Agent Trip Review: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

Agent Trip Review: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo

By: Laura Bonchonsky, Senior Travel Consultant

I recently had the opportunity to visit the "Two-In-One" destination of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. My hosts for this stay were the Ixtapa CVB, Alaska Airlines and Dorado Pacifico Beach Resort.
The Dorado Pacifico is on Playa El Palmar very centrally located in Ixtapa across the street from shopping, dining and nightlife. It is an older hotel that is maintained very well. The rooms are a bit dated but kept clean and comfortable. All rooms have balconies with chairs, a small table and varying degrees of ocean view. Shower only bathrooms were recently renovated for a more contemporary feel.  Pool area is large with plenty of chaise lounges and palapas, a swim-up bar and two water slides.
All-Inclusive and EP plans are offered at the Dorado. Our group enjoyed the All-Inclusive option. The few meals that I did experience at the resort were average and service was a tad slow.
(When in Mexico) The oceanfront restaurant Terraza del Mar offers a romantic setting for a candlelight dinner with the sound of waves crashing on the beach as background music. The General Manager Jesus Garcia Mendoza a large fellow with a constant smile on his face surely has instilled his pleasant nature on his staff as they were always gracious and eager to please.
As with most Mexican beach resort destinations, Ixtapa has plenty to do if you're seeking more than sunning and swimming. Sunny Side, a DMC in Ixtapa, provided all of our ground transportation. Oscar, our driver, along with Guille Camarena of the CVB were our interactive guides while we experienced Sunny Side's Combo Tour.

A shortened version to accommodate our schedule took us to downtown Zihuatanejo for a walking tour, a Coconut Plantation and a Ranch where clay roof tiles are made and fired in a 10 foot high kiln filled with burning coconuts. The newest attraction for Ixtapa is El Refugio de Potosi, a wildlife conservation facility which featured Iguanas, Macaws, Hummingbirds, Great Horned Owls, Coatimundis, Jaguarondis and a Butterfly Pavilion to name a few. The Refugio's goal is to return native species to the wild when they're ready. Those that have been injured permanently make the Refugio their home.
Our tour ended in Barra de Potosi a beachside village and home to a wild life sanctuary lagoon. There are many palapa covered restaurants serving the catch of the day prepared "stilo mexicano" in Barra de Potosi. This was my first time trying sailfish. A much denser fish than the flaky varieties I'm accustomed to, but very tasty.
Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo's year-round average temperatures are mid-80's+. June through September is their rainy season where you'll encounter greater humidity. April was the perfect time to visit not overly humid with wonderfully warm & sunny days.
Overall, a great three days. I look forward to returning to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo!

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