Colorful crafts at Mercado Central in Zihuatanejo. Unlike other popular Mexican tourist destinations where souvenirs and “local handicrafts” are actually made in China, the ceramics, paintings, and colorful tapestries on display in the Mercado de Artesanias in Ixtapa and the Mercado Central in Zihuatanejo, as well as small specialty shops, are made by hand by local villagers.
Parasailing is a popular activity in Ixtapa.
The marina in Ixtapa serves as the starting point for many happy memories on the water.
Dusk while looking out to sea from the beach in Ixtapa.
A small building in the village of Juluchuca, about a half hour south of Ixtapa, houses the Coco Lores "factory," making thousands of dulces de coco each day.
More dulces de coco: The finished product.
Since this is Mexico, thoughts of Day of the Dead are never too far away. Here, a cross in a Zihuatanejo gift shop.
A young girl makes tortillas at a roadside restaurant in Juluchuca.
An owl -- and many other critters -- will greet you at El Refugio de Potosi.
Ixtapa may not be on your radar when it comes to taking a Mexican vacation since it’s a lot smaller than the more well-known resort getaways. But it's a more authentic travel experience.