Your Ultimate Ixtapa Travel Guide 2023
Are you looking for the perfect place to get away from it all? Look no further than Ixtapa, Mexico! Whether you are planning a romantic getaway or an adventurous family trip, this tropical paradise is sure to have something for everyone. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and vibrant nightlife, Ixtapa is the perfect destination for your next vacation. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to all the best things to do and see in Ixtapa.
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Ixtapa
- Visit Playa El Palmar: Without a doubt, one of the most popular attractions in Ixtapa is the stunning Playa El Palmar. With its golden sand and crystal-clear waters, this beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, head to Playa Quieta, which is located just a few miles away.
- Take A Jungle Tour: Ixtapa is surrounded by lush tropical forests, and one of the best ways to explore this natural beauty is by taking a jungle tour. These tours typically involve hiking through the forest, crossing suspension bridges, and even ziplining through the treetops. Don’t forget your camera!
- Go Snorkeling Or Diving: If you’re a fan of marine life, then you won’t want to miss out on the amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities in Ixtapa. The waters here are teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and even manta rays. There are plenty of tour operators that offer snorkeling and diving trips, so you can take your pick.
- Explore Isla Ixtapa: Located just off the coast of Ixtapa, Isla Ixtapa is a small island that is home to several stunning beaches and coves. You can reach the island by taking a short boat ride from the marina, and once you’re there, you can spend your day lounging on the sand, swimming in the warm waters, or even going on a kayaking excursion.
- Visit The Archaeological Zone Of La Chole: For history buffs, a visit to the archaeological zone of La Chole is a must. This site was once home to an ancient indigenous civilization, and today, you can explore the ruins and learn about the area’s rich history. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water, as the site can be quite hot and humid.
Best Ixtapa Tours
Tours in Ixtapa are an excellent way to explore the sights and nearby areas. Unless you intend to rent a car in Ixtapa (which we don’t recommend), tours offer the most convenient means of transportation while keeping costs in check. The expenses for getting around can accumulate rapidly, making tours a wise choice for navigating the country.
Where To Stay In Ixtapa
- Playa El Palmar: This neighborhood is home to the longest beach in Ixtapa and is popular with families and water sports enthusiasts. You’ll find a range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hotels to all-inclusive resorts.
- Marina Ixtapa: Located on the outskirts of Ixtapa, the Marina neighborhood offers a quieter and more secluded atmosphere. This area is ideal for boating enthusiasts and those looking for upscale accommodations.
- Zona Hotelera: The Hotel Zone is where you’ll find many of Ixtapa’s largest resorts. This neighborhood is perfect for those who want to be close to the beach, as well as restaurants and nightlife.
- Playa Quieta: If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience, consider Playa Quieta. This neighborhood is home to several upscale resorts and has a more laid-back vibe than some of the busier areas of Ixtapa.
- Playa Linda: Located just north of Ixtapa, Playa Linda is known for its beautiful sunsets and tranquil beach atmosphere. You’ll find a mix of hotels and vacation rentals in this neighborhood, as well as some great seafood restaurants.
Top Ixtapa Hotels
- Capella Ixtapa Resort & Spa: This luxurious resort sits on a secluded cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rooms are beautifully decorated, and each one offers breathtaking views of the ocean. The resort also has a world-class spa, infinity pool, and several excellent dining options.
- Azul Ixtapa Grand All Inclusive Suites & Spa: This all-inclusive resort is perfect for families or couples looking for a luxurious getaway. The spacious suites offer stunning ocean views and all the amenities you could want, including a private balcony, flat-screen TV, and mini-fridge. The resort also has several pools, a swim-up bar, and several dining options.
- Pacifica Resort Ixtapa: This adults-only resort is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, and each one has a private balcony with ocean views. The resort also has a private beach, several pools, and a full-service spa.
- Barcelo Ixtapa Beach: This all-inclusive resort is located right on the beach and offers plenty of activities for guests. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each one has a private balcony with ocean views. The resort also has several dining options, multiple pools, and a full-service spa.
- Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa: This family-friendly resort is perfect for those looking for an all-inclusive experience. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each one has a private balcony with ocean views. The resort also has several dining options, a kids’ club, and several pools.
Where To Eat In Ixtapa
One of the best things about traveling is getting to try new foods and experience new flavors. In Ixtapa, there is no shortage of amazing places to eat, serving up fresh seafood, traditional Mexican dishes, and international cuisine. Here are the top 5 places to eat in Ixtapa:
- Ruben’s Hamburgers: If you’re in the mood for a classic burger and fries, head to Ruben’s Hamburgers. This family-owned spot has been a local favorite for over 30 years and is known for its juicy burgers and crispy onion rings.
