Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo: Let me guess, you’ve probably never heard of this place before, right? And how the heck to do you pronounce it, anyway? This is exactly why you should go here – a gorgeous resort in a quiet part of Mexico that most Americans have never heard of. Imagine a resort town that is not overpopulated, has little to no lines of tourists, is clean, safe, offers delicious seafood, and is run by people who win awards for hospitality by waiting to fulfill your every need. This is Cala de Mar, a world-class resort in Ixtapa, Mexico. #ixtapa #calademar #zihuatenejo #mexico
Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo (two towns right next to each other), await travelers who are seeking true relaxation with a little bit of adventure. The area, in the State of Guerrero, Mexico, was developed in the 70’s as a resort destination complete with golf courses, spas, shopping, and restaurants. What we discovered was a vacation experience like no other with as much or as little as we wanted to do, and undisturbed by over-population and lines of tourists. #winning #vacationdream
The small airport is only a 15 minute ride to the resort area in Ixtapa, and operates a few flights daily to and from Mexico City. When you arrive, you will see a beautiful rocky coastline, and interesting rock formations in the sea with waves crashing, leaving behind a foamy, white line where the deep blue water begins again. The colors, the sounds of the waves, the smells of the sea are never-ending and offer a relaxing effect like no other.
We chose Cala de Mar for its reputation as being one of the best resorts in Mexico, and it did not disappoint. Personally, this is one of the best resorts we've ever stayed in for the relaxation, scenery, food, and hospitality as well as location- and we would go again and again. Here are my “top 5” things to do while visiting the area.
Day One: Get to Know Your Resort
Seriously – the resort is so beautiful, you will not want to leave. This is the place where you get spoiled the most, so of course staying in for a day is a great idea. At Cala de Mar we ordered room service and just enjoyed the view on our private patio, cooled off in our very own plunge pool, (every room has a private plunge pool and view of the ocean), and just listened to the water crashing below us. A huge plus: the prices were not outrageous, and they brought us whatever we wanted – including things not on the menu. Gifts are delivered daily ranging from handcrafted items such as straw bags and hats, to delicious snacks and cold beer. #nicetouch
Food options range from casual seaside dining to dressy fine dining. Pretty much anything you desire is available and it is absolutely delicious. As you walk around exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful oasis, you will be greeted by name by the most friendly staff around. If you stop by the pool to have a look, a waiter will be by your side within minutes with cold water, complimentary to you, and presented in your own small cooler. It is quite likely that you will feel as if you are renting a large mansion for the week, as other guests are in their rooms or elsewhere.
There is a feeling of complete isolation and spoilage that happens, and I’m not quite sure how they pull this off being fully staffed at all times no matter how few people seem to be there. It’s an experience I’ve not had in the past, and one I will most definitely be repeating because it’s just that good. #vacationheaven
Day Two: Beach Day
Because Cala de Mar is built into the side of a cliff, there is no direct beach access, so you will need to go by cab. There is a beach at Ixtapa called Playa Linda, but we felt that Playa la Ropa in Zihuatenejo was more of what we were looking for. This beach was gorgeous, uncrowded, offered several food and drink options, as well as inexpensive parasailing and other water activities.
Chairs and umbrellas are available for rental with young waiters running drinks and food to you chairside from the local restaurants and bars lining the beach. Very relaxing, indeed. Playa Los Gatos is a bit quieter, but equally as beautiful. There are little to no waves here, so it’s a great beach for quiet relaxation.
Day Three: Relax Poolside, Spa Treatment, Sunset Cruise
Cala de Mar has two infinity pools with shaded areas, poolside drinking and dining, and views of the most beautiful ocean with rock formations in the distance. The spa boasts similar views, so booking a treatment on your poolside day is a great idea. I must mention that the prices at the spa were surprisingly reasonable, which is not something I’ve seen in other places. Of course, this makes the trip all the more enjoyable! #spaday
The staff at Cala de Mar are very observant as to what you like to drink and eat, and the snacks waiting in your room when you return are spot-on. Why not end this perfect day with a sunset cruise aboard a catamaran? Sail past Zihuatenejo and Ixtapa while sipping a cold drink as the sun sets. All of this can be arranged by your personal assistant at the resort. What a great day! #resortliving #mexicovacation #calademar
Day Four: Explore the Town
Have the resort provide you with a cab driver who will take you wherever you want to go for the day. We chose to explore the old town of Zihuatenejo and do some shopping. It was a blast walking around the market while drinking cold beer and talking with the locals. Our driver took us to all the pretty spots, stopped to take pictures, and gave us great information about the history of the area, places to eat and shop.
We discovered a beautiful bike path in Ixtapa that we enjoyed for the second half of our day. Marked with a red sidewalk, the path winds through shaded sections of mostly flat terrain with well-marked points of interest. Cala de Mar provided us with complimentary bicycles and of course, greeted us upon our return with ice cold bottled water and a wet towel to cool us off. When we returned to our room, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, and two cold beers were waiting for us. #greatday #personalservice
Day Five: Your Choice: So Many Things to Do
· Tour Ixtapa Island by boat for the day to snorkel and explore.
· Take a cooking class at the resort. Learn how to prepare fresh seafood, guacamole, or learn about different types of tequila for cocktails.
· Horseback riding along the beach or mountainside.
· Deep sea fishing adventures and scuba diving are available.
· Sailing classes and sailboat rides can be arranged.
Get outside and play golf! Arrangements can be made at the resort.
Worth mentioning is Cala de Mar’s library. It is a quiet and comfortable place with various books to peruse. Fresh coffee, juice, water, and tea are offered daily along with fruit, cookies, and biscotti. The coffee bar is self-service, which adds to the quiet experience. There is a fitness center as well as a beautiful gift shop here. As with everything at Cala de Mar, the sounds, smells, and views of the ocean are inescapable.
#calademar #travelmexico #travelblogger #lovemexico #beachvacation #vacationinspo #resortliving #bestresorts #ixtapa #zihuatenejo #hospitality #seafood #cliffsideresorts #snorkeling #islandlife #sailing #pacificocean #yoga #cookingclass #poolside #roomservice #bicyclepaths #naturetrails #bestresortroom #roomwithaview #privatepool #customerservice #spaday #sparetreat #healthyliving #dinnerandmusic #cliffsidedining #horsebackriding #deepseafishing #sailing #bestmexicangetaway #romanticresorts #travelingwithoutchildren #couplesresort #retreatdestination