Explore Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

Advisor - Jaclyn Hulburt
Curated By

Jaclyn Hulburt

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  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • Mexico

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Culture

  • Romantic

A person on surfboard in a water body.
Curator’s statement

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo hold a special place in my heart. I find a deep peace in the serene shores of Ixtapa, where I can unwind with my family and relish in the simple joys of life. This idyllic destination evokes fond memories of my childhood taking weekend trips down to Mexico and while I grew up spending my trips to Mexico just across the border, I am delighted to pass down these experiences to my own children in a new part of this magical country. Embark on a journey to discover the history, charm and breathtaking landscapes of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. Located just four miles apart both towns have unique and distinct qualities and are the perfect mix to visit together.

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Where to stay in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

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La Casa Que Canta

Just a 3-minute walk from the nearest beach, this upscale hotel on the Pacific coast is a relaxed hideaway with ocean views for lounging and dining.

Thompson Zihuatanejo, A Beach Resort

Sleek property along La Ropa Beach with chic rooms and suites offering direct beach access.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa

Romantic getaway on Mexico's Ixtapa coast with an infinity pool over the Pacific.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast credit.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Jaclyn Hulburt

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Things to do in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

People on beach during sun set.

Take the time to leave the resorts and really explore these two coastal beach towns in Mexico and see what makes these two destinations truly magical.

El Refugio de Potosi

Explore this biologically diverse tropical forest, home to wild bird species and fascinating wildlife and natural surroundings. Look in awe at the 60-foot sperm whale skeleton and be sure to catch the amazing view from atop the 18 meter (59 ft) high observatory tower. Plan to spend up to one hour exploring this seven hectare ecological park.

Snorkeling on Ixtapa Island

Dive into an underwater wonderland at Ixtapa Island, where the crystal-clear waters reveal a vibrant marine ecosystem. Swim alongside tropical fish, marvel at colorful coral reefs and witness the diversity of marine life that call these waters home. The island's protected bays and coves provide excellent visibility, making it a true paradise for snorkelers and nature enthusiasts to explore.

El Faro de Zihuatanejo

Get your steps in while you climb the steps of this historic lighthouse for panoramic views of Zihuatanejo Bay and the enchanting coastline.

Explore Las Gatas Beach

Spend the day enjoying a meal from one of the many eateries lining the beach, and snorkeling in the crystal clear calm waters, coral reefs and rocky coves.

Mercado Municipal in Zihuatanejo

A trip to the mercado is always a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Walk around the mercado to browse through colorful handicrafts, and stop to buy and taste regional delicacies.

Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande

A bit on the smaller side of museums at just six exhibit rooms you wont need to spend all day here. Take a few hours to immerse yourself in the rich history of the Guerrero coast through ancient artifacts of the Olmec, Teotihuacana, Tarascan and Mexica peoples and archaeological exhibits. Most displays are in Spanish.


Take a quick visit to learn about these fascinating creatures while observing them in their natural habitat. If traveling as a family you can be sure that children will be captivated by the opportunity to see these incredible reptiles up close, fostering an appreciation for wildlife and conservation efforts.

Places to eat & drink in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo

Restaurant with yellow tabels and black chairs.

El Tiburón de la Costa

Enjoy a casual and family-friendly dining experience at El Tiburón de la Costa. Known for its delicious seafood dishes and Mexican cuisine. The menu offers a variety of options to cater to different tastes, ensuring a delightful dining experience for everyone.

La Raíz de la Tierra

Great little vegan restaurant perfect for lunch for vegans and omnivores alike.

Cuattro Casa de Café

Delicious spot for breakfast or lunch. Stop in for a cup of coffee or a smoothie or enjoy a full breakfast.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Sadie Marie’s guide, Guide to Activities & Resorts in Ixtapa, Mexico.

Advisor - Jaclyn Hulburt

Travel Advisor

Jaclyn Hulburt

Get in touch with Jaclyn

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico.