Fodor's Expert Review Playa del Palmar
Ixtapa's main beach, this broad, 3-km-long (2-mile-long) stretch of soft brown sand runs along the Zona Hotelera. Although you can swim here, small waves break right onshore, and currents are sometimes strong. Each hotel offers shaded seating on the sand. Concessions rent Jet Skis (MX$500 per half hour) and arrange banana-boat rides (10–15 minutes costs MX$100 per passenger with a four-person minimum) and parasail trips (MX$300 for around 5–10 minutes). Licensed guides in white uniforms cruise up and down selling horseback-riding and boating tours. Women offer hair braiding and massage under open-sided tents. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; water sports. Best for: sunset; walking.