Your Ultimate Acapulco Travel Guide 2024
Welcome to Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most iconic destinations! With its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this coastal paradise. As an insider’s guide, this ultimate Acapulco travel guide is here to help you make the most of your trip by offering insider tips and must-visit destinations. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the city’s history and architecture, this guide has got you covered. So, grab your sun hat, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Acapulco!
Top 5 Things To See And Do In Acapulco
- La Quebrada Cliff Divers: No trip to Acapulco is complete without witnessing the breathtaking spectacle of the cliff divers at La Quebrada. These skilled divers jump off a 147-foot cliff into a narrow inlet, timing their dive to coincide with the waves below.
- Acapulco Bay: Acapulco Bay is the city’s main attraction, featuring a beautiful beach with crystal-clear waters. You can take a boat tour of the bay to see the city’s coastline from a unique perspective.
- El Fuerte de San Diego: This 18th-century fortress was built to protect the city from pirate attacks. Today, it houses a museum with exhibits about Acapulco’s history and culture.
- Isla de la Roqueta: Just off the coast of Acapulco lies this small island, known for its beautiful beaches and excellent snorkeling. Take a boat to the island for a day of swimming, sunbathing, and exploring.
- Parque Papagayo: This sprawling park in the heart of Acapulco features gardens, playgrounds, a lake, and even a small zoo. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy some outdoor recreation, whether you’re traveling with kids or just looking for a peaceful escape.
Best Acapulco Tours
Tours in Acapulco are an excellent way to explore the sights and nearby areas. Unless you intend to rent a car in Acapulco (which we don’t recommend), tours offer the most convenient means of transportation while keeping costs in check. The expenses for getting around can accumulate rapidly, making tours a wise choice for navigating the country.
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Where To Stay In Acapulco
- Las Brisas: Located on the hillside overlooking Acapulco Bay, Las Brisas is known for its luxury resorts and breathtaking views. This area is popular with celebrities and affluent travelers, and offers easy access to attractions like La Quebrada and the Botanical Gardens.
- Acapulco Dorado: Also known as the Golden Zone, this area is located on the coast and features a range of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife options. It’s a great choice for travelers who want to be close to the beach and the city’s main attractions.
- Costera Miguel Alemán: This is the main strip in Acapulco and runs along the coast. It’s home to a variety of hotels and resorts, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops. If you want to be in the heart of the action, this is the place to stay.
- Punta Diamante: Located on the outskirts of Acapulco, Punta Diamante is a quieter and more exclusive area. It’s home to some of the city’s most luxurious resorts and has a more upscale vibe. If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, this is a great option.
- Barra Vieja: If you want to get away from the crowds and experience a more traditional side of Acapulco, Barra Vieja is worth considering. This area is known for its laid-back beach vibe and fresh seafood. It’s a great choice for travelers who want to relax and unwind.
Top Acapulco Hotels
- Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués: This luxury hotel is perched atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views of the sea and Acapulco’s stunning coastline. The hotel features luxurious villas and suites with private plunge pools, an award-winning spa, and three exquisite restaurants that serve a range of international cuisine.
- Las Brisas Acapulco: This iconic hotel is set on a hillside and features private casitas that offer stunning views of Acapulco Bay. The hotel is known for its pink and white Jeep shuttle service, which takes guests to a private beach club and several nearby attractions. The hotel also features three restaurants, two swimming pools, and a full-service spa.
- Hotel Encanto Acapulco: This chic hotel is located in the heart of Acapulco’s vibrant nightlife district and features stylish rooms and suites with balconies and ocean views. The hotel boasts two swimming pools, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant that serves a fusion of Mexican and international cuisine.
- Pierre Mundo Imperial: This luxurious beachfront resort offers a wide range of amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, a tennis club, a full-service spa, and four swimming pools. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites with balconies and ocean views, and guests can choose from five restaurants that offer a variety of cuisine options.
- Princess Mundo Imperial: This sprawling resort features several swimming pools, including one with a water park and another with a swim-up bar. The hotel also offers a full-service spa, a fitness center, and several on-site restaurants that serve a range of international cuisine. The hotel features spacious rooms and suites with private balconies, many of which offer stunning ocean views.
