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Acapulco Tourist Attractions, Sightseeing and Things To Do

A complete list of places to visit in Acapulco Mexico including a wide range of Acapulco tourist attractions, sightseeing and things to do in Acapulco.

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Acapulco Diamante is many things, but in one word, it's exclusive. Acapulco Diamante is what you might call “New Acapulco.” It's a series of new luxury real estate developments and gated-communities, which stretch from Puerto Marques to the airport.

Acapulco Diamante is one of Acapulco's most beautiful regions, encompassing some of the area's best beaches, top luxury resort hotels, and the wealthiest neighborhoods. With its lush green mountains, million dollar houses, beautiful beaches, elegant shopping malls and peace and quiet, it reminds one vaguely of Orange County, California, but transferred thousands of miles down the Pacific Coast. In Acapulco Diamante it is easy to forget that you're really in Mexico. This is the place where people go to escape the city - whether the city in question is old Acapulco, Mexico City, Los Angeles or New York.

Acapulco Diamante

Inside of Acapulco Diamante you can find a couple of traditional areas, including small villages, that provide a contrast with the “in-your-face” commercialism and hustle of the hotel zone.

The Diamante area offers some of the best of Acapulco: The five-star hotels are The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Fairmont Pierre Marques, the Fairmont Pearl, the Mayan Palace, Las Brisas, La Quinta Real, Park Royal, and the Camino Real. The beautiful Puerto Marques is on the way, as well as one of Acapulco's most active and fashionable beaches, Playa Revolcadero. Beyond, you can enjoy the rustic, tropical delights of Barra Vieja and Tres Palos Lagoon.

No matter what your interests, if you want to be able to say that you really know Acapulco, you should take a day to explore Acapulco Diamante.

Acapulco Diamante

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The Acapulco Philharmonic Orchestra (OFA) is one of the port city's most enjoyable assets. Supported entirely by a government grant, its concerts are free to the general public. Almost all the concerts are given in the 1000-seat Juan Ruiz de Alarcón Theater in the International Convention Center of Acapulco, in Costa Azul. Established in 1998, the OFA relies on 85 talented and experienced professional musicians, who provide a full and artful orchestral sound that easily rivals any other orchestra from a larger urban center.

Acapulco Philharmonic

Under the direction of Maestro Eduardo Alvarez, the OFA presents approximately 24 concerts each year in Acapulco, in addition to sixty or more concerts for children and performances in other venues. Half an hour prior to the concert, Maestro Alvarez comes out on stage to talk to the audience, in the tradition of Leonard Bernstein. He gives listening tips about the program and explains details about some of the instruments. The OFA sometimes performs baroque works, and also pieces from the classical period; however, strong suit by far is romantic music, starting with Beethoven and coming down to the modern era. The OFA also periodically plays traditional Mexican music as well as the works of contemporary composers, like George Gershwin. The romantic and popular music permits all 85 musicians to open up and play with great expression, in response to the creative leadership of their conductor, Maestro Alvarez. They also frequently invite distinguished soloists to perform with them.

Acapulco Philharmonic

To learn about the concert schedule, check the web site or call the office during normal business hours. Admission is free, and you can get in without a ticket. But tickets can be had at the business office or the Casa de Cultura in Costa Azul (on the Costera Alemán), or printed from the website. Having a ticket saves time when entering the hall, and will secure you a seat if the event will fill to capacity. In Costa Azul, the executive offices are at Plaza Bombay, Av. Cristobal Colón No. 100. Tel: 744 484-6626 or -4854.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 51' 10.98" N, 99° 51' 4.8312" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 51' 10.98" N, 99° 51' 4.8312" W
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Acapulco has one of the best nightlife scenes in the world. The action really gets going around 1:00 am, when, if you were in US, they would start kicking you out into the street unceremoniously. Acapulco clubs are open all night, typically until 5 or 6 am, which gives you plenty of time to meet new people (some of them well-lit), and to dance all night long.

Acapulco's Sexy Nightlife

Acapulco offers several "party areas". Las Brisas boasts Acapulco's big, high-end discos where shorts and sandals definitely are unwelcome. Palladium, Mandara, Classico del Mar, and Sky Garden are some of the hippest options in the area. Another area is closer to downtown. Starting at La Quebrada, along the Pacific side, stroll to the Sinfonia del Mar and beyond. Here you can party the night away. The streets fill with locals, who park their cars, crank up their music, and break out the cerveza. A handful of small bars also dot the landscape, but most people just bring their own supplies. With minor exceptions, the remainder of Acapulco's nightlife can be found scattered along the Costera, Acapulco's main drag, starting at the salsa club at the Copacabana all the way to El Alebrije at the end of the Golden Zone. If you go past Las Brisas, down the winding Scenic Highway to Acapulco Diamante, you will also find a few, mainly upscale offerings. That said, hands down the main party spot in all of Acapulco has been, and remains, The Condesa.

La Condesa

Acapulco's La Condesa district is where the nightlife begins and the place to go for door to door partying. Like a lady of the evening, La Condesa seems a little dowdy and commonplace during the day, but it really comes alive after the sun goes down. Some of Acapulco's most lively and noisy clubs are located here, along with the famous bungee jump at Paradise. Some of the other flagships in this fleet are Barbaroja, Mango's, Mojito, Disco Beach, Beto's Condesa, and Baby Lobster Bar. Hotels such as Fiesta Americana, Tortuga, and Romano Palace are located right in the center of the action. The Condesa also boasts Acapulco's main gay beach, and some of the bars welcome gay couples. Near the Condesa are several strip clubs, and you can find, if you look for it, practioners of the world's oldest profession. This is no place to be if you want a taste of traditional Mexico or some R & R. However, if your plans include getting wasted and maybe meeting someone interesting in a bar for an evening of fun later on, La Condesa is ground zero. If you're in the mood for a party, you've come to the right place.

Acapulco Night Clubs

For more information, see our Nightlife section.

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The bullfights don't take place all year around. They are scheduled only in January and February, during the high tourist season. In the case of Acapulco, bullfighting is more of a tourist attraction than a cultural event of great interest to the acapulqueños. In days gone by it was, of course, but now the locals are more fascinated by DVD players and cell phones.

Bullfighting in Acapulco

The Corrida de Torros, also known as “La Fiesta Brava,” is held at the Plaza de Torros in the Caletilla area of Traditional Acapulco. Cost ranges from $35 to $15 depending upon how close the seats are and whether they're on the shady side of the ring. There is so much space though that once inside you're pretty much free to move around wherever you want. The plaza de toros is a pleasant arena. It has an especially exotic feeling with its tropical palms and lush green trees all around the edge.
These photos were taken at a bullfight on February 27th, 2005.

The bullfight begins with the brave matadors, about 10 of them, who make their way to take a bow in the center of the ring. They are all decked out in the height of matador fashion. You can hear a collective “wow” from the ladies in the audience. Though they look very dashing in the bull ring, the getup probably would not score too many points in the discos at the other end of the bay. By now the audience — mainly gringos — is eagerly awaiting the excitement to come. From high in the stands two live brass bands kick into the bullfight music with horns blaring. The first bull enters the ring, snarling and charging at everything in site. A great cheer rises from the crowd. Then the mood begins to change. As the bull makes a charge at the matador, he takes two small colorful small spears and plunges them into bull's back above his neck. Then blood starts gushing out of the wounds and down its sides. The smiles on the faces of the tourists stiffen with shock and horror: “This isn't what happened in bullfights in Lonely Tunes!”

Corrida de Torros

The ensuing minutes bring more daggers and more blood. If the matador gets into a spot of trouble, the other matadors rush in to distract the bull until he can get away. By now blood and gore are streaming down the bull's back and he's getting slow. At this point, the matador moves in to give the crowd its show. Using the cape and dancing around the dizzy bull with ease to shouts of “¡Olé!” he sticks his sword into the bull's back. The bull grows weak in the knees and crumples down. Then the matador plunges the final dagger into the back of the bull’s neck, and the animal dies slowly, convulsing blood everywhere before the carcass is unceremoniously dragged out of the ring by a team of horses. But for the trumpets, you can hear a pin drop after the death of the first bull. Usually the tourists are just stunned.

Plaza de Torros

Then there are three more rounds just like the first one — no rodeo clowns and no half time show. Dozens upon dozens more stab wounds are to come, culminating in three more dead bulls. The shock of the first bull usually has a numbing effect so that by the fourth bull, a few in the crowd will be getting more into the experience to the point of shouting “¡Olé!” themselves. Some will go home reporting that the whole affair was “interesting.” Others will say they cried. A few, perhaps, will report having looked in on a strange ritual of a foreign culture. If you are inclined to favor the underdog in competitions, bull fights are not for you. The bull never wins, and only very seldom does he even get in a good shot.

Location

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 49' 54.246" N, 99° 54' 20.5488" W
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Acapulco's Convention Center is truly beautiful structure. It was built in 1972 and, at the time, was said to be the most extravagant convention center in all of Mexico. It may still be. It is rumored to have cost some $50 million to build.

