Playa el Palmar

Beach in Ixtapa

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 the dry season, which makes it all the more inviting. Take care while swimming, as there can be a vicious shore break and a powerful undertow when the swell comes up. There aren't many public access points, thanks to the mega-resorts lined up shoulder to shoulder, but you can always cut through a hotel lobby.