Acapulco de Juárez has always been characterized by its strong tourist impact, both national and international. Featured in hundreds of films, a favorite of well-known Hollywood stars from the 50s and 60s, attractive to hotel impresarios and investors; and today, the destination of many a Mexico City inhabitant seeking sun and sea on the weekends.
One of the main attractions has remained unchanged through time; traditional Acapulco continues to be an ideal place to stroll. You can visit the
The Zona Dorada ("Golden Area"), one of the largest districts in Acapulco, extends itself throughout the Avenida Miguel Alemán, also called Costera. In this area—compared by some to Sunset Boulevard—there is a large number of exclusive shops, like
Pie de la Cuesta
Bahía Puerto Marqués
One of the most exclusive spots, with private beaches and large luxury hotels is Punta Diamante. One such hotel is the
Towards the international airport is an area with hotel complexes and all-inclusive resorts. These include
It may be the old Acapulco which enchanted Elizabeth Taylor, or the new one—with its large hotel chains, luxury shops, theme restaurants or popular clubs; tourism is still going strong in the bay, as strong as it has ever been. If you visit Acapulco, be sure to try a bit of both worlds—you're likely to come back time and time again.
Nature gave "the Pearl of the Pacific" a remarkable number of some of the most stunning beaches in the planet. The natural beauty makes Acapulco perfect for those visitors who are after the pleasures of the sun and the sea, and have been searching for the perfect sand and water to relax in, enjoy or play sports in.
In Acapulco there is simply no time to get bored. The price of attractions and entertainment varies, but are never too expensive. If you prefer busy streets and action in general, stick to the center; if you would rather relax on a quiet beach, the part of the Bay known as Las Brisas is your best bet.
All the beaches in Acapulco are open to the public, including those near the most exclusive hotel resorts. The following beaches are particularly worth visiting: Barra Vieja, enormous in length Laguna de Tres Palos, which eventually leads to the Pacific; the Beaches of Caleta and Caletilla in old Acapulco and a favorite among the locals; Magic Marine World, Roqueta Island, La Angosta, Playa Condesa and the Laguna de Coyuca. La Isla Roqueta is perfect for snorkelling or windsurfing. While still on the subject of beaches, it's necessary to mention the Beaches of Hornos and Hornitos: a swimmer's paradise; and Icacos Beach, one of the finest places in Acapulco. Playa Pie de la Cuesta is the ideal place to sit and watch the sunset; what you see on the postcards is nothing compared to the magical experience of seeing it live. Surfers find its waters a true paradise. The waves of Port Marqués Bay are not particularly swimmer-friendly, but many people prefer them for water sports. At El Revolcadero you have the chance to ride a horse along the shore and check out stunning views. Other beaches which are well worth visiting include Tamarindos Beach and Tlacopanocha.
Sailing in a yacht is one of the favorite activities among tourists who visit the Bay. Although the sea is not entirely calm and one requires some previous experience or simply natural talent to sail, fishing certainly poses no danger. Why not take your rod? You could catch anything from barracudas to sharks. There are special fishing tours you can book: the men in charge of the boats know where to find what you are after, and with their advice and suggestions, your experience is bound to be a success.
Acapulco is also excellent for playing golf, with two very good golf courses, one of which is at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, and the other at Pierre Marqués Golf Course, both with 18 holes. There are also several hotels that have tennis courts such as the Hyatt Hotel.
If you fancy a walk, visit some of the many arts and crafts shops, where a great amount of establishments specialize in Taxco silver and traditional arts and crafts from the Guerrero province. On Sundays, enjoy the folk music and try something special to eat at the Acapulco Garden Club. La Catedral is a chance to look into the history of Acapulco and the Acapulco International Convention Center is famous for the amount of quality shows that run year after year here, particularly concerts from the Acapulco Symphony Orchestra and music festivals. The Acapulco Festival is the world's largest since 1991 and stays current every time with large surprises.
During your visit, don't forget to go for a walk along La Quebrada, where, for decades, divers have tried their luck and put their lives at risk by diving from a great height to a narrow and dangerous entry into the Pacific Ocean, from a mountain peak. Yet another of the old attractions of Acapulco. The landscape from up here is beautiful and there is a wide selection of arts and crafts shops and traditional restaurants.
Acapulco offers entertainment for everyone, whatever age, tastes or interests. For the little ones, stop at Magic Marine World or at the CICI, famous slides and water games, as well as all sorts of trained sea animals.
Imagine an unspoiled paradise on the coasts of the Pacific, where only a few animal species live, with the sun, the sea and the vegetation making up a green and ocher landscape. Thus was Acapulco Bay over 3000 years ago. The first inhabitants of this area were the Nahuas, a tribe that was a predecessor to the Aztecs, according to archaeological findings dating back to over 2000 years ago.
In 1521, Francisco Chico, by order of Hernán Cortés acting on behalf of the Spanish Crown, arrived in this area, the first foreigner ever to step on Mexican territory, and named it Santa Lucía. The newly founded city quickly became an important trading center between Asia and America, with ships constantly coming and going to and from the East, and which brought, among many other goods, spices into America. As a result of the economic boom, the population increased threefold and its wealth attracted the attention of legendary pirates such as Sir Francis Drake, Morgan and Cavendish.
