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.
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.
The traditional area of Acapulco is something you simply cannot miss. It was here that the port became an international tourist destination.So because of this we highly recommend the following tour, which will take the entire day, but will be a truly unforgettable experience.
To start with a deliciously nutritious breakfast, stop at 100% Natural restaurant, where dishes are light and exquisite. Afterwards, you only need to cross the street to be at the Beaches of Caleta and Caletilla. These are very popular; they're usually the busiest areas due to their warm, calm waters. Renting a small pedal boat or a jet ski is a great idea. Then, visit Magic Marine World aquarium, located in the centre of both bays.
Once you have toured the aquarium, and enjoyed the pools and slides, for a bite to eat, check out a glass-bottomed boat, which you'll find at the docks. The boatmen feed the fish, so you can see them eating right below your feet. Another attraction is a visit to the Capilla Submarina (Underwater Chapel), which consists of an impressive statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe, as the Queen of the Sea. You will also hear stories about giant manta rays, mermaids and many others that make up a part of the tour and add interest to the trip. Finally, you arrive at Roqueta Island, where you can grab a bite at Palao restaurant. It offers beautifully seasoned seafood and first-class service.
After savoring delightful food, you might want to stop by the Aca-Zoo on this island, which is not a bad idea, but to get there you will need to climb a few little hills to admire the animals in their natural habitat. After finishing this tour you can take advantage of a dip in a part of the ocean with a soft surf and fine sand. Much later, the conductor of the boat that has been rented will return you to your point of departure.
Sunsets in Acapulco are famous. Caleta Beach is one of the best places to see them, with a drink in your hand and a trio singing next to you. This can be a truly unforgettable experience. To put an end to a perfect day, visit the famous Quebrada show. We suggest seeing the 8:30p show because the torchlit diving is very impressive. Next, maybe finish off with a romantic dinner at La Perla restaurant, where you can enjoy traditional Mexican music in a stunning setting. If you are still up for more after your meal, check out a disco. Or you can go dancing on one of the many boats featuring live music, with the starry sky above and the natural sound of the waves surrounding you, we recommend the Bonanza Yacht. It also offers Hawaiian dance shows and a buffet supper included in the admission price.
Pie de La Cuesta Tour
A complete tour of this area requires the use of a car. Renting a car may be the best option: taxis could turn out to be pretty expensive. As you start making your way down the road, you will soon have a view of the sea beside you. This is where the tour starts.
Pie de la Cuesta is located some 6 miles from the center of Acapulco; along the way you will come across several cozy seafood restaurants where you grab breakfast, although a stop at the Tres Marías restaurant, where you will get a taste of the true flavors of the coast is highly recommended. The seafood is caught in the early morning hours so it is always served as fresh as possible. The great attraction of this area is that by simply crossing a narrow street, you will find yourself overlooking spectacular views of either the sea or the lagoon.
On the side of the lagoon, you have the chance to practice a never-ending list of water sports, such as water-skiing, parachuting, jet skiing, sailing and boat racing. However, the real charm of this place is its sunsets, which have given these beaches worldwide fame.
Other activities to keep you occupied on the beach are sports like, volleyball, football, horse-riding, 4-wheeled bikes, and above all, soaking in the Acapulco sun. Hotel Parador del Sol is another excellent option to spend the day at, as the admission price includes the use of all the facilities, that is, the pool, sun-decks, areas for volleyball and football, a buffet, and more.
Very nearby, there's a small port next to the lagoon, which organizes a Jungle Tour. This is a wonderful chance to go on a two-hour boat tour, where you will get to see a small isle inhabited by all sorts of bird species. If you are so lucky as to visit it in the winter, you will be able to see the ducks who have migrated from Canada to the warm waters of Acapulco. But it is not only birds you will have the chance to see here; this is also a great fishing area which provides Acapulco restaurants with most of their fish. This is a truly beautiful tour which is well worth spending some time on while you enjoy being in direct contact with nature.
If you're traveling with children, Pie de la Cuesta also offers an aquatic amusement park, Castillo del Rey León with all sorts of water activities, perfect for the little ones. It has swimming pools, slides, and games which will provide the perfect entertainment for kids and adults alike.
