Ixtapa Travel Guide

Constructed in the 1970s on a coconut plantation and mangrove estuary, Ixtapa has grown into one of Mexico's most modern resorts and is renowned for its high-rise hotels and luxury villas. Set on a spectacular bay of lush hills, golden sand and crystalline waters, it's a popular port of call for cruise passengers, who'll find lots to see and do on this stretch of the Pacific's coastline.

Without question, Ixtapa's biggest draws are the all-inclusive luxury resorts, international restaurants and upscale shopping most people associate with Mexican beach holidays. Ixtapa Boulevard is the place to go for shopping centres and stores, as well as the artisan market, where popular buys include huaraches (handmade leather sandals), art and beachwear. Those looking for the quintessential Mexican souvenir need look no further than Tequila Por Favor, Zihuatanejo's first liquor store, which offers an amazing variety of tequila, fine spirits and Cuban and Mexican cigars.

The nightlife in Ixtapa is second to none, and there's a good selection of restaurants, bars and clubs keeping the party going into the early hours. Visitors can sip cocktails beneath tropical overhangs or enjoy some of the finest beachside barbeques and dances.

Neighbouring Zihuatanejo has a very different character, and is known as a quaint backpackers' hotspot with picturesque winding streets, lots of art galleries and folk appeal, along with small boutique hotels and traditional seafood restaurants. The proximity of this more bohemian beach hangout offers visitors a change of scene and mood, and more options for dining and accommodation.

Ixtapa also has offshore tropical islands, two world-class golf courses and exciting scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities, making it a popular choice for holidaymakers who want the perfect beach holiday in Mexico.