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Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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Toronto, Canada
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338 posts
15 reviews
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Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Hi all, my wife and I are in our late 30s. We love the west-coast of Mex. Last year we were in Cabo, the year before in Puerto Vallarta.

What all-inclusive resort would you recommnd? Not too expensive ( maybe 4 stars) has a nice beach....nice pools and good food! Prefer ala carte vs buffet, and a bonus if they have premium alcohol and not generic crap.

Is Ixtapa better than Zihuatanejo or vise versa?

Is the weather in mid November a good time to go? ( its been great further North during Nov in the past)

I am in the early stages of booking....so all and any suggestions are very much welcomed!



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5,768 posts
12 reviews
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11. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Naw, not picking on anyone!!

To each their own.

Just attempting to clear up some misconceptions. I can't tell you how many folks that I talk to that have been to Cabo, then they go to I/Z and state "I wish I wouldn't have spent the money on AI there".

They usually don't realize that I/Z is not San Diego South.


Fort Myers, Florida
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1,697 posts
94 reviews
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12. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Ah yes, "Cabofornia", I remember it well. Cold ocean temps, LA prices including $25 for a 5 minute taxi ride. Makes you love Ixtapa/Zihua even more.

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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12,594 posts
49 reviews
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13. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Keyser- I don't think you can go wrong picking either Ixtapa or Zihua.

We have stayed in both and liked both....we have also stayed both AI and non AI on our Mexican vacations, and we like both...for different reasons. :) For AIs here we stayed at the Dorado, now called Sunscape. It was a good solid 4 star. The Las Brisas does look to have wonderful views, but is a bit more remote. The AIs here in general are older and not quite as fancy as the ones in Cabo and the Mayan Riviera.

When going to this area our preference is staying in a condo (several available on www.VRBO.com ) on the hillside above La Ropa (in Zihua- we like Zihua better due to more restaurants, more shopping, better swimmable beaches).

We still eat out every night, but having a full kitchen allows us to have snacks by the pool in the afternoons and the odd breakfast in our room. As mentioned the prices are much more budget friendly here than Cabo, so going non AI is easy and won't break the bank.

Gurnee, Illinois
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425 posts
23 reviews
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14. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Hi J,

My wife mid 30s and myself low 40s enjoy the area because of the weather, restaurants and great people. We've been to Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya and many Carribean locations. We've done about half AI and always have a great time.

We choose non-AI for Ixtapa because A) We love Las Brisas rooms, view and staff! B) The resorts in Ixtapa and Zih weren''t really designed to be resorts that you would want to stay on property for your entire vacation. They don't have the cheezy entertainment, gambling or fun nightlife. C) I can buy my mixers and alcohol at the local stores for $40 for a week so the AI booze is overrated. D) We have the freedom to choose how fancy and what we want to eat based on how we feel each night. Dining out in either Ixtapa or Zih is an awesome cultural and food experience regardless of whether you are spending 60 pesos or 600 peso per person. E) We only go for 7-10 nights so the AI would get boring, but the condo wouldn't be worth the effort for us.

Lots of good comments here.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
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10,830 posts
6 reviews
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15. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

Be aware of the fact that the hotels in Ixtapa were NOT built as all inclusive hotels like you are probably used to in your other travel destinations. Sun Scape is a different category of the AMResorts/Apple Vacations...than the Dreams category is...that you are used to. There is not any green space at any of the Ixtapa all inclusives, nor 5 pools or 8 bars and 8 restaurants like in many of the other destinations. You are right across the street from Commercial Ixtapa area...shopping, restaurants, bars...not $25-$50 cab fare like in other destinations where the all inclusives are miles from any life at all.

This can be either good or bad...depending on how you personally see it...but I know from reading the reviews that this does bother some visitors a lot...they get used to such wide open spaces from staying in Punta Cana or in Cuba...and Ixtapa is not like this at all.

It is so easy to get around between Ixtapa/Zihua...and within each town...not expensive, and not time consuming. Stay in one, play in the other!! Spread your money around to Mexican own properties so that the money stays IN Mexico...Ixtapa/Zihua has had many bad years of tourism...and needs all the financial help it can get. Chose your own booze, walk around reading menus, chose what you are in the mood for!

November is a beautiful time...most properties are still off season on their rates, USA Thanksgiving brings down some gringos, but the weather goes into its winter mode...hurricane season is about done...and after the summer rains...the GREEN around the mountains is so beautiful. Great time to come...if you can find a airplane and a descent airfare!!

16. Re: Ixtapa vs Zihuatanejo etc etc

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