Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo Luxury Villas

About Ixtapa, Mexico

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Located on Mexico's sun-drenched Pacific Coast, with the striking Sierra Madre Mountains as the backdrop, Ixtapa is one of the country's most sought after vacation destinations, offering beautiful resorts, spas, dining and shopping. In addition to its many lovely beaches, the area offers large marinas to accommodate your sailing needs, as well as several championship golf courses.

Looking for something a little more low-key? Look no further than Ixtapa's sister city Zihuatanejo (zee-wah-tah-neh-ho) – or 'Zihua' as it is commonly known. Located just 10 minutes away, as a counter to Ixtapa's high-rise hotels, all-inclusive resorts and upscale shopping, Zihua, once a quaint fishing village, is a place of winding streets of galleries and folk art shops, boutique hotels and palapa-style seafood restaurants serving the catch of the day.


Villa Del Sol Zihuatanejo Ixtapa from $1524



THINGS TO KNOW

  • Accepted Currency: The Mexican Peso is the main form of currency, though the U.S. Dollar is also accepted in the area
  • Capital: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is located in the State of Guerrero, the capital of which is Chilpancingo
  • Airport: Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (ZIH)
  • Language(s) in Use: Spanish is the official language and spoken by most locals, though many in the service industry speak English as well
  • Time Zone: Central Standard Time (CST)
  • Dialing (Country Code): +755
  • Climate in General: Consistent temperatures linger between 28°C and 32°C throughout the year
  • Driving: Your valid, domestic driver's license is required to obtain a local driving permit for the State of Guerrero
Click on the map to enlarge it
In an unusually beautiful site, in the heart of the Mexican Pacific, surrounded by mountains covered with tropical forest that come down to the coast, lies the peaceful, picturesque fishing village of Zihuatanejo with its wonderful combination of tranquility, exuberant surroundings and affordable tourist facilities. Only 7 km away you will find the more modern city of Ixtapa where the Playa Palmar awaits, you with its 3 km of soft golden sand.

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo has managed to preserve all the attractions that have made it so highly sought after. Although it has been modernized, Zihuatanejo still retains the village atmosphere that has made it famous throughout the world.

Beaches

This region has some of Mexico’s finest beaches. It has nearly three kilometres of sandy, palm-lined beaches and coves.

Zihuatanejo’s main attraction is its stunning beaches with miles of golden sands dotted with cliffs and headlands sculpted by nature. Since they are spread around a bay, the beaches are calm and safe for water sports. Some of Zihuatanejo’s most famous beaches include:

Playa Municipal
Set in the center of the bay, meaning that it is extremely crowded. It has delightful spots for enjoying the sun, sea and sand. Small boats set off from the jetty for a tour of the bay.

La Ropa
One of the safest and most beautiful beaches of the Mexican Pacific. Its gentle waves and superb view make it one of the most popular. Perfect for swimming and windsurfing.

Las Gatas
Its beautiful coral reef attracts large numbers of divers. Offers showers, thatched roof shelters and restaurants in delightful surroundings.

La Madera
Its name is due to the fact that wood was shipped to various parts of the world from this coast. Its regular waves make it ideal for windsurfing, diving, sailing, sports fishing and obviously swimming and snorkeling.

Isla Ixtapa
A small island that can be reached from Playa Quieta. It has three gorgeous beaches, Varadero del Coral and Cuachalalate that are ideal for diving. Sailing, windsurfing, and water skiing are popular in El Morro Colorado, in the north of the island.

Climate

Ixtapa has a superb semi-tropical climate, with temperatures oscillating between 23C and 33C. The rainy season lasts from mid-May through September and is generally pleasant with late-afternoon or evening showers. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is protected against tropical storms and hurricanes by the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range and Zihuatanejo Bay is a natural shelter.

Temperature in CelsiusJFMAMJJASOND
Maximum303031313233333332323131
Minimum202022232425252524242321
Rainfall (mm)122187775150802853

Geography

Set against the lush green backdrop of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains and bathing in the shores of the Pacific Ocean lies this wonderful destination. The first village encountered is Zihuatanejo from then airport and a mere seven kilometres outside Zihuatanejo lies the modern tourist complex of Ixtapa (meaning "Place of White Sands" in Náhuatl), which, together with Zihuatanejo, forms what is known as the "Dorado Pacífico."

Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is 448 km southeast of Mexico City and 268 km away from the port of Acapulco.

History

What was formerly known as Cihuatlán (meaning "Place of Women" in Náhuatl) was the Tarascan monarch’s favourite place of retreat. It was there that in October 1527 the first galleon, captained by Álvaro de Saavedra y Cerón, set sail in search of a route that would link America to the Philippines. Legend has it that famous pirates such as Francis Drake used to lie in wait off the coast of this attractive port.

It was occupied by Chichimec groups that settled north of the Balsas River and is currently inhabited by Nahua, Mixtec, Tlapanec, and Amuzgo, among other groups.

Nature

This is a region with unspoiled beaches, year-round sun, a calm, clean sea, exuberant vegetation and exotic birds.

Laguna de Michigan, near Zihuatanejo, is a wonderful place for communing with nature. Don’t miss the spectacular sunsets. No tourist facilities.

Two close encounters: visitors can swim with dolphins at the Dolphinarium and learn about crocodiles at the Crocodrilario.

Aventura Park, north of Ixtapa, is an original rancho in the wilderness with exotic wild animals in their natural habitat. Facilities for eco-adventure tourism have been installed offering zip lines over the jungle canopy at heights from 4 to 8m.