- Casa Morelos: For a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, Casa Morelos is the place to go. Located in the heart of Ixtapa, this restaurant offers traditional dishes like mole, tamales, and chiles rellenos, as well as fresh ceviche and seafood.
- Tentaciones: If you’re looking for a romantic evening out or a special occasion, Tentaciones is a must-visit. This elegant restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the ocean and serves up delicious fusion cuisine, combining Mexican and international flavors.
- Los Braseros: For a more casual dining experience, head to Los Braseros, a popular grill restaurant serving up fresh seafood, grilled meats, and Mexican specialties. Don’t miss the grilled octopus, a local favorite.
- El Faro: For a truly unique dining experience, head to El Faro, a restaurant located on a pier overlooking the ocean. Enjoy fresh seafood and breathtaking views while the waves crash beneath you.
No matter where you choose to eat in Ixtapa, you’re sure to have an unforgettable culinary experience. Don’t be afraid to try new things and sample the local flavors. Bon appétit!
How To Get Around Ixtapa
When it comes to exploring Ixtapa, there are various methods of transportation available to you. Here are some of the best ways to get around Ixtapa:
- Walking: If you are staying in the heart of Ixtapa, walking is a great way to get around and explore the town. You can take leisurely walks along the beach and explore the local markets.
- Taxis: Taxis are available in Ixtapa and can be flagged down on the street. However, it is important to negotiate the price before getting in, as some drivers may overcharge.
- Colectivos: Colectivos are shared vans that run along designated routes and are a more affordable option compared to taxis. They are often packed with locals, making for an authentic Mexican experience.
- Buses: Buses are a great option for those traveling on a budget. They are frequent and run to many of the surrounding areas, such as Zihuatanejo and Playa Linda. They are also a great way to see the local scenery.
- Rental Cars: If you want to explore the surrounding areas and have more freedom, renting a car is a good option. However, be aware of the traffic and parking situations in Ixtapa.
Overall, there are plenty of ways to get around Ixtapa. Depending on your budget and preference, you can choose from walking, taxis, colectivos, buses, or rental cars. Just be sure to take necessary precautions, such as negotiating prices and avoiding unsafe areas, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
If you’re planning a trip to Ixtapa, it’s important to know what kind of weather to expect during your stay. Ixtapa is a tropical destination that enjoys warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year, making it a great place to visit any time. However, the weather can vary depending on the time of year you choose to visit. Here are the four seasons of weather in Ixtapa:
- Winter (December to February): During the winter months, the weather in Ixtapa is generally warm and dry. Average temperatures during this time of year range from 21°C to 30°C, with low humidity and clear skies. It’s a great time to visit if you want to escape the cold weather in your hometown and soak up some sun on the beach.
- Spring (March to May): As the temperatures begin to rise, so does the humidity in Ixtapa. Expect average temperatures between 24°C and 33°C during the spring months, with the occasional thunderstorm in the afternoons. This is a good time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds of high season but still enjoy warm weather.
- Summer (June to August): Summer is the hottest and most humid time of year in Ixtapa. Average temperatures range from 25°C to 34°C, with high humidity levels and occasional rain showers. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated and take breaks from the sun during this time of year.
- Fall (September to November): The weather in Ixtapa begins to cool down during the fall months, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 32°C. There is still some humidity and occasional rain, but the crowds begin to thin out and hotel prices become more affordable.
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Ixtapa, you can expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather. Be sure to pack sunscreen, light clothing, and comfortable shoes for walking on the sandy beaches and exploring the town. With so many activities and attractions to enjoy, Ixtapa is the perfect year-round destination.
Best Time To Visit Ixtapa
Ixtapa is a beautiful and bustling destination that offers plenty to see and do year-round. However, the best time to visit Ixtapa largely depends on your preferences and interests.
For those seeking warmer temperatures and a beach vacation, the months between November and April are the ideal time to visit Ixtapa. During this time, the weather is hot and dry with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to mid-90s. These months also see fewer crowds and less rainfall, making it the perfect time to enjoy Ixtapa’s stunning beaches.
If you’re interested in seeing Ixtapa’s marine life, then the months between December and March are perfect. During this time, you can go whale watching or even swim with dolphins in their natural habitat. May to October is considered the rainy season in Ixtapa, but this is also a great time to visit if you don’t mind a bit of rainfall. During these months, the vegetation is lush and green, and there are fewer tourists around. This can be a great time to explore Ixtapa’s lush jungle areas, enjoy the waterfalls and rivers, or even try your hand at surfing.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Ixtapa will depend on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience during your trip. Consider your interests, budget, and schedule when planning your trip, and don’t hesitate to speak with locals or travel experts for advice on the best time to visit.