Where To Eat In Acapulco
Food is a significant aspect of any trip, and Acapulco has plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Here are the top 5 places to eat in Acapulco:
- Zibu: Located at the Krystal Beach Hotel, Zibu offers delicious seafood dishes with a fusion of Mexican and Asian flavors. With a serene ambiance and excellent service, Zibu is perfect for a romantic dinner.
- El Jaguar: If you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican food, El Jaguar is the place to go. From the famous Mexican tacos to delicious fajitas and fresh guacamole, this restaurant offers it all.
- Sirocco: This upscale Mediterranean restaurant located at the Banyan Tree Cabo Marques Hotel offers stunning ocean views, excellent service, and an extensive wine list. The menu includes mouth-watering dishes like grilled octopus, risotto, and lamb chops.
- La Perla: For a casual beachside dining experience, La Perla is the perfect spot. This seafood restaurant located on Playa Caleta serves up fresh fish and shrimp dishes along with cold beers and margaritas.
- Zorba: Craving Greek food? Look no further than Zorba. Located in the heart of Acapulco’s Golden Zone, Zorba offers authentic Greek cuisine, including souvlaki, gyros, and fresh salads.
Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, Mexican food, Mediterranean dishes, or Greek cuisine, Acapulco has it all.
These top 5 restaurants are sure to satisfy your taste buds and provide a memorable dining experience.
How To Get Around Acapulco
When it comes to getting around Acapulco, there are various methods of transportation available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most common ways to get around in Acapulco:
- Taxis: Taxis are one of the most convenient ways to get around in Acapulco. They are widely available, and you can usually hail one on the street or find them at designated taxi stands. Make sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in, as some drivers may try to overcharge you.
- Public Transportation: Acapulco has a good public transportation system like Paris, with buses and minibusses running throughout the city. The buses are cheap and reliable, but they can be crowded and uncomfortable, especially during peak hours.
- Rental Cars: If you want to explore Acapulco on your own schedule, renting a car may be a good option for you. There are many rental car agencies in Acapulco, but keep in mind that driving in the city can be hectic and challenging, especially for first-time visitors.
- Motorbikes and Scooters: Motorbikes and scooters are a popular option for getting around in Acapulco, especially for younger travelers. They are easy to maneuver and can save you time in traffic, but they can also be dangerous, especially if you’re not experienced in riding them.
- Walking: Finally, if you want to explore Acapulco at your own pace and get some exercise, walking is always a great option. The city is relatively small, and many of the attractions are located within walking distance of each other. Just make sure to stay aware of your surroundings and be cautious when crossing busy streets.
Acapulco, located on the southwestern coast of Mexico, boasts a tropical climate that is characterized by warm temperatures and high humidity all year round. While the weather is mostly consistent throughout the year, there are slight variations depending on the season. Here is a breakdown of Acapulco’s weather in each season:
- Spring (March – May): The spring season is characterized by warm and sunny weather, with average temperatures ranging from 80°F to 86°F. It’s a popular time for visitors to Acapulco due to the warm weather, making it an excellent time to hit the beaches and enjoy the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.
- Summer (June – August): Summer in Acapulco is characterized by hot and humid weather, with temperatures ranging from 88°F to 93°F. While the temperatures may be high, the sea breeze provides some relief from the heat, making it a great time to hit the beaches.
- Fall (September – November): Fall in Acapulco is characterized by hot and humid weather, with average temperatures ranging from 82°F to 87°F. The humidity is at its highest during the fall, making it a less popular time to visit Acapulco.
- Winter (December – February): Winter in Acapulco is characterized by cooler and drier weather, with temperatures ranging from 77°F to 82°F. The cooler temperatures make it a popular time to visit, and it’s an excellent time to enjoy outdoor activities without feeling the intense heat of the summer months.
Overall, Acapulco’s weather is warm and humid all year round, making it a great destination for those who love the tropical climate. Regardless of the season, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, from swimming and sunbathing on the beaches to exploring the city’s attractions and landmarks.
Best Time To Visit Acapulco
The best time to visit Acapulco is during the winter months, between December and February. During this time, the temperatures are cooler and more comfortable, with an average high of 84°F (29°C) and an average low of 72°F (22°C). This makes it the perfect time to enjoy the beaches, go swimming, and take part in outdoor activities.
Another good time to visit is between June and August when the temperatures are warmer, with an average high of 91°F (33°C) and an average low of 77°F (25°C). However, it can be very humid during this time, so be prepared for that.
