Continuing on our way towards Ixtapa, we continued to be delighted by the ocean views. In many ways it reminded me of the US Northwest with calm beaches and rocky points. This water is much more comfortable for swimming, however!

 

We arrived in Ixtapa, which was developed by businessmen who decided they wanted a Cancun of the West Coast. They have built up the coastline with large hotels, resorts, and some shopping.  It was recommended to us by a local restaurant that we should take a boat ride out to the island of Ixtapa, which has beautiful beaches and recreation. We drove out to the pier to park our van, and found some enclosed ecological areas that boasted of crocodiles and iguanas. As we admired the size of some of the iguanas, a nearby restaurant owner joined us and talked to us while he fed the iguanas his leftovers.  They crowded over by him like they were puppies ready for some grub. When he had given them all of his leftover pig skin (ugh!), he purposely tossed in his styrofoam plate, which they also happily devoured. What?! Seriously? He fed the iguanas styrofoam?

Looking back on Ixtapa’s beaches, you can see just how built up this small area is. Here is one side:

And the other side:

 

We loaded up on some simple shuttle boats to take us to the nearby island.

 

The boat had bench seating, and in the back of the boat you even had the option of sitting on a toilet, which they graciously covered with a cushion for your comfort.  I guess they didn’t custom order these boats…



We arrived on the island, and found the beach lined with a dozen restaurants in which to find shelter from the sun, and also enjoy some food.

 

A small motor boat showed up, and was full of gorgeous shells that they must apparently go diving for.

 

We claimed a table at the very last restaurant. We weren’t exactly hungry, yet…but ordered some lemonades so we could have the pleasure of enjoying some shade while the kids played.

 

Ethan stayed surprisingly close to us, digging in the sand (thankfully, in the shade)!

 

The waiter urged us to come look behind the restaurant, where a produce waste pile is often enjoyed by the wildlife of the island. Sure enough, a few deer were chowing down on some lettuce, and he said they get many rabbits and other critters, as well.

 

The kitchen where our food was cooked…

 

When we had been recommended to come here earlier, we were given a coupon for 30 free minutes using the recreational equipment at this particular restaurant. It was a good pull to get us here, and Jared went out with Ella on the water bike (what do you call this thing?).

Ella was freaked out by the fact that these wheels floated, so Jared brought her back and traded out for a kayak.

 

I got my turn next…

 

A few vendors roamed the beach in search of sales of jewelry and other accessories.

 

A woman passed us, selling hour-long beachside massages for $250 pesos ($20-ish USD).  After contemplating the splurge, we decided to split the time and get 30 minutes each.

I followed her to a tent canopy where she had me lay down. I was more than shocked when she was helping me adjust my swimsuit for the massage, and she pulled my swimsuit down off my chest (I was face-down…but nonetheless)!  I expected them to perhaps move the straps off my shoulders…but uncover my whole back?  Well, I guess you could say I felt exposed and a bit uncomfortable. Not only that, but instead of the woman giving me the massage, a man suddenly entered the picture to give the massage. When Jared switched out with me, the woman gave him the massage. I guess it must be the norm to have the opposite gender give a massage. I personally prefer to receive massages from women—so it was another little surprise that I wasn’t expecting.

 

Granted, the massage was relaxing. And meanwhile, the kids enjoyed a beautiful day playing in the tame waves, and enjoying the silky sands.

I think Ixtapa is an ideal resort place, if you’re simply interested in some good quality beach time!

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