Ixtapa Island Fishing Boat

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Isla Ixtapa


Ixtapa's finest attraction is a popular island. The turquoise waters are crystal-clear, calm (particularly on the main Playa Varadero) and good for snorkeling (gear rental available). Playa Corales on the back side of the island is the quietest beach, with soft white sand and offshore coral reef, but more waves. Thatch-covered, open-air enramada seafood restaurants and massage providers dot the island. Frequent boats depart from the pier at Playa Linda. It's very busy on weekends and during high season.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ixtapa attractions

1. Cocodrilario

0.79 MILES

Playa Linda has a small cocodrilario (crocodile reserve) that is also home to fat iguanas and several bird species. You can watch the hulking crocs from…

2. Playa Linda

0.86 MILES

A long stretch of greyish sand, Playa Linda is popular with locals, though the water towards the north end can be murky thanks to the nearby rivers and…

3. Playa Quieta

1.02 MILES

On the other side of Punta Ixtapa from the main resort area, Playa Quieta is popular with spring breakers staying at the Club Med, the biggest hotel on…

4. Playa Escolleras

2.67 MILES

Playa Escolleras, at the western end of Playa El Palmar near the entrance to the marina, has a decent break and attracts surfers.

5. Playa El Palmar

3.38 MILES

Ixtapa's longest (2.5km) and broadest stretch of blond sand is overrun by parasailing and jet-skiing concessions. The sea takes on an aquamarine sheen in…

6. Playa Municipal


In front of downtown, this is Zihua's least appealing beach for bathing, since the water could be cleaner. But the water is calm and without strong…

7. Museo Arqueológico de la Costa Grande

7.14 MILES

This small museum houses six rooms with exhibits on the history, archaeology and culture of the Guerrero coast. It displays feature jewelry, stone tools,…

8. Playa Madera

7.37 MILES

Shallow-watered Playa Madera is good for swimming. It's a pleasant five-minute walk east from downtown along a concrete walkway (popular with young…