How To Stay Safe In Ixtapa
Ixtapa is generally a safe destination for travelers, but like any place, there are always potential risks and hazards that travelers should be aware of. Here are some tips to ensure your safety during your stay in Ixtapa:
- Stay Aware Of Your Surroundings: As a tourist, it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially when you’re out exploring or walking alone at night. Be mindful of your belongings and keep your valuables close to you.
- Don’t Flaunt Your Wealth: Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or showing off large amounts of cash. This can make you a target for pickpockets and thieves.
- Only Use Authorized Transportation: Make sure you only use authorized taxis or buses during your stay in Ixtapa. Avoid getting into unmarked vehicles or those without proper licenses.
- Stick To Well-Lit Areas: When walking at night, it’s best to stick to well-lit areas and avoid poorly lit or deserted areas.
- Be Cautious At The Beach: While Ixtapa’s beaches are beautiful, they can also pose risks. Always swim in designated areas and pay attention to warning signs posted on the beach. Don’t leave your belongings unattended while swimming.
- Keep Your Travel Documents Safe: Make sure you keep your passport, identification, and travel documents safe during your stay in Ixtapa. It’s recommended that you keep them in a hotel safe rather than carrying them with you at all times.
By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Ixtapa. Remember to always exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings.
Ixtapa Customs and Etiquette
When traveling to Ixtapa, it’s important to be aware of the local customs and etiquette to show respect to the culture and people. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Greetings: Mexicans are generally warm and friendly, so don’t be surprised if someone greets you with a hug or kiss on the cheek. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s polite to shake hands.
- Dress Code: Ixtapa is a beach destination, but that doesn’t mean you can wear whatever you want. It’s recommended to dress modestly, especially when visiting churches or other religious sites.
- Language: Spanish is the official language of Mexico, so it’s always appreciated to know a few basic phrases. However, many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas.
- Tipping: In Ixtapa, it’s customary to leave a 10-15% tip at restaurants, and a few pesos for services such as haircuts or taxis. Hotel staff, such as maids and bellhops, also appreciate a small tip.
- Public Behavior: While Mexicans are generally laid-back and relaxed, it’s important to be respectful in public places. Avoid loud and obnoxious behavior, especially at night.
By following these customs and etiquette, you’ll be sure to have a pleasant and respectful visit to Ixtapa.
Other Things To Know About Ixtapa
Ixtapa is a coastal resort town in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. The official language spoken in Ixtapa is Spanish, although many locals are fluent in English as well. The currency used in Mexico is the Mexican peso, and it’s best to exchange your currency at a local bank or exchange house. Ixtapa follows the Central Standard Time zone, which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6). It’s important to note that Mexico observes Daylight Saving Time, which means that the time in Ixtapa may be one hour ahead during the summer months. It’s always a good idea to check the local time before making plans or appointments. Additionally, Mexico is known for its warm and welcoming culture, but it’s important to respect the customs and etiquette of the country.
It’s customary to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek, and it’s considered polite to address others by their formal title (i.e. “Señor” or “Señora”). When visiting religious sites or other places of cultural significance, it’s important to dress modestly and refrain from loud or disruptive behavior. With a bit of preparation and respect, travelers can enjoy a memorable and rewarding trip to Ixtapa.
Ixtapa Travel Costs
When planning your trip to Ixtapa, it’s important to budget accordingly. While the cost of living in Mexico is generally lower than in the United States, some aspects of traveling can be more expensive. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect when it comes to travel costs in Ixtapa.
- Accommodation: One of the largest expenses during any trip is typically the cost of lodging. In Ixtapa, you’ll find a range of options to fit every budget. Luxury resorts can cost upwards of $300 per night, while mid-range hotels can be found for around $80-150 USD per night. If you’re looking to save money, hostels and Airbnb rentals are also available for as low as $10-20 per night.
- Food and Drink: The cost of dining out in Ixtapa can vary greatly depending on where you choose to eat. Street food vendors offer cheap and delicious meals for as little as $1-3 per dish, while upscale restaurants can cost $20-30 per person or more. Drinks can also add up quickly, especially if you’re drinking in the tourist areas. Be sure to budget accordingly and consider cooking some of your own meals if you’re on a tight budget.
