Ixtapa is a modern, world-class resort area that was created from the ground-up, beginning in 1968 by Fonatur (National Tourism Development Fund, a federal bureau that is in charge of developing and urbanizing new tourist destinations). Today, it has all-modern constructions, vast and well kept gardens and a large residential area, away from the hotel zone. Ixtapa has several colonial and modern style malls interconnected by plazas and gardens, which makes it very difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. There, you'll find many restaurants, boutiques, shops, grocery markets, drug stores, etc. On the other side of the street from the malls, are the luxurious beachfront hotels. Ixtapa has many high-rise hotels of four and five stars; most hotels are of well known international and national chains. The hotels strip is about 2 miles long and the Ixtapa beach is called El Palmar. Here, you can partake on all the water sports, including surfing.