Prior to travelling to Ixtapa, we had several people recommend Ixtapa Island as a good excursions for families. We tend to stick close to the resorts with the kids when we travel as they are quite happy enjoying the pools and activities that the all inclusive resorts have to offer. However, by mid week away, we thought the kids would be up for a change of scenery and started looking at option for a trip out to Ixtapa Island. There were 13 of us all together, 6 adults, 7 kids aged 4-11.
Option1: We discussed the excursion with our Westjet Vacations rep. The cost was going to be $28USD per child and $40USD per adult (reduced from $45 USD if we paid cash and because we were a group). For my family of 5, that would be just over $200 CDN.
Option 2: Online booking is an option, but when checking Viator and Expedia they were a similar price of around $200 CDN for my family of 5.
Option 3: We could go on our own. The $200 CDN included transportation from our hotel to the water taxi, Roundtrip ferry/water taxi to the Island, lunch, one drink and reserved chairs. We were pretty sure we could do this on our own for quite a bit less and Ixtapa is a pretty quiet place that we were comfortable exploring on our own. The Taxi (15 minute drive) to the Ferry was $160 Pesos each way. The Ferry (10 minutes each way) roundtrip was $50 pesos per person. The restaurants will give you chairs/loungers/palapas for free if you are ordering food and drinks from them. We were there for about 5 hours and lunch and a drink worked out to be roughly $200 – $250 pesos per person. This was about $125 CDN for our family of 5 – almost half price of taking the tour.
It was very easy to manage on our own. Taxi’s are plentiful, as are the water taxis. There are several restaurants on the three main beaches and this way we were able to choose when we left and when we returned and we were more on our own schedule, which worked well for us. We went to Varadero Beach, which was great for little guys wanting to swim. It was very shallow and calm and the not quite as hot as the snorkeling beach as the sun took a bit longer to come around to that side. From Varadero Beach, you can walk about 500 feet, through the restaurant to the snorkeling beach. This beach wasn’t good for little guys to swim, but had tons of fish and great snorkeling for the older ones. The location was good here, being able to easily go back and forth. They had an outdoor shower and bathroom facilities and the food and drinks were good. We were at the Lili Cipriani restaurant.
We really enjoyed our time at Ixtapa Island and being able to swim in the ocean as the shore break was quite rough on the main beach of Ixtapa and made it hard for kids (and some adults) to go in swimming. I would definitely recommend spending a day of your vacation on Ixtapa Island.