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San Diego, California
April 4, 2006
From journal Ixtapa in the Spring
September 5, 2005
Isla Ixtapa is accessible by small boats (pangas) that currently ferry passengers between it and the pier at Playa Quieta in Ixtapa. Boats are also available from the Zihuatanejo municipal pier, but it is more expensive from the municipal pier. You can actually take a water taxi from Playa Linda and it is only about 3 dollars. The island, which lies very close offshore, affords four separate beaches from which to choose: Playas Cuachalalate, Varadero, Coral, and Playa Carey, also called Sacrificio. Snorkeling is one of the prime attractions, and the clear waters are home to numerous colorful tropical species.
From journal The Hidden Paradise
February 24, 2004
This last time I asked lots of questions and got few solid answers. It was, however, not a local holiday on this day! We went to Playa Quieta (the launch site) only to find that a big storm had wiped out the boat dock a year or two earlier. Things got very confusing from there. Some said the island was closed because it was the off-season. Others said to hire a private boat in Zihuatanejo. We were told of a private beach a little south of Quieta that had a launch site for the island. We spent about an hour trying to find this beach. The locals had all heard of it, but most could not tell us how to find it. One part of the story that remained in common was that it had to be reached by foot not by taxi and that it was a long walk from the coastal road. We were also told we could arrange transportation with our hotel or an agent. After about three hours of trying, we once again saw the wild gators and returned to Ixtapa burnt out on the idea of getting to the island. In the future, I will make arrangements for a guided tour through the hotel or an agency.
From journal Ixtapa in October
Bayside, New York
September 12, 2003
The day started on the wrong footing, as the tour company forgot to pick us up. It is best to stay cool at such omissions, as the weather is warm enough without angst, and you’ll find that "vamos a investigar" (we will look into it) is the panacea for all. We were taken to Playa Linda, which is northwest of the resort. The route to the beach is magnificently landscaped, and it is here that you will find Club Med’s headquarters, and the luxurious Melia hotel.
Flor was the name of our guide, who was nearly perfectly bilingual. She was a pleasant woman with one of the sunniest dispositions I had witnessed; she had been a guide for the last 16 years, apprenticing in Mexico D.F. and deciding to work in Ixtapa because "it is very nice." No arguing here, for sure. The launch which transported us to the isle had been outfitted with a motor, and seemed to have seen better days. Our driver looked absolutely bored with the whole deal, as Doña Flor was ordering everyone around to embark and sit down.
It takes about fifteen minutes to reach La Isla de Ixtapa. This piece of land is uninhabited, except for the restaurants and tourist amenities that are anchored here. Volcanic rock juts out of the water, as cacti tower from the nearby hills and mountains. On one side, where we disembarked, are several restaurants, flanked by water sport rentals including jet ski, and severely outmoded paddle boats (they were bicycles actually).
You can snorkel on the other side of the island, but the charges are a bit ridiculous. If you do it with a guide, you pay him 25 pesos to accompany you to the other side, and 140 pesos for the snorkeling equipment. I was able to see and touch the fish without any of this gear, and walked to the other side of the island totally unaided. (It takes less than 3 minutes.)
For the kids, this might be a good idea though.
We stayed at Paraiso Escondido , (hidden paradise), and were going to have lunch family style with all the other participants. The meal was served promptly at 2 pm and consisted of shrimp cocktail, crackers, a filet of fish with rice and beans, and sweet plantain for dessert. Very simple, but adequate. What was more interesting was that we met two college women from Guadalajara who gave us some insight into the culture and resistance to progress they had encountered. Conversation was most animated.
The bathroom facilities on the island are semi-primitive, but quite clean. Toilets are western style, but you need to fill buckets of water in order to flush. Tour ends at 4:30 pm and is quite worthwhile.
From journal From IX to ZI
June 26, 2002
The coral reefs have plenty of fish to watch. Most are fairly small with the exception of a few medium size fish.
The water is clear and you can see all the way to the sea floor.
From journal Ixtapa, Mexico
May 10, 2002
Each day the workers boat all the supplies in and all the garbage out. I don't know if one should trust the ice, but it's pretty hard not to try a pina colada when it is served in a hollowed out pinneaple with a face designed of fresh fruit and topped with an array of tropical flowers ($5.00).
When you're hungry, ask for the menu and what do you get? The waiter brings you a tray of several varities of fresh fish, gigantic shrimp, and clams and you just point to what you want. This is no picnic-you will have cloth napkins and tablecloth. The service is terrific and you'll feel like the king or queen of this island for the day!!
From journal Mexican Paradise
December 25, 2000
From journal Mid-December in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo
November 6, 2000
From journal Postcard From Ixtapa
SAN DIEGO, California
October 17, 2000
From journal IXTAPA-ZIHUATANEJO,NEW AND OLD