Acapulco de Juárez (Spanish: [akaˈpulko de ˈxwaɾes]), commonly called Acapulco, is a city, municipality and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semicircular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico's history. The city of Acapulco is the largest in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo. Acapulco is also Mexico's largest beach and balneario resort city. The city is one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1940s throu 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco is still famous and still attracts many tourists, although most are now from Mexico itself. The resort area is divided into two: The north end of the bay is the "traditional" area known as "Zona Dorada" (golden zone in Spanish), where the famous in the mid-20th century vacationed,... Read more
Acapulco de Juárez (Spanish: [akaˈpulko de ˈxwaɾes]), commonly called Acapulco, is a city, municipality and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semicircular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico's history. The city of Acapulco is the largest in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo. Acapulco is also Mexico's largest beach and balneario resort city. The city is one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1940s throu 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco is still famous and still attracts many tourists, although most are now from Mexico itself. The resort area is divided into two: The north end of the bay is the "traditional" area known as "Zona Dorada" (golden zone in Spanish), where the famous in the mid-20th century vacationed, and the south end "Diamante" (diamond in Spanish) which is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels. The name "Acapulco" comes from Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means "where the reeds were destroyed or washed away". The "de Juárez" was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, former President of Mexico (1806–1872).
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 mile away. The old Volkswagen beetle cabs are cheaper than newer air-conditioned cars. Shared Cabs (usually white with yellow) run between major destinations and are very convenient. They usually display their destination in large letters and charge a flat fee of M$12, irrespective of distance. You should not have to pay more than M$50 per cab ride within the Costera area but fares can reach as much as M$120 for rides from La Costera to La Quebrada, Princess Hotel (Revolcadero Beach) and the airport. Alternatively most hotels can arrange for taxi transportation for a fixed fare (usually inflated). Prices will usually be about 50% more expensive than for a taxi hailed on the street. There are several public transportation options: Yellow cabs are 12 pesos per person; buses are M$5-6 pesos with the luxury of air-conditioning. Because of the sheer amount of taxis here, when one is dining out it is often worthwhile for them to offer a round trip and simply wait around while you have your meal, and they will not charge extra. Buses are worth experiencing even if you don´t want to travel on them. Destinations are printed on the front window of each bus. There is no need to be at one of the buses regular stops in order to get on. Just wave your arm or look at the driver. He will stop and encourage you to get in. In fact, drivers will stop and try to get you ride with them if you are even walking in the same direction that they are driving in. The bus system in Acapulco has been fully privatised - each bus is privately owned. This means they can decorate them however they want. Pink buses cruise around blaring out traditional Mexican music, racing against ones decked out in UV lights pulsing out club music into the night air. The complete lack of suspension and the bizarre incentive for the buses to race each other to each bus stop as they compete for passengers makes for an unforgettable ride. Private autos It is generally unwise to try to drive yourself around Acapulco. Traffic is heavy and drivers aggressive, parking is scarce, streets do not run in a neat grid, and even change names unexpectedly. Most, if not all streets lack signs indicating their name. In addition, foreign tourists driving rental cars can become targets of the Acapulco police officers, who will accept payment (~M$400) for violations in person at the time of pullover, without providing a receipt or proof of violation or clearing of the violation.
- 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, 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 is a quiet strip of land roughly 6 miles northwest of Acapulco, bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by a freshwater lake (Laguna de Cuyoca) 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 (around $3.50 USD) or the glass-bottom harbor tour boat (around $7 USD) 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 ($500–$800 Pesos for a cab all day)
CICI - a water park right by the main beach. Especially nice for kids. Entrance is 100 pesos and 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 for USD120.
There are several more attractions, including golf courses, nightclubs and post-Hispanic fortifications. Nightlife in Acapulco is pretty much fun, and many places are suited for tourism including "El Alebrije", "Disco Beach" and "Palladium", this last having an awe-inspiring sight of the whole bay of Acapulco.
Señor Frog's. Señor Frog's is a party place; outside you will see signs that read "Drunk Crossing"; from that you can infer what this place is like.
Kookaburra - Also good food with a great view of the city.
La Perla - La Perla's claim to fame is that it provides a wonderful view of the cliff divers. A buffet breakfast is 110 pesos (roughly $11 gringo dollars) and includes Mexican breakfast specialties such as chilaquiles (fried tortilla pieces with scrambled eggs,cheese,chicken and salsa), sopas, and chicharones (pork rinds), with yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, tropical juices, Mexican pastellitas (little coffee cakes) and seasonal treats such as a whole roasted piglet. Before the divers' show, you stand a good chance of a getting a serenade from a wandering trio of mariachis. (Tipping recommended, and they also take requests.)
