Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Vacations

Ixtapa vacations offer travelers of all kinds a slice of paradise, but also a very different experience for a Mexican resort locale! Here you will find luxury resorts, fine dining, and great nightlife in this former coconut plantation that helps make it a favorite of the jet set Mexico City crowd. About 4 miles away you’ll find Zihuatanejo, with its sleepy fishing villages where you can go snorkeling in sky blue waters and shop in folksy art shops.

Visiting Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is easy with Traveloni! You'll enjoy:

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Let us show you the beauty that can be found in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Be it your first trip or your hundredth, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is always special as will be your time spent there.

Overview

Ixtapa vacations offer travelers of all kinds a slice of paradise, but also a very different experience for a Mexican resort locale! Here you will find luxury resorts, fine dining, and great nightlife in this former coconut plantation that helps make it a favorite of the jet set Mexico City crowd. About 4 miles away you’ll find Zihuatanejo, with its sleepy fishing villages where you can go snorkeling in sky blue waters and shop in folksy art shops.

Things to do in Ixtapa

In Ixtapa you can swim with dolphins in the open water with excursions that are great for families, couples and singles. You can take a glass bottomed boat out to the coral reefs and go snorkeling and diving with tropical fishes – and if you’re more interested in catching and eating fish then going on a sport fishing charter might be the activity for you. Looking for more fun on land? Checkout all of the ecological and white water rafting kayak tours, beautiful warm beaches with welcoming sands, motorcycle runs through paradise while on your Ixtapa vacation!

In Zihuatanejo, you’ll find more beach than adventure. Bahia Zihuatanejo is the best bay with calm clear waters great for swimming and snorkeling. Here you’ll find the Beach of She-Cats (Playa las Gatas, named after harmless tiny sharks with whiskers that swim in the bay year round) where you can go swimming, wind surfing or take a quick boat ride around the bay. Palapas, or tiny thatched umbrellas, litter the beach here like many colored seashells. You’ll be able to lounge, eat and get some sun.

Dining in Ixtapa

One of the perks of an all-inclusive Ixtapa vacation is of course the all-inclusive dining experiences! You’ll find the best food in the resort hotels, but don’t be afraid to venture outside your resort and try something new. Zihuatanejo has its seafood palapas restaurants where you can relax and eat right out on the beach. Ixtapa has many fun casual options along Playa la Ropa (Beach of Cloth – named because a Chinese merchant ship crashed a century ago and silks washed ashore covering the beach) that you should consider. The best restaurant in Zihua has to be Fonda Dona Licha – which has many delicious local options that give you a taste of Mexico.

Enjoying the Nightlife

Senor Frog’s is a mainstay in every tourist destination in Mexico, and it’s no exception here! Dance in cages, have a drink in a tire swing or dance right on the bar. Tesoro has a good resort club, but each resort has its own nightlife options that change each night.

It can be hard to figure out which resort in Ixtapa is right for you as there are so many to choose from! Call us today at (800) 510-5642 and let us help you plan your perfect vacation to Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Why spend a bundle to be trapped with a view of a parking lot and a crowded beach when you can have it all and for less?

Semi-tropical climate year-round with an average of 300 sunny days a year and temperatures ranging from 73° to 93° F (23° to 33° C).

Activities

ACTIVITIES IN IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO

Ixtapa Island

A day of fun and relaxation in paradise where you can swim and snorkel at four different beaches. Choose an optional water sport activity like snorkeling or sailing or just kick back and enjoy the sun.

Fishing

Internationally renowned as a mecca for Anglers, Sailfish soaring up to 175 lbs. are the primary game most of the year. Black and Pacific Blue Marlin range from 275-400 lbs. (winter months are the best to catch the big ones.) Other species like high-flying Roosterfish, Wahoo, Barracuda and Spanish Mackerel stay closer to the shore. Stroll along the Paseo del Pescador in Zihuatenjo and watch local fisherman returning from sea with fresh merchandise.

The International Sailfish Tournament is held in May, offering cars and cash prizes. In addition to abundant fishing, the town reverberates with parties and entertainment activities.

Adventure on the Island

Experience eco-tourism in Ixtapa while biking, kayaking and snorkeling. Start the day with a four mile bike ride along Ixtapa’s bike path through an ecological park. Ride ends at the crocodile pit at Playa Linda. Board the boats that take you to Ixtapa Island for kayaking and snorkeling. After lunch and rest you’ll return by boat to Playa Linda to bike back to starting point. Includes all equipment, lunch, water/soda and expert guide.

Magical Sunset Cruise

Sail around the bay of Zihuatanejo and into the Pacific sunset, plus keep your eyes open for the green flash (an optical phenomenon)! Enjoy an open bar & hors d’oeuvres as you relax in the evening breeze.

Dining

Dining in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a city in Mexico located north of Acapulco on the sun-drenched Costa Grande coast along the Pacific. While it has become a popular tourist destination over the past few decades, the town of Zihuatanejo has managed to keep its traditional Mexican heritage on display while tourists frolic in the sun in neighboring Ixtapa. The cuisine of the region is unique and flavorful, reflecting the local flora and fauna of this beautiful town. Traditional fare is available throughout Zihuatanejo, complemented by international dining experiences. Whatever type of cuisine your palate is craving; Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has it waiting for you.