Convention Center

The Convention Center is on the Costera Alemán, just to the north of the traffic circle where the Acapulco Golf Club ends and the neighborhood of Costa Azul begins. It is easily spotted because of the long promenade from the street area up to the main concourse, which takes you past fountains and sail-like design features. At night, classical music plays, and the water in the fountains are illuminated by lights that change color.

The Convention Center is technically called the “Centro International de Acapulco” or “CIA.” Locally, almost everyone calls it simply the “Centro de Convenciones.” The facilities include two great indoor theater venues and one large area for outdoor concerts near the principal building. One of the theaters, named for Juan Ruiz de Alarcón (Mexico's principal dramatist of the "Golden Age," holds 1,000 attendees, and provides near perfect acoustics for plays and symphonic presentations.

In another wing of the Convention Center there is a grand meeting and banquet hall, with a large series of smaller meeting rooms besides. The main hall can easily accommodate up to 5,000 attendees. Also in the main part of the structure visitors will find a few shops, a post office, and several offices, including one of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a couple of foreign consulates. Except when a large concert is going on, the Convention Center seems unusually quiet and deserted, especially in contrast to the frenetic Costera out front.

The open lawn space in front of the Convention Center is often given over to large-scale outdoor concerts of popular rock or country groups, as well as special tent events like “Holiday on Ice” and a circus.

The Convention Center is undergoing a general renovation during 2010-11, so that visitors may find that some of the events, stores and offices have moved to temporary quarters elsewhere while the work proceeds.

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Diego Rivera is, without a doubt, Mexico's most famous artist. He is known for such works as the "Epic of the Mexican People - Mexico Today and Tomorrow, 1934-35" which blankets a wall of Mexico City's Palacio Nacional. His wife, Frida Kahlo, was a renowned artist in her own right and today, after the release of the excellent feature film about her life ("Frida"), her fame may even exceed that of Diego

Diego Rivera is, without a doubt, Mexico's most famous artist. He is known for such works as the "Epic of the Mexican People - Mexico Today and Tomorrow, 1934-35" which blankets a wall of Mexico City's Palacio Nacional. His wife, Frida Kahlo, was a renowned artist in her own right and today, after the release of the excellent feature film about her life ("Frida"), her fame may even exceed that of Diego.

Diego Rivera

In 1956 Diego Rivera completed the seashell mosaics that adorn the outside of the house of art patron Dolores Olmedo in Acapulco. The murals took the famous artist over 18 months to complete and depict various Mesoamerican deities (the dragon above is Quetzacoatl).

Dolores Olmedo House

Diego Rivera passed away in this house in 1957. Although there has been talk of converting it into a museum, no action has been taken yet, so one is left to view the murals from the street. Unless you are a real fan of Diego Rivera, a special trip is not necessary. There is not much to see. These photos give you a good idea about the place. The neighborhood is pleasant to walk around and has some interesting old architecture. You will find a castle-like structure with stone lions guarding the front and some spooky old abandoned hotels. For art, however, think first of the Dolores Olmedo gallery, which is in the Convention Center is at the other end of town.

Calle Inalámbrica, 6, Fracc. La Pinzona, Acapulco, Gro. Mexico.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 42.234" N, 99° 54' 42.7608" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 42.234" N, 99° 54' 42.7608" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 42.234" N, 99° 54' 42.7608" W
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The International Society of Ecotourism defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas, [travel] that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." At its roots, therefore, ecotourism is all about our desire as creatures of the man-made world to go out and see what nature is really like, with a view to preserving it.

Principles of ecotourism include enjoying the natural environment while minimizing the tourist's impact on it; being responsible stewards of the Earth; and being respectful local populations. At the very least, it means avoiding trampling plants and throwing garbage (unlike the locals and tourists who seem to feel free to litter without hesitation).

Acapulco is a great place to take in the beauty of the tropics. There is no shortage of places to go for relaxing moment in the hand of creation. Exotic flora and fauna can easily be found among Acapulco's many jungles, mountains, lagoons and virgin beaches.

Here are some good options, but if you're creative, just rent a car and drive out until paved roads give way to dirt roads and where shoes and sandals are optional.

Barra de Coyuca & Coyuca Lagoon

The Laguna de Coyuca is a fresh water lake near Pie de la Cuesta and the small pueblo of Embarcadero, approximately 6 miles (10 km) north of Acapulco, along the coast. Laguna de Coyuca is a fairly large body of water, over 10 miles (16km) long and almost 5 miles (8km) wide. The maximum depth is 23 feet (7m). The water is clear. This is a fine location for fishing or sailing. Robalo and a dozen other species of fish live there. Fishermen can also try for freshwater shrimp and crabs. Motorized boats are allowed, so water skiing is also possible. There is a bird sanctuary around the Laguna de Coyuca and on the four islands in the middle: Presidio, Montosa, Pío Quinto and Pájaros. Black and white herons, pelicans, ducks, storks, and many other aquatic species can be photographed there. Boat tours are available for you to have a closer look at everything. Early Tarzan movies and Rambo II were filmed here, as the Laguna de Coyuca is everyone's idea of what a tropical jungle should look like. Nearby, several restaurants provide refreshments and fresh seafood.

Tres Palos Lagoon

From the top of Las Brisas, on the Escénica that rises above Acapulco on the east side, one can look past Puerto Marqués (a small, quiet inlet of the ocean) to Playa Revolcadero, an often turbulent beach where the waves can be very strong. Beyond lies the international airport. To your left, extending out along the point of land on which the airport is built, is the Laguna de Tres Palos. It is a large, natural, fresh water lagoon that is home to many different species of vegetation, birds, fish and mammals. This natural body of water is so large and wide that it is often mistaken for a sea inlet. You can explore the Laguna de Tres Palos by boat or jet-ski. As the waters flow through the lagoon towards the sea, they tend to make small channels in the vegetation. There, a quiet visitor will be able to see wildlife up close. A couple of good restaurants are open along the shores of the lagoon, with boat rentals and places for the children to play. There is a national movement in Mexico to protect the Laguna de Tres Palos from further contamination and to create a nature reserve of some sort. So far, this area has not been made into a park or ecological preserve.

Barra Vieja

Barra Vieja is a long, tranquil, sandy beach east of Acapulco, about 20 miles (32 km) past the airport. It is probably much like Acapulco in the 1950’s and earlier. Because of its relative remoteness, it attracts very few partiers and spring breakers. Mainly, the visitors are couples and families. Along the coastal road you will see several signs to a restaurant or “beach club,” usually a few hundred feet down a dirt road to the ocean. Barra Vieja has many such places. You may see people standing at the main road, trying to usher passing cars into their establishments. It is a good idea to make some inquiries and check out places before you go, particularly if no one in the group speaks Spanish. There are several excellent places on the way to the village itself, and several more once you get there. If you go as far as the lagoon, turn around.

Barra de Coyuca

The restaurants and “beach clubs” have a familiar format. Once you pull in, there will be a lot of parking. Then, closer to the ocean, you will come to the main bar and restaurant, usually under a metal roof or a large palm palapa. Next there may be a modern swimming pool with places to shower and change clothes. Beyond the pool, closer to the ocean, you will find palapas or cabanas, many hung with hammocks. You can choose where you want to stay: the restaurant, the pool, or the beach. Many prefer the beach for the view and the chance to take a stroll up and down or to bathe in the sun by the waves. The restaurants will serve down on the beach side as well as up at poolside. The menus are replete, of course, with seafood prepared in many different ways, as well as other snacks and drinks. The beaches are almost deserted by comparison with Acapulco, with very few vendors. A camp nearby raises sea turtles to help preserve this endangered species. This may be a worthwhile stop, especially for the kids. During certain seasons of the year (around 5:30 pm) the hatchlings are taken down to the beach and released. Visitors can also make an outing on ATV’s (4-wheelers), go horseback riding on the beach and environs, or lounge about on the sand. Try a beach massage, or order a bucket of beers and watch the sunset.

El Veladero National Park

El Veladero National Park is a large ecological reserve located in the high area above the geological amphitheater that forms Acapulco Bay and protects Acapulco's watershed. The park, established by law in 1980, extends for nearly 8,000 acres (3,160 hectares) along El Veladero ridge. During the war for Mexican Independence, El Veladero was a strategic point of attack and defense of Acapulco. It served as a lookout point, outpost and supply place for insurgent troops under General José María Morelos and for Spanish forces under the command of José Gabriel de Armijo. Today, most of the park is covered with jungle vegetation and deciduous trees. Sea Eagles, song birds and many other bird species are in abundance, as well as small mammals, reptiles (including boa constrictors and iguanas) and insects of all sorts.