In order to defend the port from the frequent pirate attacks, a castle was built: San Diego Fort, which would later fall prey to an earthquake in the 18th Century, and would be destroyed as a result. Acapulco is, after all, one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the country.
At the beginning of the 19th Century, King Charles IV declared Acapulco a Ciudad Oficial (official city) and it became an essential part of the Spanish Crown. In 1810, José María Morelos attacked and burnt down the city during the War of Independence.
Acapulco recovered its importance during the Gold Rush. Many of the ships stopped in the port on their way to Panama, and more than a few of the passengers were so taken by the natural beauty of its beaches that they decided to settle there.
In 1920, Acapulco started its voyage towards becoming an important tourist destination, with the visit of the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VIII. Acapulco's charm had captivated the royalty and they soon recommended the place all around Europe. The idea to create a hotel and trading infrastructure came from a Texan businessman named Pullen, responsible for the construction of what is now known as Old Acapulco. Years later, President Miguel Alemán radically transformed the port, installing electricity, drainage systems, pavements, and building the first road from Mexico DF to the port, which brought much more tourism to the state of Guerrero.
The economy grew and foreign investment increased with it. The year 1950 marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Acapulco. It became the "in" place among millionaires and Hollywood stars. Elizabeth Taylor chose Acapulco for one of her weddings; Sinatra, Eddie Fisher, John F. Kennedy and Brigitte Bardot were regular faces on Acapulco´s beaches.
During the 1960s and 1970s, new hotel resorts were built, and accommodation and transport were made cheaper. It was no longer necessary to be a millionaire to spend a holiday in Acapulco, the foreign and Mexican middle class could now afford to travel to the beautiful city.
During the 1990s, the road known as the Ruta del Sol was built, crossing the mountains between Mexico City and Acapulco. The journey only takes about three and a half hours, making Acapulco a favorite weekend destination for Mexico City inhabitants.
Acapulco is still expanding and its infrastructures constantly improving with ever-growing foreign investment. No doubt it is worth visiting this Mexican destination, where the landscape and sunset are still the same as they were when Nahuas admired them from the deserted beaches so many years ago.
If the port of Acapulco de Juárez, in the state of Guerrero, is one of the favorite places among royalty and celebrities, imagine the variety in terms of entertainment the city has to offer its visitors! Since the early 1960s, Acapulco has been a favorite tourist destination among both Mexicans and foreigners. The tourist boom brought hotel investors to the bay to transform the area entirely, providing a wide range of services and prices.
Acapulco has one of the best hotel infrastructures, with something for everyone, whatever your budget. The road known as Ruta del Sol, crosses the mountains into Mexico City. The journey between the two cities is only three and half hours, and has made Acapulco a favorite weekend destination among Mexico City's inhabitants. For this very reason, Acapulco continues to grow and improve in order to provide all its visitors with everything they might need, want or enjoy. Acalpulco continues to grow as a top Mexican destination, without spoiling, needless to say, the natural beauty of the Mexican Sierra Maestra.
The list of luxury hotels is lead by the Acapulco Princess, which includes a top Golf Course as part of the services it offers. The Hotel Camino Real, located in the Puerto Marqués, far away from the busy streets of the center in a very exclusive area, is a real experience for its guests. Hotel Las Brisas and Hotel Mayan Palace are two other good options for guests staying in near the Punta Diamante.
Golden Zone (Zona Dorada)
For those who are after luxury and comfort, the best options are Hotel Elcano, Fiesta Americana, the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Park Royal. All of these offer first class services, bilingual staff, and are very near the most "chic" beaches in the bay. Other first class hotels include in the area include the Emporio Acapulco, Hotel El Presidente and Maris.
There is yet another option in terms of accommodation: what are known as hoteles económicos, and rightly so, are often compared to places in Waikiki in Hawaii. These hotels offer basic services and facilities, but are perfect for those who only want somewhere to sleep and some hot water. Some of these economical hotels include the Fiesta Inn.
For those of you who are just happy with somewhere clean to sleep and hot water, the "standard" hotels offer basic services at very reasonable prices, whatever your budget. So don't miss out on coming to Acapulco; if you are on a tight budget, stay at the Hotel Acapulco Malibú, or Hotel Tortuga located on the Costera Miguel Alemán, at the center of all the fun and on one of the best beaches; Bali Hai is another excellent option.
Traditional Zone (Zona Tradicional)
Another option is simply to stay in what are known as First Class hotels, like Hotel Boca Chica, very close to the Beaches of Caleta and Caletilla, one of the most traditional beaches for decades. Near the Papagayo Park, in the shopping area, is the Hotel Parador del Sol, the Pierre Marques, and Playa Suites Acapulco, among many others.
If you are looking for one of the hoteles económicos in Acapulco, try the Hotel Majestic. Situated on a beach which you are bound to have seen in more than one film, it is famous for being one of the most popular destinations during Easter and for New Year's Eve revelries.