- Transportation: Getting around Ixtapa is relatively cheap and easy. Taxis and local buses are readily available, with taxi rides costing $5-10 within the local area and bus fares starting at just a few pesos. Rental cars are also available, but can be expensive. Consider using public transportation or walking to save money.
- Activities: Ixtapa offers a variety of activities for travelers, from surfing and scuba diving to zip-lining and horseback riding. Prices for these activities can vary greatly, with some being free and others costing several hundred dollars. Be sure to research your desired activities ahead of time and budget accordingly.
Overall, you can expect to spend anywhere from $20-100+ per day depending on your travel style and budget. By doing your research ahead of time and making a budget, you can enjoy all that Ixtapa has to offer without breaking the bank.
Finding Affordable Flights To Ixtapa
Ixtapa is an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking sun, sand, and surf. However, finding affordable flights to this Mexican beach town can be a challenge, especially during peak travel season. To help you plan your trip to Ixtapa without breaking the bank, we’ve put together some tips for finding cheap flights to the area.
One of the easiest ways to save money on your Ixtapa flights is to be flexible with your travel dates. Prices can fluctuate wildly depending on the time of year you’re looking to fly, so it’s worth checking out different date ranges to see if there are any significant differences in fares. Traveling on weekdays instead of weekends, for example, can often save you a considerable amount of money.
Another great tip for finding affordable flights to Ixtapa is to use online flight search engines like Expedia or Skyscanner. These platforms can help you find the cheapest available flights to Ixtapa and allow you to filter your search results by price, airline, travel dates, and other factors. Plus, they often offer special deals and discounts on flights, making it easier to save even more on your airfare.
If you’re a frequent traveler or are planning an extended stay in Ixtapa, it may also be worth signing up for loyalty programs with major airlines like American Airlines, Delta, or United. These programs offer perks like discounted fares, priority boarding, and free checked bags, all of which can help you save money and travel more comfortably. Lastly, consider traveling during off-peak periods. Peak travel season for Ixtapa tends to be during the winter months when the weather is warm and sunny. However, you can find great deals during the shoulder seasons in spring and fall when the weather is still lovely, but prices are lower.
Overall, there are many ways to find affordable flights to Ixtapa, and a bit of planning and flexibility can go a long way in helping you save money on your airfare. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your trip, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying all the sun, sand, and sea that Ixtapa has to offer.
Backpacking Ixtapa Suggested Budgets
For those looking to backpack through Ixtapa, there are ways to experience the beauty and culture of the area while keeping costs low. Here are some suggested budgets for backpackers visiting Ixtapa:
Low Budget: $25-$30 per day
This budget allows for basic accommodations such as hostels or budget hotels, street food and local restaurants, and free or low-cost activities such as beach days and hikes. It’s important to note that with this budget, there may not be much room for activities that require entrance fees or touristy experiences.
Mid-Range Budget: $40-$50 per day
This budget allows for slightly nicer accommodations, such as mid-range hotels or private rooms in hostels, as well as more flexibility in dining options and the ability to participate in some activities that require entrance fees. It’s important to prioritize activities and make choices based on personal preferences to make the most of this budget.
High-End Budget: $70+ per day
For those looking for a more luxurious experience in Ixtapa, a higher budget is recommended. This budget allows for nicer accommodations such as boutique hotels or Airbnb rentals, more upscale dining options, and the ability to participate in activities such as snorkeling, boat tours, and other paid excursions.
It’s important to note that while backpacking, it’s always a good idea to be aware of any additional costs such as transportation and souvenirs. With proper planning and prioritizing, backpackers can have an enjoyable and cost-effective trip to Ixtapa.
Ixtapa Money Saving Tips
Ixtapa is an amazing destination, but it can also be expensive. Luckily, there are ways to save money while still having a great time. Here are some money-saving tips for your Ixtapa trip:
- Travel During The Off-Season: Visiting Ixtapa during the off-season can save you a lot of money on flights, accommodations, and activities. The rainy season in Ixtapa runs from June to October, but it usually doesn’t rain all day.
- Use Public Transportation: Taxis can be expensive in Ixtapa, so try using public transportation like buses or collectivos. They are much cheaper and still convenient.
- Stay In A Hostel Or Budget Hotel: Ixtapa has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels. If you’re looking to save money, try staying in a hostel or budget hotel.
- Eat Like A Local: Restaurants that cater to tourists can be expensive, so try eating at local restaurants where the food is cheaper and often more authentic. You can also buy food from street vendors or markets.
- Look For Free Activities: There are plenty of free things to do in Ixtapa, like going to the beach, hiking, or exploring the town. Do some research before you go and make a list of free activities to do while you’re there.
