This travel guide is what you need for discover Acapulco, a vibrant and exotic destination located on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Acapulco is a city that offers the perfect mix of sun, sand, and adventure, with a unique blend of culture and history that captivates visitors worldwide. Known for its stunning beaches, bustling nightlife, and diverse cuisine, Acapulco is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and excitement of Mexico. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the local markets, or dive into the region’s rich history, Acapulco has something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab sunscreen, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful and fascinating city.
Why should you go to Acapulco?
There are countless reasons why you should consider visiting Acapulco, but here are just a few:
Acapulco is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, with clear blue waters and soft white sand. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or participate in water sports like surfing and snorkeling, Acapulco has a beach for every type of traveler.
Rich culture and history
Acapulco is steeped in history and culture, with ancient ruins, museums, and art galleries showcasing the region’s unique heritage. You can explore the iconic Fort of San Diego, visit the Museum of Historical Fort of Acapulco, or take a walking tour of the city’s colorful neighborhoods to learn more about its rich history and vibrant culture.
Acapulco is known for its vibrant nightlife, with countless bars, clubs, and restaurants offering everything from live music to dance parties. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink with friends, Acapulco has something for everyone.
Acapulco is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of local and international cuisine available. From traditional Mexican dishes like tacos and enchiladas to fresh seafood and international fare, you will find something to satisfy your taste buds.
If you’re an adventure seeker, Acapulco has plenty of outdoor activities to entertain you. You can go zip-lining, parasailing, or take a sunset cruise to explore the stunning coastline and surrounding mountains.
Blue Flag Certification
The Blue Flag certification is an internationally recognized eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas that meet strict standards for water quality, environmental management, safety, and amenities. It’s an excellent achievement for Acapulco to have five Blue Flag beaches, as it reflects a commitment to sustainable tourism and environmental protection.
Visitors can feel confident that these beaches have met high standards for cleanliness and safety and that the local authorities are taking steps to protect the natural environment. The Blue Flag beaches in Acapulco are a great place to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports while supporting sustainable tourism practices.
Best Month to visit Acapulco.
The best time to visit Acapulco is generally between November and April. This period is characterized by warm and dry weather, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 24-29°C). This makes it the perfect time to enjoy the city’s beautiful beaches, explore the local culture and history, and participate in outdoor activities like hiking and water sports.
It’s worth noting that Acapulco can get quite hot and humid during the summer months (May-October), with temperatures often reaching the 90s Fahrenheit (over 30°C). Additionally, this period can be prone to occasional rain showers and even hurricanes, which can impact travel plans and beach activities.
Overall, if you’re looking for the best weather and optimal outdoor activities conditions, November through April are the best time to visit Acapulco.
Where Acapulco is located
Acapulco is a city located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Guerrero. Specifically, it is situated on the southern coast of Mexico, about 380 kilometers (236 miles) southwest of Mexico City. Acapulco is a major tourist destination in Mexico and is easily accessible by air, with its international airport, as well as by car and bus.
How to Get to Acapulco
There are several ways to get to Acapulco, depending on where you are coming from and your preferred mode of transportation.
Acapulco has its international airport, General Juan N. Álvarez International Airport (ACA), about 25 minutes from the city center. The airport is served by several major airlines, including Aeroméxico and Volaris offer direct flights from major cities in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
If you’re driving to Acapulco, several highways connect the city to other parts of Mexico. The most common routes include the Mexico-Acapulco Highway (also known as the Autopista del Sol), which connects Mexico City to Acapulco, and the Coastal Highway (Highway 200), which runs along the Pacific coast and connects Acapulco to other beach destinations in Guerrero and Oaxaca.
Several bus companies offer daily service to Acapulco from major cities in Mexico. Buses are generally comfortable and affordable, with options ranging from economy to luxury class. Some popular bus companies include Estrella de Oro, ADO, and Costa Line.
For those looking for a unique experience, several cruise lines offer port calls in Acapulco. However, this option may not be as widely available as the others and may require more planning and coordination.
How to Get Around Acapulco
There are several ways to get around Acapulco, depending on your budget and preferences:
Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Acapulco and are a convenient way to get around the city. There are both official taxis (marked with the word “Taxi” on the side) and unmarked taxis, known as “pirate taxis.” It’s generally recommended to use official taxis to ensure safety and fair pricing, and it’s a good idea to negotiate the fare before getting in the cab.
Public transportation: Acapulco has a public transportation system consisting of buses and minivans called “colectivos.” These are often cheaper than taxis and offer more flexibility regarding routes and schedules, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable during peak hours.
