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On the Gold Coast, the dynamic resort center of Ixtapa and the quaint fishing pueblo of Zihuatanejo are contrasting twins. One is bold, beautiful and full of action, and the other is a quiet wallflower, living a simple life on the outer edge of her sister's spotlight. Ixtapa is the most modern resort on Mexico's west coast, with half of its land protected as an ecological reserve. Zihuatanejo has an unpretentious, informal attitude and a serene setting along a sheltered harbor. Just four miles apart, these two towns are set in the lush valley of the Southern Sierra Madre and run along 16 miles of mountainous coastline with pure golden beaches and calm rocky shores.

While Ixtapa is a sparkling development of all-inclusive resorts, restaurants, club, and shopping centers, the rural seaside village of Zihuatanejo dates back to the pre-Columbian era, when it was the privileged home of the Mayan nobility. Its inns and cafés are family-run, and native markets share your attention with the malecón (seaside promenade). Tucked into one Mexico's most picturesque bays, these towns deliver the best of everything in one neat package!
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