If you are looking to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit outside of the peak season, which runs from mid-December to mid-January. The months of March to May and September to November can offer a quieter, more relaxing experience in Acapulco, and you may even find some good deals on accommodations during these times.
It’s also worth noting that Acapulco is located in a hurricane zone, with the peak season running from August to October. If you plan on visiting during this time, be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and follow any advice from local authorities. Overall, the best time to visit Acapulco will depend on your preferences and what you want to do while you’re there. Just keep in mind the different seasons and what they offer, and you’re sure to have a great time in this beautiful destination.
How To Stay Safe In Acapulco
Acapulco has been the center of media attention for some of the crime and safety issues that have happened in recent years. But don’t let this stop you from experiencing all that Acapulco has to offer. Here are some tips on how to stay safe while in Acapulco:
- Avoid Flashing Your Valuables: Like in any touristy place, it’s always best to be cautious about flashing your valuables in public places. Be discreet with your gadgets and cash to avoid attracting any unwanted attention.
- Stay Aware Of Your Surroundings: While in Acapulco, it’s best to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Be aware of the people around you, especially in crowded places or people flashing firearms.
- Use Safe Modes Of Transportation: Make sure to take safe transportation like official taxis, buses, or private cars with trusted drivers. Avoid hitchhiking or taking a ride from strangers.
- Stick To Well-Lit Areas: It’s best to stick to well-lit areas when exploring Acapulco at night. Avoid walking alone and stay on the main roads.
- Know Where To Go For Help: Be familiar with the local police stations, hospitals, and emergency contact numbers in case of an emergency.
Overall, just use common sense and exercise caution when exploring Acapulco and Tulum. Like any other city in the world, there are areas to avoid and safety precautions to take, but with a bit of research and mindfulness, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Acapulco.
Acapulco Customs and Etiquette
Acapulco is a vibrant city with a rich culture, and it’s important to be mindful of the local customs and etiquette when visiting. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Greetings: Mexicans are friendly and enjoy greeting others, so don’t be surprised if someone greets you with a kiss on the cheek or a hug. Handshakes are also common.
- Dress Code: Dress codes in Acapulco are generally relaxed, but it’s best to dress modestly when visiting churches or other religious sites. Also, be mindful of beachwear as it may not be acceptable in some areas.
- Tipping: Tipping is customary in Acapulco, especially in the service industry. It’s generally recommended to tip around 10-15% at restaurants and for other services such as taxis.
- Personal Space: Mexicans tend to stand close to each other when speaking, so don’t be alarmed if someone stands close to you. However, it’s important to respect personal space, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the person.
- Language: While Spanish is the primary language in Acapulco, many locals also speak English. It’s always appreciated if you can speak a few basic phrases in Spanish as it shows you’re making an effort to connect with the culture.
- Punctuality: Mexicans tend to have a more relaxed attitude towards time, so it’s not uncommon for appointments or meetings to start a bit late. However, it’s always best to arrive on time out of respect for others.
By keeping these customs and etiquette in mind, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Acapulco and connect with the locals on a deeper level.
Other Things To Know About Acapulco
When traveling to a new destination, it’s important to have some basic information about the country. In the case of Acapulco, it is located in Mexico and uses the Mexican Peso as its currency. The official language of Acapulco is Spanish, so if you’re not familiar with the language, it might be helpful to learn a few basic phrases to make communication easier.
Acapulco is in the Central Standard Time zone, which is six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6). It’s always a good idea to check the time difference before traveling to avoid confusion with your flight or appointments.
It’s worth noting that tipping is a common practice in Acapulco. It’s customary to tip around 10-15% of the total bill at restaurants, and to tip hotel staff for their services. If you’re not sure about the amount to tip, you can always ask locals or check online for some guidance.
Finally, Acapulco is a popular destination for tourists, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings. While crime rates in the area have decreased in recent years, it’s always better to be cautious and avoid any potential danger.
Acapulco Travel Costs
Acapulco is a popular travel destination, and while it can be budget-friendly, it’s also known for its luxury offerings. Here are some estimated travel costs to consider for your trip:
- Accommodation: Accommodation prices in Acapulco can range from budget to luxurious. Budget accommodations, like hostels and basic hotels, start at around $15-30 per night. Mid-range hotels with more amenities can range from $40-100 per night. Luxury resorts and hotels can go for hundreds of dollars per night.