Unique to Here

Ixtapa Golf Club
This 18-hole course was designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones. The club also has six illuminated tennis courts, a pool and a clubhouse.

Ixtapa Marina Golf Club
Bathed by the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Club de Golf Marina Ixtapa has excellent facilities. Designed by Robert Von Hagge, it also has illuminated tennis courts and a pool.
Reservations are required to play at this 18-hole course.

Palma Real Golf Course
This 18-hole course lies in a beautiful natural setting.

Activities & Sports

Many facilities offer water sports, excursions and walks.

Facilities are available for several sports, such as golf, tennis, cycling, motor cycling, horseback riding and beach volleyball.

A competition is held every year in the Balsas river for those enjoying extreme sports. One of the most important activities is shooting the rapids in a speedboat.

Sport fishing enthusiasts can catch marlin, black marlin, sailfish or mahi-mahi, according to the time of the year.

Zihuatanejo’s beaches are famous for their horse rides. All you have to do is walk down to the beach and find a place where horses are available for hire.

At the Scuba Center in Zihuatanejo, beginner and advanced divers can dive with instructors who all have dive master certificates.

Surfers should head for the beaches at Majahua, El Palmar, San Juan and Don Rodrigo near Zihuatanejo, which are all ideal for surfing.

Archaeology

Legend has it that the Tarascan king Calzontzín ordered the famous dyke or breakwater to be built to prevent sharks from entering the bay.

Attractions & Sights

Zihuatanejo is a provincial, picturesque port with nice streets where you can take pleasant walks under the shade of the tropical trees. The best time to do this is in the mornings and afternoons. The buildings are not very tall when compared with the modern tourist complex at Ixtapa, where the high-rise hotels meld harmoniously into the beach scenery.

Although its main attraction is the golden beaches that surround its gorgeous bay, wandering round the cobbled streets in the town center is also extremely pleasant.

Also worth visiting is the important Costa Grande Archaeological Museum where you will be able to find out about some of the history of the region. Six exhibit rooms illustrate human evolution from prehistoric to pre-Hispanic eras, according to findings from 54 archaeological sites and settlements discovered nearby and elsewhere along the Costa Grande.

A must for kids is the Magic World Aquatic Park - and parents alike. It's an aquatic park with rides, water slides and toboggans.

Nightlife

Ixtapa’s nightlife has something for everyone, since it offers Mexican fiesta shows, bars with romantic music and discotheques to suit every taste. During the high season some of the major hotels arrange a Mexican Fiesta Evening one day a week, which begins at approximately 7 p.m. with a sophisticated dinner-buffet, live folk music and regional dances.

Plenty of nightclubs abound for those who wish to dance the night away.

Side Trips

There are two fun beach excursions (both via short boat rides) and a couple of excursions to nearby villages, lagoons, fruit plantations and jungle-skirted beaches. Also, Playa Troncones, 25 minutes north of the twin resorts of Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa, looks like Ixtapa but without the crowds.

A few tours companies offer guided day trips to Mexico City and Acapulco as well.

Accommodations

This destination has a first-rate infrastructure, hotels to suit every budget, a combination of tranquillity, exuberant surroundings and affordable tourist facilities.

For many years, it has been a favourite for thousands of Mexican and foreign tourists who have found it ideal for their vacations on the beach.

Eating Out

In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, you will be able to sample delicious fish and seafood dishes in the friendly restaurants in the city centres and around the main beaches. Seafood cocktail, stuffed squid, fish and seafood tacos, whiting, shrimp, grilled fish and traditional green pozole are just some of the dishes you will find. The more daring will be able to try exotic dishes made from armadillo or even iguana.

You will find restaurants to suit every budget serving national and international cuisine. Fast-food establishments are available as well as restaurants with internationally-renowned chefs.

Shopping

Picturesque shops and typical markets carry everything from traditional handicrafts to the latest international fashions.

Zihuatanejo, a coastal village just 10 km away from Ixtapa’s hotel zone, is a shoppers’ paradise. Most of the shops are located downtown, along the Paseo del Pescador and calles Agustín Ramírez and Cuauhtémoc. We recommend visiting the Mercado de Artes y Artesanías which carries gold and silver jewellery, ceramics, wooden masks, hammocks and woollen rugs as well as textiles from various parts of the country and Guatemala.

  • Airport :
    Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International Airport
  • Airport Tax :
    The departure tax of around US$40 per person is usually included on your plane ticket, please verify.
  • Distance from Airport :
    21 km from Ixtapa and 14 km from Zihuatanejo
  • Tourist Office :
    Ixtapa 52-7-553-1967 and Zihuatanejo 52-7-554-2355
  • Tourist Season :
    November through May
  • Festivals & Events

    One of the main celebrations that take place in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is Dia de la Marina, which is held on May 2. During this ceremony, a group of pilgrims carry a banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe from Ixtapa to Zihuatanejo aboard decorated boats. Later, a Mass service and dance performances are offered.

    Transportation

    Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International Airport is the local airport of this destination. Private taxis are available or you can try the alternative van or bus transfers. Agree on fares ahead of time. Taxis are cheap to get around the area. There is also the mini-bus service linking the two towns, fare is about 3-4 pesos. Mopeds, pedicabs and bikes can be rented as well.

    Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is 448 km southeast of Mexico City and 268 km away from the port of Acapulco by Highway 200.


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