Free Things To Do In Acapulco
Are you looking to visit Acapulco, Mexico without breaking the bank? Look no further! Acapulco is full of beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. You can maximize your trip to Acapulco on a budget by taking advantage of its abundance of free activities. From sunning on the beach to exploring the bustling downtown area, there are countless ways to experience all that Acapulco has to offer without spending a dime. This guide will share the top 10 free activities to enjoy in Acapulco, so you can experience the best of the city without straining your wallet.
1. Explore The Historic Old Town
One of the best things about Acapulco is its rich history and cultural heritage. And, one of the best ways to experience it is by exploring the historic old town. Wander through the narrow streets and alleys lined with colorful houses, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. You’ll find numerous examples of colonial architecture, including the famous Fuerte de San Diego, a fortress built in the 17th century to protect the port from pirates.
Don’t miss a visit to the Casa de la Máscara, a museum dedicated to the history of masks in Mexican culture. Or, pop into the Casa de los Vientos, a 200-year-old building that houses an art gallery. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, head to the Mercado Municipal, the city’s main market, to soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of a traditional Mexican market. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique experience, exploring Acapulco’s historic old town is a must-do activity.
2. Enjoy The Stunning Beaches
No trip to Acapulco would be complete without a visit to its stunning beaches. Luckily, there are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. One of the most popular beaches is Playa Condesa, known for its white sand and clear water. It can get crowded on weekends, but it’s worth it for the lively atmosphere and access to water activities like jet skiing and parasailing.
For a quieter beach experience, head to Playa Caleta or Playa Caletilla, both located in the historic Old Town area. These beaches are ideal for swimming and sunbathing, with gentle waves and a tranquil atmosphere. You can also find local vendors selling snacks and refreshing drinks on the sand.
For something truly unique, check out Pie de la Cuesta, a beach located on the Pacific coast about 30 minutes from Acapulco’s city center. It’s known for its incredible sunsets and peaceful ambiance, with fewer crowds and more natural beauty.
No matter which beach you choose, be sure to bring sunscreen, water, and a towel, and enjoy the beauty of Acapulco’s coastal landscape.
3. Watch The Divers At La Quebrada
One of the most iconic and thrilling activities in Acapulco is watching the cliff divers at La Quebrada. This attraction has been around since the 1930s and draws in crowds from all over the world. These skilled divers climb up to 115 feet to perform death-defying leaps into the ocean below. The timing and precision required for these jumps are nothing short of incredible, and it’s a sight you won’t want to miss.
There are multiple viewing areas to choose from, but the most popular spot is the Mirador Princess Hotel terrace. The terrace offers a stunning view of the cliff and a prime location to watch the divers up close. The divers perform four shows daily, starting at 1 pm and continuing into the evening.
While it’s free to watch the divers, there are opportunities to tip them for their performance or to take photos with them. Just make sure to keep a safe distance and follow any rules or regulations set by the divers or venue staff. Watching the cliff divers at La Quebrada is a truly unforgettable experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a must-see attraction in Acapulco that’s both thrilling and free of charge.
4. Visit The Botanical Gardens
For nature lovers and plant enthusiasts, a visit to the Botanical Gardens in Acapulco is a must-do activity. The gardens boast an impressive collection of over 2,000 species of tropical plants, including a large number of orchids. The well-manicured paths meander through various ecosystems, including the tropical rainforest, arid desert, and mountain forests.
A guided tour is available for visitors who want to learn more about the flora and fauna on display. The knowledgeable guides provide insightful information about the various plant species, including their medicinal uses, historical significance, and ecological roles.
The Botanical Gardens are also a great place to relax and unwind in a serene and peaceful environment. Take a picnic and enjoy a quiet lunch in the shade of the towering trees or sit on one of the benches and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding hills. Admission to the Botanical Gardens is free, making it a perfect activity for those on a budget. Visitors can easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the gardens, taking in the sights and sounds of this natural wonderland.
5. Take A Stroll On The Costera Miguel Alemán
The Costera Miguel Alemán is a beautiful coastal avenue that stretches for 10 kilometers along the shore of Acapulco. It is one of the busiest streets in the city and is lined with shops, restaurants, resorts and hotels, making it a popular tourist destination. One of the best ways to experience the vibrant energy of the Costera Miguel Alemán is by taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade. You’ll be able to take in the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean while people-watching and window-shopping.
As you make your way down the Costera Miguel Alemán, be sure to check out some of the iconic landmarks like the Hard Rock Hotel, the Acapulco sign, and the Fuente de la Diana Cazadora. The statue of Diana the Huntress shooting an arrow is a famous symbol of Acapulco and is not to be missed.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening stroll or a family-friendly outing, the Costera Miguel Alemán has something for everyone. Plus, the best part is that it’s completely free to enjoy! So, take a break from the beach and take a relaxing walk along this beautiful avenue during your next trip to Acapulco.
