Club Med Ixtapa, Mexico

100 or so things we wished we knew

We visited Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico the last week of February 2009.  We had a great visit!  The place and the people are fantastic. 

Of course, there are always things we wished we knew before we went, so here are some hints for your visit.  (Note that we visited Club  Med using travel arranged by Club Med and it was February, so your experience could be a bit different.)

  1. The resort is very clean, but there are places that need to be picked up.  The Chief needs to instill "if you see trash, pick it up!" in the G.O.s and the G.E.s.

  2. Mexican pesos are written $48 or $48 MXN, so be careful as some prices are listed in US dollars -- such as the liquor store at the airport.

  3. Club Med will change money for you, but it was offering 11 pesos to the US dollar when the going rate was around 15 pesos.  As a staff member said, "the house wins."  Win, yes, take advantage of its customers -- come on! 

  4. Charges you put on your room account are in pesos, so you'll end up being charged the exchange rate plus the fees charged by your bank, not the Club Med exchange rate.

  5. There are six computers with internet connections available next to the front desk.  You can buy access for 50 pesos for an hour or 500 pesos for the week.  The hour is one hour of connect time, not a one-hour session.  You'll be given a password.  Be sure to log off when you're done.  With this you can check email quickly a few times on the one-hour code.  Note that there's Internet Explorer access, not any other internet services such as Google Earth.

  6. While we saw information that said the nearest ATM was 3-1/2 miles away, we found one at the Melia Azul Ixtapa resort that's 1/2 mile just north of Club Med Ixtapa Pacific on the west side of the road.

entrance to Melia Azul Ixtapa

  1. The Melia Azul Ixtapa is the active resort north of Club Med Ixtapa Pacific.  The pools and kids play areas there are great.  You can get a tour there, but be careful, a "tour" can become a timeshare sales pitch. {Their deal (approximately):  $24,000 US for a 25-year contact good for one week per year at around $170 US in many great places in the world, or more weeks off season.  They do have rooms on an all-inclusive basis for around $200 US per day.}

  2. There's also an ATM at the airport.  Stop at it on your way out of the airport.  (You'll probably get the best exchange rate, avoiding the off-rates with the airport currency exchanges in the US and the desk at Club Med.

Ixtapa's Commercial Zone (click for larger version)

 

  1. There is public access at the south and north of Playa Quieta and other beaches along the coast.

  1. The beach to the north is Playa Linda.

  2. Immediately to the north of the north Playa Linda beach access is a dead resort.  There's some moderate work on the place, but it could be years until its finished.  North of that is the Meila Azul Ixtapa.

  3. To get to Playa Linda, exchange some money for pesos, go outside the gate, cross the street and wait for a bus.  Wave, literally wave, the bus down. 

  4. The cost of the bus to Playa Linda is around 4-1/2 or 5 pesos one way per adult.

  5. The bus driver can make change for larger change (10 peso coins) and small notes.

  1. At the south side of the Playa Linda commercial area is an Alligator Preserve.  You'll see many active alligators -- no charge.  Watch your children as the railings aren't very high.

  1. To get to Island Ixtapa, take a ferry boat at Playa Linda.

  1. The cost of the ferry boat is 35 pesos, round trip.  Save the second half of your ticket for the return trip.

  2. Island Ixtapa has three main beaches and one other beach.  The main beaches are the east north beach (Playa Veradero), the east south beach (Playa Coachalalate) and the west beach (Playa Coral).

  3. The two east beaches have many restaurants that will gladly sell you beer and food.

  4. The west beach is behind the east north beach.  It has the coral and is the snorkeling spot.  Yes, there are good tropical fish to see.  We didn't see seahorses.

  1. The restaurants on Island Ixtapa will gladly rent snorkel gear.  We paid 100 pesos at the restaurant near the north end of the west beach.

  2. The fourth beach is reportedly clothing optional, but we didn't see anyone there.

  3. To get to the town of Ixtapa, you can take the bus for 7 pesos per adult each way.

  4. A taxi to Ixtapa should be 90 pesos if you walk out the main gate and take one of the ones that are usually there.  If you ask reception to call you a taxi, expect to pay $9 US for the ride in.

the beach at Ixtapa is called Playa del Palmar

  1. The beach at Ixtapa is largely cut off by the Hotel Zone, a line of high-rise hotels.

  2. While the hotels generally limit access to the beach, if you walk on through like you belong there (and fit the description of Gringo tourist) you may be able to get through.  If not, there's public access at the north and south.

  3. To the east of the Hotel Zone is the commercial area with many shops, vendors in tents, etc.

  4. If you're looking for tequila or the like, try Tequila Por Favor! at Centro Comercial La Puerta, L-8 & 17, Ixtapa.  Phone (755) 553 11 55.  You'll probably do better than at the Duty Free at the airport.  If you want some miniature bottles, this is a good place.

  5. There's no post office in Ixtapa.  The closest one is in Zihuateneo.

  6. Stamps are available at the Boutique at Club Med.  Cost is 10.5 pesos for a postcard to the US.

  7. Postcards are available at the Boutique for 6 pesos.  There really isn't a great card of Club Med Ixtapa.

  8. The number one recommendation of parents of young children at Club Med was "bring more diaper cream."  With the humidity and long hours in the swimming diapers, they hadn't brought enough.

  9. Have a great trip!

The days are almost always sunny, sunny, sunny, but my photos seem to be with the interesting clouds.

 

 

If you have suggestions to add to these pages, or comments on them, please email

mike@winepi.com

 

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last updated:  03/10/09 10:45:23 PM
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