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Overview

Before the Mexican government transformed it into a deluxe mega-resort in the 1970s, Ixtapa was nothing but a coconut plantation – literally. Today it's home to a slew of impressive resort hotels offering international amenities with a Mexican flare. Unfortunately, the development organization that chose Ixtapa's location didn't worry about waves, which thrash Ixtapa's shoreline most of the year, offering swimmers an aqueous beating, rather than a relaxing dip. If you're seeking that all-inclusive pool-side experience, where warm ocean breezes never quit, you'll be ecstatic in Ixtapa. If you're looking for an authentic Mexican ...

Before the Mexican government transformed it into a deluxe mega-resort in the 1970s, Ixtapa was nothing but a coconut plantation – literally. Today it's home to a slew of impressive resort hotels offering international amenities with a Mexican flare. Unfortunately, the development organization that chose Ixtapa's location didn't worry about waves, which thrash Ixtapa's shoreline most of the year, offering swimmers an aqueous beating, rather than a relaxing dip. If you're seeking that all-inclusive pool-side experience, where warm ocean breezes never quit, you'll be ecstatic in Ixtapa. If you're looking for an authentic Mexican destination, or tranquil seas and palm-lined beaches right out your front door, you probably won't. That said, there's lots to do around Ixtapa. The town of Zihuatanejo, where you'll find loads of family-owned restaurants, is only five miles away; there's superb surfing at nearby Troncones; and there are plenty of dirt roads to bump your rental car around on. Scuba dive sites are abundant and visibility is often excellent. And north of Ixtapa, just offshore, you'll find Isla Ixtapa, where you can devour seafood at casual beachfront restaurants and lounge on the beach to your heart's content.

Danny Palmerlee
About the Expert

Danny Palmerlee is the main author of numerous Lonely Planet travel guides, including Ecuador, Argentina, South America on a Shoestring, and Pacific Northwest Trips.

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Danny Palmerlee for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Ixtapa is a beach resort in the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta, in the Mexican state of Guerrero. It is located some 245 km (152 mi) northwest of Acapulco.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Zihuatanejo | Isla Ixtapa | Ixtapa
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to April; May to October if you plan to surf