Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is part of a touristic route known as the ‘Triangulo del Sol’ (Triangle of the Sun), along with Acapulco and Taxco de Alarcon, in the state of Guerrero, in the region known as the Golden Pacific and the Mexican Riviera. In this case, this is the joining together of two towns that differ greatly in their layout, but that complement each other when it comes to offering international tourism a wide range of services suited for any taste. And why not? A visit to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo could easily mean the making of two trips into one thanks to the distinct features of both towns.
Zihuatanejo is the older part of this destination, a town in its essence which still conserves the traditional environment of Mexico, while Ixtapa is a town developed strictly in the sense of modernization. The name Zituatanejo is derived from the word “Cihuatlán” signifying “Lugar de Mujeres” (Place of Women), while Ixtapa, also a term from the ancient nahuatl language, signifies “Lugar Blanco” (White Place). And while downtown Zihuatanejo with its paved stone streets, traditional stores and buildings, provides an atmosphere that takes one back to years gone by, in its bay just 2.3 kilometers wide there are more than 60 cruises that anchor from all the world. Even a couple of years ago, the transatlantic Pacific Princess, famous for the TV series “The Love Boat”, considered Zihuatanejo as one of its most important ports of call.
The town offers many attractions for those who enjoy walks, either downtown or along the Paseo del Pescador (Promenade of the Fisherman), which goes along the seashore of the Playa Principal (Main Beach) as far as the dock. And speaking of beaches, in Zihuatanejo there are a great variety of interesting places worth mentioning.
At Playa la Ropa (Clothes Beach) visitors can rent aquatic sports equipment, or may enjoy the service of various restaurants and snack bars throughout the 1.8 kilometers of beach. This is one of the most visited beaches, although there are others that stand out because of the different environments for which they are characterized. Playa La Madera (Wood Beach) is ideal for those who are searching for a place to rest, while Las Gatas (Cats Beach) is a small beach isolated from the city that one arrives to by boat, and serves as a meeting place for divers due to the underwater reef found in its waters. And Playa Manzanillo, located south of Zihuatanejo which is usually recommended to visit with one of the tour companies because of being isolated and distant, has an equally remarkable underwater beauty, containing beautiful coral reefs that attract the more adventurous.
In contrast, Ixtapa is distinguished as being a place that welcomes high class tourism, since the hotels and services were developed with sophisticated and refined tastes. Ixtapa was created and promoted following a federal government inversion at the end of the 1960’s, that completed the construction of residential areas, malls, streets and gardens with impeccable beauty, as well as areas destined to be first class hotel investments. There are many 4 and 5 star hotels built on the shores of the El Palmar beach, most of them belonging to big hotel chains, that extend down 4.5 kilometers along the shoreline . Nearby is the Ixtapa Marina, where up to 100 yachts are anchored at its docks, is a place that is distinguished by the luxurious condominiums, an 18 hole golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge, and a series of walkways that lead you to the doors of all sorts of specialized restaurants. To the north of Ixtapa you’ll find the beaches of Don Juan, Don Rodrigo, Playa Quieta and Las Cuatas. From the dock at Playa Linda, is where one may go aboard the boat that will take you to the Isla de Ixtapa, where at a glance one may only see an estuary inhabited by crocodiles, but that is also known for being an ideal surfing spot. On the island you can ride horses while admiring the lush vegetation and the landscapes of the area, or just enjoy the bars and restaurants found at Playa Varadero beach, where one can pleasure in the fine sand and calm waters.
There are scuba-diving tours in more than 30 well known places, as well as jet-ski, surfing boards and sailboat rentals, sky-diving, tennis courts or the excitement of swordfish and marlin sport fishing ....and so much more to enjoy at Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo!!
And it is worth mentioning that there are over 5,000 rooms, from simple hostels to the great hotels or the so called “petite-hotels”, which are so small and exclusive that some of them have been considered to be among the 100 best of the world.
This is Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo: a place designated by nature to welcome thousands of Golfina, Laud and Carey turtles, who emerge from the deep of the ocean during the rainy season in order to lay their eggs on the beaches; Rain forest that was once inhabited in prehistoric times by crocodiles, creatures that can still be admired at the lagoon close to Playa Linda, Ixtapa, or to La Ropa in Zihuatanejo; Natural paradise that in the wealth of its environment houses iguanas, garrobos, raccoons and deer, while shining nearby is the touristic haven welcoming year after year thousands of tourists from all the world. Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is, the destination that will always welcome you with open arms.