The most popular spot on Isla Ixtapa (and the one closest to the boat dock) is Playa Cuachalalate. An excellent swimming beach, it was named for a local tree whose bark has been used as a remedy for kidney ailments since ancient times. A short walk across the island, Playa Varadero hugs a rocky cove. Guides recommend snorkeling here, but watch for coral-covered rocks on both sides of the cove. Just behind is Playa Coral, whose calmer, crystal-clear water is more conducive
to swimming. Each of the above beaches is lined with seafood eateries eager to rent snorkel equipment. Playa Carey, toward the island's south end, is small and has no services. Pangas ($4 round-trip) run between the boat landings at both Cuachalalate and Varadero beaches and Playa Linda on the mainland, where you'll find a few all-inclusive, high-rise hotels.
Sep 3, 2008
Watch out for the food venders we had a group of 10+ and got ripped off on the food price Get a price for every thing in advance or pay as you go. Snorkeling was no good as the waves were big and crashing into the rocks so water was not good for swimming or snorkeling. there are better beaches to go to I will not go back. dean
May 18, 2007
If you visit the area, Isla Ixtapa is a must. Take a panga for a couple of dollars from Playa Linda and enjoy the day snorkeling or sitting on the beach. I recommend that you do the snorkeling early on, before all the snorkelers kick up all the sand. The beaches are small, but you can put your beach chair in the water and feel like you are on your own deserted island. There are restaurants, though bring water/drinks from the mainland to save money.
You can rent snorkeling gear, jet skis, banana boat rides, and so on.