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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore on the
Mexican Riviera
Sights to see & things to do

Zihuatanejo & Ixtapa, Mexico

Alongside the unpretentious fishing village of Zihuatanejo is Ixtapa, created by the Mexican government (like Cancún) and complete with golf courses, restaurants, high-rise resorts, and a marina. Zihuatanejo has more charm, but Ixtapa has avoided over development due to large tracts of land the government set aside for nature preserves. 


The centro, or downtown, area is the heart of Zihuatanejo where fishermen display the catch of the day. Spread around the lovely bay, narrow brick lined streets offer a glimpse of the Mexico of the past. The Museo de Arqueologia de la Costa Grande at the end of Paseo del Pescador displays a look at the cultures the occupied the Pacific coast from Acapulco to Zihuatanejo before the arrival of the Spanish.

Ixtapa offers options for avid golfers, water sports enthusiasts, and the opportunity to ride horseback on the beach trails. 


Both towns have a Mercado de Artesenia Turistico, or tourist crafts market. While shopping is low key, Zihuatanejo’s over 250 market stalls are loaded with Mexican arts and crafts. The market in Ixtapa begins near the hotel zone and contains 150 stalls. Patient searching rewards the persistent visitor with some good items.

Zihuatanejo has a municipal market where good deals on huaraches, hammocks, and baskets are found in the dry goods section. Centros commercials, located across the road from Ixtapa’s hotels, are low slung malls where shops sell great folk art, pottery, tinwork mirrors, and Mexican sportswear. 


The best beaches are all located along Ixtapa’s Hotel Zone and facilities and water sports are abundant. Unfortunately, many of the finest beaches have been closed off to tourists because of private developments. 

Slightly out of the way, surrounded by a beautiful cove and bordered by cliffs, Playa Vista Hermosa’s beach sits at the base of the Westin Brisas Ixtapa where non-guests are welcome.

Back to Mexican Riviera Ports of Call

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