Posted by Andrea on August 24, 2000 at 10:39:23:
Spent a week in Ixtapa (8/13-8/20) and we loved it! We stayed at the Barcelo and were upgraded to ocean view room at no charge (as it was our honeymoon). We payed $565 per person including airfare(on Alaska) from Los Angeles and one week hotel through Funjet vacations. This was by far the best deal that we could find. The service was wonderful at the Barcelo and the staff very friendly. The rooms were clean and the view from the(small) balcony is terrific. I hear that they are going all inclusive and I think that is a shame. Hotel food was generally not as good as the other restaurants and definitely more expensive.
When you go you may have a travel agency representative who will try to sign you up for tours but we didn't do them and I think we made the right decision. It was 250 pesos per person to go snorkeling for a day at Las Gatas on the tour. We did it on our own and paid 8 pesos (round trip)for the bus, 30 pesos (round trip) for the water taxi and 30 pesos to rent the snorkeling gear for the whole day. Maybe some of the tours are worthwhile but you can usually do things for much cheaper on your own and probably have more fun. Also, we almost always took the bus instead of a taxi. It is so much more fun and much more interesting. I would also recommend walking around Zihua and getting out of the tourist area down by the pier and fish market. The waves in Ixtapa were large and the beach had black flags (no swimming) almost the whole week. However, Las Gatas and Playa La Ropa were beautiful and perfect for swimming. The water was also so much warmer than up in California. The people were extremely friendly and I had alot of fun communicating with my limited Spanish. I would say that the majority of the guests at the Barcelo were Mexican families vacationing and I was surprised by how very few English speaking tourists there were at the hotel. I had expected there to be many more Americans there and I was glad that there really weren't that many and I got to see and experience a bit more of Mexican culture. Lastly, I would highly recommend that you bring bug spray because as soon as the sun goes down the mosquitoes will come out in force.