El Veladero National Park is a great place for hiking and horseback riding. One popular destination is Palma Sola, which consists of several boulders containing numerous petroglyph made by the Yopes, the area's earliest inhabitants (200 BC to 600 AD). The simple carvings are made in 18 massive rocks of 1 to 8 meters in width and 1 to 4 meters in height. They are spread around 10 acres (4 hectares) of an area recently equipped with paths and steps to make access easier. The glyphs represent humans, animals and geometric shapes, each carved several millimeters into the rocky surface. Another great destination is to the top of Veladero Ridge, from whence one can see for miles and miles to the east and west as well as down to the entire bay around Acapulco. About 700 persons, mainly indigenous peoples, still live in the confines of the park. The best way to get here is by taxi or car. Parking is plentiful. If you come by taxi, arrange a pick-up time with your driver, as there is no taxi stand at the park. Calle Independencia s/n (Surrounds Acapulco). Open during daylight hours.

Botanical Garden

Acapulco's Botanical Garden, located at Heroico Colegio Militar (near Loyola University of the Pacific), has large, pleasant grounds and gardens.

Hiking on La Isla de la Roqueta

This is a fantastic option for ecotourists. See our page on Isla de la Roqueta in the attractions section for more information.

Puerto Marqués Lagoon

A third lagoon offering is Puerto Marqués Lagoon, also known as the black lagoon, due to the ink-like water, which is colored by the the dark roots of the mangrove trees. Its canals connect it to Revolcadero Beach.

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The National Park of Cacahuamilpa is a network of spectacular caverns set in the Southern Sierra Madres, near Taxco. It is said to be the world’s largest known network of caverns, and it is surely Mexico’s most famous. If you are in Acapulco and plan a day trip to Taxco, you might want to sleep over and see the caverns the next day. The ride from Taxco takes about 45 minutes. (The park is 52 km from Taxco on state route 166, which puts it about 220 km from Acapulco and 81 km from Cuernavaca.) Buses, taxis and colectivos (really microbuses) and special excursions will take you there and back again to Taxco. Ask at your hotel desk exactly where to meet the transportation.

They were created when limestone rock was deposited on the land by a primordial sea that covered the territory millions of years ago. Water, which at first dripped and then flowed, created the vaulted rooms of the caverns and the colorful, majestic stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the chambers and the path that runs through them. For centuries they were inhabited by Chontal and Olmec tribes, who found they provided shelter and protection, as well as a fitting setting for religious ceremonies.

No one really knows how far the caverns go. The public is permitted to explore a bit more than the first two kilometers, which are well-lit and easy to navigate. A total of 10 kilometers have been opened up by spelunkers, but they have still not reached a definitive end. The roof overhead varies from 10 meters to 30 meters in the part open to the public. There are 90 chambers, some of which have natural lighting. Some of the formations resemble faces or figures, others profiles of animals or fountains. A famous chamber is called the throne room, another, the cathedral. All of them display the splendor of the limestone sculptures performed by the natural process of water erosion over millennia. Regardless of the weather outside, the caverns remain at a constant, cool temperature. The air is moist, but the caverns themselves are dry.

The caverns have been a protected park since 1936. Tours take two hours and depart from the entrance museum frequently, from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. A full ticket costs $65 pesos, with discounts for children, students and the retired. Transport by Estrella Blanca (from the Taxco terminal) or by the more frequent city buses is about $20 pesos each way. There is a gift shop and snack bar in the museum area as well, and room for kids to play and families to have a picnic.

The park’s official website is http://cacahuamilpa.conanp.gob.mx.

Location

Acapulco
Mexico
18° 43' 13.2456" N, 99° 39' 19.944" W
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Acapulco celebrates whenever it can. The town always fills up for special holidays and long weekends throughout the year. Some events, like Halloween and Spring Break, did not originate with the local culture, but have come instead from outside, with the tourists and vacationers who arrive to have a great time. Others have a long tradition, mainly as religious celebrations within the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. Several "official" holidays trigger a day off for workers (or double pay if they have to be on the job). Though they have specific dates, they are mostly observed on a Monday (such as the third Monday in March for Benito Juarez's birthday). For statutory holidays that are not always observed on a Monday, the following rule applies: If it falls on Saturday, the day off is on Friday. If it falls on Sunday, Monday is the day off. These holidays create several "long weekends" or "puentes," when tourists make their way to Acapulco's sunny beaches. A third category, "civil holidays," are dates of some note, but they are not official.

Christmas and New Years

Acapulco Fireworks
Locals celebrate Christmas on the eve, December 24. This is when family presents are exchanged. The previous day, December 23, is probably the busiest shopping day of the whole year. The week between Christmas Day and New Years' Day is probably Acapulco's busiest tourist time of year. Rates for hotels, condos and villas are at premium levels, and the beaches are filled with travelers from all over the world, looking for a respite from winter on the tropical sands of the bay. Twelve days after Christmas, with the arrival of Epiphany on January 6, locals often share with friends and family a "rosca" or large, ring-shaped sweet roll with sugar and fruits, often accompanied by hot chocolate or atole, a delicious oatmeal drink, served hot. Inside the rosca some lucky person will find a small image of the Christ child, which can be exchanged for a treat or prize. Larger roscas may have several of them. This tradition is always good fun for all. This day, also called Reyes Magos (or King-Wise Men), was, for generations past, the traditional time of Christmas gift giving. Even today, parents will give toys to their children as if from the "Reyes Magos," and friends often exchange small gifts as well.

Holy Week and Spring Break

Holy Week, the week before Easter, is probably Acapulco's second busiest time for tourism, as the kids are out of school, and whole families will take off for a week at the sea shore. Hotels and condos are usually fully booked, and at premium rates. The week after Easter (Easter Week), is still busy, but not nearly as active. Easter falls on a different day each year, being the Sunday after the first full moon that follows the Spring equinox. Spring Break is hardly an official holiday, but it is a time when Acapulco takes on a different look. While the schools and universities in Mexico have their Spring break for Holy Week, the universities in the US and Canada have different schedules. College students enjoy coming to Acapulco for their week (or two) of Spring vacation. This can be any time between late February and mid-April. Most Acapulco businesses are glad to see the arrival of these youths, and often special events are planned up and down the main Spring Break venues, from the Emporio at Diana, past Condesa, to the Copacabana, close to the Convention Center.

National Holidays

The first Monday in February is celebrated as Constitution Day (traditionally, February 5). This creates a nice three-day weekend for people who want to come to Acapulco for a short vacation. The third Monday in March is the day to celebrate Benito Juarez's birthday. May 1 is Labor Day in Mexico. It does not move to a nearby Monday, so the holiday can create and unofficial three- or four-day weekend for beach visitors. September 16 is National Independence Day. It commemorates Father Miguel Hidalgo's "Grito de Dolores" ("Viva México!"), which launched Mexico's official struggle to be free from Spain. The year 2010 is the Bicentennial celebration. The third Monday in November is Revolution Day. It is reserved to celebrate the start of the Mexican Revolution on November 20, 1910, by Francisco I. Madero. The year 2010 is the centennial celebration.

Civil Holidays (No day off)

May 5, or "Cinco de Mayo" is a civil holiday in Mexico, but not a "legal holiday." In Acapulco, no one takes much note of it. It celebrates a Mexican military victory over French forces in Puebla, in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is more of a creation of the Hispanic community in the US than a traditional Mexican celebration.

May 10 is Mother's Day. It is considerably more important in Mexico than in Anglo cultures. Curiously, the beaches are usually empty, as everyone is off spending some time with mom instead. It is a civil holiday, with no day off for workers. October 12 celebrates Columbus's discovery of America. Called variously Día de la Hispanidad or Día de la Raza, it is a civil holiday, so no one gets the day off. October 31 is Halloween. Though not celebrated to the extent of Halloween in the US, Acapulco does enjoy throwing costume parties, and kids have learned the skill of going out to "trick or treat" (although when they get to a door they yell "Halloweeeeen!" instead of "trick or treat").

More Religious Observances

San Judas
October 28 is Día de San Judas Tadeo (Saint Jude or Thaddeus, the apostle). As the patron saint of desperate cases and hopeless causes, this saint has acquired a large following among Mexicans, who take to the streets on this day with processions. November 1 is All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day or Day of the Dead on November 2. In many parts of Mexico the traditions blend pre-Columbian rituals of honoring the departed with Roman Catholic tradition. November 2 is a day set aside in many cultures for cleaning up the cemetery plots. December 12 is the feast day of the patron saint of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Many of the faithful organize processions in the streets, carrying images of the Virgin. The day kicks off the Christmas season, as four days later, "Posadas" starts, a time of year-end Christmas parties and observances that run through January 6. The "Posada" was the inn where Joseph and Mary took refuge and where she gave birth to Jesus.
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We're sad to report that <a href="http://www.realacapulco.com/en/news/11-19-2010/house-of-masks-closed-for-good">the House of Masks is closed</a>.

We're sad to report that the House of Masks is closed.

