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Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo Vacation Packages

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo each feature their own distinctive personality, combining unique vacation hotspots with fabulous local culture and all-inclusive resort styling.

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Dive Into Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

Ixtapa boasts high-rise hotels, all-inclusive resorts, fine dining and upscale shopping. Zihuatanejo on the other hand, features folk art shops, small boutique hotels and street-style seafood restaurants serving the fresh catch of the day. While the two towns are only 4 miles apart, both offer luxurious resort accommodations and the laid-back, small-town feel of Old Mexico. You can venture out to the beach for water sports such as parasailing and jet skiing, or head underwater for great diving and snorkeling, but you don’t have to be an adventurer to enjoy these towns. The resort areas here offer great restaurants, golf courses, shopping and spas. Whether you want to connect with nature outside or enjoy a luxury vacation indoors, you can do it all in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo.

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Overview

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    Mapping Out Mexico

    Why is Mexico everything to everyone? A quick visit to the east coast sums it up. Cancun’s got nightlife and a party scene, while Cozumel offers outdoor adventure like diving and snorkeling. The west coast has even more to boast: Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta offer beaches, world-class hotels and great golf courses, making both locations perfect family vacation spots. However, adventure-minded travelers will want to head to either Mazatlan to explore historic ruins or Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, which has a similar vibe, but with the feel of an upscale city. For the escapist, Huatulco and Manzanillo boast virtually untouched natural beauty. While each destination is uniquely different, they all have their own special way of showing you the magic of Mexico.

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    Jump in For Great Diving and Snorkeling

    Ask anyone in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo where to go for the best snorkeling and the consensus will be clear: Playa Las Gatas. Legend has it that a pre-Hispanic king built a reef in the water so his daughters could swim safely. Today, that reef is filled with colorful marine life that makes any snorkeling adventure a sight to be seen. In order to get here, you'll have to take a short boat ride across the bay, but it's worth the trip. Although it's not completely secluded, this popular beach is filled with restaurants, bars and other vendors who will happily treat you like royalty.

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    Magic World Aquatic Park

    If you have little ones, a trip to Magic World Aquatic Park in Ixtapa is an absolute must! This cozy water park caters specifically to smaller children and features a number of waterslides, shallow water pools and even a wave pool to splash around in throughout the day. With plenty of restaurant vendors, you and the kids can enjoy a tasty lunch of hamburgers, chicken fingers and other kid favorites. With an admission price that won't break the bank, there's no reason to miss out on Magic World Aquatic Park!

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    Flora, Fauna, Birda and Iguanas, Oh My!

    In a destination rich with natural beauty, it’s easy to find and appreciate Mother Nature’s special treasures in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. If you want to see alligators, there’s a mangrove lagoon at Playa Linda that features free shows. For sightings a lot smaller and a lot cuter, look for the baby sea turtles! Many of the beaches in the area help them safely find their way to shore after hatching. If you’re looking to earn your wings, venture out to La Barra de Potosí, where you can bird watch on a boat tour of the estuary. However, if you’d rather stay close to shore, you can snorkel at Playa Las Gatas to admire the fish or check out the coral reefs at Playa Coral.

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    Authentic Mexican Food

    Looking to start your day off right? Head over to Carmelita's in Zihuatanejo or El Arrayan in Ixtapa for a hearty, Mexican breakfast. Carmelita’s is famous for their homemade tortillas, delicious desserts and gracious service. The restaurant has received a lot of praise from Chef Rick Bayless of the PBS show, "Mexico: One Plate at a Time." El Arrayan in Ixtapa offers fresh fruit, vegetable juices and guacamole that is to die for! With comfy amenities such as free Wi-Fi and convenient access to Madera Beach, El Arrayan is quite popular with beach tourists looking to enjoy some tasty Mexican cuisine.

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    Mix Up Your Shopping at El Mercado

    When you imagine yourself going to the market, you'll never think to see the exciting collage of colors that you'll see at El Mercado. Sure, you'll find fresh produce here, but the real draw to El Mercado is the crafts market. With a number of hand-made goods, you'll appreciate the craftsmanship of the local residents. There's nothing quite like taking home an authentic piece of the local culture, and there's no better way to do that than finding the unique goods that local people craft. Not only are you going to find awesome gifts and keepsakes, but you’ll help contribute to the local economy and well-being of the people of Zihuatanejo. Now, go get your shop on!

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    Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo Quick Facts

    Language: The main language is Spanish, but many in the tourism industry speak English.

