Ixtapa Travel Guide

Jaime Santos P.

Ixtapa, in the state of Guerrero, is not a tourist destination by nature. Rather it became one by design. Administered by the government tourist agency, Fonatur, the resort was begun in the 1970s on what was then a coconut plantation and mangrove estuary. Now it's a bustling area with only tourism in mind. Here you'll find hotels, vacation homes, shopping centers, golf courses, a marina and every sort of vacation attraction. If you want planned fun, Ixtapa is your place under the Mexican sun.



As in any beach-resort destination, the beach is what draws tourists to Ixtapa. The waters of Playa las Gatas and Playa la Ropa are great for swimming, snorkeling and diving. While not ideal for swimming because of the strong undertow, Puerta del Mar offers parasailing and jet-skiing. At its west end, Playa las Escolleras has waves that attract surfers from around the world. In the northeast portion of Puerta del Mar, you and your family can swim and play with the bottlenose dolphins in residence at the Dolphinarium. Golfers can choose from two master-planned golf courses in Ixtapa: Palma Real and Marina Ixtapa. Young children can enjoy minigolf at Golfito Ixtapa. For some Disneyworld-style fun for the whole family, the Magic World Aquatic Park is in the heart of Ixtapa. A visit to the nearby town of Zihuatanejo will reveal many hidden attractions. This is the tourist destination designed by nature, where the setting is more simple and authentically Mexican.



There are delights restaurants everywhere in this tourist heaven. Whether you're looking for fresh seafood, Mexican or Mediterranean cuisine, or pizza, you'll find it. Head for the Playa la Ropa strip, the waterfront at Marina Ixtapa or Ixtapa Boulevard. There are also dining options inside the shopping centers in Ixtapa. More restaurants can be found in Zihuatanejo.



For souvenirs and handcrafts, head to the Mercado de Artesanias at the eastern end of the Hotel Zone. Here you'll find hand-painted ceramics, figurines, hammocks and rugs among other items. In the avenue across, you'll find plazas and upscale boutiques selling jewelry and home furnishings. Shopping centers including La Puerta and Los Patios offer more shopping choices. Head to Siboney Beachwear for bikinis, sarongs and other warm-weather accessories. Great shopping can also be found at the shops and markets of Zihuatanejo.

Where to Go in Ixtapa


Capella Ixtapa Resort

Paseo Playa Linda

Secluded resort nestled on a cliff overlooking the sea

Playa Linda & Isla Ixtapa

Playa Linda

local surf beach and snorkle spot


Ixtapa Marina

All things fish, right on the harbor


Centro Comercial Kiosco

Late night live music in a funky treehouse

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