El Palmar beach in Ixtapa, Mexico (Wikimedia Commons)

Ixtapa Marina (iStockphoto)

Mexican Oceanside Village Ixtapa (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Ixtapa

One of the best saltwater sportfishing destinations in the world, Ixtapa offers more than the average Mexican beach vacation (think Deadliest Catch rather than umbrella drink). A local skipper can take you to sea, where you’ll likely reel in a Pacific sailfish, the most common catch in these waters—or maybe even a 400-pound marlin if they’re migrating through. The adventurous can venture farther out and try for a dorado (mahi mahi) or yellowfin tuna. Release your catch, take it home for dinner, or carry it proudly in trophy form—Ixtapa skippers can do it all. Escape the well-traveled waves by heading to the Bahia La Tortuga Fishing Lodge, a five-bedroom lodge on a private beach in a small fishing community about an hour south of Ixtapa. Fish off the solitary beach or take out a small boat for your fresh catch.

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