Rental cars: If you prefer to have your own transportation, Acapulco has several car rental companies. However, it’s important to note that driving in Acapulco can be challenging due to heavy traffic, narrow roads, and aggressive drivers.
Walking: Many of Acapulco’s attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in the downtown and beachfront areas. Walking can be a great way to explore the city and take in the sights and sounds at a more leisurely pace.
Culture and Customs
Acapulco’s vibrant culture is influenced by its indigenous roots, Spanish colonial heritage, and modern-day Mexican traditions. Here are some cultural and customs aspects to keep in mind when visiting Acapulco:
Language: The official language of Mexico is Spanish, and while many people in Acapulco speak some English, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases to communicate with locals.
Food: Mexican cuisine is a big part of Acapulco’s culture, and it’s worth trying local specialties like tacos, enchiladas, and mole. Seafood is also a big part of the cuisine, with fresh fish and shrimp being commonly served.
Music and dance: Mexican music and dance are important to the culture. Visitors can enjoy live performances of traditional Mexican music and dance in various venues throughout Acapulco.
Festivals and celebrations: Acapulco is home to several annual festivals and celebrations, including the Day of the Dead in November, the Acapulco Fair in April, and the Feast of Our Lady of Solitude in December. These festivals offer a chance to experience the local culture and traditions.
Religious customs: Catholicism is the predominant religion in Acapulco, and visitors should be aware of religious customs and practices, especially when visiting churches or other religious sites.
What you need to Know when visiting Acapulco
Only drink bottled water: It’s important to remember that tap water in Acapulco is not “that” safe to drink, so it’s recommended only to drink bottled water to avoid getting sick from contaminants. This also includes avoiding ice in drinks unless you are sure it was made from purified water.
Avoid driving, if possible. There is a lot of traffic: Acapulco is known for its heavy traffic, narrow roads, and aggressive drivers, so it’s best to avoid driving if possible. Taking taxis or public transportation can be a safer and more convenient option.
Avoid high season is crowded: If you’re looking for a more relaxed and peaceful vacation, it’s best to avoid traveling to Acapulco during the high season, which can be very crowded and busy. Planning your trip during the shoulder or low season can provide a more enjoyable and relaxing experience.
Acapulco is not bike-friendly: Biking is not a standard mode of transportation in Acapulco. The city lacks bike lanes or other infrastructure to support biking as a safe and convenient option for visitors.
You can use USD or Mexican Pesos: While the official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso, many businesses in Acapulco also accept US dollars. However, having some Mexican Pesos on hand is recommended for smaller transactions and to avoid confusion with exchange rates. It’s also a good idea to notify your bank or credit card company before traveling to avoid any issues with currency exchange or fraud detection.
Tipping is expected in Acapulco and throughout Mexico, and it’s generally expected to leave a tip for good service. A tip of 15% is considered an average amount for good service in restaurants. However, it’s important to note that some restaurants may include a service charge in the bill, so checking before leaving an additional tip is a good idea.
Is Acapulco Safe to Visit?
Like any destination, safety in Acapulco is a valid concern for visitors. While Acapulco has had some issues with crime, the situation has improved in recent years, and the city is generally safe for tourists who take basic safety precautions.
Here are some tips to help ensure a safe visit to Acapulco:
Stay in tourist areas: Stick to popular tourist areas such as the beachfront, the downtown area, and the main shopping and dining districts. These areas are generally well-lit, busy, and patrolled by police.
Use official taxis: To avoid getting scammed or robbed, use only licensed and registered official taxis. Avoid unmarked taxis, especially at night.
Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings, especially when walking around at night. Avoid poorly lit or deserted areas, and be cautious of people who approach you.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash: Only carry as much money as you need for the day, and keep your valuables in a secure place such as a hotel safe.
Be cautious with alcohol: Don’t leave your drink unattended, and be careful of accepting drinks from strangers.
Where to Eat in Acapulco our best recommendations
Acapulco is famous for its delicious and diverse cuisine, from traditional Mexican dishes to fresh seafood and international fare. Here are some of our top recommendations for where to eat in Acapulco:
La Perla: Is in the heart of Acapulco’s downtown area. La Perla is a popular seafood restaurant famous for its fresh catch of the day and seafood platters. Don’t miss their famous “cocktail de Camarones” (shrimp cocktail) or the “Pescado a la talla” (grilled fish).
Zibu: This upscale restaurant offers a modern take on Mexican cuisine, with a focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors. Try their signature “ceviche de atún” (tuna ceviche) or the “pato en mole” (duck in mole sauce).
