Located on the coast of the state Guerrero and part of the Guerrero’s Sun Triangle (along with Taxco and Acapulco), Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo are two cities just five minutes from each other with completely different characteristics. Ixtapa is a world class resort and marina with five star hotels, shopping malls, a golf course and yachts galore! Zihuatenejo is a quaint fishing village with cobbled streets, traditional food and a rich history.
The best way to get here is to fly, be careful about driving as the roads can be quite dangerous and it’s far from anywhere. The airport is only 15 minutes from the towns. You can find cheap family owned hotels in Zihuatenejo and huge resorts in Ixtapa, be sure to research your options before you go.
There are many activities in the area, most of them water sports. Try deep sea fishing, diving, snorkelling and even sky diving. You can take a guided bike ride, go horseback riding, rappelling, kayaking, on a city tour or sunset cruise. You can book any of these adventures from your hotel, or shop around on the street and you might find it even cheaper.
There’s some great snorkelling around the area, the best sites are in Playa Las Gatas, Playa Manzanillo and Ixtapa Island. The king of kings site is a 12 foot sunken statue of Christ which is worth a look.
Diving in the Mexican Pacific offers a great range of diversity in marine fauna and flora. in Ixtapa you'll find amazing rock formations, colorful coral reefs and a wide variety of species. You will be likely to encounter dolphins, whales, rays, stone fish and moray eels just to name a few.
With 30 sites in the area you can spend a few days exploring. Playa Manzanillo is a great place for beginners or advanced and photographers will love the diverse array of sea life here. Caleta de Chon is a shallow cove where you can see eagle rays, turtles, stonefish and even a seahorse! The largest reef in the area is Zacatoso Reef and is full of colourful coral and sea life. But the best dive in the area would have to be the deep dive of Solitary Rock, home to white tip reef sharks, schools of tuna, eagle rays and seahorses (advanced divers only). Don't miss Los Morros de Potosi, where you'll find also caves cliffs, canals, tunnels, vertical walls and an abundance of marine life.
Water temperatures and visibility vary constantly through the year. Visibility can range from about 5m/ 15ft up to about 40m/120ft, and water temperatures can range from about 16°C/60°F up to about 36°C/95°F.
(By Kelly Luckman)