The House of Masks (“La Casa de la Máscara”) is a small, private museum collection on Calle Morelos, just off the Costera Alemán and a few feet past the entrance to the Fort of San Diego as you head towards the center of the old part of town. An old residence houses the collection.

Casa de la Máscara

Well before the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico the indigenous peoples had developed a highly complex system of beliefs and rituals, many of which used animals and animal spirits as models or totems. The House of Masks is a fascinating tour through this native culture, employing the masks as a way of explaining it. The pre-Columbian tradition used wood and clay masks to portray jaguars, crocodiles and tigers. Priests and dancers would don them on festive occasions. The later masks showed the indigenous peoples’ view of the Spaniards, with spade-like beards and devil’s horns. Even today in the State of Guerrero these traditions survive with dances like the “Dance of the Old Men,” in which the native elders outlast the decrepit old Europeans. There is also the dance of the “Moors and Christians” and the “Battle of the Tigers.”

The House of Masks displays around 400 examples of masks of all different sizes, shapes and colors. The whole collection is much, much larger — over 1,000 — but space is limited. Videos of native dances are shown, such as a supplication for rain. From time to time mask artisans run workshops for kids and grownups on how to make and decorate masks, as well as how the dances are performed. Entry is free; a donation is requested. The museum is open from 10 to 5 on Monday through Saturday. Calle Morelos s/n, Ex-Zona Militar B, a half block from Fuerte de San Diego.

Casa de la Máscara

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 59.0316" N, 99° 54' 13.6368" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 59.0316" N, 99° 54' 13.6368" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 59.0316" N, 99° 54' 13.6368" W
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When visitors arrive in Acapulco, they may hear about “Las Brisas”, but not know where it is or what is there.

The term refers, of course, to the luxury “Las Brisas” Hotel, which rises up over Acapulco's bay on the eastern slope of ridge surrounding the city. But above the Hotel, and past it, as you take the Scenic Highway (“Carretera Escénica”) up and over towards Puerto Marqués, you pass the neighborhood called “Las Brisas.” It is probably the wealthiest residential section of town, with multi-million-dollar villas set into the hillside, overlooking Acapulco’s bay and facing the Golden Zone. The more easterly neighborhoods and those with higher vantage points may also have a view of Puerto Marqués, Playa Revolcadero, Laguna de Tres Palos, or back towards Isla Roqueta at the mouth of the bay.

Las Brisas

Along the Escénica in the Las Brisas area, you will find several of Acapulco’s most elegant restaurants (like Bellavista, Kookaburra, Baikal, Casa Nova, and Pagliacci) and some of its top nightclubs (like Palladium and Siboney).

At the top, on the ridge line, the large cross of the “Chapel of Peace” (“Capilla de la Paz”) towers over the terrain. It is inside the exclusive, gated community of Las Brisas. The Chapel is accessible by leaving a credential with the gate guard during the chapel's hours of operation. Otherwise, an authorized visitor can take a pleasant walk around these wealthy neighborhoods, which are truly beautiful; however, one must be able to state some form of “business” to the security guard, or else entry will be denied.

Technically speaking, “Las Brisas” is a general term, applied to a number of contiguous neighborhoods strung across the hillside above the Navy Base and continuing over the top until reaching Puerto Marqués. Some of the more noteworthy neighborhoods are:

The only way in or out of Las Brisas is via the Scenic Highway (“Carretera Escénica”). Las Brisas is definitely not pedestrian friendly. When you walk along or across the Escénica, you take your life in your hands. The narrow road has many blind curves, virtually no shoulders, and no room for pedestrians. There is barely room for two lanes of vehicles. To make matters worse, most drivers – including the police and the buses – take the curves at high speed.

One misconception is that Las Brisas has good beaches. A small number of villas down low may have access to a small beach. A couple of beach clubs have been built in the area by hotels like the Park Royal and Las Brisas. But in general, Las Brisas has no beachfront. This is compensated by the breathtaking views the area enjoys of Acapulco – particularly at night. Click here for a guide to Acapulco beaches.

Capilla de la Paz

Acapulco's Tallest Church

La Capilla de la Paz (the Chapel of Peace) is Acapulco's large non-denominational church with the towering 130 ft. tall cross that is visible from pretty much everywhere around the bay. It is high up on the cliffs (some 1,200 feet above sea level) in the Las Brisas neighborhood off the Scenic Highway. To get there you take the highway from the city and make a hairpin left at the huge entryway into the Las Brisas gated community (not the Hotel). The security guard will permit you to go in to visit the Chapel during its hours: from 10am to 6pm. If you like to pray of just want a great view of the city and a tour of Acapulco's answer to Beverly Hills, you might enjoy a trip to see La Capilla.

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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 Marques Acapulco

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.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 48' 8.6076" N, 99° 50' 10.248" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 48' 8.6076" N, 99° 50' 10.248" W
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Acapulco Restaurants Guide

Acapulco welcomes visitors with hundreds of different places to dine. In general, the type of restaurant will give you a good idea of how much the food will cost. Fine dining has the widest range, of course – from $25 per entrée to $75 or more. Less formal restaurants in the traditional format are plentiful, and they take advantage of Acapulco's casual lifestyle.

These places will serve you a full and satisfying meal for between $15 and $25 per entrée. This is around $25 to $40 per person, total bill, without drinks or tip. Family restaurants and cafeterias are more economical yet, and generally allow a diner to get in and out for between $10 and $20 for a meal or snack. The taco places ("taquerías") and fast food places are clearly the most economical. Even so, some taquerías really serve a full range of Mexican dishes, from the most basic up to the most elegant.

Click here for our extensive list of Acapulco restaurants

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Many people take pride in their shopping skills. They will tell you that there is a lot more to shopping than simply going out and picking up a few necessities. They consider it an art, a sport, a hobby and a personal challenge – especially when they are on vacation. Veteran shoppers all agree that “shopping” is not just one activity: It varies according to who is doing it, what the quarry is, and why they are on a hunt for it.

Many people take pride in their shopping skills. They will tell you that there is a lot more to shopping than simply going out and picking up a few necessities. They consider it an art, a sport, a hobby and a personal challenge – especially when they are on vacation. Veteran shoppers all agree that “shopping” is not just one activity: It varies according to who is doing it, what the quarry is, and why they are on a hunt for it.

Acapulco offers great choices for all types of shopping. Several types are described below. You can take a look at our running list of shopping content on the site in our Shopping section or to the relevant categories in our Shopping directory.

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In Acapulco, the Spanish word for “Spring Break” is “Spring Break.” All Acapulco locals understand what it means. Lots of signs on hotels and bars declare “Welcome Spring Breakers.” Beginning in late February and continuing until Easter (more or less) thousands of college students come to Acapulco from all over North America. Acapulco was the original Spring Break destination in Mexico, and it still outperforms the others in fun, sun and unbridled hedonism. During Spring Break, Acapulco’s main avenue – the Costera Miguel Alemán – lights up with college revelers.

Getting to Acapulco for Spring Break isn't hard, but it’s really a good idea to plan in advance. Lots of travel companies organize charters and tours. Many combine air fare, ground transfers and lodging into a single discounted package. But these flights fill up fast, so it is best to jump on them right after Christmas – at the latest. If all else fails, you can fly into Mexico City and ride into Acapulco on a large, comfortable bus (which takes about 5 hours or so).

You might want to put together a group of friends and rent a villa in Acapulco for Spring Break. With enough people in the equation, the per-head cost can be competitive with other high-end lodging, and it's vastly more fun than a hotel. If you want to rent a prime villa, book in October.

Spring Break activities tend to take place in a couple of different places. The main one is in Acapulco’s “Golden Zone,” which starts around the Avalon Excalibur and continues down the Costera towards the Naval Base. The center of everything is the Condesa - the strip between the Playa Suites and El Presidente. This encompasses Playa Condesa, where many of the best bars and dance clubs can be found. Your landmark is the naked, voluptuous statue of Diana the Huntress, in the middle of the traffic circle that bears her name. The other Spring Break hot spot is in Las Brisas, where Acapulco's best and most up-scale discos are located. It's about 5 to 10 minutes by taxi from the Condesa.

Things to do during the day

The mornings are, naturally, really made for sleeping in, but if you want to get out for sightseeing, there is a lot to do. Just take a look at our Acapulco Attractions section. If you want to organize an outing to a quiet beach on the outskirts of town, check out Pie de la Cuesta, Barra Vieja, Bonfil and Tres Vidas on our Acapulco Beaches page. For surfing, the beaches at Bonfil, Tres Vidas and Revolcadero are the best ones. For boating, fishing, skiing, jet skis and other water sports, check this out. For something a bit more extreme, take a look at that.

The early afternoon is a great time to try a local restaurant for a taste of traditional Mexican food. If you feel like something more exotic, visit our Acapulco Restaurants section.

The main daytime activity during Spring Break is working on the tan and getting rid of that hangover ("cruda" in Spanish). Be sure to use lots of sunscreen: the sun can be punishing on Acapulco’s tropical beaches. If you can't live without having one of the beach folk braid your hair into corn rows, remember to protect your scalp from burning, becuase, well, it will if you don't.

