Ixtapa is a popular beach resort and tourist destination in the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta, in the Mexican state of Guerrero. It is located 5 km (3.1 mi) to the northwest of the municipal seat, Zihuatanejo, and some 245 km (152 mi) northwest of Acapulco. Ixtapa is one of Mexico´s most popular places, visited by millions of people over the last decade. When you travel to Ixtapa you may wish to check out the Ixtapa hotels we have available or maybe you´d like to rent a car in Ixtapa? We also offer extensive day trips and shore excursions in Ixtapa. This unique place has simply amazing things to see. We´ve also compiled a list of Travel books on Ixtapa Mexico.
Ixtapa is beautiful tourist destination and is part of the well known Guerrero’s Sun Triangle, together with Acapulco, a renowned beach resort of Mexico and Taxco, a Colonial Town within our state. Ixtapa is just one of over 60 official online guides covering the whole of Mexico. If you´re planning a trip to Mexico and would like discover our fabulous nation before visiting or, if you´d like to visit a specific place in Mexico, then you´ve come to the right place. Despite being a major tourist destination the resident population of Ixtapa is only 6600 people, who mainly work in the tourism sector and supporting businesses.
Whether you are visiting Ixtapa in Mexico for business, pleasure or both, we´re sure that Ixtapa will meet all of your expectations and that the people of Ixtapa will make you feel welcome while sampling some of the unique cuisine on offer in the Ixtapa Restaurant districts.
Ixtapa is a government-planned tourist resort constructed on what was once a coconut plantation and mangrove estuary that was begun in the early 1970s.
The development of Ixtapa was supported by a loan from the World Bank and, In 1968, the Bank of Mexico created a special fund for the creation of new tourist destinations on the country’s coastlines. The first two now infamous destinations were Cancun, in the state of Quintana Roo, and Ixtapa, next to the town of Zihuatanejo.
Ixtapa was initially developed by just two Mexican architects, Enrique and Agustín Landa Verdugo, the latter also decided on the choice of the site. Their project defined the tourist destination’s street layout and municipal zoning. The tourism project is configured using super-blocks with irregular shapes, with the express passage streets for motor vehicles separating these blocks, and cul-de-sacs within each of them. Other architects were also selected to build this city; some are still celebrity residents of this town. Architects like Concepción Rivera and Miguel Ángel Rojas still live and work in Ixtapa.
A little know fact is that the famous Mexican soap opera (Telenovela) ‘Marimar’ was filmed here between 1994 and 1995. Mexicans from all over the nation began a love affair with Ixtapa because of Marimar which presented Ixtapa as a chic and fashionable neighborhood with affluent residents.
Your Ixtapa horseback riding adventure starts as soon as our guide picks you up from the cruise ship port and takes you to Rancho El Palmar, where you’ll be paired with a horse that suits your riding skills. Designed for both beginners and experienced riders, this Zihuatanejo Ixtapa horseback riding shore excursion is exciting and fun activity for all, including children!
The ride consists of two-hour ride along the beach then through the tropical jungle. Riding through coconut groves and small huts tucked beneath the trees, towering coconut palms with mango and banana trees growing under them.
We leave the forest and onto Playa Larga, which means “long beach.” Ride along the 9.5 miles (15km) of unspoiled beach lined with palm trees, and savor the picturesque view of Zihuatanejo Bay.
Throughout the year, the picturesque and sheltered Zihuatanejo’s bay, of only 1.8 miles wide, is visited by numerous Cruise Ships, motor yachts, sailboats and VIP private yachts from all over the world.
Ixtapa is an extremely popular cruise port with 100s of shore excursions available for visitors.
Ixtapa was a famous stop-over port for the late 70s and early 80s TV series “The Love Boat”. In real life, the well-known “Pacific Princess” of the Princess Cruises Line that docked in Zihuatanejo over many years and helped Ixtapa gain worldwide notoriety.
The Ixtapa downtown area known as El Centro is a hive of activity both day and night and is great for walking and looking around the many shops on offer, as is the Paseo del Pescador, a brick-paved beachfront promenade that goes along Playa La Madera and Playa Principal Beaches right up to the Pier with many restaurants on its way.
