Taking the boat to Isla Ixtapa is one of the most popular daytime diversions for vacationers in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo. The excursion takes you straight to a little beach cove carpeted with light gold sand and, in the right conditions, bordered by crystalline water.
Getting there is half the fun. From the Zihuatanejo Municipal pier or Playa Quieta pier you can hire a panga, a small, open, motorized boat or join others to take a collective water taxi ride. If you prefer a more personalized experience, hire a guide to take you to the island and show you some of the best spots for swimming, snorkeling, dining and drinking. You can also join locals by hopping a ferry from Playa Linda. Adventure seekers may consider a package expedition by hiring a fishing boat, stopping to fish en route and landing on the island with enough time to snorkel while one of the restaurants grills your catch.
Visitors rave about Isla Ixtapa’s beach, but there are, in fact, four beaches. Exit your boat at Playa Cuachalalate, named after a local tree used by healers. It’s a bustling scene, particularly during high season, with tourists hopping on banana boats or wave runners and packing the palapa huts to dine on fresh fish and drink cold beer.
Playa Coral attracts swimmers, snorkelers and divers who want to explore coral reefs teeming with tropical fish. For calmer waters, follow the quaint footpath dotted with planters to Playa Varadero. Fans of peace and quiet head for Playa Sacrificio, with not a margarita glass in sight, just an uphill path with a panoramic view of the Pacific. On Isla Ixtapa you might also enjoy an outdoor massage, a hammock siesta, trail hikes and beachcombing for sea glass. Take some home as a souvenir of a blissful day on a delightful little island.