Many Spring Break hotel destinations organize special events and parties for the afternoons, so be sure to ask about them both when making your plans and also after you arrive. The key words are foam parties, pool fiestas, bikini contests, splash pools with cold beer, keggers, wet t-shirts, and competitions like pool volley ball. Yeah, and go for a ride on the bannana, take a picture and put it on your Facebook page.

And when the sun goes down . . .

The evenings in Acapulco start early and do not end until the next day – well after sunrise. If you want crazy, rowdy debauchery, there’s plenty out there. Visit the Acapulco Nightlife page to see what's happening. The drinking age is 18 for Mexicans and for gringos, well, approximately 18. Some clubs say they check ID's at the door, and a few actually do.

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Acapulco Tennis

Acapulco has over 100 tennis courts available to visitors. Most of the better hotels have courts. So do Acapulco's major sports clubs.

In Acapulco, the better courts are clay and most offer equipment rentals and night lighting. Squash and platform tennis is also available at a few of the hotels and sports clubs. For a list of options, visit our tennis court listings.

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In the 1950's, Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Hedy Lamarr came to Acapulco and "did it." Since then thousands of others – famous and not so famous – have "done it" in Acapulco. They "tied the knot" in Acapulco, embraced by the rugged mountains and against the romantic backdrop of the sands and the waters of the bay. You can, too.

Acapulco Weddings

Weddings are one of Acapulco's specialties. All the details can be easily taken care of by using a local wedding planner or by consulting the wedding staff at one of the major hotels. For details on how to go about it, take a look at our page on Getting Married in Acapulco. If you would rather do things "a la carte" instead of opting for the package approach, you will find all the elements – flowers, clothing, music, catering, photographers and notaries (to help with the paperwork) – on different pages of our Business Directory.

You can choose the venue you like. Many brides like a traditional service in a local church, including the magnificent Chapel of Peace at the top of Las Brisas. Many other wedding couples want to be married on the beach, accompanied by the sea breeze and the lapping waves. Sunset weddings are especially beautiful and memorable.

And regardless of the venue, Acapulco also offers plenty of choices for elegant banquets, classy receptions, festive bachelor and bachelorette parties, and, of course, the unforgettable honeymoon! You do not need to be a celebrity to start your married life in romantic Acapulco!

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Isla de la Roqueta

Isla de la Roqueta is the large island off the coast of the Las Playas area of Traditional Acapulco. It's a big stony crag of an island topped with green vegetation and offering the tiny, rustic beach Playa Roqueta, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and a few palapa-style restaurants. The only way to get to the island is by boat. Most larger boat tours of the bay stop off at the island and there are some good glass-bottom boat tours as well. Not only can use see all varieties of tropical fish, but the Capilla Submarina, an underwater statue of the Virgin of Gaudalupe is located offshore.

The island also offers a small zoo containing a good sampling of exotic animals. Hiking the island is another great activity for the ecotourist and adventurer in you. Trails pass by the lighthouse and go to the tiny, isolated Playa Marin.

Isla de la Roqueta, Acapulco

If you like the sun, sea, sand and a bit of peaceful seclusion, you'll enjoy a trip to the Isla de la Roqueta. If going with a big group doesn't turn you on, a few bucks, a little Spanish, and a handshake will get one of Acapulco's fisherman to take you over there.

Capilla Submarina

If you have the time, a boat trip or two during your stay is recommended. And if you take a boat trip, don't forget to try the glass bottom boats and ask to see the Capilla Submarina. It's a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe located on the sea floor between La Isla de la Roquta and the Caleta beaches.


Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 49' 34.4352" N, 99° 53' 33.6228" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 49' 34.4352" N, 99° 53' 33.6228" W
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Acapulco has some of the best beaches in Mexico, perhaps some of the best beaches in the world. From Pie de la Cuesta to Caleta to the Golden Zone and out to Puerto Marqu&eacute;s and Diamante, there are dozens of great beaches to choose from, each with a distinct personality.

Acapulco has some of the best beaches in Mexico, perhaps some of the best beaches in the world. From Pie de la Cuesta to Caleta to the Golden Zone and out to Puerto Marqués and Diamante, there are dozens of great beaches to choose from, each with a distinct personality.

With the exception of the outlying beaches west and east of town (like lower Revolcadero), Acapulco doesn't offer great surfing. But it is always the right place for sunning, lounging, beach games, jet ski riding, eating, drinking, swimming, sailing and fishing. Acapulco´s close-in beaches are usually very busy, especially during high season. The more remote locations do not attract large crowds or beach vendors.

Pie de la Cuesta

Pie de la Cuesta Beach

Pie de la Cuesta is miles and miles of yellow sand beach. You can literally start walking early in the morning and not reach the end until the afternoon. The beach is great, but the ocean here can be very strong. Pie de la Cuesta beach runs parallel to the Coyoca Lagoon. A variety of restaurants and places to stay welcome you at the entrance to the beach. They spread out much more as you move along up to the end where the lagoon meets the sea. The beach is an excellent choice for those who love peace and quiet or who enjoy relaxing in a totally natural tropical setting. The sunsets here are so breathtaking that Pie de la Cuesta could be nichnamed "sunset beach." (Some people think that this is the Spanish translation of its name; however, "Pie de la Cuesta” means “Foot of the Slope,” where the high ridge around Acapulco comes down to the sea.)

Roqueta and Marin Beaches

Playa Roqueta and Playa Marin are a pair of quiet, rustic beaches located on the Isla de la Roqueta off the coast of the traditional section of Acapulco (Acapulco Nautical). These beaches are fantastic for quiet relaxation, and they are a must for the ecotourist. The only access is by boat. Water taxis are available at Playa Caleta on the mainland. Playa Roqueta is the island's principal beach. Playa Marin is a small, remote, undeveloped beach, which can only be reached by taking a small hike from Playa Roqueta.

Playa Angosta

Playa La Angosta Beach, Traditional Zone

Playa Angosta means “narrow beach” in Spanish, and it is rightly named. It is a favorite hideout for those seeking to avoid the more crowded beach locales. Playa Angosta is a narrow stretch of sand, sandwiched between two big cliffs. It is the next inlet over from La Quebrada, where the cliff divers perform. Playa Angosta is really the only beach in Acapulco proper where you can catch a full sunset into the Pacific Ocean, right up to the point when the sun turns into a colorful dot on the horizon and then disappears. Not much is available in the way of services – just a couple of places for food and drink. Finding Playa Angosta can be difficult. Walk from La Quebrada to the Sinfonia del Mar and keep on going to the sea below.

Playas Caleta & Caletilla

Caleta and Caletilla Beaches

Playas Caleta and Caletilla are two of Acapulco's traditional beaches and favorites of locals and tourists alike. The two are really one contiguous beach separated by an aquarium building called “Magico Mundo Marino”. These beaches are a great place to relax and listen to a musician's guitar, drink a cerveza, get a message, and swim in the calm waters. This was the original "place to be" back in the days when Acapulco was just a quiet fishing community, suddenly discovered by Hollywood's rich and famous. Caltea and Caletilla form a fairly small beach front, which fills up every morning with locals, Mexican tourists, and a smattering of Europeans, Canadians, and Americans. This is no longer the beach of the celebrities and of the rich. It has loads of local color. The nearby hotels (in Acapulco’s “Traditional Zone”) were once the best in town, but more recently they serve tourists on a budget. Some of them still provide an excellent vacation experience. This beach represents a pleasant exposure, not only to the sun and sea, but to the local culture as well.

Playas Manzanillo & Honda

Manzanillo and Honda Beaches in Acapulco

These two neighboring beaches are in the stretch of the bay between Caleta and the downtown area. They are out of the way and potentially tricky to find. Just look for the lighthouse nearby and the marina. A few rustic, but delicious seafood restaurants are in the area. The beaches themselves can sometimes be noisy and crowded, depending on the time of day. A great sightseeing opportunity is the boat graveyard to one side of the beaches, near a gathering place for local fisherman. There’s even an old VW Beetle there, too.

Playa Tlacopanocha

Playa Tlacopanocha, a Beach near the Malecon

This busy beach is located right at the end of the Malecón (town pier) and across from the Maritime terminal. It's a great place to watch the cruise ships pull in or take off, and it presents a great chance to take in some authentic Mexican culture.

Playa Las Hamacas

Playa Hamacas

Playa Las Hamacas is noted for its wide, flat expanse of sand. Located across from the Hotel Las Hamacas, it is a neighbor of Tamarindos and Hornos Beaches. This beach attracts less traffic than the others, as it is not an ideal spot for lounging around on the sand or spreading out your towel. Playa Las Hamacas is a great vantage point for taking photos of fishermen and the boats. Photographers can almost always find great subject matter here.

