Ixtapa is a beach holiday retreat located in the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta, in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Best to visit from mid-November to March, the resort is a good winter destination for some adventurous leisure time, as well as for visiting some interesting cultural venues. Without further ado, here are ten things you can do if your path ever takes you there:
#1. Swim with Dolphins
Ixtapa’s aquarium, Delfiniti, offers several programs for children and adults, offering visitors a chance to meet, greet, pet and hug dolphins. Older children and adults, who know how to swim, can try the “Belly Ride,” an exhilarating zoom across the water while holding onto the dolphin’s fins. The encounter lasts for 45 minutes, with 15 minutes of training in advance. For further information about costs, you can contact the organizers directly.
#2. Go on an Adventure Kayak Tour
When in Ixtapa, you can book day tours including one activity or more. For example, if you would like to try out horse-riding, kayaking and snorkeling, this is possible to do in a single day. For kayaking tours, we found some interesting offers here, which include two hours kayaking in the lagoon e Potosí, located 12 miles south of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. The organizers offer both single and double kayaks and say no previous experience is necessary.
#3. Go diving
Visibility is not the strongest feature of the waters here, but nonetheless you can very well see octopus, seahorses, wrays and many colorful fish. Carlo Scuba is a PADI dive center on exotic Las Gatas Beach, but you can also contact Adventure Divers, who offer scuba diving lessons and tours behind Playa Madera in Zihuatanejo. A snorkeling adventure is priced around $30, while a scuba diving lesson for beginners is around $100. Catamaran and snorkeling adventures are also offered at Club Med Ixtapa, a hacienda style resort worth checking out if you are looking for a more comfortable way of traveling here.
#4. Get good at sportfishing
Sportfishing Charters are available from various small companies, allowing visitors here to spend a day chasing the big fish. The tours are guided by expert fishermen with a passion for fishing and Mexico. They are usually great Ixtapa guides and can share stories about different fish and fishing practices.
#5. Go biking
You can rent bicycles or motorcycles and cruise through the beautiful land of Ixtapa. Nestled between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this place is a good starting point for various biking adventures.
#6. Take a walk on Playa La Ropa
There are three special “elements that make Playa laRopa Ixtapa’s most inviting beach: delicious restaurants, palm trees, and gentle waves. Getting here is possible by taking a taxi from downtown (total trip cost: 3$). While walking here, enjoy the lush vegetation surrounding the beach and take in the local atmosphere.
#7. Visit Elvira’s Restaurant on Playa la Ropa
Exuding a cheerful and perfect for a holiday on a budget, Elvira’s Restaurant on Playa la Ropa is famous for it tasteful food and wonderful location. Tables are sited on the sand, so people here feel free to come in their flip flops and beach outfits.
#8. Visit the Costa Grande Archaeological Museum
If you are one who tries to understand the native culture of Guerrero Coast, with its cycles of development and its spiritual past, then you must visit the archeology museum located in Zihuatanejo. Featuring information about 54 archaeological sites from the surroundings, the museum has six rooms where you will find displayed tools, pottery and weapons from the Olmeca, Teotihuacana, Tarasca and Mexica culture.
#9. Take a walk on the shores of Playa Las Gatas (or Cats Beach)
Even though we haven’t found any story about cats living on the beach, the place is still a must see for those who are avid to explore the best beaches near Ixtapa. In “winter”, the ocean here is very calm and clear, with warm temperatures. It is a remote beach, so the access is done with boats that run daily from Zihuatanejo’s pier. But for those who have adventurous hearts there are two more options: to take a short rocky hike, following a path that starts at the end of Playa La Ropa or simply snorkel along the rocks. There are lots of restaurants on the beach and water sport centers. However, the beach is every crowded during the day, so if you want to avoid all that then take your towel and go there in the early morning.
#10. Visit the Zih Galería
Zih Galería in Zihuatanejo will give culture enthusiasts a chance to browse the rich art history of Mexico. It is here that you will find a great collection of contemporary art and sculpture produced by many famous and well respected Mexican artists like Marco A. Bustamante, José Coyote, and Manuel Gillén. Zih Galería is a great addition to Zihuatanejo’s ever growing art community and well worth a visit. It is located on Juan Alvarez, one block over from the fishermen’s walk, just down from the pier parking lot.