A romantic walk along this pacific promenade is a favorite with couples and lovers alike.
Ixtapa is a major Mexican tourist destination with over 6500 hotel rooms. Numerous large international hotel chains manage properties in Ixtapa, including Meliá, NH Hoteles, and the InterContinental Hotels Group. All-inclusive resort packages are widely available from North America and the Mexican national market, Ixtapa also being a favorite with Mexican tourists. Ritzier accommodations are available at luxury boutique hotels mostly in Zihuatanejo, and some cheaper small hotels and inns from 1 to 4 stars.
Ixtapa also has a wide range of rental villas with pools, maid and chef services which cater to the large volume of jetsetters, Hollywood stars and fashion sector who visit Ixtapa to enjoy its year round weather.
Ixtapa can be reached by air, bus and highway and has its own international airport called Ixtapa Zihuatanejo International under IATA Code ZIH, ICAO: MMZH. Flights are available from Mexico City, several provincial cities, and various places in the United States and Canada. Car rental in Ixtapa is available at the airport or at certain downtown locations.
Bus Lines include: Autovias, Costa Line, Estrella de Oro, Estrella Blanca, La Linea Plus, Parhikuni, Primera Plus, Turistar, Futura, Omnibus de Mexico and others. There are ample public services which include taxis and water taxis to visit the length and breadth of Ixtapa.
In the Zona Hotelera 2, coconut palm roofed restaurants and bars dispense beer, soda, and the catch of the day while patrons overlook this impressive and pristine beach. Playa Linda in Ixtapa is a favorite with Mexican families who adore this coconut-palm-lined beach, which has stunning views, is perfect for walking, and is encircled at one end by a sea estuary with birds and alligators. Go horseback riding in Ixtapa along its pristine sands and stop for souvenirs along the way.
The myriad of banana-boat rides, Jet Ski and Boogie board rentals will have you ion the turquoise waters in no time. You can also get water taxis or panga here to visit Isla Ixtapa.
Playa Linda is just a short taxi cab ride from the hotel strip in Ixtapa. There are numerous shops that offer original souvenir items and trinkets.
The “natural reserve” has to be the high point of visiting Playa Linda where birds, alligators and other wildlife mingle before your very eyes.
Isla Ixtapa or island is a short panga (water taxi) ride from Playa Linda and has four beaches, Cuachalate, named in honor of a medicinal tree in the area and is the most popular beach, especially in high season, with rows of stalls offering to rent a bike, take a ride on the banana rides or get under palapas while you’re served fresh fish and beer. If you want to relax with a massage on the seashore and have one of the best naps of your life, Isla Ixtapa is for you.
Next there’s Coral Beach which attracts swimmers, divers and snorkeling fans, who come to enjoy the nearby reefs that teem with colorful wildlife and abundant fish species. If you’re looking for calmer waters, follow the path that leads to Playa Varadero. Want privacy and peace? No better place than Playa Sacrifice, which does not have the convenience of a restaurant, but there’s a small hill from which you can get a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean. Maybe calling Isla Ixtapa an “island” is a bit exaggerated. It is an island that can easily be traversed on foot, from top to bottom, in a just a few minutes. But its size does not detract from the huge number of adventures you can have in this delightful place.
Not only has Ixtapa been the location for movies and soap operas but, it also serves as a winter photo shoot location for, primarily, North American catalogue and internet based fashion outlets. Its mixture of perfect lighting along with true Mexican backdrops, tiny villages and pastel shades, make it ideal for preseason photo shoots.
Zihuatanejo is also very famous for its great big game fishing of primarily sailfish, marlin etc., its diving and snorkeling, and it’s a place where you can practice and enjoy varied water sports. All such activates are simple to organize in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo with literally hundreds of tour offers available. However, the cheapest prices are those when you book Ixtapa Excursions in advance. This will no doubt save you time and money. Popular shore excursions in Ixtapa include Ixtapa Island, Horseback riding and deep sea fishing.
All beaches within Ixtapa bay, Playa Principal, Playa La Ropa, Playa La Madera and Playa Las Gatas are very safe, clean and well maintained.