Venture to Ixtapa Island, off Mexico’s majestic south coast, for a day of snorkeling, kayaking and sightseeing. With its sheltered bays and coves, the island is a popular place for those seeking a quieter beach experience. Join a guided boat tour or rent a panga, a small motorized boat and make your way to the island. Follow scenic hiking trails, swim with dolphins and snorkel in clear waters.
Head to one of Ixtapa Island’s four spectacular beaches and stretch out on the golden sand. Playa Cuachalalate is the busiest beach and is where most boat tours to the island dock. Here you can play beach volleyball, rent a banana boat or drink cocktails while you dip your toes in the warm water.
Walk around the island to reach Playa Coral. Rent some snorkeling equipment from one of the oceanfront restaurants and plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Colorful fish and sea creatures dart between you and the coral.
Follow one of the marked hiking trails to reach the peaceful waters of Playa Varadero. Admire local plants and flowers as you go, including a range of palms. Escape the crowds at peaceful Playa Sacrificio. Follow the path up the hill and admire the panoramic views out to sea.
Ixtapa Island’s aquarium, Delfiniti, offers visitors the opportunity to meet and swim with dolphins. Hold on to their sleek fins and race through the water. Play a round of golf at one of the two courses surrounded by coconut trees and jungle.
Ixtapa Island is a 10-minute boat ride from the mainland. Boats can be organized from the Zihuatenejo Municipal pier or the small jetty at Playa Quieta. You can also catch the local ferry from Playa Linda, which is a fun way to meet locals. Plenty of vendors and restaurants service the island but keep in mind prices can be inflated. Bring your own food if you choose.