Hornitos Beach

Hornitos Beach is sometimes called “Papagayo Beach” because it is right in front of Parque Papagayo. The restaurants and vendors cater to Mexican families and tourists. As a result, it is a place where the kids love to run around, and it has more than the usual amount of litter. It is also a hangout for taxis and the tourist police, by the base of the main flag pole.

Hornos & Tamarindos Beaches

Playa Tamarindos, Acapulco Beach near Papagayo Park

Playa Hornos and its neighbor, Playa Tamarindos, are closer to Acapulco’s Traditional Zone than Playa Hornitos, and they offer a bit more to the tourist. There are rows of large coconut palms and several good beach restaurants. The sand is cool and clean. The water is somewhat calmer than in the beaches farther to the east in the Golden Zone. Playa Hornos and Playa Tamarindos appeal to many locals and visitors from Mexico City. Many international tourists come here as a quieter alternative to the more hectic Condesa and Icacos beaches. Playa Tamarindos extends for about 700 meters down the beach from the Hotel Las Hamacas to approximately where the Hotel Acabay is located.

Playa Morro

Playa Morro, close to the Diana traffic circle, is a small buffer area between the two more distinct and opposite personalities of Hornitos and Condesa. It can easily be recognized by the hilly island offshore, called a “morro” in Spanish. Businesses local to Playa Morro like to call it “Condesa,” perhaps because that name resonates more with the tourists. The waves around the small rocky island in the bay, just offshore, can create excitement for those who like their beaches with a little extra ocean current.

Playa Condesa

Playa Condesa can be considered “Golden Zone Central” -- the place where hedonism and tourism intersect. La Redonda (a big craggy rock) rests just off shore. You can find parasailing and jet ski rentals all over. This beach always attracts large numbers of people, many of them partiers, and it offers great views of the hotel zone. The section of Playa Condesa below “Beto’s Condesa” restaurant and bar on the Costera Alemán is said to be Acapulco's premier gay beach, extending from the area known as “Las Piedras” eastward to the end of the beach. The water can sometimes be too choppy for real swimming, but it is fine for wading. Boogie boarding and surfing are really not feasible here.

Icacos Beach

Playa Icacos, A beach in Acapulco's Golden Zone

Playa Icacos is the other big beach in Acapulco’s Golden Zone. In places it is almost twice as wide (waterfront to back wall) as Condesa Beach, offering as much as 200 feet of space. The sand and the water are clean, and the restaurants and beach bars are very welcoming. Jet ski rentals are available all up and down the beach. This beach serves mainly the hotels and condominiums in Costa Azul. As a result, the beach crowd is a bit more upscale than on the beaches closer to the downtown center. The view out into the open sea is sensational, and the sunsets are often dramatic.

Playa Guitarrón

Beach Lovers in Guitarrón Beach

A small beach in the gated community of Brisas Guitarrón, generally inaccessible to the public. The Radisson Acapulco Resort dominates this location.

Playa Pichilingue

This beach is really inaccessible to most people as it serves the guests of the guests of the Camino Real Hotel and the resort community of Pichilingue Diamante. The beach is quiet, both because it has relatively few visitors, and because it is on the shore of a beach inside the tranquil inlet of Puerto Marqués.

Playa Puerto Marqués & Majahua

Many locals will tell you that Playa Puerto Marqués and Playa Majahua are their favorite beach hangouts in Acapulco. These two spots are both small by comparison to the bayside beaches. Their waters are calm, as the beaches front on the lush green cove that is Puerto Marqués. This is an inviting place to come for a swim, as the water is calm and clean. It also has a great atmosphere, as many locals choose Playa Puerto Marqués and Playa Majahua as their favorite place for fun. Generally these beaches have few tourists compared with the bay side and Playa Revolcadero. The beach area is surrounded by the village of Puerto Marqués, where there are several shops and a number of rustic seafood restaurants that really deserve a try. The tide comes into the bay quickly at the end of the day, and by late afternoon, few people remain. These are not beaches to visit during evening hours.

Playa Revolcadero

Playa Revolcadero Acapulco

Playa Revolcadero (literally, “tumbler beach”) is a long, wide stretch of sandy strand on the open ocean by the Hotel Fairmont Acapulco Princess, one of Acapulco's most luxurious hotels (the one that resembles a big Mayan pyramid). On weekends in the late morning, the beach fills up with Acapulco's chic crowd, who are trying to get a tan and recover from a hangover at the same time. Here the beautiful, elegant and well-to-do come to play, run, lie in the sun or relax under the canopies and in the cabanas. This is also a favorite beach for swimming. Playa Revolcadero always has waves of a fairly good size, but seldom are they dangerously strong. If the red flags are out, however, be sure to heed them. Revolcadero Beach usually has far less undertow than the beaches in the Golden Zone.

Playa Tres Vidas

Playa Tres Vidas is on the Pacific Coast to the east and south of Revolcadero Beach and the airport, but before Barra Vieja. It is home to a well-known and exclusive golf resort, with a tiny, top-level boutique hotel on the grounds, called L'Hotel de Tres Vidas. The beach is accessible from outside the resort area, though parking will be "unofficial." Few people can be found on this beach, other than the occasional surfer or guest of the resort above. The golf course features many holes along the coastline, some of which will be visible from the water. If you are unfamiliar with Acapulco's beaches, it would be wise to visit Playa Larga or Revolcadero first. Then you might make your excursion towards Tres Vidas to see it for yourself.

Playa Larga

Playa Larga, or in English “long beach,” is a very long stretch of beach on the way to Barra Vieja and a great place for ecotourists and those who like the tropics to be like the tropics - primitive and undeveloped. It's about half a dozen miles from Puerto Marqués and begins shortly after Playa Revolcadero. Here one can find campsites, a sea turtle hatchery, and a few places to stay. The beaches are usually very quiet, with few others around, and no beach vendors. Unlike Acapulco's other beaches, Playa Large does not have a view backwards to the mountains behind. Access is best accomplished by car. (The taxi ride is long and expensive, and it will be hard to find one for the trip back.) Allow 30-45 minutes of travel time from the center of Acapulco. Parking is available. In theory it is free; however, as elsewhere in Mexico, the “car watchers” who freelance there require a small fee for their services, and nobody would ever be so imprudent as to decline them.

Playa Bonfil

Playa Bonfil is a popular beach with surfers. It lies right behind Acapulco’s international airport and is best reached by car. Parking is available. The wave quality is described as “regional classic.”. Waves can be strong. The bottom is sandy, and waves come both right and left. The surf is fast. Swell size starts at 1 meter and holds up to 2.5 meters. Often described as a remote beach in paradise, Playa Bonfil also is host to a number of luxury condos, set in a tropical landscape, with just a few services available (food and beverage) down on the beach.

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Acapulco Golf Courses

What could be better than relaxing out on an 18 hole stretch of perfectly groomed course with the tropical sun in the sky and a gentle breeze floating in from the nearby ocean? Acapulco has some of the region's best courses and is a great destination for golfers from amateur to pro.

To look at all your options, go to our special page on Golf Courses.

In Acapulco proper you can play the public course at the Acapulco Golf Club .

On the Diamante side you have a choice of three championship-quality courses: Mayan Palace Golf Club, The Acapulco Princess Golf Course, and The Tres Vidas Country Club.

A word about the Pierre Marqués Golf Course and Turtle Dunes:

The golf course at the Fairmont Pierre Marqués Hotel in Acapulco Diamante has been closed. It is being completely reconstructed and will premiere in December of 2010 as The Country Club at Turtle Dunes. In the interim, patrons of the Pierre Marqués course are invited to play the nearby sister facility, The Acapulco Princess Golf Course.

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Historical Naval Museum

The Naval History Museum illustrates the maritime tradition of Acapulco. Located in Costa Azul on Calle Mateo Mauri 19, this museum has detailed models of the historic ships and blue prints. Many exhibits are “hands-on.” The museum also offers a library with references about how the sea has influenced Acapulco. The children will enjoy not only the ship replicas but also the recreation of a Spanish boatwright’s workshop, which helps explain how they made the famous galleons. Exhibits also explain how Acapulco came to play a role in the opening up of the orient once Andrés de Urdaneta, who at the time was an Acapulco local, discovered the currents that brought the ships back east from China and the Philippines. The museum is open from 10 to 2 and 5 to 8 every day.

Historical Museum of Acapulco

The Acapulco Historical Museum is housed inside of Fort San Diego. It is operated by the Anthropological Museum of Mexico City. Apart from presenting all the details about Fort San Diego, this museum has exhibits and reference about the State of Guerrero in pre-Columbian times and also about the colonial experience of all Mexico, from Cortez in 1521 to Independence in 1821. The museum consists of as series of well-illuminated rooms. In one of them you can see a good representation of trade goods, like silks and spices, which were brought in by the galleons on their return trips to Acapulco from Asia. Other rooms cover the era of the pirates, the attempts by missionaries to Christianize the indigenous peoples, and the local battles during the war of independence. There are displays of antique furnishings and native pottery. On Thursdays through Saturdays the Museum schedules different kinds of performances – usually music and dance -- in its outdoor venue. The shows begin at 8:00. The Historical Museum is open daily except Mondays from 10 to 6. Admission is $30 pesos except on Sundays, when admission is free to all. Students are always admitted for free.

