Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, although just four miles apart, offer two distinctly different Mexico vacation experiences, so make sure to choose a hotel in the area that fits your vacation style. Both destinations are more laid-back than many Mexico destinations, making them foolproof for a relaxing beach vacation. But away from their golden-sand beaches, they are each unique.

Flights to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo are seasonal, offered December - April via Minneapolis/St. Paul (dates may vary).


Ixtapa is for the traveler looking for a Mexican resort experience with larger, amenity-filled and all-inclusive hotels; several nightlife choices; and a host of activity and adventure options during the day. Set along 16 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, the beach is ideal for sunning and strolling. Waters offshore are perfect for fishing, as the area boasts some of the best sportfishing in Mexico. Further adventures can be found riding either a horse or an ATV along trails, through rainforests, and out on the beach; jumping the waves on a jet ski out on the ocean; or golfing on two championship golf courses, one of which was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Shopping and dining is outstanding and more refined. 


Zihuatanejo is a picturesque and charming fishing village and is decidedly more laid-back with smaller, family-owned hotels; a beautiful and calm bay, splendid for sunning and swimming; romantic nightlife; boutiques brimming with the work of local artisans; and palapa-style seafood restaurants serving the catch of the day. For excellent snorkeling in the area, walk the path or take a water taxi to Playa Las Gatas with a beach that is shielded from the waves and shallow waters that offer superb swimming and snorkeling.

Why Go To Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo

The resort destination of Ixtapa and the smaller fishing town of Zihuatanejo offer a Mexico vacation that can be either a laid-back holiday of beach hopping or an activity-filled fiesta of watersports, golf, fishing, and horseback or ATV riding. 

Both destinations are much loved, with vacationers returning year after year — perhaps because an Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo vacation offers the best of both worlds — the charm of a Mexican village and a modern, luxurious Mexican resort area.

Who Should Go


Both Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are quieter Mexican destinations, ideal for romantics. And for that romantic dinner, choose from gourmet restaurants in Ixtapa or a beachside seafood spot in Zihuatanejo — both with superb sunset views.


Playa La Ropa — the beach in Zihuatanejo's bay — is calm, shallow, and great for families. For more fun in the water, visit Delfiniti Ixtapa waterpark and swim with dolphins.

Active Travelers

Within the resort area of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, you can find championship golf, thrilling watersports, outstanding sportfishing, and numerous excursions.

Girls Playing in the Sand

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Playa Las Gatas

The perfect get-away at Playa las Gatas

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