What to do in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo with the kids

Are you planning to travel to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo with the kids? There are many things to do in this beautiful tourist destination, the closest for those in the Mexican lowlands. We have a list of recommendations for you to plan your stay and spend an incredible vacation with your little ones.

Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are not the same

Usually, the beaches of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are talked about as if they were a single destination, but they are different, and each has its charm.

Ixtapa is a tourist development planned by the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) in 1968. Large hotel complexes were built on what was once a coconut plantation.

Five kilometers away is Zihuatanejo, a small fishing port that began receiving many tourists in the early sixties as an alternative to Acapulco, which led to creating a new area to meet demand.

The official name of the hotel complex is Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, which is why it is often confused as if it were the same city. In fact, at first, it was called “New Zihuatanejo”.

What to do with children in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

In your list of places to visit in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, we recommend that you include the following:

Visit its beaches

The beaches of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo are beautiful. In Ixtapa, the waves are big because it is an open sea, but other beaches on the outskirts are much calmer in Zihuatanejo. For example:

Las Gatas Beach

Location: From the pier downtown Zihuatanejo you can take a boat. The cost is 50 pesos.
It is called Playa Las Gatas because there are many catfish in it. This beach is very safe due to a wave breaker our indigenous ancestors built, which is almost like a natural pool. Its water is crystal clear, perfect for snorkeling and diving.


Las Gatas beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Contramar Beach

Location: To get there, you must also hire a boat from downtown Zihuatanejo.

This beach is characterized by its calm waves, thanks to rock formations and bays protecting it. Its coral reefs are beautiful, so it is also an ideal place to snorkel and see colorful fish.

Contramar Beach. Photo: Facebook Paradise Zihua

Ixtapa Island

Location: It is located ten minutes by boat from the coast. Access is for a fee of 80 pesos in a water taxi from Playa Linda.

Ixtapa Island has two beaches: Varadero and Coral, which are very beautiful and quiet. You can go to the reef and snorkel. The food is fresh and delicious.

Ixtapa Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Playa Quieta (Quiet Beach)

Location: It is located 9.7 km from downtown Ixtapa, at the end of the second stage of the hotel zone. It can be reached by car or bicycle since the bike path passes through there.

It is a perfect beach for children since it is very calm, thanks to the island and a reef that works as wave breakers. The water is very clean, with some mangroves where you can rest. You can enter through the Meliá and Med hotel.

The plus: El Palmar Beach

Location: Boulevard Ixtapa.

This beach is an open sea, so you must be careful when swimming in it because the waves are high. It is the main beach in Ixtapa and is certified as the longest beach in all of Mexico. It is a good option for taking walks and renting an ATV, but be careful with children.

El Palmar Beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
El Palmar Beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Attractions for the whole family

Delfiniti: Swim with Dolphins

Location: Lote Anexo 6 B, Hotel Zone #1, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico, CP 40880

It’s a water park with a wide variety of programs: swimming with dolphins, shows, acrobatics and juggling, dolphin therapy, and even swimming with dolphins for weddings—a place for the whole family that children will enjoy to the fullest.

Dolphin show. Photo: Facebook Delfiniti

Ride along the bike path

Location: Starts at Marina Ixtapa, goes around the golf course to Playa Linda, and through Parque Aztlán.

At 9.7 kilometers long, the Ixtapa bike path has become one of the main attractions. Because it crosses an ecological reserve, you can enjoy giant trees and passages shaded with extensive vegetation along the route. It is an unforgettable ride. Some hotels offer bike rental within their amenities, but there are also many places where you can rent them.

Ixtapa bike path. Photo: Facebook Riggo Bert Loperez

Escollera Bio Park

Location: P.º de La Bahía, Playa las Gatas, 40880 Zihuatanejo, Gro.

An ecological park with more than 50 species of animals: insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles. It also has 100 species of plants and fruit trees. The visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the park, there is also a restaurant. Photo Facebook La Escollera

Adventure Park

Location: Carretera Nacional Zihuatanejo-Lázaro Cárdenas km. 4.8, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo.

If you and your children like adventures, this place is for you. They will spend a day full of excitement on the zip lines and suspension bridges.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here

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