     

    Currency: The official currency is the peso, but USD is also accepted.

     

    Electricity: The standard electricity supply is 110 volts with two-prong outlets.

     

    Passport/Immigration: All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.

     

    Drinking Water: Drink and brush your teeth with bottled water only.

     

    Time Zone: Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours).

     

    Peak Season: The peak travel season for Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo runs from December to April.

Things to Do in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

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    Horseback Riding/Playa Larga

    Make your way across Ixtapa's sandy shores with a horseback riding excursion across Playa Larga beach. Enjoy Playa Larga's empty and golden beaches and the stunning view of Mexico's Pacific Coast, before returning to the ranch for a well-deserved cold drink.

     

    Included:

    • Transportation
    • Horseback ride
    • One refreshing beverage
    • Insurance

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Comfortable clothes, preferably long pants
    • Hat or cap
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera

     

    Hours: Open daily. This tour lasts about 1 hour.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: 12 years minimum age to ride a horse.

     

    Additional Information: Not recommended for pregnant women. Children must be 12 yrs old. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Ixtapa Island

    Experience scuba diving and snorkeling on a beautiful coral reef-filled bay. Just a short boat ride from Zihuatanejo, you'll explore the sea and enjoy the island's hiking trails for a land and sea exploration. Save room for the fresh catches offered at the island's local seafood restaurants!

     

    Included:

    • English speaking guides
    • Round trip air-conditioned transportation
    • Mexican lunch & drinks on the beach

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Swimsuit
    • Comfortable clothing and footwear
    • Towel
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunblock
    • Extra t-shirt
    • Light jacket or sweater
    • Insect repellant
    • Camera
    • Money for renting snorkeling gear and money

     

    Hours: Daily. This tour lasts about 4 hours.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 2 years old.

     

    Additional Information: Pregnant women and people with back or neck injuries, recent surgeries, heart conditions, or epilepsy are not allowed to participate. Not recommended for pregnant women. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Las Gatas

    Zihuatanejo's secluded bays and white-sand beaches are calling out to be visited. Enjoy snorkeling and diving, swim in the warm waters or relax on the white sand. A complimentary lunch will be provided on the beach before you are brought back to Zihuatanejo.

     

    Included:

    • English-speaking guides
    • Round-trip air-conditioned transportation
    • Lunch and one drink

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Swimsuit
    • Comfortable clothes & shoes
    • Towel
    • Hat or cap
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Extra t-shirt
    • Camera
    • Money

     

    Hours: Open daily. This tour lasts about 4 hours.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 2 years old.

     

    Additional Information: From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Snorkel Picante

    Nothing screams fun better than a day of snorkel, sailing and some soft-core adventure! The Snorkel Picante tour takes you out to explore the underwater world as your sail along the coast of sunny Zihuatanejo.

     

    Included:

    • English speaking host & crew
    • Round trip air-conditioned transportation
    • Domestic open bar & light snacks

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Swimsuit
    • Comfortable clothing and footwear
    • Towel
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunblock
    • Extra t-shirt
    • Light jacket or sweater
    • Camera
    • Money for equipment rentals, snacks, tips & souvenirs

     

    Hours: Daily. This tour lasts about 4 hours.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 5 years old.

     

    Additional Information: Pregnant women and people with back or neck injuries, recent surgeries, heart conditions or epilepsy are not allowed to participate. Not recommended for pregnant women. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Sunset Picante

    Aboard a 75 ft. sailboat, soar across the sea as you enjoy a light dinner and an open bar of refreshing cocktails. While sailing you may catch dolphins, sea turtles, schools of fish, manta rays and even humpback whales (in the winter months) joining you alongside your adventure.

     

    Included:

    • English speaking host & crew
    • Round trip air-conditioned transportation
    • Domestic open bar & light snacks

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Comfortable clothing and footwear
    • Light jacket or sweater
    • Camera
    • Money for tips & souvenirs

     

    Hours: Daily. This tour lasts about 3 hours.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 6 years old.

     

    Additional Information: Pregnant women and people with back or neck injuries, recent surgeries, heart conditions or epilepsy are not allowed to participate. Not recommended for pregnant women. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Swim With Dolphins

    Connect with the most loving mammals of the sea world. Swim, play, hug and kiss them in an interactive program that will bring you closer to amazing dolphins!