El Zorrito: If you’re looking for a more casual and affordable dining option, El Zorrito is an excellent choice. This family-owned restaurant specializes in traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, quesadillas, and tamales, all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Sirocco: For a romantic and upscale dining experience, head to Sirocco, located on the beachfront. The restaurant offers a diverse menu of international and Mexican dishes, with a focus on fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients.
Los Flamingos: This classic Acapulco restaurant has been a favorite among locals and tourists for over 50 years. The menu features a mix of traditional Mexican dishes and international fare, focusing on fresh seafood and grilled meats.
Best hotels in Acapulco, our top picks
Banyan Tree Cabo Marques
This luxurious hotel offers stunning views of Acapulco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, with a secluded location on a cliffside. The hotel features spacious and elegantly appointed villas with private pools, outdoor living areas, and a range of amenities such as a spa, fitness center, and multiple dining options.
Located in the exclusive Brisas Marqués neighborhood, Encanto Acapulco is a boutique hotel with a modern and sophisticated design. The hotel features an infinity pool overlooking the bay, a private beach club, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views. The rooms are spacious and stylish, with floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies.
Pierre Mundo Imperial
This iconic Acapulco hotel has been a favorite among visitors for decades, with its tropical gardens, private beach, and extensive amenities. The hotel features multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and dining options. The rooms are comfortable and spacious, with various views and amenities.
Fairmont Acapulco Diamante
This elegant beachfront hotel offers a mix of luxury and relaxation, with spacious rooms and suites, multiple swimming pools, and a private beach. The hotel also features several dining options, a spa, a fitness center, and a range of activities such as water sports, Golf, and tennis. The design is modern and sophisticated, focusing on natural elements and sustainability.
Best Things to Do in Acapulco
La Quebrada Cliff Divers:
This is a must-see attraction in Acapulco, where skilled divers jump from a height of over 130 feet into the ocean below. The show occurs several times a day, and visitors can watch from a nearby viewing platform or a restaurant overlooking the cliffs.
Visit Playa Condesa:
This is one of the most popular beaches in Acapulco, known for its clear waters, soft sand, and lively atmosphere. Several restaurants, bars, and shops are nearby, as well as opportunities for water sports and activities.
Play Golf at one of the top courses:
Acapulco is home to several top-notch golf courses, including the Acapulco Princess Golf Course and the Tres Vidas Golf Course. These courses offer scenic views and challenging holes for golfers of all levels.
Assist the Acapulco Tennis Open:
This annual tennis tournament brings some of the world’s top players to Acapulco and offers a chance to see exciting matches up close.
Take a thrilling ride over Acapulco Bay with a parasailing adventure. Enjoy stunning city and ocean views as you glide through the air.
Visit the Coyuca Lagoon:
This tranquil lagoon offers a chance to explore the natural beauty of Acapulco’s surroundings. Take a lagoon boat tour to see mangrove forests, exotic wildlife, and traditional fishing villages.
Sunset in a Luxury Yacht:
Experience the ultimate luxury with a sunset yacht cruise in Acapulco Bay. Enjoy gourmet food and drinks while enjoying the stunning city and ocean views.
Windsurf in the Laguna:
The Laguna de Tres Palos offers a perfect spot for windsurfing and other water sports. Take a lesson or rent equipment and enjoy the breeze and the waves.
Join the famous nightlife of Acapulco:
Acapulco is famous for its vibrant nightlife, with a range of clubs, bars, and restaurants to suit all tastes. From upscale nightclubs to beachside bars, there is something for everyone.
Paddle surf at Santa Lucia Bay:
Santa Lucia Bay offers a calm and sheltered spot for stand-up paddleboarding, with beautiful views of the city and the surrounding hills.
Fort San Diego Museum:
This historic fort offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Acapulco and the surrounding region, with exhibits on colonial history, piracy, and the local indigenous cultures.
Wellness yoga or Tai Chi:
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city with a yoga or Tai Chi class on the beach or in a serene setting. These activities offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying the natural beauty of Acapulco.
Acapulco social media
Our final thoughts
Overall, Acapulco is a destination that offers something for everyone, whether relaxing on the beach, exploring the local culture and history, or participating in exciting outdoor activities.
Depending on your budget and preferences, there are several options for getting around Acapulco. Whether you take a taxi, use public transportation, rent a car, or walk, you’ll surely enjoy this vibrant city’s beauty and excitement.
Acapulco’s culture and customs are an integral part of the city’s charm and identity. Visitors can enjoy a rich and diverse cultural experience while exploring all this beautiful destination has to offer.