Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Drive through harbor roads past groves of mangoes, tamarinds,
coconut palms, and banana trees to find your way to the Pacific coastal town of your choosing. From the high-flying resort of Ixtapa to the famously idyllic fishing village of Zihuatanejo, Mexico’s Pacific coast offers you twin cities with a split personality: the planned and the natural, the new and the ancient, the efficient and the carelessly beautiful.

Legend has it that centuries before the European conquistadores arrived

on Mexican shores, a Tarascan leader named Caltzonzin built a rock wall in the harbor to protect his people's women so they could swim safely in the sea. The wall still stands today, in Zihuatanejo (which means the place of women), for blessedly little has changed in the landscape here: even the more developed and luxurious Ixtapa, or Place of White Sand, offers rawly beautiful expanses of nature just outside its cultivated landscapes. Zihua grants Ixtapa authenticity, and Ixtapa lends Zihua luxury, creating a vacation getaway of harmonic balance.