Made up of two neighboring populations of interesting contrasts (Ixtapa, totally dedicated to tourism, Zihuatanejo, a rustic and quint fishermen port), it is trendier than Acapulco. A good combination of beach and sun, rest and ocean activities, that has become more favored each day in the taste of cool bohemian contemporary adults, for a romantic outing in couples or with friends; families with small children, honeymooners, or for those that want to relax and pamper themselves at a spa.
Ideal destination for those who love nature and water sports: Cerro Viejo (trekking, mountain cycling); Punta Ixtapa, near La Ropa Beach (diving); El Palmar, La Saladita, Petacalco Beaches (surf, windsurf); Las Gatas Beach, Potosí Lagoon (kayak); Tigre Cove (rappel for those who like adventure since the place is full of bats); Escollera Ecological Park (turtle releasing) and Delfinario –Dolphin aquarium- (good places to go with children). A paradise for those fond of sport fishing further into the ocean with remarkable large species (sail fish, mahi-mahi, tuna, yellow tail, sea bass, blue and black marlin). Increasing cultural activity (interesting art galleries); visit the Archaeological Museum.
Exclusive golf courses (Marina Ixtapa, Palma Real). Restaurants are increasing in number; regional cuisine is a must, based on very fresh fish and seafood, all prepared in the traditional local style (marinated with lemon and salt). Good nightlife. Must: tour on yacht to see the sunset.
TO STAY IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO
• Capella Ixtapa
Relaxed and luxurious beach resort in the tourist area. Spacious rooms with a terrace and a view to the ocean. Spa and gym. Good, personalized service. Ideal as a couple.
Paseo Playa Linda. Ixtapa.
Tel: (01-755) 555 1100.
• La Casa que Canta
Romantic and small hotel, with a view to La Ropa Beach. Good for couples. Spa and gym.
Camino Escénico a Playa La Ropa S/N. Zihuatanejo.
Tel: (01-755) 555 7000/7026.
• Viceroy Zihuatanejo
Before it was known as The Tides. Romantic hideout in front of La Ropa Beach. Isolated and comfortable rooms surrounded by gardens. Impeccable personalized service. Good gastronomy. Excellent spa and gym.
Playa La Ropa S/N. Zihuatanejo.
Tel: (01-755) 555 5500.
TO EAT IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO
Italian cuisine with Mediterranean accent.
Inside the marina; father of Becco, another restaurant. Pleasant terrace that is comfortable to linger after the meals. Good wine list. Ideal for friends or families.
Antipasti; Carpaccios; Vitello tonnato.
Tel: (01-755) 553 1770.
• Emilio´s Pizzas
Simple, well-located place. It closes late. Ideal for families with children or among friends.
Wood fire pizzas; Ribs.
Paseo de las Garzas S/N. (Plaza Ixsol. Locales 2 y 2A). Ixtapa.
Tel: (01-755) 553 1585.
Cuisine from the sea with an Italian-Mediterranean accent.
On the top of La Madera Beach; spectacular view of the bay. In the hands of the former chef of Mexico City’s Champs Elysées restaurant. Ideal for couples.
Abalone; Tuna filled with seafood; Goat cheese.
Camino Escénico Playa La Ropa. Zihuatanejo. Tel: (01-755) 554 8446.
International fusion cuisine.
Inside the boutique hotel with the same name. Casual elegant atmosphere with a view to the bay. Ideal for dining in couples.
Camino Escénico a Playa la Ropa. Lote 97-C. Col. La Madera. Zihuatanejo
Tel: (01-755) 544 8383.
• Villa de la Selva
International haute cuisine.
Probably the best in its kind in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo. Three terraces with a view to the bay and the best sunsets. Professional service. Ideal for a romantic occasion.
Scallop and blue crab Carpaccio; Cheese-filled hot pepper.
Paseo de la Roca S/N. Lote D. Ixtapa.
Tel: (01-755) 553 0362.