Country: Mexico
Currency: Peso (MXN)
Peak Season: January-May
Shoulder Season: September-November
Median Temperature: 27.70 C / 81.86 F
Main Languages: Spanish, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, taxi, car rental
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $100.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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Acapulco is Mexico's pride and joy when it comes to leisure, and rightfully so: the bayside city enjoys a good serving of American and European tourists each year, ranging from spring break students to golden age couples seeking to revitalize their passion. Mexican tourism has been strong for many years, and never seems to lose its appeal. Every year, there's always a new club to chill out in, a different side of cliff to jump from, and a margarita to enjoy with friends. Acapulco is filled with boldness you won't find anywhere else.

Often romanticized as the one of the sexiest places on earth, Acapulco enjoys the reputation and the tourism it garners from such a wonderful coastline location facing the Pacific. What’s better is that you don’t have to spend a fortune (sans the airline fees) staying here because commercial competition is outrageously stiff, plus when did Mexico even overcharge anybody?

For a resort destination, Acapulco has long been in the business to know everything about leisure. Having been slated by the Europeans as a test-run beach destination in the early 20th century, Acapulco was wrested off the exclusivity of serving only high-class citizens when the high-profile celebrities of Hollywood spurred its popularity to the common American, eventually seeing itself rivaled with North American leisure spots that, undeniably, pale in comparison, and its success also indirectly brought Latin America closer than ever to international fame. Soon after and at present, Acapulco enjoys the audacity of younger crowds, leading to many affordable gimmick hangouts being opened for those on a tight budget. Acapulco is also family-friendly, having recently opened water parks that cater to the younger crowds. Whatever your age, Acapulco has something for you.

Beachfronts are teeming with high-rise five star apartments, hotels and casinos; given their number, one could easily spot a good deal even during the peak season. Like Cancun, Panama and the Bahamas, Acapulco embraces tens of thousands of leisure-depraved college students come spring break. But what made Acapulco a household name was how it became the on-off setting of most Mexican telenovelas, further emphasizing how great a leisure destination it is. For ages, the nightlife scene has always been the focal point of staying here, notwithstanding its many natural attractions, particularly La Quebrada, where daredevils test their machismo.

Packing List

  • Local currency (although dollars are widely accepted), credit cards and a recent, handy guide of where to spend your money; tourist traps are aplenty Acapulco—a lot operate on the immediate beachfront
  • Bikinis, tanning lotion, and sunglasses for the beaches—bring snorkeling gear and scuba equipment if you’re looking for adventure; snappy dresses for late-night barhopping and fine dining are mandatory
  • Essential medication and toiletries—aspirin, insect repellants, anti-diarrheic; groceries and pharmacies are widely available and offer the same items retailed in the US, so finding your brand is easy enough
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and batteries; you’d want to not take expensive jewelry and gadgets with you, as they’ll only pose as a liability if you’re trotting them everywhere—buy disposable ones here
  • Some portable electronics, such as a toaster, water kettle, blowdryer or a DVD player to keep you well-off inside three to four-star hotels; buy groceries ahead to avoid boarding back and forth high elevators

Things to Do

  • Breaking away from beach crowds and proceeding to La Quebrada, Acapulco’s famous bungee spot; you can choose to partake in cliff dives (if you’re that bold) or just watch professionals dive from 125 feet
  • Treating the kids to splashy fun at CiCi Water Park, located at the Bay of Acapulco; the park contains effortless to exhilarating rides as well as an interactive seal and dolphin show kids will surely love
  • Swinging that golf club at Tres Vedas in San Marcos, considered as one of the best par 72 golf courses in the world due to its auspicious landscape and seaside location, coupled by the great Mexican weather
  • Feeling like a castaway in Roqueta Island, which is virtually covered by trees, perfect for those hiking trips; the strip of shore is brimming with dining venues and cultural shows set to appease anyone
  • Perusing the charms of Zocalo—Acapulco’s main plaza—the locale is a good way to get away from the beaches; it’s not as decorative as most zocalos, but nevertheless a great place to socialize for hours

DON'T

  • Stay out of areas where there aren’t too many people and stay away from suspicious people; as you may probably have heard in the news, Mexico’s drug cartel is known to have operations in Acapulco
  • Douse yourself in alcohol, especially when partying alone—this side of Mexico isn’t safe from the Latin American kidnap syndicates; be wary and don’t get into a scruff with anyone in the beaches and bars
  • Forget to view reputed travel advisories from government websites before going here—booking agents only look after profits, not after your safety; notify relatives about your whereabouts regularly
  • Stay in one place for too long—Acapulco has too many venues to choose from; don’t trespass—follow regulations—as getting caught by a Mexican officer may yield long hours of unintelligible talk
  • Take the kids to places where they’re not meant to be—plan your itineraries first; if you came to Acapulco solely for partying, it’s not the best idea to tug around children—they’ll only be a liability