Mornings start quietly here—blame the tequila. Walk off the night before on the soft brown-sugar sands of Playa el Palmar. Take a water taxi to Isla Ixtapa, an island accessible off Playa Linda, and cool down with a late-morning snorkel. Enjoy grilled fish at one of the many bars and restaurants, then stay for a scuba lesson, or return to the mainland ready to take on the always-pounding surf.
Boogie board big waves or hang 10 with a surf lesson at your resort. You can also sign up with local outfitter Catcha L’Ola Surf Shop for a three-hour session that includes board and rash-guard rentals.
When exhilaration turns to exhaustion, splurge at The Spa at Capella Ixtapa Resort. Its Aztec-inspired treatments include scrubs, wraps and massages and are infused with local herbs, fruits and flowers like Citlaxochitl (star flower) and aloe cactus, as well as cacao and coffee.
Revived and ready, hit the greens with a round at the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Campo de Golf Ixtapa, or have your resort’s concierge book horses and a guide for a jungle-to-beach trot that will see you riding into the sunset. Christine, a disco popular among expat locals, is the place for a nightcap.
Getting there: WestJet flies to Ixtapa three times a week from Calgary.
Five Things to Do in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo
The close proximity of Zihuatanejo ("Zihua") and Ixtapa allows travellers to combine traditional cultural experiences with beachy, glamorous surroundings. Visit Mesoamerican ruins, taste traditional cuisine at El Arrayan or just sit back with a cold one on Playa Linda or Isla Ixtapa.