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Mexico Travel: Ixtapa Travel Overview
For today's "Give-it-to-me-fast, give-it-to-me-now" vacationers searching for that one beach destination that offers highrise luxury along with seaside village charm, the dual destination of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo delivers the best of both worlds.
Set against the lush green backdrop of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo area runs along 26 kilometers of hilly tropical coast line with dozens of sandy beaches and scalloped coves.
Mexico Expo:Welcome to Ixtapa!
Ixtapa is located north of Zihuatanejo, up the coast about 5 miles. Designed by the Mexican government and Fonatur as a tourist destination, Ixtapa looks more like a modern Mexican resort than it's southern neighbor. High rise hotels line the beachfront while a host of restaurants and bars catering to tourists front the main street. Most of the action is within walking distance of the hotels. Don't expect a town square, this is a resort, not a Mexican town or village.
Zihua-Ixtapa.com: Golf in Ixtapa
Ixtapa has two excellent golf courses, the Palma Real Golf and Tennis Club, an 18 hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, and the new Marina Ixtapa Golf Course.
Palma Real Golf and Tennis Club
This challenging course is one of Mexico's finest. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the manicured rolling fairways run through a jungle and coconut plantation to the Pacific Ocean at Playa Palmar. This 6898 yard, par 72 course is also a wildlife preserve with many species of birds and three large lakes populated by alligators.
Marina Ixtapa Golf Course
This 6807 yard,18 hole, par 72 course at Marina Ixtapa was designed by Robert Von Hagge in 1994 to test players at all levels of skill. The "Dunes-Style topography" combined with large sand traps and three kilometers of canals (water hazards come into play on 14 holes) require accurate shots to reach the expansive rolling greens.
Ixtapa, Pacific Coast
Ixtapa was nothing more than a huge coconut plantation until the late 1970s when Fonatur (the Mexican government's tourism development group) decided that the Pacific coast needed a Cancún-like resort. In came the hotel and golf-course developers and up went the high-rises. The result was a planned city with spotless beaches, luxurious hotels, chain restaurants and not a palm tree or blade of grass out of place.
Four decades later, Ixtapa continues to offer a contrived, squeaky-clean version of Mexican beach culture that stands in dramatic contrast to the down-to-earth charms of its sister city, Zihuatanejo. Ixtapa's appeal is best appreciated by families seeking a hassle-free all-inclusive beach getaway or those who value modern chain-hotel comforts and nightlife over a cultural experience.