- Bargain For Souvenirs: If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, don’t be afraid to haggle. Most vendors expect it, and you may be able to get a better price.
By following these money-saving tips, you can enjoy all that Ixtapa has to offer without breaking the bank.
What To Pack For Ixtapa
When packing for Ixtapa, it’s important to consider the hot and humid climate. Here are some items you should definitely bring with you:
- Lightweight And Breathable Clothing: pack shorts, t-shirts, and dresses made from cotton or other lightweight materials in your luggage.
- Swimsuits And Cover-Ups: you’ll want to spend plenty of time lounging by the beach or pool.
- Sunscreen: Ixtapa can be very sunny, so make sure to pack sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
- Mosquito Repellent: mosquitoes can be present in Ixtapa, especially during the rainy season, so it’s important to bring mosquito repellent.
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: Ixtapa is a walkable city, so make sure to pack comfortable shoes.
- Rain Jacket Or Poncho: if you’re traveling during the rainy season (June-September), it’s a good idea to pack a rain jacket or poncho.
- Hat And Sunglasses: protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses.
- Portable Charger: ensure you can keep your devices charged throughout your travels.
- Reusable Water Bottle: stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle.
Overall, keep it simple and pack light. You won’t want to be weighed down while exploring everything Ixtapa has to offer.
Can You Drink Tap Water In Ixtapa?
No, it is not recommended to drink tap water in Ixtapa. Like many other destinations in Mexico, the tap water in Ixtapa is not safe for consumption due to the potential presence of bacteria and other contaminants. It is important to stick to bottled water or other packaged drinks while in Ixtapa to avoid getting sick.
When purchasing bottled water, make sure that the seal on the bottle is intact before consuming. You can also bring a refillable water bottle and use water filtration devices such as LifeStraw or SteriPEN to purify the tap water if necessary. In addition to avoiding tap water, it is also recommended to avoid adding ice cubes to your drinks if you are unsure about the source of the ice. It is better to be safe than sorry and stick to bottled drinks or drinks that have been prepared with purified water. Overall, drinking tap water in Ixtapa can put your health at risk. Be sure to follow the above tips to stay healthy and enjoy your trip to Ixtapa.
Other Things To See And Do In Ixtapa
Ixtapa is a tropical paradise that offers something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie. In addition to the top 5 things to see and do, here are a few more activities that you might enjoy:
- Visit Isla Ixtapa: This beautiful island is just a short boat ride from Ixtapa’s mainland. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and enjoying water sports. There are also a few restaurants and shops on the island.
- Explore The Ecological Reserve: The Ixtapa Ecological Reserve is a protected area that’s home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. You can go hiking, birdwatching, or take a guided tour of the reserve.
- Go Horseback Riding: If you want to explore the countryside around Ixtapa, there are several ranches that offer horseback riding tours. You can ride through the jungle, along the beach, or up into the hills.
- Take A Sunset Cruise: There’s nothing quite like watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and Ixtapa offers plenty of opportunities for sunset cruises. You can enjoy dinner and drinks while watching the colorful sky.
- Play Golf: If you’re a golfer, you’ll love Ixtapa’s championship golf courses. There are two courses in the area, both designed by world-renowned golfers.
- Visit The Archaeological Museum: If you’re interested in history, be sure to visit the Archaeological Museum in nearby Zihuatanejo. The museum features exhibits on the area’s pre-Hispanic cultures, including the Aztecs and Mayans.
- Learn To Surf: Ixtapa’s beaches are perfect for surfing, and there are several surf schools that offer lessons for all skill levels.
With so much to see and do, Ixtapa is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Whether you want to relax on the beach or explore the natural beauty of the area, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
The Bottom Line
Ixtapa is a fantastic travel destination that has something to offer for everyone. From stunning beaches and incredible water sports to a rich cultural heritage, there is so much to discover in this amazing destination. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or splurging on a luxury vacation, there are plenty of options for every kind of traveler. Overall, it’s best to visit Ixtapa between November and May to enjoy the best weather conditions. However, keep in mind that this is peak tourist season, so you may want to book your accommodation and activities in advance.
Remember to pack plenty of sunscreen, comfortable clothing, and footwear suitable for walking on sandy beaches. Also, be sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you, as the tap water in Ixtapa is not potable. While in Ixtapa, be respectful of local customs and etiquette. Mexicans are friendly and welcoming people, but it’s important to be mindful of their traditions and ways of life. If you do so, you’ll surely have a memorable and enjoyable trip to this stunning destination.