     

    Included:

    • English speaking staff
    • Dolphin program
    • Life jackets
    • Lockers
    • Showers
    • Dressing rooms

     

    Not Included:

    • Transportation

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Swimsuit
    • Comfortable clothing and footwear
    • Towel
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunblock
    • Extra t-shirt
    • Light jacket or sweater
    • Insect repellant
    • Camera
    • Money for renting snorkeling gear

     

    Hours: Open daily. This tour lasts about 1 hour.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 8 years old.

     

    Additional Information: Not recommended for pregnant women. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

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    Zip Lines

    Adventure lovers will get their kicks with this soaring excursion high above the trees in Ixtapa. This thrilling adventure takes all ages on an eco-tour along secure ziplines soaring past the trees. You'll fly across 11 zip lines, as well as trample across hanging bridges.

     

    Included:

    • English speaking guides
    • Round trip air-conditioned transportation
    • All gear, snacks & drinks

     

    Don't Forget to Bring:

    • Swimsuit
    • Comfortable clothing and footwear
    • Towel
    • Hat
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunblock
    • Extra t-shirt
    • Light jacket or sweater
    • Insect repellant
    • Camera
    • Money for renting snorkeling gear

     

    Hours: Monday-Saturday. This tour lasts about 2 hours.

     

    Where to Go: Please confirm with your Amstar rep on where to meet.

     

    Age Restrictions: Minimum age is 8 years old.

     

    Additional Information: Pregnant women and people with back or neck injuries, recent surgeries, heart conditions or epilepsy are not allowed to participate. Not recommended for pregnant women. From USA & Canada: 1 877 329-4461 From Mexico: 01 800 267-8270.

Tips & Transportation

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    Head to Town Plaza for a Good Time

    If you find yourself around Zihuatanejo on a Sunday night, be sure to hang out around the town plaza for a fun and exciting night that features the town's local talent. With a barrage of talent, the town plaza will fill up with locals who come to enjoy singers, comedians, rappers, musicians and more. While you enjoy the show, splurge on tasty snacks expertly prepared by local vendors. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, do yourself a favor and try some fresh popcorn, cotton candy, tamales or tasty cocktails while you enjoy the show.

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    Sight-See at Mangrove Lagoon

    If you're looking for a place to laze like a lizard and bask in the warm, Caribbean sun, then you need to set your sights on Playa Linda. While you'll find plenty of beach-bums hanging out on the sugary, white-sand, real thrill-seekers will paddle over to the Mangrove Lagoon known as "El Cocodrilario" for a nice vantage point to see the local crocodile population.

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    Rediscover Nature in Ixtapa

    Ixtapa Island, otherwise known as Isla Grande, is a beautiful, laid-back spot to enjoy the natural landscape of the region. With sugary, white-sand beaches, lush natural vegetation and plenty of wildlife, you'll feel right at home in the wild of this nature preserve. When you aren't catching some rays on the sand, stop and "smell the roses" as you enjoy views of beautiful orchids and acacias. If you’re lucky, you may even spot local deer and a rabbit or two. If you find yourself below the surf, snorkeling at Ixtapa Island is a real treat as you check out hundreds of multi-colored fish and sea turtles.

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    Airport

    The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (ZIH) International Airport is fairly new to the area. It’s located south of Zihuatanejo along the Pacific coastline. From the airport, it’s about 20 minutes to Ixtapa and even closer to Zihuatanejo. For more information on current travel advisories for Mexico, please visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_6033.html.

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    Immigration & Customs

    When you land, you’ll see signs for the immigration line. When it’s your turn, you’ll approach the desk and the officer will ask for your passport. He/she may ask you why you’re visiting, how long you will stay and what your plans are. Regarding customs, your flight attendant will typically give you customs paperwork to fill out on the plane. After you’ve been through the immigration desk at the airport and you’ve picked up your luggage from baggage claim, you’ll go to customs, where officers will possibly check your bags.

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    Getting to Your Hotel

    The Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport has a ground transportation service customer service desk in the departures area. They offer shuttle and private transportation services.

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    Getting Around Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo

    It's pretty easy to get around Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo as you'll have plenty of access to buses, taxis and rental cars. The ‘Correa’ bus route is a great way to get around as it runs from 5:30AM to 9:30PM. If you'd rather take a cab, they are quite plentiful in the area, but be sure to agree on the fare before getting in. You can even book a taxi in advance by calling Radio Taxi UTAAZ (554-33-11). If you plan to rent a car, be sure to rent from a reputable company like Avis or Hertz at the airport, so you know the car will be in good shape and avoid being pulled over by the police.