bar, appetizers, and transportation to and from your hotel in Ixtapa. For more information call 755-554-2694, or visit them on the web at Picante.
Carlo Scuba is a 3 generation PADI dive center located on Playa las Gatas since 1962.PADI instruction is offered from beginners to instructor courses, as well as many specialties like photography, deep diver, underwater navigator, night diver,nitrox diver, multi-level diver and more. For more information call 755-554-6003, or visit them on the web at Carlo Scuba.
Proving surf trips to Playa Linda, Saladita, El Rancho, Rio Nexpa, Loma Bonita and more. SUP trips to Isla Ixtapa, Barra de Potosi, El Rancho and Saladita. For more information call 755-553-1384, or visit them on the web at Catcha L’Ola.
Ixtapa Aqua Paradise
They offer scuba diving trips in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, PADI scuba diving certification courses (Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver etc.) and scuba diving programs for beginners: Discover Scuba Diving and Bubble Maker. They are PADI 5star. For more information call 755-113-4860, or visit them on the web at Ixtapa Aqua Paradise.
Fishing Charters in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Guerrero Mexico, sail fishing marlin fishing , offshore and inshore fishing, Catch and release, all boats have fishing gear, bait, licenses and can give you up to 7 hours fishing. For more information call 755-102-8664, or visit them on the web at Fishing Fleets.
Best Rated Restaurants
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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. For more information call 755-553-1770, or visit them on the web at Beccofino.
$$ – $$$ Ruben’s
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. For more information call 755-553-0055, or visit them on the web at Ruben’s.
$$ – $$$ Nueva Zelanda
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. For more information call 755-553-0838, or visit them on the web at Nueva Zelanda.
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. For more information call 755-553-0578, or visit them on TripAdvisor at Casa Morelos.
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. For more information call 755-555-0510, or visit them on the web at Christine Night Club.
Kopados Music Bar
Find hot live bands and cold beers under this Ixtapa palapa that opens at 6 pm every night. For more information call 755-553-2000, or visit them on the web at 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. For more information call 755-553-2025, or visit them on the web at Piano Bar Baleria.
A fog machine, banks of computerized lights, pop, rock, house, salsa and merengue, plus an open bar: what more do you want? For more information call 755-553-2710, or visit them on the web at El Alebrije.
Top Ixtapa Hotels
Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa – Romantic
This property is a 5-minute walk from the beach. This secluded resort in Ixtapa Zihuatenejo is located on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The resort offers 3 on-site restaurants, a full-service spa and guest rooms with small, private pools. All guest rooms offer views of the ocean from the private balcony. Air conditioning and a refreshment center with free drinks are also provided. This hotel ranked among the top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World. Guests at the Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa can use the modern gym or arrange an outdoor massage. An outdoor swimming pool with food and beverage service is also featured. A Mares restaurant at the Cla de Mar in Ixtapa serves Mexican cuisine. The hotel’s Las Rocas restaurant offers fresh seafood. The 3-level Terrace Bar features ocean views. Room service is available 24 hours. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa
Pacifica Resort – Family Friendly
Featuring a terrace, Pacifica Resort Ixtapa is located in Ixtapa. Zihuatanejo is 2.9 miles away. Free private parking is available on site. The accommodation is fitted with a TV. Some units feature a terrace and/or balcony. There is also a kitchenette, equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and Mini-bar. Bed linen are featured. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant, followed by a drink at the bar. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Pacifica Resort.
Barceló Ixtapa – All Inclusive
This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Located in Ixtapa, 3.1 miles from Zihuatanejo, Barcelo Ixtapa – All Inclusive features a year-round outdoor pool and fitness center. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Extras include bathrobes and a hairdryer. There is a 24-hour front desk, hairdresser’s, and gift shop at the property. You can play tennis, ping-pong and pool at this resort, and car rental is available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Barceló Ixtapa.
Azul Ixtapa Grand All Inclusive Suites – Spa & Convention Center
Featuring a furnished terrace with a swimming pool, a massage service, a hot tub, 4 restaurants and 3 bars, this complex is in front of Zihuatanejo Beach and 9 miles from the center of Zihuatanejo.
The luxury suites feature modern, colorful decorations, air conditioning, safes, minibars, flat-screen cable TVs with DVD players, and CD players. The bathrooms are private and come with showers and spa tubs. The restaurants offer Mexican specialties, Asian cuisine, Italian cuisine and an international buffet. There are also 3 pool bars, one of which has a waterfall. The lobby bar and the snack bar are also available for guests to enjoy. Guests can relax at the sauna, in the hot tub, or with a massage. The gym is another option. This eco-resort can arrange activities like kayaking, biking and windsurfing. Wi-Fi is available for an extra cost. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Azul Ixtapa All Inclusive Suites – Spa & Convention Center.
Las Brisas Ixtapa
Located in Ixtapa in the region of Guerrero, 2.7 miles from Zihuatanejo, Las Brisas Ixtapa features a terrace and views of the sea. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free WiFi is provided and free private parking is available on site. Certain rooms have a private bathroom with a hot tub, and others have bathrobes and free toiletries. Some rooms include a sitting area for your convenience. A terrace or balcony are featured in certain rooms. A flat-screen TV is available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Las Brisas Ixtapa.