Like all of Mexico, Spanish influences combine with indigenous cultures to provide an eclectic mix of food offerings. Corn and flour tortillas, along with rice, beans and chilies form much of the basis for what is consumed. Since Mexican food as a whole has evolved over the decades, incorporating various ethnic and international traits, each locale has its own unique take on what is considered “authentic”. It’s about the spices and seasonings in Mexico, and the variety of resulting flavors are astounding. For those dining in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, the local variety has its own distinct mouth-watering taste.

As a seaside town, seafood dishes reign supreme. For centuries, Zihuatanejo was a fishing village and was actually the point of departure by the Spanish to explore the greater Pacific. Seafood remains a staple and is prepared in delectable ways by knowledgeable chefs. The main local dish is called huachinango, an entire red snapper served in either a tomato sauce (Veracruzana) or with a savory garlic sauce (al mojo de ajo). Pozole is another favorite local dish, a traditional Mexican soup featuring either pork or fish, depending on where it’s served.

Mangoes grow everywhere in the region, so it’s not surprising that mango dishes permeate the local cuisine. It’s served as a snack or appetizer in almost every establishment, and ripe fresh mangoes are frequently left for guests in hotel rooms. A trip to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo wouldn’t be complete without sampling what is considered to be the best-tasting mangoes anywhere.

Breakfast in Zihuatanejo usually consists of chilaquiles, which consist of warm tortillas served with chopped egg and onions and come covered in a succulent sauce. For an exquisite dinner, many upscale restaurants serve such locally-caught delicacies as garlic octopus, stuffed fish and a specially-filleted fish offering called tiritas de pescado. And as the sun sets over the Pacific and the warm breeze fills the air, there’s no better way to end the day than with the ubiquitous Mezcal – a distilled beverage with a delightfully smoky taste.

While the resorts of Ixtapa are fabulous, any visitor to the area should venture into Zihuatanejo to experience the best of local Mexican culture and dining. The strong international presence there gives any visitor the opportunity to savor a plethora of traditional, Zihuatanejo culinary delights, from succulently-prepared fish and seafood, to mango and spice-infused chilies and vegetables. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a diner’s paradise, and the local food under the breezy tropical sun will excite even the most discerning eater.

Nightlife

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Nightlife

Travelers to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo have a multitude of nightlife options open to them, and the area boasts attractions to cater to every preference once the sun sets. After an idyllic day spent soaking in the sun and the tropical breeze there’s no better way to cap it off with a lively nighttime adventure. Whether dancing the night away to drum beats at a disco, having a drink out with friends, or enjoying a cozy lounge by the beach, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has something for every entertainment taste.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo may be considered twin cities by some, but they are far from identical. Where Zihuatanejo features quieter, cozier and more sophisticated entertainment fare and usual closes up shop by midnight, Ixtapa is where the party lasts all night. Zihuatanejo has everything the older, more sophisticated crowd could want, from secluded romantic getaways to live music. Some of the more popular choices are Kopados Bar, where a relaxed atmosphere paves the way for excellent local live music. For a relaxing night with good company in a lively atmosphere, the Flophouse Bar offers an eclectic range of music. For those wishing to mix more with the local population and get a great sense of the culture, Barracuda Bar has cold beer and mixed drinks, along with lively music and a fun, friendly and relaxing environment. The most popular choice in downtown Zihuatanejo is Bandido’s, a Mexican restaurant serving authentic local cuisine, and features a breezy patio where the guest can unwind and relax in the warm night. Live music is on tap after dinner, and it’s a great place to enjoy the local culture and cuisine.

For those with more of a party mentality, heading to Ixtapa will place you squarely in party central. Unlike Zihuatanejo, the clubs are open until the last patron leaves, which pretty much means that they are open until dawn. Le Rouge is one of the more popular club choices, featuring a separate conversation area from the main dance floor to give you a chance to talk while not being overcome by the loud music. Christine is another favorite enjoyed by local and tourists alike and favors a more upscale dress code. Both of these clubs are located along the Ixtapa hotel strip and have catered to generations of tourists to the area.

Taxi and buses are the best way to get around Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, although taxis will get you to your destination much more quickly. Cabs can be hailed on the street or booked by a hotel concierge desk, and the meters will display the exact fare. While pricier than the inter-city shuttle bus, they can also be more reliable. The two towns are very close together and an inter-city bus trip costs about seven pesos, although they usually stop running around 11:00 pm. So if you plan to be out past then, a taxi would be your only alternative. Be warned, however, that taxi rates increase by as much as 50% at night.

The cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo have a vibrant nightlife, and any tourist to the region will want to experience the best that both have to offer. Exciting clubs and bars await in Ixtapa, while Zihuatanejo offers a calmer, more relaxed evening. So hop in a cab or a bus, or simply stroll around, and sample the nocturnal offerings of Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo!

Weddings

These Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo resorts offer wedding-specific packages:

  • Barcelo
  • Krystal
  • Park Royal
  • Sunscape

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Our travel specialists have stayed at or visited most of the vacations we recommend (unlike most online agencies). In order to best match your requirements with the array of resorts, packages and options available, we believe it is best for us to speak with you personally by phone about your vacation.

If you can’t call us now or our office is currently closed, please schedule a personal one on one consultation below with one of our travel specialists when it is convenient for you and let us take all the stress out of planning your vacation. Thank you for considering Traveloni!

Lynn Farrell, President

Lynn Farrell
President