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Travel Guide North America Mexico Guerrero Acapulco

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Introduction

Acapulco is a major port city and beach holiday destination on the southern coastline of Mexico, in the state of Guerrero. Long before Cancun took over its place, Acapulco was the party city in the country with bars open 24 hours and with kilometres of white stunning beaches around Bahía de Acapulco. It has lost a little of its magical sound (not in the least because of traffic, pollution, crime and poverty) but is still a major port of call for large cruise ships doing trips along the Pacific coastline of North America.

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Sights and Activities

  • La Quebrada Cliff Divers - since 1934 cliff divers make performances at the Quebrada. No visit to Acapulco is complete without watching the cliff divers perform their impressive jumps into the shallow stream of water of dangerous tides that forms in the bottom part of La Quebrada. They have been doing it since 1934. You can see the dives from a small platform by the cliff for a small entrance fee, or eat at the La Perla restaurant which offers a good view of the divers. Showtime at 1:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm.
  • Zócalo - Zócalo, Acapulco's town square, lies on the western side of La Costera. It's cool, shady and peaceful during the daytime. There are two fountains and many mature, multi-trunked trees that are a sight in themselves. The Zócalo tends to expose more local culture than other, more tourist-centric, areas. Zócalo contains Acapulco's cathedral, as well as many restaurants ranging in size from sidewalk bistros and tiny street-corner kitchens. Many of the smaller restaurants will provide full dinners for as little as M$35. The Zócalo at night is worth experiencing. Between 8:00 and 11PM the place is flooded with locals & chilangoes. Clowns entertain the crowd for tips. One is dressed as some sort of aztec warrior/statue thing. He is silver from head to toe.
  • Isla de la Roqueta - Isla de la Roqueta has a beautiful beach with shallow areas for families to play. You can get there by water taxi (around US$3.50) or the glass-bottom harbour tour boat (around US$7) from Caleta Beach. The harbour tour provides many sightseeing opportunities as well as seeing the yachts and homes of the rich and famous. As well, you can experience the cliff-divers’ show at La Quebrada, the submarine Virgin of Guadalupe, and see a diver with the tour swim under the boat with food to attract fish. If you don’t pack food while on your tour, there is a great opportunity to have lunch by way of a boat restaurant that comes alongside the boat and prepares your order. Just be prepared to wait depending on the number of people on the tour with you. Once on Isla de la Roquet there are numerous well-maintained trails, a lighthouse and beautiful snorkelling spots - but they can be rough (if this doesn’t suit you, your best bet would be to go to the Camino Real for snorkelling). And the bonus, you can take as much time as you want as the tour company’s boats dock throughout the day.
  • Beaches in and near Acapulco - Most beaches are in the bay area fronting the main boulevard "La Costera". This bay area is what made Acapulco famous and its beauty and majesty have not faded over the years. Some of the most popular beaches inside the Bay and lining the Costera are Hornos, the traditional "afternoon beach", Papagayo, Tamarindos, and Icacos. Condesa beach at the east end of the bay is gay friendly. Caleta/Caletilla beaches and Langosta Beach are on the open ocean, and usually a bit cleaner. Most hotels in Acapulco are found along the Costera, and prices generally go down as you move west toward the Zócalo and old Acapulco. Another open water beach, more suitable for surfing, lies in front of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and Fairmont Pierre Marqués Hotels. Playa Revolcadero is east of Acapulco, closer to the airport. The wave action is much higher than inside the bay or at Caleta/Caletilla, which are protected by La Roqueta island. Transportation from La Costera takes about 35 minutes through a winding and scenic road. Don't miss Barra Vieja, approximately 20 minutes past the airport coming from the Costera (M$500–$800 for a cab all day).

