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A Week In Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Mexico at Cala de Mar Resort & Spa


If you're looking for off the beaten path, authentic and hidden gem Mexico; we've found it for you. Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa is one of the best kept secrets for a Mexico getaway and I'll tell you why (you won't need much convincing).

With direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas & Houston (and a few others seasonally; Chicago, Minneapolis & Phoenix) - Zihuatanejo is more accessible than you think. There are also layovers in Mexico City (which could be fun to do a few days in the city and then a few on the coast!) It is technically closer to the Guatemalan border than the U.S. and is very lush, green and tropical.

For the last week, I visited the amazing Cala de Mar Resort & Spa located in Ixtapa on a FAM trip (travel advisors get invited on these trips to get first hand information to pass onto our clients). It is about a 25 minute drive from the Zihuatanejo airport and sits nestled into the cliffside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Every room has ocean front views AND a private plunge pool. The service is top notch - exactly what you’d want from a 5-star resort.


The direct flights from LA to ZIH run on Tuesdays & Saturdays - I hopped on the 3 hour direct Tuesday flight leaving at 9:30AM PST. We landed 12:15PM CST and were instantly whisked through immigration and customs. The airport is very small and doesn't take much time to go through.

Our airport transfer that was arranged through the hotel was waiting for us with bottles of water and an air conditioned van. 25 minutes later, we arrived at the amazing Cala de Mar Resort & Spa where we were instantly impressed with the property.

We were welcomed with a cold iced tea and cold towel. Quickly checked in and escorted to our rooms where our bags were found waiting for us.

Dinner night 1 was at their restaurant called "Terrace" - overlooking the beautiful ocean and getting to know the group (ending with churros, of course).


Bright and early at 8AM we attended a yoga class on the ocean deck. It was definitely the most incredible place I've ever done yoga and we had a wonderful local instructor who guided us through the session.

Next up was the breakfast at Las Rocas restaurant, the menu was expansive and included everything from smoothie bowls, fresh fruit, eggs and waffles/French toast. My favorite was having the fresh squeezed orange juice every day.

Afterwards, we did a site inspection of the property to get to know the lay of the land. Forewarning: this property can get a bit confusing. But luckily there is staff at every corner who are always happy to assist.

The afternoon consisted of pool time; aka a bit of WFP (work from pool), some shrimp tacos and margaritas.

A few of us headed to the local beach (just a 5 minute drive down the street!) and visited an island where there was food, drinks and snorkeling.

Dinner was at Seafood Market; their oceanfront dining experience where you pick your fish and what sauce you'd like it cooked in as well as a choice of three sides. We had a private saxophone player throughout the meal and it was amazing.


First stop was the market in Zihuatanejo for some souvenir shopping as well as food market shopping with the hotel's chef for our lunch cooking class later that day. He showed us where he gets the fish, cheese and vegetables from for the hotel restaurant.

Once we returned, we got started on the cooking class. First up; guacamole (of course). Then, we each took turns making homemade tortillas (yum) and finishing off with a fish main.

After a bit of down time, we returned to a penthouse suite to do a Mezcal tasting with one of their extremely knowledgeable staff; Antonio. We learned the right glass to drink it out of, how to drink it and the history of how to make it (all while watching the sun set).

Once the sun went down, we headed to their family style restaurant (which is only open upon request for large groups/families at the minute) and is also their only air conditioned restaurant.


This morning I opted for breakfast in bed (because while it is a work trip - I am in a beautiful resort where breakfast in bed felt like a must).

After a morning spent hydrating, we went into a Temazcal ceremony which is a traditional Mexican ritual of well-being and purification of the soul, spirit & body. "Temazcalli" means "house of steam"; the dome has hot volcanic stones that are infused with water that creates temperatures within the dome to reach 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

We did 2 sessions inside the dome; the first being 40 minutes and the second being 25 minutes. The total ceremony usually lasts about 2-2.5 hours.

This was *INTENSE*. I had done a bit of research into what it was going to be beforehand; but I did not expect the level of heat and the intense sweating instantly. It was challenging physically / mentally / emotionally but a beautiful experience and an incredible way to connect with Mexican culture.

I would definitely recommend doing one if you get the chance - they have them all throughout Mexico but Cala de Mar has one on-site!

For our last night, we were off on a sunset cruise departing from the port of Zihuatanejo. The cruise lasted around 2 hours and was so fun! Drinks and food were included and we saw a beautiful sunset. This was not private and we did see a few other Americans on board - but mostly Mexicans on vacation!


The final morning I spent in my plunge pool and had breakfast delivered to my room; to soak in every last bit of the property! My flight out was at 1:15PM CST so we packed up and headed to the airport.

Good to note that if you have an early flight in, Cala de Mar will have your room ready AND they've give you complimentary breakfast for that day. And if you have a later flight out, you're welcome to stay in your room until departure. They keep the hotel between 70%-80% occupancy for this reason! And with only 59 rooms, the hotel already feels so private, quiet and intimate.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is arguably one of my favorite places I've traveled to. The authenticity, the staff, the incredible views. This is the PERFECT honeymoon or anniversary spot and I already can't wait to return hopefully one day soon.

And if you're interested in visiting it yourself, fill out our inquiry form here and we'll be in touch. Just know that when booking through us you'll have access to discounted rates, guaranteed breakfast for 2 daily, upgrades and a $100 resort credit.

Until next time,


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