Explore Acapulco, Mexico
Explore Acapulco, the city that is one of Mexico‘s oldest beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1940s through to the 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco is a popular tourist resort.
Acapulco features a tropical hot, wet and dry climate. The warmest areas are next to the sea where the city is. Tropical storms and hurricanes are threats from May through November.
How to get around
Taxis are everywhere in Acapulco. Since they are unmetered, make sure that you agree on a fare before entering. Always negotiate – they can smell tourist money a kilometer away.
Although the rates aren’t always low, renting a car is a good way of getting around the city. Traffic is not that heavy, except on Spring Break and the Mexican Holidays, and parking in hotels is not expensive, and gas is very cheap.
What to see in Acapulco, Mexico. Best top attractions in Acapulco, Mexico
La Quebrada Cliff Divers – No visit to Acapulco is complete without watching the cliff divers perform their impressive jumps into the shallow stream of water of dangerous tides that forms in the bottom part of La Quebrada. They have been doing it since 1934. You can see the dives from a small platform by the cliff for a small entrance fee, or eat at the La Perla restaurant which offers a good view of the divers. Showtime at 1PM, 7:30PM, 8:30PM and 9:30PM.
Zócalo – Zócalo, Acapulco’s town square, lies on the western side of La Costera. It’s cool, shady and peaceful during the daytime. There are two fountains and many mature, multi-trunked trees that are a sight in themselves. The Zócalo tends to expose more local culture than other, more tourist-centric, areas. Zócalo contains Acapulco’s cathedral, as well as many restaurants ranging in size from sidewalk bistros and tiny street-corner kitchens. Many of the smaller restaurants will provide full dinners for as little as 35 pesos. The Zócalo at night is worth experiencing. Between 8:00 and 11PM the place is flooded with locals & chilangoes. Clowns entertain the crowd for tips. One is dressed as some sort of aztec warrior/statue thing. He is silver from head to toe.
Pie de la Cuesta – Pie de la Cuesta is a quiet strip of land roughly 10 kilometers northwest of Acapulco, bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by a freshwater lake (Laguna de Coyuca) on the other. The lagoon is extremely tranquil, but tourists are advised not to enter the Pacific Ocean at Pie de la Cuesta, because the surf is very dangerous. One can reach Pie de la Cuesta via bus. If you are on the Bay Side along the Costera, between Escudero and Diego Mendoza, look for the bus that says Pie de la Cuesta PLAYA LUCES. These go up that narrow strip of land. You can also take one that says San Isidro and that will let you off in the Zocalo in Pie de la Cuesta, but you have to walk a couple blocks to the strip and about a half kilometer up to the lagoon.
Puerto Marquez – Located at a smaller bay just east of Acapulco, Puerto Marquez sees much less tourist traffic than Acapulco. One side of the bay is completely covered by adjacent beach-side restaurants offering very reasonably priced food and beer. The restaurant owners (as well as most other locals) are very friendly to tourists and some will offer discounts or a free round of beer to groups. Tourists and locals alike munch on shrimp enchiladas, sip negra modelos, wade in the waters, and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets. Fewer locals speak English in Puerto Marquez than in Acapulco, so it is recommended that visitors speak some rudimentary Spanish. One can reach Puerto Marquez via bus.
Isla de la Roqueta – Isla de la Roqueta has a beautiful beach with shallow areas for families to play. You can get there by water taxi or the glass-bottom harbor tour boat from Caleta Beach. The harbor tour provides many sightseeing opportunities as well as seeing the yachts and homes of the rich and famous. As well, you can experience the cliff-divers’ show at La Quebrada, the submarine Virgin of Guadalupe, and see a diver with the tour swim under the boat with food to attract fish. If you don’t pack food while on your tour, there is a great opportunity to have lunch by way of a boat restaurant that comes alongside the boat and prepares your order. Just be prepared to wait depending on the number of people on the tour with you. Once on Isla de la Roquet there are numerous well-maintained trails, a lighthouse and beautiful snorkeling spots – but they can be rough (if this doesn’t suit you, your best bet would be to go to the Camino Real for snorkeling). And the bonus, you can take as much time as you want as the tour company’s boats dock throughout the day.
Most beaches are in the bay area fronting the main boulevard “La Costera”. This bay area is what made Acapulco famous and its beauty and majesty have not faded over the years. Some of the most popular beaches inside the Bay and lining the Costera are Hornos, the traditional “afternoon beach”, Papagayo, Tamarindos, and Icacos. Condesa beach at the east end of the bay is gay friendly. Caleta/Caletilla beaches and Langosta Beach are on the open ocean, and usually a bit cleaner. Most hotels in Acapulco are found along the Costera, and prices generally go down as you move west toward the Zócalo and old Acapulco.
Another open water beach, more suitable for surfing, lies in front of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and Fairmont Pierre Marqués Hotels. Playa Revolcadero is east of Acapulco, closer to the airport. The wave action is much higher than inside the bay or at Caleta/Caletilla, which are protected by La Roqueta Island. Transportation from La Costera takes about 35 minutes through a winding and scenic road.
Don’t miss Barra Vieja, approx. 20 past the Airport coming from the costera.
What to do in Acapulco, Mexico
CICI – a water park right by the main beach. Especially nice for kids. It features many different pools and slides, a Skycoaster (a mix between a swing and a bungee jump) and a dolphinarium. Dolphin shows are on offer, and so is one hour swims with the dolphins – a lifetime memory.
There are several more attractions, including golf courses, night clubs and post-hispanic fortifications. Nightlife in Acapulco is pretty much fun, and many places are suited for tourism.
Bungee Jump, On La Costera, 500 meters west of La Diana roundabout.
What to drink
In the past few years Acapulco has become a preferred destination for spring breakers, with tens of thousands of students descending upon this resort town to drink away the sorrows of midterms in a multitude of bars and clubs. Be aware that the fancier places may have long queues outside and will probably not let you in if you wear shorts and/or sneakers.
Day trips from Acapulco
Taxco is along the way from Acapulco to Toluca, and just off the highway to Mexico City. Some guidebooks depict it as an adorable little town filled with silver shops, but many drivers have come to dread the crowded, narrow, windy roads. Definitely a must for a first timer.
Ixtapan de la Sal is about an hour past Taxco on the way to Toluca. It boasts a perfect climate and thermal waters. There are modern water parks, spas, and a variety of folk health services. It’s 4-5 hours away from Acapulco.
Feel free to explore Acapulco.
Official tourism websites of Acapulco, Mexico
For more information please visit the official government website: