The center of Acapulco is on the western edge of the bay. The streets form a grid that’s easy to explore on foot. Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán, a wide coastal boulevard, runs the length of the bay and is lined with hotels, restaurants, and malls. You can explore the strip by taxi, bus, or rental car, stopping along the way to shop.

You’ll also need a vehicle to get to Acapulco Diamante, farther east along the coast. Running from Las Brisas to Barra Vieja beach, this 3,000-acre expanse encompasses exclusive Playa Diamante and Playa Revolcadero, with upscale hotels and residential developments, private clubs, breathtaking views, and pounding surf.

Pie de la Cuesta, 10 km (6.2 mi) northwest of Acapulco, is famous for its fabulous sunsets, small family-run hotels, and some of the wildest surf in . The village remains the flip side to the Acapulco coin—a welcome respite from the disco-driven big city. Only the main road is paved, and the town has no major resorts or late-night clubs. A beach chair, a bucket of cold beers, fresh fish and seafood, and a good book is about as much excitement as you’ll get here.

For a break from beach life you can travel north 300 km (185 mi) to the old silver-mining town of Taxco, a great place to buy silver from the country’s finest metalwork artisans.

Acapulco Sights

Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán hugs the Bahía de Acapulco from the Carretera Escénica (Scenic Highway) in the east to Playa Caleta (Caleta Beach) in the southwest—a distance of about 8 km (5 mi). Most of the major beaches, malls, and hotels are along or off this avenue, and locals refer to its most exclusive stretch—from El Presidente hotel to Las Brisas—simply as “the Costera.” Since many addresses are listed as only “Costera Miguel Alemán,” you’ll need good directions from a major landmark to find specific shops and hotels.

Acapulco Reviews

Most people come to Acapulco for the sun, but dining comes in a close second. Fresh seafood is on every menu, supplied daily by local fishermen. You can also get top-quality beef brought in from the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua.

As for location, you can have an utterly romantic meal high in the hills, with unparalleled views of the bay, or you can dine in a casual beachside restaurant. Night owls coming out of the clubs can even find a plate of flavorful tacos for less than $2 right before sunrise.

You can dine with the locals in Old Acapulco, or plan a half-day outing to rustic Barra Vieja where you take a boat through the mangroves to one of many dining huts for fish grilled over hot coals. You can also head to Pie de la Cuesta, a laid-back area west of downtown. Here you can have lunch at a seaside eatery, go horseback riding, and then linger on the beach for a spectacular sunset.

Acapulco Hotel Reviews

Snowbirds from the United States and Canada show up all winter, but the busiest times are Christmas week, Easter week, and during July and August, when the Mexican nationals are on vacation. Most hotels are booked solid during these times, so try to make reservations at least three months in advance.

During Christmas week, prices rise 30%-60% above those in low season.


Acapulco’s clubs are open nearly 365 days a year from about 10:30 PM until they empty out. The minute the sun slips over the horizon, the Costera comes alive. People mill around, window-shopping, choosing restaurants, generally biding their time until the disco hour. Many casual beach restaurants on the strip have live music.

The resorts often have splashy entertainment, sometimes with big-name artists. At the least such hotels have live music during happy hour, restaurant theme parties, dancing at a beach bar—or all three. For a more informal evening, head for the zócalo, where there’s usually a band on weekend evenings.

The more expensive clubs have $20-$60 cover charges, sometimes including drinks and sometimes not. Women usually pay less than men. In general, a higher cover calls for dressier attire, that is, no shorts. The more casual open-air bars are mostly free to enter, and shorts and T-shirts are common. Drinks cost $2-$5, and two-for-one drink specials during happy hour are common. The waiters depend on tips in the 15%-20% range. Note that Mexico’s legal drinking age is 18.

Acapulco Shopping

Guerrero State is known for hand-painted ceramics, objects made from palo de rosa wood, bark paintings depicting scenes of village life and local flora and fauna, and embroidered textiles. Stands in downtown’s sprawling municipal market are piled high with handicrafts, as well as fruit, flowers, spices, herbs, cheeses, seafood, poultry, and other meats. Practice your bargaining skills here or at one of the street-side handicrafts sellers, as prices are usually flexible.

Boutiques selling high-fashion Mexican designs for men and women are plentiful and draw an international clientele. This is a great place to shop for bathing suits, evening wear, and gems from all over the world. Many shops also sell high-quality crafts from throughout the country. Although many of Acapulco’s stores carry jewelry and other articles made of silver, aficionados tend to make the three-hour drive to the colonial town of Taxco—one of the world’s silver capitals.

Most shops are open Monday-Saturday 10-7. The main strip is along Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán from the Costa Club to El Presidente Hotel. Here you can find Guess, Peer, Aca Joe, Amarras, Polo Ralph Lauren, and other sportswear shops, as well as emporiums like Aurrerá, Gigante, Price Club, Sam’s, Wal-Mart, Comercial Mexicana, and the upscale Liverpool department store, Fabricas de Francia. Old Acapulco has inexpensive tailors and lots of souvenir shops.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *