LEE A. WOOD
Unlike buying a Rolex watch, when you go to China, going to Ixtapa, when you visit Zihuatanejo, is not obligatory.
Ixtapa is an instant tourist trap with, tall, self contained, fortress like, hotels, built along a pristine beach.
It is easily walkable from one end of town to the other. At the North end there is a marina, on the West, and a Golf course to the East. At the South end is another golf course.
On the West side of the main, and nearly, only, street, is hotel row, each edifice giving access to, for those who venture out of their air conditioned suites, the beach.
The beach, a long, wide strip of lovely, soft, sand slowly deepening into the never ending surf that is uninterrupted by land before it hits the Eastern shore of Hawaii, is the home to the usual beach type businesses: para sailing; tube rides; and a prop man who will take your picture, with your camera, while he supplies the prop, a two foot long, not counting the tail, Iguana.
A children's play land in Ixtapa.
To the East side of the highway are the commercial and residential sections that are quite small and only partially used. Several businesses have gone broke and several spaces have never been let as few patrons of the hotels venture forth to use the services. Those who come out to see the real Mexico usually go to Zihuatanejo.
Facing the highway there are: a couple of scuba diving shops; bicycle - car - scooter rentals, there is a nicely paved bicycle path that starts at the marina and nearly circumnavigates the Northern Golf course; a real estate office that has available anything from an apartment to your own beach; a couple of corner stores; a theatre; as well as a few other businesses, including a small Mexican restaurant that serves authentic cuisine at excellent prices.
Sunset over Ixtapa
Photo taken from viewpoint on Hwy. 200
To my mind, a trip to Ixtapa only offers four features. One; the fantastic scenic views as you take the bus over the mountain from Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa. Two; the Dolphinarium. At the North end of the beach is an enclosed pool system where you can actually enter the water and pet, and play with dolphins. There are two different prices, both high, depending on how involved you wish to be. Three; crocodile feeding. At the southern end of town, at three PM, guests of the hotel gather and clap their hands to entice the crocs out of the water. Four; the fantastic views as the bus takes you over the mountain back to Zihuatanejo.
The bus ride from Zihuatanejo to Ixtapa is only four pesos. If you get off at the final stop, the marina, walk back into the center of town, stop for lunch, walk to the Southern edge of town, and catch a bus back, another four pesos, the entire trip will take a maximum of two hours.
If heading out of town on a long trip,
taxis stop to tell the police where they are going
and who their passengers are.
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