Ixtapa Mexico Family Travel Guide

Ixtapa Mexico Family Travel Guide

Thinking of heading for the tropics for the next #family holiday vacay? Grab your beach towel and set up at #Ixtapa, #Mexico, where the crystal clear waters and dusty white beaches are just half of the charm. Keep your days #active and get involved in the many activities they have on offer, indulge in delicious #foodanddrink or spend some relaxation time enjoying the views - there is something for everyone.


Thinking of heading for the tropics for the next big holiday vacay? Grab your beach towel and set up at Ixtapa, Mexico, where the crystal clear waters and dusty white beaches are just half of the charm.

where the crystal clear waters and dusty white beaches are just half of the charm

This beach destination isn’t only great for kids—hello all inclusive beachside resorts—but this coastal hotspot is also chock full of the kinds of activities that make kids go gaga (like ziplining!).

So pack the bags and get the passports ready—you’re going ashore! Read on for everything you need to know about Ixtapa with kids in this Ixtapa Mexico Family Travel Guide.

Where to Stay in Ixtapa Mexico With Kids

If you’ve spotted the blue umbrellas along the coast then you’ve noticed the Hotel Barcelo Beach Resort—and it’s worth taking a second look at. All-inclusive means great things like buffet breakfast, snacks in the cabana, and a kids club perfect for ages 5-12—which means you’ll get a little relax time at the U-Spa just for yourself.

Barcelo Beach Resort—and it’s worth taking a second look at

The Barcelo Beach Resort in Mexico 
The Barcelo Beach Resort in Mexico 

Azul Extapa is the kind of upscale family-friendly stay you’ve been looking for; complete with activities for you and the whole gang (they’ve got a family entertainment room, can anyone say ping pong tourney?) and their own beach access. They’ve also got three pools and a “nautical area” so you don’t even have to leave the resort for sailing, or my favorite, kayaking. Take the kids for a place where they can run around like the wildlings that they are, and you don’t have to worry!

run around like the wildlings that they are, and you don’t have to worry

from  $250.13

Hotel Azul Ixtapa All Inclusive Beach Resort and Convention Center

 Paseo Punta Ixtapa L2 Zh Ii Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, Mexico
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For the bigger families—and I’m talking a lot bigger—the adjoining room features of the Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Beach Resort will really be an excellent perk for making sure everyone gets their own space while on holiday. Tack on their water slides at the pool, beach hut cabanas for taking a break from the sun on their private beach access, and their own kiddie playground area, and you’ve got the perfect place to stay with kids. You’ll never want to leave!

you’ve got the perfect place to stay with kids. You’ll never want to leave

What to do in Ixtapa Mexico With Kids

If you’re not carving out time to explore the brilliant beaches of Ixtapa, you’ve already started out your trip wrong because the scuba and snorkeling on these pristine sands is unparalleled among the Central American coasts.

scuba and snorkeling on these pristine sands is unparalleled

Plan to take a dive with Carlo Scuba—this is a stellar spot for scuba beginners, whether it be with advanced guided tours or resort dive tours for beginners, it’s a great place to bring the kids to see Nemo up close and personal. Head to their cafe, Chez Camille, after a day out on the surf; it’s a delicious way to end a day in the sun.

Want to take it back a step from deep sea diving and start with the tamer snorkel stuff? Head to Las Gatas; this beach is tame, with minimal waves (so perfect for little ones just getting their feet wet) and the reefs just off the shoreline are accessible without an oxygen tank. Spend the day marveling the wonders of a Mexican beach that’s just like the way the whole country used to be.

Spend the day marveling the wonders of a Mexican beach

from  $99

Hotel Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa

 Paseo De Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Mexico

Have you had enough of the sand yet? Good, because horseback riding on the beach is definitely a must do for a romantic evening out—if you get the chance to. Playa Larga is the place where 4 hoofs are just as common as two feet, and it’s the kind of sunset daydream people dream about for years (or maybe I’m just talking about myself here). Grab the kids if they’re interested and take your phone—you’ll want to have proof that these magical moments really existed once you get back to the “Real World.”

kind of sunset daydream people dream about for years

If you’ve got a lot of little ones (at least 4 years and up) take them off of the beach for a day and into the shade of the jungle—for a day of ziplining! With tour times beginning as early as 8:30am and including a shuttle from your hotel to their beginning sit, this two and a half hour trek through the canopy will leave you windswept and carefree and the kids will get a chance to fly like a monkey without wrecking the hotel lobby.

from  $65

Zipline Tours in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

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 Ixtapa, Mexico
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At the end of the day, why not head out to sea for a sunset you’ll never forget? You can take a cruise on a Picante Cruiser where you can enjoy a cocktail and the kids can enjoy a snack. Don’t worry about anyone going overboard, you can grab a lifejacket on the way out and save yourself the headache before it even get a chance to start! Just make sure you get a video if someone heads in the waves unexpectedly to send to grandma—it’s the kind of thing that makes a vacation unforgettable.

it’s the kind of thing that makes a vacation unforgettable

And a word to the wise before you even head out of town—make sure you plan on ditching your global roaming for a local SIM card once your airplane touches down. Not only will a local SIM card mean saving money, you’re bars will be higher in more places because you’re using the local service rather than your home plan. All you have to do is grab the SIM card at the airport or a convenient store (most resorts will have them too), unlock your phone, and then get to scouting out your dinner destination—it’s super easy!

What To Eat in Ixtapa Mexico

For a true cantina feel, nosh at Casa Morelos; they’ve got fish tacos to die for and you can grab a spot in the incredible atmosphere of the patio dining area. It’s a nicer spot to take the kids, but you can enjoy the glass a wine without the need to change out of your beach sundress and sandals. Just make sure you try the seafood—since 1996 they’ve been serving up some of the freshest dishes in the area. It’s not to be missed!

they’ve got fish tacos to die for

For your early morning coffee (extra strong) and something for the kids to munch on, pick a spot at the counter at Nueva Zelanda, where the pastries are fresh and the coconut milkshakes even fresher! For the past thirty years this restaurant has been serving up truly authentic fare, and their second, satellite restuarant in Ixtapa keeps up that tasty tradition; try an omelette, a banana split, or the fruit plate. They’re always great!

Is that a grill you smell? Well if you’re anywhere near Ruben’s, then it’s definitely the smell of perfectly chargrilled burgers and zucchini drifting across your path and you better head over there to grab a table fast. It’s perfect for the picky eaters in your clan—they’ve got great french fries, and who ever said no to one of those?—but it’s also delicious for the more developed palates with their grilled sirloin and beer selection. Just don’t forget to try the coconut ice cream before picking up the check—it’s a local Ixtapa favorite!

don’t forget to try the coconut ice cream before picking up the check—it’s a local Ixtapa favorite

For late night snacking just off the boulevard, grab a spot upstairs with a great view at La Fusion and order everyone a round of bacon wrapped shrimp. While you can let the kids take over the iPad, enjoy the live music and relaxed atmosphere with an order of mahi mahi or beef medallions—it’s a diner favorite and the view overlooking the busy street will help everyone wind down from a busy day.

Whether the kids are grown or in the potty-training phase, Ixtapa is a great location for taking a vacation the old way and really just chilling out—except when you’re taking a deep sea dive or swinging from the trees or trying to squeeze in line for a table at breakfast…actually, make sure you bring your A-game, because a trip to Ixtapa is a really big adventure. Have fun!

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