First Timer’s Guide to Acapulco

Before Ixtapa and Cancún became the place to be in Mexico, Acapulco was the original party town. With its wide bays, soaring cliffs, intimate coves, jungle-green hills, and pearly-white beaches, and a  24-hour nightlife, the city drew visitors from across the world.

Acapulco Harbor view

Even though Mexico’s ongoing drug wars have tarnished the reputation of Acapulco, there is no denying that it remains one of the most spectacular places in all of Mexico. Now that the violence has subsided, there are some amazing sights in Acapulco that should not be missed.

Why you HAVE to go to Acapulco

There are too many attractions to list, but here are some of the perennial favorites:

  • Eating – You can dine on classics from Mexico or enjoy cuisine from around the world.
  • Authentic small-town life – Even though Acapulco has every possible modern amenity available, nearby Pie de la Cuesta offers a different experience. This coastal village has a laid-back atmosphere (and offers some of the best seafood anywhere).
  • Dance the night away – Like New York City, Acapulco never sleeps. From laid-back surfer bars to dance clubs and flashy hotel lounges to fabulous ocean-side restaurants, the nightlife  in Acapulco offers something for everyone.

Visit the Fuerte San Diego

This star-shaped fort was built near the start of the 17th century as protection against pirates, and was then reconstructed following an earthquake in 1778. Nowadays it is home to the Historic Museum of Acapulco. With its 12 exhibition halls, this attraction traces the fascinating history Acapulco.

Explore La Costera

The official name is Costera Miguel Alemán, but locals and longtime visitors know Acapulco’s main thoroughfare as "La Costera.” There you will find most of the nightclubs, restaurants, and shops as the road follows the coastline around the bay. This is truly the beating heart of this vibrant city, and must not be missed.

Whether you go to see the famous cliff divers at night or during the day, the death-defying dives are spectacular. These divers jump into a churning ocean from a height of over 100 feet. Amidst all the excitement, you can take the time to enjoy some beautiful sunsets and ocean vistas.

Enjoy the amazing beaches

Acapulco Harbor view

Acapulco Harbor view

Playa Condesa stands out as a beach that offers a trendy place to enjoy water sports. It is real close to many of Acapulco's popular nightclubs and in the center of Acapulco Bay. And for families with small children, Playa Caletilla and Playa Caleta offer gentle waves.

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