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Like peanut butter and jelly, the towns of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo offer two strikingly different tastes -- and they can be combined to make one amazing travel experience. Located about four miles apart, visitors get the best of both worlds when they go to these sister destinations. Unlike Mexico's well-known beach resort cities like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, there are few major attractions in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo. But both places are peaceful and boast fine bays and beaches, perfect for a relaxing escape from everyday life.
Ixtapa was mainly known for being the home of a huge coconut plantation until the 1970s, when the government cleared it away and began to create a planned resort area. Funds were allocated to develop high-rise hotels and luxury condominiums. Over the years, numerous shopping centers, a modern marina and two golf courses were also built. Today, most of the tourist-oriented activity is focused around a hotel zone that extends along a two-mile stretch of beach called Playa del Palmar.
While the charm and ambiance of Ixtapa's small town past were greatly lost in the transformation, nearby Zihautanejo grew at a slower pace. Movie fans may recall this picturesque fishing village as the dream place Andy described to Red in 1994's "The Shawshank Redemption." Although it witnessed the arrival of a few new beachfront hotels and restaurants, Zihuatanejo has managed to retain an old world vibe. Here everything radiates out from the main beach and Paseo del Pescador (or Fisherman's Walk), where fishermen still take off each morning in skiffs and return later in the day to sell their catch right out on the sand.
The Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo International Airport serves both areas, which are easily accessible by rental car, taxi or bus. There's a pleasant, sunny climate year round, so visitors can enjoy two unique getaways for the price of one any time they want.
*Terms and conditions for hotel-only rates: Sample prices for hotel rates are for select midweek (Sun.-Thurs.) dates. Offers subject to change. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Based on availability.
*Terms and conditions of air + hotel packages and promotions: Advertised air + hotel package prices include all domestic taxes and Mexico.com-imposed air + hotel package fees. Sample prices shown are updated every Tuesday and are per person, based on double occupancy, from select departure cities unless otherwise cited on select weekdays between 33 and 53 days out. Offers are subject to change. Based on availability. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. Some airlines charge baggage fees at airport or online check-in. See specific airline websites for details. Some hotels charge additional fees at check-in.