• Photo: Chepe Nicoli / Shutterstock

Ixtapa

Ixtapa's primary hotel zone, the Zona Hotelera, extends along a 3-km (2-mile) strip of sandy beach called Playa del Palmar. It's fun to walk along the shore to check out the various hotel scenes and water-sports activities. Swimming is so-so because of how the small waves break close to shore. You can walk the length of the same zone on the landward side of the hotels, along Paseo Ixtapa. This landscaped thoroughfare—essentially Ixtapa's only main street—is an access road that feeds the hotels on one side and strip malls filled with restaurants on the other. It includes a broad path for pedestrians and cyclists. The Zona Hotelera's south end is also home to the 18-hole Palma Real Golf Club; at the resort's northwest end is the anemic Marina Ixtapa development.

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