Thursday, October 21, 2010

Exploring downtown Ixtapan de la Sal

Hotel Ixtapan Spa and Golf Resort
 Travel is for value as well as for the experience. Well, in this one spot there is value, a unique experience, and more. In fact, the "more" comes from the many returnees to this spa. Some have been coming for more than 20 years; some come twice per year! They all say the same thing, no other spa offers the range of amenities and services for such an affordable price. For two consecutive years, the readers of Spa Finders have voted it as one of the most affordable spas.

Ixtapan is waking up!

Each day begins at 7 a.m. with a  2 mile walk around the 18-hole golf course, for those who are ambitous enough, of course. When you come downstairs at 6:30 a.m. the restaurant staff (there are those who serve the "SPA-DIETERS" and those who serve the other eaters) will have fruit - usually bananas -, tea, and coffee available. Juan, coordinator of the sports program, takes us through a series of warm up stretches and we're off to greet the sunrise.

Sunrise greets the walkers

Cathedral Santiera, Ixtapan de la Sal
A short walk from the Hotel Ixtapan Spa and Golf Resort, past the famous Parque Acuatico Ixtapan (Water Park) using water from the naturally spouting, volcanically-heated, thermal springs gets you into the town of Ixtapan de la Sal where many streets are named after the dates of memorial events in Mexican history. The center of town is marked by the Cathedral Santiera, City Hall, and an open air building where local musicians and dances perform regularly.

City Hall, Ixtapan de la Sal

Dance Pavilion, Downtown Ixtapa

There is a vibrant market place, stores, and street vendors.

Making pastry by hand

Food at the hotel is scrumptious, portion sized, and super healthy. Exerything is organic and most are locally grown. Desserts are usually fruit sorbets made in the spa kitchen. However, nothing or no-one says you can't venture out to sample local fare. The town offers many bakeries that often prepare pastries on the premises - all by hand.


Ixtapan is also a farming community know for fresh fruit and vegetables as well as flowers - you'll see the greenhouses as you enter the town. Here are a sampling of the fresh fruit and vegetables on display in the market.

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is memorialized on tote bags

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