100% Natural. A Mexican chain of restaurants in many locations throughout the city, including the beach. They specialize in traditional Mexican food prepared with a healthy slant and different sorts of tropical and nutritional juice blends. A hearty, tasty breakfast ranges between 35 and 70 pesos, not including a juice drink. Very clean, with prompt service.
El Nopalito, calle la paz (zocalo), +52 744 188 9711. A traditional Mexican family restaurant, the most authentic one downtown, this is the real deal, real Mexican taste. They specialize in traditional Mexican food as well as some South American dishes that have been introduced to México during the years. Everything is prepared with food obtained from local food providers instead of supermarkets, which makes eating there an economical support to fair trade. 35 pesos a meal, handmade tortillas and fruit water included (as of Jan, 2013).
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.
El Alebrije claims to be the largest night club in Latin America, capable of holding over 5,000 people. The crowd is fairly young, around 18-25. Foam party on Fridays. Cover is $400 Pesos for men and $350 Pesos for women with a free open bar until 5AM. Be prepared to tip if you plan on drinking heavily. If arriving by car, you can park in the Walmart 24 hour carpark just up the road and save on the valet parking charges.
Palladium. Is the other super club in Acapulco. It is in Las Brisas, perched on top of a cliff overlooking Acapulco. The large panoramic glass wall which forms one side of the dancefloor is very impressive. Prices are about the same as in Alebrije, drinks included in the cover charge. Tipping is also a good idea at Palladium; one group saw non-tippers wait 20 minutes for service and tippers serviced immediately.
Mandara It's a smaller version of Palladium, owned by the same people, but instead of electronic you get hip-hop and reggaetón.
Baby'O. Is one of Acapulco's perennial favorites. Baby'O is by far the most luxurious (and expensive) club in Acapulco and is favored especially by the 18 to 35 set of Mexico City's upper-class. Here, you will be able to revel in luxury. Expect to pay at least a $600 pesos cover charge and $80-$150 pesos for a drink.
Classico del Mar is relatively new. It quickly became the favorite for locals and chilangos. It's not as expensive as Baby'O but it doesn't have an open bar as Alebrije, Palladium or Mandara. The most interesting part about this club is that it has 3 levels: Level 1 looks like a regular club with a lot of mirrors a colored-lights dance floor and theater boxes. Level 2 has a small bar and the restrooms. Level 3 is a Deck with huge screens on the walls, tables separated by curtains and cliff view. The floor, tables, bar, everything is made of wood and the place is not closed so if it rains they won't let you up. If you decide to go there be sure to ask for a table here, its the best part of the club but, it might get a little hot.
La Costera, Acapulco's main street along the coast, is full of bars and clubs:
Ibiza is a lounge club on the beach which is very pleasant and often frequented by locals. It plays mainly electronic music.
Disco Beach is very popular with foreign visitors and locals. Its main attraction is a dance floor fronting the Condesa beach (the main beach).
Barbarroja is a bar/club in the shape of an old pirate ship that caters mainly to the 30 and over the crowd. Also conveniently located by the Condesa beach.
The resort town of Acapulco ranks as one of the most violent cities in the world, with a crime rate of 111 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015. There is a heavily-armed federal police presence on the beach and in prime tourist areas, but organized crime, extortion, and murder are commonplace elsewhere in the city. The state of Guerrero has been the venue of widespread, ongoing protests after corrupt authorities in Iguala abducted 43 student teachers, who were protesting, and turned them over to a drug gang to be brutally murdered. While Acapulco is over 200km distant from the scene of the crime and therefore not the epicenter of the protests, the US embassy in Mexico advises (as of Sept 2015) that U.S. nationals exercise some caution about travel to, from and about the city (see entry for the State of Guerrero at. Although this violence seldom involves foreign residents or tourists, travelers in the city and area should be vigilant in their personal safety. For an average tourist, a more common danger comes from local police. Bribery and extortion can be encountered at every step. For example, if you are driving a nice clean car (doesn't matter it's a rental) you can expect with high probability to be stopped and blamed for driving through red lights (even the traffic lights were turned off), not using mirrors, using traffic lanes wrongly or other minor infractions.