Puerto Marques - Acapulco's Other Bay
Puerto Marqués is a favorite of many Acapulco locals, and most of those relaxing on the sand are from the area. It has the informal, easy atmosphere of a small seaside resort, without the tourist traps. You are surrounded by natural beauty, and what development you can see is unobtrusive. During the mornings, the beaches can easily become crowded with singles, couples and families. In the late afternoon, when the tide starts coming into the bay, activity quickly ceases. Puerto Marqués falls quiet as evening approaches.
Puerto Marqués has five great things going for it: First is its lush vegetation, surrounded by the mountains. It gives you the feeling that you have just stepped into nature at its purest. Second, the Scenic Highway (Carretera Escénica), which leads to Puerto Marqués from Acapulco proper, offers you numerous miradores (special lookout spots for admiring the view). You can see both the Golden Zone and Puerto Marqués from those vantage points. Third, water is calm and good for swimming. If you can't swim, rent an inner tube. You'll have a great time undulating with the gentle tide. Fourth, you can get find great seafood at Puerto Marqués, and they will put your table right on the beach so close to the shore that when the tide comes in late in the day, you can actually get your feet wet. Finally, Puerto Marqués is special because it still remains "real Acapulco." The village is simple. It gives you a good look at how local people used to live, before all the real estate development. It is beautiful. It is not elaborate or luxurious, but it comes closer to paradise than any place that has been contrived to attract tourist dollars and pesos.
Getting to Puerto Marqués is easy: Take a city bus (they say "Pto. Marques"). It will let you off right where you want to be. If you get off too early, you will have the chance to take a pleasant walk through the village and maybe buy yourself a fresh "coco." This is a coconut with a hole on top so you can drink the milk. It's safe. Then they will chop up the hull so you can eat the coconut meat, preferably with chili.
Getting back from Puerto Marqués to Acapulco proper is a little more challenging if you don't know exactly where you're going or speak no Spanish. Hail a cab or just walk back through the village towards the highway. Any bus that is going towards Acapulco will work for you. If you're headed towards traditional Acapulco, you may need to switch to a second bus that goes to Caleta. The Puerto Marqués buses stop at "Hornos" (by the Comercial Mexicana).
If you want to spend the night in Puerto Marqués, you have a choice of several small and simple hotels along the main beach. Of course, the luxurious Camino Real Hotel is also an option. It is located at the opposite end of the cove from the public beach, set in a truly beautiful and secluded gated community that would inspire envy from the rich and famous of Hollywood Hills.