Ixtapa & Zihuatanejo
Side by side beach resorts, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo share geography, but they couldn't be more different in character. Ixtapa is a model of modern infrastructure, services, and luxury hotels, while Zihuatanejo "Zihua" to the locals is the quintessential Mexican beach village. For travelers, this offers the intriguing possibility of visiting two distinct destinations in one vacation.
Those looking for luxury should opt for Ixtapa (eex-tah-pah). You can easily and quickly make the 6.5km (4-mile) trip into Zihuatanejo for a sampling of the simple life in a pueblo by the sea. Those who prefer a more rustic retreat with real personality should settle in Zihuatanejo (see -wah -aneh-hoh). It's known for its long-standing community of Swiss and Italian immigrants, and its legendary beach playboys.