- Food: Food in Acapulco can be affordable or pricey, depending on where you eat. Street food can be found for a few dollars, while sit-down restaurants can range from $10-30 per person for a meal. Fine dining options can be upwards of $50-100 per person.
- Transportation: Public transportation in Acapulco is affordable, with bus fares starting at around $0.50. Taxis and Uber rides can be more expensive, with fares ranging from $5-30 depending on the distance traveled.
- Activities: There are many free activities or low-cost activities in Acapulco, such as visiting beaches or exploring the city’s historical sites. More expensive activities, such as water sports or amusement park rides, can range from $20-100 per person.
Overall, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $30-50 per day in Acapulco, while those seeking a more luxurious experience can expect to spend upwards of $100-200 per day. Keep in mind that these are estimates and actual costs will vary based on your individual travel style and preferences.
Finding Affordable Flights To Acapulco
Acapulco is one of Mexico’s most popular travel destinations, which means it is easy to find flights to this beachside paradise. The best time to search for flights is during the low season, which runs from April to June, and from September to November. If you are looking to save on flights, you can try the following tips:
- Search For Budget Airlines: Many low-cost carriers operate flights to Acapulco from major cities across the US and Mexico. Keep an eye out for budget airlines such as Volaris, Interjet, and Aeromexico Connect, as they often offer competitive rates.
- Be Flexible With Dates: Flights to Acapulco tend to be cheaper on weekdays, so try to schedule your trip mid-week if possible. Also, consider traveling during the low season when prices are lower.
- Use Price Comparison Websites: Websites such as Expedia, Skyscanner, and Kayak are great resources for finding the best deals on flights. These websites allow you to compare prices from multiple airlines and booking sites, helping you to find the cheapest option.
- Book Early: Airlines often release their tickets six months in advance, so booking early can help you snag the best deals.
- Join Rewards Programs: Many airlines offer loyalty programs that reward frequent flyers with perks such as free flights, upgrades, and access to exclusive lounges. Signing up for these programs can help you save money on future flights.
Overall, with a bit of research and flexibility, you can easily find affordable flights to Acapulco, making your dream vacation a reality.
Backpacking Acapulco Suggested Budgets
Backpacking in Acapulco can be a great adventure, especially if you’re looking to experience the local culture on a budget. The cost of your trip will depend on your travel style and the amount of time you plan to spend in Acapulco. Here are some suggested budgets to help you plan your backpacking trip:
Budget Backpacker: $25-35 per day
For a budget backpacker, hostels are the best option for accommodation, with dorm rooms costing between $7-10 per night. Street food is your friend when it comes to food options, with tacos and quesadillas available for as little as $1-2 each. Transportation costs can also be minimized by taking the local buses which cost around $0.50 per ride. A budget backpacker should expect to spend between $25-35 per day.
Mid-Range Backpacker: $50-70 per day
If you’re looking for more comfortable accommodation, a mid-range backpacker can find budget hotels for around $25-30 per night. Meals at mid-range restaurants will cost around $10-15 per meal. Transportation costs can still be kept low by taking local buses, or for a little extra comfort, taking taxis which can cost around $5-10 per ride. A mid-range backpacker can expect to spend between $50-70 per day.
Luxury Backpacker: $100+ per day
For a luxury backpacker, Acapulco offers many upscale hotels and resorts that can cost anywhere from $80-150 per night. Dining at fancy restaurants will set you back around $25-30 per meal. To explore the city in style, renting a car or taking private taxis can cost anywhere from $20-50 per day. A luxury backpacker can expect to spend $100 or more per day. No matter what your budget, Acapulco offers plenty of options to make your backpacking adventure unforgettable.
Acapulco Money Saving Tips
While traveling to a new destination, we all want to experience everything without burning a hole in our pocket. Here are some tips to save money on your trip to Acapulco:
- Plan Your Trip In Advance: Planning your trip in advance will give you ample time to compare prices and find good deals on flights, accommodation, and activities.
- Avoid Peak Season: If you want to save some money on your trip, avoid traveling during the peak season. December to April is the peak season in Acapulco, and the prices of hotels and other activities can be significantly higher during this time.