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Pie de la Cuesta, along with Puerto Marqués, is a true hidden gem and representative of the natural beauty of the Acapulco area. The drive out there is almost as enjoyable as actually getting there. The ride takes you though Guerrero's sublime countryside, the sort of countryside where you can stop and get the freshest of fresh fruit and see peasants with their burrows, ambling along the dusty road with the sun and the sky in their eyes.
Pie de la Cuesta is basically miles and miles of quiet beach, sandwiched between the open ocean and the tranquil Coyoca Lagoon, a body of fresh water that is actually some three times bigger than Acapulco Bay. It contains several small islands and a former banana plantation. This is an ideal spot for photographers and bird watchers. Most of the hotels and tourist attractions are located on the Acapulco side, near the entrance, but a number of other possibilities emerge as you travel northward to the other end. You can drive all the way to the far end, passing mile after mile of primitive landscape before arriving at Barra de Coyoca, where the lagoon meets the sea. This road will give you a sense of utter freedom. You can’t go too fast because of the speed bumps (the dreaded "topes"). But it is best to take it slowly in any event because the drive is so beautiful. You can think of this road, which runs the whole length of Pie de la Cuesta, as a ten-mile-long cul du sac.
Pie de la Cuesta
Some travelers to Pie de la Cuesta may see some little girls from the villages, who seek donations for their school from passers-by. They lay a thin white string across the road, and when a car approaches, they pull it tight, raising it to windshield level. If you stop, a troop of cute kids will approach to ask for help with their school. At Pie de la Cuesta the mighty Pacific Ocean is more for admiring than for swimming. The waves can be huge and violent. Even the most stalwart swimmer would quickly decide they're no match for the waves at Pie de la Cuesta and lose any notion of trying to conquer this stretch of the sea.

How do you get there?

Pie de la Cuesta
You can get to Pie de la Cuesta by bus, taxi or car. If you take a taxi or bus, you will be dropped off at the entrance, and you will be limited as to how far up the beach you can go. Many flat rate taxis (or "colectivos") will take you out there on a shared ride basis for a very reasonable amount. They leave from near the Zócalo in the area behind Sanborn's. Just say "taxi para Pie de la Cuesta" and you should find your way. Buses to Pie de la Cuesta start where the elevated highway (called the "Via Rápida" or "Diego Hurtado de Mendoza") meets the Costera just west of downtown.

How do you get back?

Getting back from Pie de la Cuesta can be a little challenging, especially if it is late in the evening. Typically, taxis hover around the entrance. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even hop into the back of a pickup truck with some of the locals. Buses also stop at the entrance, but they run less and less frequently as day turns to night. Pie de la Cuesta offers a few good choices of hotels that you can read about in our hotel section. Most are rustic lodges, but some upscale selections can be found there as well. Camping is available. Some people feel comfortable just sleeping on the beach.

Location

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 54' 28.3068" N, 99° 58' 45.642" W
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El Zócalo  Acapulco
El Zócalo is Acapulco's old town square or central plaza. While once an important part of Acapulco's city life, today the Zócalo would best be described as a sleepy little park with some pleasant stone benches, fountains, a large stone gazebo, and Acapulco's large Catholic Cathedral. The Zócalo also has a number of cafes and restaurants, a few shops, two low-budget hotels, and an ice cream shop. It's as close to the traditional sidewalk café of Europe or Mexico as you can find in Acapulco. Many residents come here to relax, read a paper or book and people watch. This is also the main center for getting your shoes shined. If your system survives the challenges put to it by Acapulco's busy nightlife, bring it to the Zócalo for a rest. Feed the pigeons, just as they do in New York's central park. Just behind the Cathedral you'll find Acapulco's oldest neighborhoods where the wealthy traders made their homes. There are also some jewelry and other stores nearby and one can easily walk from the Zócalo to several other tourist attractions: Acapulco's traditional Mercado El Parazol, the Malecón, cliff divers, and the Marina. Several traditional Mexican restaurants and a good selection of budget hotels are found within a radius of just a few blocks. If you're short on time, you can visit and enjoy the Zócalo in just a few minutes, if necessary.

Cathedral - Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Acapulco's Catholic Cathedral
Acapulco's historic Catholic Cathedral, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, rests at the end of it's traditional town square, the Zocalo. Despite the age of Acapulco, the church wasn't built until the 1930s and so lacks much of the glorious colonial architecture of Mexican cathedral. As you can see by the photos, it has the distinctive look, reminiscent of a mosque. The inside is beautifully decorated with ornate statues. The Cathedral is open 7am-9pm daily there is no charge to enter, but you might get handed the collection plate.

Location

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 50.7372" N, 99° 54' 31.0968" W
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Cliff Divers of La Quebrada

Cliff Divers

No matter how many times you see the divers perform, you come away impressed. Sometimes you will see some moves that are a little different, like a swan dive with a full somersault, or night dives with torches, or dives in tandem. The divers must time their dive with the ocean current, which is in constant ebb and flow. At the same time, they have to aim to land away from any rocks. Acapulco’s cliff divers are a breed apart. They train for their unusual skill from very young ages. Even the climb up to the top of the cliff is hazardous — one misstep and they can go tumbling down the side of the mountain. On any given night you might see only four or five divers, but in reality there are dozens of them. They work in shifts, mainly so they don't injure themselves from the impact of the dive day after day.

Acapulco’s cliff divers perform every night in hourly intervals. The first show is at 1:00 pm. La Quebrada is at its best during the evening shows at: 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30. You can arrive there by taxi or walk. It takes about 10 minutes to walk there from the Zócalo.

La Quebrada - View from the top
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Critics agree, in the world there are three "must-see" locations if you call yourself a true art lover: Paris, Florence and Acapulco. All right, maybe Acapulco is stretching it, but the truth is, Acapulco has outstanding local artists. Also, famed muralist Diego Rivera spent his last years in Acapulco, and you can see some of his work and visit his house. Acapulco also has a reasonable selection of art galleries. Not bad for a beach town.

Galería Espacio

By appointment only. Galería Espacio is dedicated to the work of a single artist, Pal Kepenyes, a sculptor born in Hungary, whose works in bronze, copper and other metals are known, loved and respected around the world. Pal Kepenyes has created some of Acapulco’s most admired public sculptures. Some pieces are encrusted with quartz, amber and other precious stones. The magic is the transformation of metal and minerals into an idea, a new aesthetic vision that arises from the materials from which the work of art has sprung. Costera Guitarrón 140 (Brisas Guitarron), Acapulco, Gro., México +52 744 446 5287 or lumidehesa@hotmail.com.

Sergio Bustamante

This large gallery is across the street from the bars and restaurants and dance clubs of Condesa. Works also appear in the Gallery of the Hotel Mayan Palace [link] and the Grand Hotel Acapulco [link]. The gallery is open daily except Sunday, 10a-2p; 5:30p-9p. It is totally dedicated to the work of Sergio Bustamante, who is best known for his colorful suns and moons, as well as derivatives of folk art animals. Papier-mâché is his medium of preference, but Bustamante also creates in iron, other metals and ceramics. His designs are eclectic, drawing on several different aesthetic traditions. Look for Sergio Bustamante's beautiful designs for silver and gold jewelry in addition to his large, bright, colorful and whimsical ceramic creations. Costera Alemán 120-9, Galerías Picuda (Condesa Area), 39690 Acapulco, Gro., México. +52 744 484-4992.

Edith Matison's Art Gallery

This gallery features reproductions of some of the world’s most famous artists, including Salvador Dalí and Alexander Calder. Well-known Mexican artists are also represented, such as David Alfaro Siqueiros (muralist) and Rufino Tamayo (painter). Original works and some reproductions are also on sale by some of the upcoming generation of Mexican fine artists. Excellent examples of native folk art are also on sale. The gallery is on the Costera, on the bay side, opposite Acapulco's Golf Club. Costera Alemán 2010 (Club Deportivo), 39690 Acapulco, Gro., México. +52 744 484 3084

Galería Rudic

The Galería Rudic adjoins the restaurant Jardin des Artistes in a small plaza of the Hotel Emporio, near the Glorieta Diana on the Costera. Some of Mexico’s most prominent contemporary artists have their work on display here. Examples are Casiano Garcia, a painter born in Guerrero, Victor Salmones (painter, Mexico City 1937-1989) and Zuñiga, well-known sculptor (Costa Rica, 1912-1988). Vicente Yáñez Pinzón 9 (Diana Traffic Circle), 39670 Acapulco, Gro., México +52 744 484 1004.


