While other Mexican beach destinations lure in tourists with drinking and nightlife, Ixtapa appeals to different, more adventurous thrill-seekers. Who needs lounging in a beach chair all day when you can get your adrenaline pumping with a trip into the wild Mexican jungle? Between exotic animals and dangerous heights, there’s nothing left out when you take an ecotour through the vines and waves of this Mexican hotspot.
Fit and Fearless in the Forest
By far the largest and most popular tour group in Ixtapa is Adventours, which offers several different types of escapades on land and sea. Brace yourself; their Adventure on the Island tour is nothing short of intense. Prepare to zip through the tropical forest on a 6 km bike ride, passing by exotic plants and wild animals along the way. If you prefer to see snapping critters up close, don’t worry. The tour includes a visit to the crocodile pit at Playa Linda.
If this isn’t enough activity for you, the tour continues with kayaking and snorkeling. The ocean waters of Ixtapa are filled with incredible aquatic wildlife, ranging from dolphins to sailfish to enormous sea turtles, and many of these creatures are only an arm’s length away as you swim with them. Whether you consider yourself a shark or a minnow, dare to explore the watery underworld of Mexico with its local, finned inhabitants.
Jumping and Jolting in the Jungle
While Parque Aventura’s main attraction is the zip line, that’s not all there is to experience. The park is set up as an outdoor adventure course, and your only goal is to make it to the end alive and well. You’ll cross rickety suspension bridges with broken boards, climb over tangled lianas, and balance on fallen trees to get to the other side. Since it’s in the jungle, you also have a good chance of seeing animals like lizards and ostriches wandering around.
This is the most “down and dirty” of all the tours on this list, so prepare to walk out a few shades grimier. You may even want to bring your Indiana Jones-style gear as you push your way through the muddy jungle to get to the prize at the end. Instead of a golden idol or a bag of jewels, the treasure you’ll leave with is getting to experience a side of the landscape often missed by more leisure-bound travellers.
Beetles and Butterflies in the Bio
If bugs are your thing, head over to the Park Bio La Escollera. The park offers several exhibits, the most popular being the Insectarium. This area showcases local Mexican creepy crawlies, including everything from tarantulas to snakes to scorpions. If standing in a room full of critters bugs you out, don’t worry–despite the free-roaming policy that governs most of the park, these creatures are safely restrained so you can examine them up close without worrying about bites. Aside from bugs, the tour also includes an iguana sanctuary and a reserve where you can see dozens of birds and mammals in an expansive enclosure.
When you spend an afternoon swimming with dolphins or watching crocodiles devour their meals, you’ll know you made the right choice coming to Ixtapa for vacation. Let everyone else enjoy their poolside views while you’re in the thick of forest vines and ocean waves.
Featured Image Source: Flickr/Creative Commons/Brandon Leon/Via/https://flic.kr/p/6jcRW5
Do you prefer to explore the land or sea on your ecotours?