After such a busy day, how about dinner at El Cabrito restaurant? Located on the Costera Dorada, its spacious terrace is the perfect setting for a relaxed and enjoyable evening. Later, enjoy international music at the discos like El Alebrije or Andrómedas.
The Diamante Area in Acapulco is the newest part in terms of building and development. This is where the luxury hotels and accommodation are to be found. However, there are also some of the most beautiful beaches and places to visit in this area. Here is a guide to the most interesting spots in Diamante.
Start the day with a visit to the Capilla de la Paz (Chapel of Peace), a church of remarkable beauty located at the top of a hill. From here, you can see the whole bay and port of Acapulco—time to get out your cameras! You will also see the most exclusive residential area in town, Hotel Las Brisas, where national and international artists and several millionaires live. If you take a taxi, he or she will be able to show you a few of them.
Continue the tour by stopping off at Los Pavorreales restaurant, where a delicious Mexican breakfast is waiting for you. You can also take the opportunity to go for a ride on the Laguna de Tres Palos, either on a boat or a jet ski, which you can rent. Or simply go for a swim in the pool.
For lunch, stop by Bahía de Puerto Marqués, where there is a wide variety of seafood restaurants offering delicious food at very reasonable prices. We suggest the Cevichería Linda, a place where the variety of cocktails is sure to please the palate.
Now that you're in this bay, you may want to go water-skiing, snorkeling, or rent a jet-ski, which will enable you to reach the most exclusive and private beaches. Pichilingue
An excellent place for lunch amongst restaurants located in La Barra, where the Laguna de Tres Palos and the Revolcadero Beach come together to form a beautiful landscape. Here you can go horseriding, as well as swim in the lagoon. It is not advisable to swim in the sea, as the waves can be strong and dangerous. It is, however, possible to go on a panga, a small row-boat, which will give you the chance to get to know the lagoon canals, as well as see all sorts of species of birds in their natural habitat, and picturesque fishing villages.
On your way back, don't miss the chance to visit the Gran Turismo hotels, such as Acapulco Princess, Mayan Palace and Pierre Marqués, with wonderful facilities of all sorts. You can stop off at any of these, and enjoy a drink at their lobby bars, with live music, a distinguished ambience and excellent service. Most of the guests at these hotels are foreign tourists.
These hotels also have a large selection of boutiques, offering exclusively designed shoes and accessories which are bound to give you that elegant and sophisticated touch. To end the day, how about a fun night at the disco? Palladium and Pepe's are in the same area and provide splendid quality and service.
TOUR OF THE REGION
The folklore of Guerrero is very varied and of great interest for anybody who comes to visit Acapulco. It's highly recommend to do this tour on a Thursday, as this is the day when most restaurants prepare the most traditional dishes from the area.
The first place you should visit is the Mercado del Campesino, where you will find unique products, not only from Acapulco, but also from all over the region. If you arrive between 8 and 9 in the morning you stand a better chance of purchasing the best products. Although it is small, each of its stalls provides plenty of handicrafts and a wide variety of other objects.
The Fuerte de San Diego museum is another must for soaking in the culture. An impressive Colonial building, it houses pieces of great value which have been found by archaeologists over the years in Acapulco and surrounding areas.
For more archeology, you could go to the Centro Cultural de Acapulco, although here the exhibition is smaller and the objects are of a later date. Perhaps after visiting these museums, you might feel like indulging in a different sort of activity. Why not visit Playas Hornos y Hornitos and Tamarindos, where you can spend the rest of the morning playing water sports and watching the fishermen at work?
If you prefer a more touristy and international atmosphere, try Playa Condesa, a very popular beach, due to its beauty and entertainment facilities.
When hunger strikes, we recommend you go to Los Cazadores restaurant, famous for its Pozole Verde, the local dish par excellence. This is not only worth going to for the excellent food, but it also gives you the chance to see the variety show staged here, so you can easily spend the afternoon here in its festive atmosphere. Another choice could be Los Rancheros restaurant, which, despite not offering a show, does have a terrace with views of the bay, where you can spend a pleasant time listening to the music and the sound of the sea.
Towards the end of the evening, visit the Parque Papagayo, a fair with dolly mollies, Mexican snacks and games. Kids and adults alike will find this place charming and fun.
Round it all off by going to Noche Mexicana Centro de Convenciones, where there is traditional music and dancing, shows, and also the chance to savor an exquisite meal.