The neighboring cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are precious gems strung amid blue skies and emerald seas along Mexico’s pristine Pacific Coast.
Ixtapa with its high-rises, bars, and restaurants offers a lively vacation, while the picturesque town of Zihuatanejo holds the promise of a leisurely vacation. A former fishing village, the town has retained much of its authentic Mexican spirit and offers charming cobblestone streets, romantic inns, and galleries.
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Located beachfront on Playa El Palmar in the heart of Ixtapa, one of Mexico’s lesser-known tourist gems, sits the all-inclusive Barceló Ixtapa. This resort is ideal for those looking for a family vacation or romantic honeymoon.
Both Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are located within the Mexican state of Guerrero, about 152 miles from sunny Acapulco. Diving is one of the most popular pastimes in the region, at sites including Los Morros de Potosi and the Ixtapa Lagoon.
From October through March, turtles lay their eggs in the warm sand, while whales migrate through nearby balmy waters of the Pacific. Throughout the year, myriad waterfowl and dolphins come to play.
Sportfishing is popular in these areas. In Zihuatanejo, locals still sell their wares at the Mercado Municipal (public market), just as they have for decades. And everywhere, the spirit of Mexico can be felt in the tasty authentic cuisine, sun-kissed beaches, and smiles of friendly locals.
Snorkel the calm waters at Playa Gata and see hundreds of species of fish or visit the wildlife preserve at the nearby Barra de Potosi lagoons.
Swim with friendly dolphins at the kid-friendly Delfiniti Dolphinarium in Ixtapa. From October through March, watch sea turtles lay their eggs along sun-drenched Mexican Riviera shores.
Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo remain warm all year, with average temperatures frequently reaching the 90s F. The rainy season lasts from May to early November, although rainfall is fairly mild. It gets a bit cooler and drier from late November through April.