6. Marvel At The Fort of San Diego
The Fort of San Diego, or Fuerte de San Diego in Spanish, is a significant historical landmark that served as a military fortification during the colonial era. It is situated at the port of Acapulco and is now open to the public as a museum. Visiting this impressive structure is a great way to learn about Acapulco’s rich history and culture.
The Fort of San Diego was built in the 17th century and played an essential role in defending the port against attacks from pirates and other invaders. It was constructed with thick stone walls, and its architecture reflects the influence of both Spanish and Moorish design.
Today, the fort serves as a museum showcasing a diverse collection of exhibits. Visitors can explore various rooms that provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the fort’s former occupants, including soldiers, officers, and prisoners. The museum also contains historical artifacts, such as cannons and uniforms.
In addition to the historical and cultural significance of the Fort of San Diego, the building offers spectacular views of Acapulco Bay. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city, the ocean, and the surrounding hills. Entrance to the museum is free on Sundays, and the admission fee is relatively low on other days, making this attraction accessible to all visitors on a budget. So make sure to add the Fort of San Diego to your itinerary to experience one of the most impressive historical landmarks in Acapulco.
7. Wander Around The Zócalo
One of the must-visit spots in Acapulco is the Zócalo, also known as the main square. Located in the heart of the city, this vibrant space is filled with local culture, history, and art. Take a leisurely stroll around the square, and enjoy the buzzing atmosphere of street vendors, musicians, and artists. You can grab a bite to eat from one of the many food stalls, and savor authentic Mexican cuisine like tacos, tamales, and churros.
The Zócalo is also home to many notable landmarks, including the impressive Palacio Municipal and the iconic Monumento a los Mártires. You can spend some time admiring the intricate architecture of these buildings or just people-watch from a park bench. If you’re lucky, you might even catch one of the free cultural events that often take place in the square, such as music concerts, dance performances, or art exhibitions. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos of the colorful scenery and lively atmosphere of the Zócalo, and make sure to add this unforgettable experience to your Acapulco itinerary.
8. Admire The Cathedral Of Nuestra Señora De La Soledad
One of the most impressive landmarks in Acapulco is the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. This stunning cathedral is located in the heart of the city and boasts beautiful colonial architecture. Built in the 1930s, it has been a symbol of faith for the people of Acapulco for generations.
Visitors can admire the intricate details of the facade, including the ornate carvings and beautiful stained-glass windows. Step inside and you’ll be amazed by the grandeur of the interior, with its high ceilings and elegant decor. Take a moment to sit in one of the pews and appreciate the peaceful atmosphere of this sacred space.
If you’re lucky, you may even catch a religious service or ceremony taking place during your visit. Whether you’re a devout follower or simply appreciate the beauty of religious architecture, a visit to the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is a must-see on your trip to Acapulco. And the best part? It’s completely free to visit, making it a great budget-friendly activity for travelers.
9. Experience The Arts At Casa De La Cultura
Casa de la Cultura is a cultural center that is dedicated to promoting and preserving the rich arts and culture of Acapulco. Located in the heart of the city, this historic building features a wide range of artistic and cultural activities that are completely free to the public. Visitors can participate in workshops and classes, attend exhibitions and concerts, and explore the various art installations throughout the center.
One of the most popular activities at Casa de la Cultura is the traditional Mexican dance classes, which offer a unique opportunity to learn the intricate steps and rhythms of this vibrant cultural expression. There are also classes in visual arts, literature, and music, making this center an excellent resource for those who are looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of the arts.
In addition to the classes and workshops, Casa de la Cultura also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including cultural festivals, film screenings, and art exhibitions. No matter what your interests may be, there is always something new and exciting happening at Casa de la Cultura, making it a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the rich arts and culture of Acapulco.
10. Discover The Wildlife At El Veladero National Park
Nature lovers will be delighted to explore the stunning El Veladero National Park, a natural oasis located just a short drive from the city center of Acapulco. This park is home to an impressive variety of wildlife, including iguanas, armadillos, deer, and a diverse array of birds.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the lush vegetation of the park, stopping at the various viewpoints to take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The park also features hiking trails of varying difficulty levels, making it a great destination for both beginners and experienced hikers.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, you can simply kick back and enjoy a picnic while taking in the stunning surroundings. Don’t forget to bring a camera, as the park is home to a number of Instagram-worthy spots! With its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery, El Veladero National Park is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Best of all, it’s completely free to enter!
The Bottom Line
Overall, Acapulco is a budget-friendly destination with plenty of free activities to enjoy. From exploring the historic Old Town to watching the divers at La Quebrada, there is no shortage of things to do without breaking the bank. Visitors can also take a stroll on the Costera Miguel Alemán, marvel at the Fort of San Diego, and wander around the Zócalo. Those interested in art and culture can experience Casa de la Cultura and admire the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. And for nature enthusiasts, El Veladero National Park offers the opportunity to discover the local wildlife. By taking advantage of these free activities, travelers can maximize their trip to Acapulco while still staying within their budget.