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Ixtapa summons vacationers interested in sun, sand and surf with its prime location along the Pacific Ocean, where the Sierra Madre mountains serve as a stunning backdrop. The beach destination, approximately 150 miles north of Acapulco, boasts an average temperature of 82 F year round, making aquatic sports appealing virtually any time.
The blue Pacific waters surrounding Ixtapa and nearby Zihuatanejo are brimming with colorful sea life, underwater canyons and coral reefs. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular excursions, with more than 30 convenient dive spots from which to choose.
Substantial swells along the Mexican coast make for stellar surfing conditions. Both longboard and shortboard surfers take to the water, where wetsuits are rarely needed due to the tropical climate. Windsurfing is ideal in other areas along the coastline, where the waters are calmer and the breezes stronger.
The Pacific Ocean surrounding Ixtapa is stocked with a variety of fish, making sportfishing another main attraction of the region. Just a few miles offshore, deep sea fishermen often catch black and blue marlins, sailfish, yellowfin tuna and mahi-mahi, while anglers and fly fishermen reel in roosterfish, grouper, Spanish mackerel, wahoo and barracuda closer to land.
Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters
Address: Ixtapa, Mexico
Phone number: (in the US) 717-688-9466
This company, run by a pair of US-based anglers, has been taking customers on Pacific fishing excursions since 1989. More than a dozen boats are in the fleet, ranging from 25-foot open fishing vessels to 42-foot custom cruisers. Packages include an eight-hour charter day, bait and lures and well as participation in the area's tag and release program.
Address: Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-554-2988
This family-run operation takes guests on guided deep sea and inshore fishing excursions along the Pacific Mexican coastline. Four boats, ranging from 26 feet to 38 feet and outfitted with electronic gear and all the necessary fishing tackle, are available for charter.
The union of two major currents – the Humboldt and the Equatorial Counter Current – off the coast of Ixtapa creates a diverse and colorful undersea world visible via scuba diving and snorkeling. Several area dive shops provide gear, instruction and excursions for a variety of skill sets. Whether a beginner or an expert diver, those who jump in can look forward to seeing manta rays, moray eels, frogfish, octopus, dolphin and potentially humpback whales.
Address: Calle Adelita, Lote 68, La Madera, Ixtapa, Mexico
Phone number: 52- 755-554-9191
This company offers everything from snorkeling trips to group scuba dives and PADI certification. Experienced dive masters lead excursions to 35 area sites, including 13 deep dives (up to 90 feet). All snorkeling and diving gear is available for rent or purchase at their dive shop.
Ixtapa Aqua Paradise
Address: Blvd. Ixtapa S/N Interior Hotel Barceló Premium Ixtapa Local 2 Zona Hotelera Ixtapa, Mexico
Phone number: 52- 755-555-2078
This local dive school focuses on recreational and sport diving with an awareness of the delicate underwater environment. Scuba diving certification courses and beginner diving programs are offered, as are diving trips to several spots around Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo.
Address: Playa Las Gatas, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-554-6003
This family-owned operation on Zihuatanejo's Las Gatas Beach organizes small groups for diving excursions in order to personalize the experience. Clients can choose from 16 area dive spots and sign up for traditional dives, night dives or snorkeling excursions. All levels of PADI certification are offered, as well as specialty and instructor courses.
Zihuatanejo Dive Center
Address: Av. La Noria Nº 1 Esq. Anguila, Col. Lázaro Cárdenas, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-544-8554
This multilingual establishment (staff speak English, French and Spanish) provides diving instruction and trips from their convenient waterfront location. Scuba diver and open water diver certifications are also offered. Other available adventures include snorkeling, fishing and sailing.
Anfibios Surfs Lessions
Address: Nicolas Bravo 52, Centro, Ixtapa, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-554-5693
Visit this Ixtapa shop for all things surf-related. Beginners of all ages can take lessons, while experienced surfers will enjoy the guided surfing tours and occasional tournaments.
Address: Centro Comercial Kiosko L. 12, Ixtapa, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-553-1384
Customers of this establishment can sign up for surf lessons or tours of the area's best surf spots. Everything from surfboard rentals to repairs is offered here.
Address: Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-554-3095
This locally-owned business offers a little bit of everything: surfing lessons and tours, kayaking and fishing excursions, cave exploration and cliff jumping, along with snorkeling and diving trips. Yoga classes and eco-friendly lodging are also options.
Address: Paseo Ixtapa Condominio Real de Palma 203, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-553-1657
Hop aboard this 40-foot, double-mast sailboat for a trip along Ixtapa Bay. Snorkeling around Ixtapa Island is an option, or guests can choose a mellow sunset journey with snacks and wine by request or a fishing excursion, complete with all the necessary equipment.
Address: Yates del Sol, S.A. de C.V., Apdo. Postal #310, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Phone number: 52-755-554-2694
Book a romantic sunset ride aboard the sleek and modern sailing catamaran or bring your snorkel gear (or rent it from them) for a daytime excursion. Most trips include refreshments.