Long before the popularity of Cancun had spiked among tourists, Acapulco was the original Mexican resort town. Still a hugely popular tourist destination, Acapulco sits on Mexico’s Pacific coast and is bordered by the rugged Sierra Madre mountains and stunning Acapulco Bay. Even among the high-rise hotel zone, streets congested with traffic and one million + residents and tourists who visit each year, the city still somehow seems to remain breezy and relaxing.
While much of the city has turned to tourist-centric hotspots, the town square, Zocalo, exposes more of Acapulco’s local culture. Daytime in the Zocalo is a peaceful place to take a stroll past the fountains, cathedrals and sidewalk bistros, while nighttime brings out a smattering of locals and visitors who take in the entertainment of wandering clowns and street performers who are looking for tips well into the evening. To take in something truly entertaining, a trip to Acapulco isn’t complete without watching the cliff divers at La Quebrada. Since 1934, professional divers have been jumping off the steep cliffs into dangerously shallow water four times a day.
Isla de la Roqueta is a small island off of the coast of Acapulco that can only accessed by water taxi or glass-bottom boat. The beautiful beach, hiking trails, lighthouses and snorkeling spots attract both locals and tourists looking for a reprieve of the bustle of the city. The premier golf courses, pristine beaches and fishing excursions of the day give way to the often raucous and never-ending nightlife. Hillside clubs, bars, discos and lounges bring out the best in Acapulco’s hedonistic side with music and dancing lasting well into the morning.
Heavy on fresh seafood plucked from the Pacific, Acapulco’s culinary scene is a mix of family-owned establishments and large tourist-friendly chains. Su Casa is a fine dining option offering both city and ocean views and some of the best seafood in town. Jovitos is a favorite known for traditional Mexican dishes and friendly service, while Zibu is a unique restaurant serving up a fusion of Mexican and Thai dishes that continue to excite and surprise diners.
Juan N. Alvarez International Airport (ACA) is the city’s main transportation hub and serves both domestic and major international airlines. For navigating around Acapulco, taxis are everywhere and are the number one choice for tourist transportation. Most cabs are unmetered, so it is suggested to negotiate a fare before leaving. Buses are also available, and have their destinations printed on the windshield. All buses are privately owned, and many are colorfully decorated and play tradition Mexcan music.
Acapulco’s climate is hot and tropical, with both wet and dry seasons. Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year, as most months maintain an average of high 80s to low 90s, making the resort town a true year-round destination.