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intently celebrated in Mexico where where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

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Weather

Acapulco has a hot and humid climate with temperatures during the day between 31 °C and 35 °C most of the year, the summer months of May to October being a little warmer compared to the better winter months from December to March when it's also very dry and sunny and nights are significantly cooler as well. This is obviously the best time for a visit, as you will avoid the possibility of hurricanes and heavy rain showers. It's more crowded though and prices are higher. November and May are good times for a visit, when you want to avoid crowds and still want to have decent weather.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max30.3 °C30.4 °C30.3 °C30.7 °C31.5 °C31.9 °C32.3 °C32.2 °C31.6 °C31.7 °C31.5 °C31 °C
Avg Min23.3 °C23.5 °C23.6 °C24 °C25.2 °C25.1 °C25 °C25 °C24.8 °C25.1 °C24.9 °C24.1 °C
Rainfall13.1 mm3.3 mm1.2 mm4.3 mm22.6 mm261.2 mm243 mm280.3 mm298.8 mm127.5 mm17 mm11.6 mm
Rain Days10.50.20.32.512.91213.314.37.91.71

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Getting There

By Plane

Acapulco International Airport has flights to/from major cities in Mexico, the USA and Canada and even an occasional charter flight to the UK. Destinations include Mexico City, Houston, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Dallas, Chicago, Montreal, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Toronto.

By Car

You can rent cars from quite a few international and local companies, both downtown and at the airport. There is a modern four-lane highway from Mexico City to Acapulco (Autopista del Sol). It is somewhat expensive, but will take you there in 3 1/2 hours, approximately, if you don't stop on the way. The Autopista is not continuous; there is a break in two sections where the road is rougher, so a car with good tires is a must. However, before you decide to drive to Acapulco, remember that traffic and parking in the city are difficult.

By Bus

Many buses go from major cities (e.g. Mexico City) to Acapulco. Most buses are safe, fast and comfortable and usually not very expensive. Some bus lines offer student discounts. The Estrella de Oro bus line offers nonstop trips from Mexico City with service more like First Class on an airline: roomy seats, ride attendants, snacks and drinks, and free movies (The Lake House and Superman Returns on a recent trip). A regular Estrella de Oro (double-decker) one-way ride is M$395 (pesos) (about US$20), while upgraded VIP bus service is M$520. VIP service includes a marble lounge inside the regular Acapulco bus terminal with TVs, drinks, and newspapers. Depending on the bus, the ride takes 5 to 5 1/2 hours in comfort. Be warned: they search you and pat you down for weapons before leaving.

By Boat

There are no regular passenger services, but cruise liners and cargo ships stop here regularly so check if they have a berth for you to take you anywhere else along the Pacific coastline between San Francisco and Panama.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are everywhere in Acapulco. Since they are unmetered, make sure that you agree on a fare before entering. Always negotiate; they can smell tourist money a mile away. The old Volkswagen beetle cabs are cheaper than newer air-conditioned cars. Shared Cabs (usually white with yellow) run between major destinations and are very convenient. They usually display their destination in large letters and charge a flat fee of M$12, irrespective of distance. You should not have to pay more than M$50 per cab ride within the Costera area but fares can reach as much as M$120 for rides from La Costera to La Quebrada, Princess Hotel (Revolcadero Beach) and the airport. Alternatively most hotels can arrange for taxi transportation for a fixed fare (usually inflated). Prices will usually be about 50% more expensive than for a taxi hailed on the street.

By Public Transport

There are several public transportation options: Yellow cabs are 12 pesos per person; buses are M$5-6 pesos with the luxury of air-conditioning. Because of the sheer amount of taxis here, when one is dining out it is often worthwhile for them to offer a round trip and simply wait around while you have your meal, and they will not charge extra.

Buses are worth experiencing even if you don´t want to travel on them. Destinations are printed on the front window of each bus. There is no need to be at one of the buses regular stops in order to get on. Just wave your arm or look at the driver. He will stop and encourage you to get in. In fact, drivers will stop and try to get you ride with them if you are even walking in the same direction that they are driving in. The bus system in Acapulco has been fully privatised - each bus is privately owned. This means they can decorate them however they want. Pink buses cruise around blaring out traditional Mexican music, racing against ones decked out in UV lights pulsing out club music into the night air. The complete lack of suspension and the bizarre incentive for the buses to race each other to each bus stop as they compete for passengers makes for an unforgettable ride.

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Drink

In the past few years Acapulco has become a preferred destination for spring breakers, with tens of thousands of students descending upon this resort town to drink away the sorrows of midterms in a multitude of bars and clubs. The fancier places may have long queues outside and will probably not let you in if you wear shorts and/or sneakers.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Acapulco or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 16.863611
  • Longitude: -99.8825

Accommodation in Acapulco

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This is version 13. Last edited at 3:31 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 4 articles link to this page.

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