- Stay In Budget Accommodation: Instead of staying in luxury hotels, opt for budget accommodation options like hostels or guesthouses. These can save you a significant amount of money on your trip.
- Eat At Local Restaurants: Eating at local restaurants instead of fancy ones can save you a lot of money. Acapulco is known for its street food, and you can find some delicious options for a fraction of the cost of a restaurant.
- Use Public Transport: Taxis can be expensive in Acapulco, so consider using public transport like buses or trains. They are cheap and can take you to most tourist destinations.
- Negotiate Prices: Negotiating prices is common in Acapulco, so don’t be afraid to bargain for a better deal on souvenirs, activities, or even transportation.
- Bring Your Own Drinks: Buying drinks at the hotel or beach can be expensive, so bring your own water bottle and refill it whenever you can.
By following these tips, you can save money on your trip to Acapulco without compromising on your experience.
What To Pack For Acapulco
As you prepare for your trip to Acapulco, it’s important to pack appropriately for the sunny and tropical climate. Here are some essential items to pack for your trip:
- Swimwear: Acapulco is famous for its beautiful beaches, so you’ll definitely want to bring your favorite swimsuit or two. Don’t forget a cover-up, a beach bag, and a towel.
- Sun Protection: With temperatures reaching the mid-80s, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to keep yourself safe from the UV rays.
- Comfortable Shoes: Whether you plan to walk along the beach or explore the city, comfortable shoes are a must. Sneakers or sandals are perfect for exploring, while water shoes can be useful for rocky beaches.
- Light Clothing: Pack lightweight clothing made of breathable fabric to help you stay cool in the tropical climate. Consider packing light-colored clothing to reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler.
- Insect Repellent: While Acapulco is a beautiful place, it’s also home to some pesky insects. Bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.
- Camera: You’ll want to capture the beauty of Acapulco, so don’t forget to pack a camera. Whether you prefer a traditional camera, smartphone or laptop, make sure to bring a charger and memory card.
- Travel Documents: Finally, don’t forget to pack your travel documents, including your passport, visa, and any necessary travel documents.
By packing these essential items, you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable trip to Acapulco. Remember to pack lightly and leave some room in your suitcase for souvenirs!
Can You Drink Tap Water In Acapulco?
It is not recommended to drink tap water in Acapulco as it may not be safe. The tap water in Mexico is generally not suitable for drinking due to the presence of bacteria and other contaminants. To avoid getting sick, it is best to stick to bottled water or water that has been boiled or purified.
Many hotels and restaurants in Acapulco will provide purified water or bottled water for their customers. If you are staying in a rental property or Airbnb, make sure to check with your host if the water is safe to drink.
In addition to drinking water, it is important to be cautious about consuming ice cubes in drinks and brushing your teeth with tap water. It is also a good idea to avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits that may have been washed with tap water. By taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Acapulco.
Other Things To See And Do In Acapulco
Aside from the main attractions in Acapulco, there are plenty of other things to see and do that will make your visit even more memorable. Here are a few suggestions:
- La Quebrada Cliff Divers: This famous diving show has been a staple of Acapulco for over 80 years. Watch as professional divers jump off a 136-foot cliff into the ocean below.
- Fort San Diego: Built in 1616, this fort San Diego served as protection against pirate attacks. It now houses the Acapulco Historical Museum, which showcases the city’s history.
- Mercado Central: Get a taste of local life by visiting this bustling market. Here you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
- Chapel of Peace: This beautiful chapel sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset and take in the stunning views.
- Isla La Roqueta: Take a boat to this nearby island for some snorkeling and beach time. You can also hike to the lighthouse for more panoramic views of Acapulco.
With so much to see and do in Acapulco, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular vacation destination. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and explore all this beautiful city has to offer.
The Bottom Line
Acapulco is a beautiful city with so much to offer. Whether you’re a beach bum or a culture seeker, there is something for everyone in this Mexican gem. From delicious food to luxurious hotels, and from cultural sites to stunning beaches, Acapulco is a must-visit destination. Before heading out to Acapulco, be sure to do your research, plan your itinerary, and pack accordingly. Remember to stay safe, be respectful of the local customs and etiquette, and always carry cash on hand. Whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge, Acapulco has something for everyone. So pack your bags, book your flight, and get ready to discover the magic of Acapulco!