From Playa del Carmen to Ixtapa, México

Mrs. ItchyFeet in Ixtapa

Playa del Carmen for six months is kind of long time in one location. So when a friend texted from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo to invite me for a visit, I was in! Ixtapa is a tiny resort town on the Pacific coast of México, north of Acapulco. It is very close to several gorgeous beaches, and I was excited to finally do some swimming. (Ha!)

Rocky (early) start

I bought the round-trip tickets from Cancún to Zihuatanejo and started planning all the fun things to do in the area. My friend texted a day later to let me know something had gone terribly wrong with her Airbnb. Too late to cancel… we would have to work something out. She got her money back from the original Airbnb and found another two-bedroom apartment, so no worries.

Mrs. ItchyFeet in front of Ixtapa sign
Made it to Ixtapa! So nice of my friend to invite me!

On the morning of the flight, I woke up freakishly early to catch a bus from Playa to Cancún. I did not want to miss the flight, and I had heard that traffic between Playa and the Cancún airport could get dicey. There is only one road, after all. The walk to the bus station took around seven minutes, and I didn’t feel nervous at all walking in the dark. It’s in a very safe neighborhood. The ADO bus itself was super lush. Nice padded seats. A/C. Luggage compartment. Huge windows. And I think it only cost like $10.

Lounge access really is nice

The Cancún airport is very nice and has a lovely lounge (I have a travel credit card so I can get access). I try not to drink before noon, but when on vacation… time for a mimosa! Soon everyone in the lounge was getting mimosas. Noms! They also fed me eggs and fruit. I do like to travel.

The short flight to Mexico City was uneventful. Holy crap, is that city massive! It just goes on forever. So colorful, though. The airport was so tiny in relation to the size of the city. I thought it would be huge. They also had a really nice lounge. Time for a Piña Colada! And tostadas! So many noms!

Mrs. ItchyFeet and shark statue
It’s always an adventure when I travel.

Next flight was to Zihuatanejo (sounds like zee-wa-tan-aye-ho). This mid-sized city sits very close to Ixtapa. You could walk there if you were so inclined. It would take some time and it’s over a rather large hill, so I took the bus. This is where the adventure began!

Getting around

The entire area is accessible via mini-buses (vans) called colectivos (co-lek-tee-voes). They have the name of where they are going on the front of the van and you just flag them down when you see them and jump on. They have rates posted onboard and are anywhere from 6 to 20 pesos depending on how far you are going. They have a small amount of change, so no big bills, please.

Crocodile street art in Ixtapa
The street art throughout México is truly amazing!

My friend gave me very detailed directions on how to find all the colectivos. It still took me a minute to figure out where to jump on at the airport. Once I accomplished that, I just had to figure out when to get off. You just yell out something like ‘Aqui’ to have the van stop for you and you pay when you leave. So simple!

The first colectivo for me from the airport took me to Zihua Centro. That is where I got lost. I wondered around for a while and saw all the cute shops. Lucky for me, most of the sidewalks had coverings, so I got some protection from that crazy tropical sun. Finally figured out where to jump on the van to Ixtapa and away I went.

Mrs. ItchyFeet at the Pacific Ocean
See those waves behind me? No swimming! Danger!

Let’s go swimming!

My friend met me at the Ixtapa Palace and I got my first look at this gorgeous tropical resort destination. This is where México goes on vacation. It reminded me of Hawaii a lot with all the giant resorts and fancy landscaping. So pretty! I’ll do another blog about all the flora and fauna (crocodiles!) I saw while here.

I was so excited about the beach. After some dinner, I made my friend take me down to see where I would swim the next day. Ten-foot waves crashing onto the sand and black ‘no swimming’ flags let me know I would, in fact, be missing out in ocean swimming once again. Sigh. Time for a drink by the pool!

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  1. […] a friend (who I met in Costa Rica!) invited me and another friend to stay at her apartment in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, I was so excited and did all the researches! The area looked super fun and gorgeous, with so many […]

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