Dolores Olmeda Gallery

This gallery is located in Acapulco's Convention Center. Dolores Olmeda was a patron of Diego Rivera. He died while living at her house in 1957.

Address: Av. Costera Miguel Alemán No. 4455
Fracc. Costa Azul
39850 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 484-7101/7050/7204; Fax (744) 484-7498.

Sergio Bustamante

For unique art with the distinct flavor of Acapulco, with all the exaggerated lust for life of a Bolero.

Address: Costera Miguel Aleman No. 120 Local 9
Fracc. Magallanes
39300 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 484-4992; Fax: (744) 484-2251

Galeria Abraham Ramírez

Address: Costera Miguel Aleman # 127 local 10
Col. Fraccionamiento Magallanes
39300 Acapulco, Gro, Mexico
Telephone: (744) 496-3993

Galería de Arte Rudic

Address: Vicente Yañez # 9
Fracc. Magallanes
39300 Acapulco, Gro.
Telephone: (744) 484-4844/8344; Fax: (744) 484-1004

Galería Víctor Salmones

Address: Costera Miguel Aleman No. 125
Fracc. Magallanes
39300 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 486-6806; Fax: 482-2035

Galería Ixcateopan

Instituto Guerrerense de la Cultura
Address: Av. Costera Miguel Alemán No. 4834
Col. Costa Azul
39580 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 484-2390/3814; Fax: (744) 484-2390

Galería Inmuebles Esteban

Address: Av. Costera Miguel Aleman No. 2010
Col. Club Deportivo
39580 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 484-3084/1175; Fax: (744) 481-8152

Galeria Las Brisas

Located in the Hotel Las Brisas.
Address: Carretera Escenica No. 5255
Fracc. Las Brisas
39868 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico
Telephone: (744) 484-1650

Galería Espacios Palescos

Address: Guitarrón # 140
Col. Fracc. Brisas Guitarrón
39868 Acapulco, Gro., Mexico



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Cici Waterpark

Cici Waterpark

The CICI (which stands for Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantil) is Acapulco's massive water amusement park. The CICI has it all, including dolphin shows, wave pools, water sides, beach club, "the sky coaster", "Kamilancha", "the Tornado", and a big balloon where you can go up 120 meters and get a 360-degree view of Acapulco. CICI also has all sorts of other fun things to do.

When it comes to the CICI, the calculation is really pretty simple: If you have children, you should not miss out on the CICI. The CICI is located in Costa Azul and is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm every day.

Mágico Mundo Marino

Magico Mundo Marino - Acapulco 's Aquarium and Seal Show

Mágico Mundo Marino ("Magic Marine World") is Acapulco's aquarium and water fun park. It is really more of an aquarium and less of a water fun park than its cousin, the CiCi. You will find it between Caleta and Caletilla beaches. It is a really good option for the kids. There are slides, a little museum, a nice restaurant and swimming pools. The best part is the seal show. If you did not bring any children along, then Mágico Mundo Marino is probably not worth a special trip, unless you can plan for a half day of lounging on Caleta beach, where, after having a few cervezas you can go to check out the show.

Castillo de los Reyes

Castillo de los Reyes is another of Acapulco's water fun parks. This one is located out at Pie de la Cuesta.

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Acapulco is situated just a day or two down the West Coast from California. When it comes to extreme sports, the west coast is the best coast and Acapulco is no exception. Locals have done their best to offer a good selection of extreme sports for its extreme-minded vacationers and residents alike.

Kite Surfing

Bungee Jumping

50 meters up, you can't miss Hacket Bungy at Paradise as it always draws a big crowd at night along Acapulco's main drag, La Costera. Located at: Av. Costera Miguel Alemán 107, Playa Condesa.

Climbing & Repelling

A variety of extreme outdoor adventures in and around the Papagayo River, including Mountain Climbing and Repelling, River Rafting and Kayaking.

High-speed Turbo Boating

High-speed Turbo Boating at extreme speeds is available. See the excursions section for providers.

River Rafting, and Kayaking

A variety of extreme outdoor adventures in and around the Papagayo River including Mountain Climbing and Repelling, River Rafting, and Kayaking are offered by various tour companies in town.

Sky Coaster

Located in the Cici, the skycoaster is Acapulco's version of where
you jump from 100 feet up and fall at some 80 mph.

Skydive Acapulco

What could be more extreme than jumping out of a perfectly good airplane?

Parasailing

Available in the Condesa area along the beach.

Jet Skis

Also available in the Condesa area along the beach.

Jai-Alai

It's been described as the "world's fastest game." Surely you have seen it before. It's the game where two uniformed and helmeted players (4 in the case of doubles) dart around an over-sized racquetball court (with the left wall missing), whipping a rubber ball against a wall, using a claw-like "cesta," a curved wooden basket worn on the right hand. It gives the ball extra velocity. This sport is gaining followers in Mexico, even though
it was invented in Basque Country, Spain over 400 years ago and was, until recently, the domain of Caribbean countries. You can see a match at the Bingo Sports Book building across from the Hyatt Regency. It is only one of two sports that do not permit left-handed players. (Polo is the other.)

Note: Companies offering these and other services can be found in our business directory and tours and excursions section.

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Fuerte de San Diego

Fort San Diego
Fort San Diego (called Fuerte de San Diego in Spanish) is one of Acapulco's major historical tourist attractions that lets one imagine what life must have been for the first settlers and the old pirates. Its canons are perched on the thick, star-shaped walls, looking out onto the ocean and to the city that has grown up around it. The original old fortress was destroyed in an earthquake in 1776 and not rebuilt until 1783.

Fuerte de San Diego

Though far from being an elaborate colonial site like those you can see in places like Mexicc City and Taxco, Fort San Diego does have a few interesting exhibits. It is home to the Acapulco Historical Museum, and one of the best book stores in Acapulco. (It has only a few rows of books, but they are all good ones).

Fort San Diego Museum

If you like pirates and reminiscing about the past, Fort San Diego is worth a visit. Though unspectacular, it is a great way to while away a couple hours and acquire a sense of Acapulco's historical roots, together with its commercial history (complete with pirates), in contrast to the beaches and the bars.

Fortín Alvarez

Fortín Alvarez

A "fortín" is a small, fortified outpost, usually related to a larger fort, used for storing armaments for locals living nearby to organize a defense of their land. As a defensive measure it was like a bunker, and for arming people it was an arsenal. The Spanish built several around the tops of the ridges above Acapulco, to give advance warning of the arrival of anyone, friend or foe, by land or by sea. The Alvarez Bunker (Fortín Alvarez) is one of these, and perhaps the best preserved of its kind. It was built when Fort San Diego was first constructed, in 1616. One of its functions was to act as powder magazine for the larger fort. Storing gunpowder in the fort itself was considered too dangerous. A keeper's house and a foundry are also nearby Fortín Alvarez, Which is on "Cerro de la Mira," roughly meaning, "Lookout Ridge." Though the site has been allowed to deteriorate in recent years, it still remains an important historical site, with lots of information about Acapulco in the 17th century. It is located at Avenida Fortín Alvarez, Cerro de la Mira, Acapulco, Gro., Mexico.


Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 59.5968" N, 99° 54' 8.2152" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 59.5968" N, 99° 54' 8.2152" W
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Marina Acapulco
The Acapulco Marina, with its big white lighthouse, is a pleasant local landmark that is easy to find. Located in traditional Acapulco, the Marina has been a safe haven to sailors from around the world for centuries. This natural harbor has invited sailors home since the time of Magellan. The Marina accommodates as many as 150 vessels. Slip rates are about $6 pesos per foot per day (or $10 more or less for a 20-foot boat). Services include 110/220 volt power, showers, restaurants, ice, water, and help with customs documents.
Marina Acapulco
The Marina welcomes tiny sailboats and huge yachts, some of which anchor offshore in the calm water nearby. For generations, the Yacht Club, which is located by the Marina, has been a favorite spot for the world’s well-heeled sailors. Anyone hoping to go on a boat tour or a deep sea fishing trip will need to come down to the Marina. Even if that is not your plan, dropping by the Marina just to see it is a worthwhile thing to do.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 31.7976" N, 99° 54' 37.8792" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 31.7976" N, 99° 54' 37.8792" W
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Known around the world, La Quebrada and it's cliff divers are Acapulco's most recognizable symbol. Nothing beats the view and the sound of the open ocean crashing into the jagged rocks below or the green mountains that open into the city.

Acapulco 's  La Quebrada

Most tourists who visit the area corral themselves in the mirador close to the cliffs to watch the divers perform. Others watch from the nearby Hotel Mirrador restaurant. Those dining there will get a chance to meet the brave young cliff drivers before their jump (and hopefully pay them a tip) for their daring feat.

We recommend that you don't limit yourself to just this one area of La Quebrada because there are beautiful walkways with glorious views all along the nearby avenue where you can see all the way to Pie de la Cuesta and little inlets that let you walk down near the ocean. Very well maintained and attractive sidewalks invite you to stroll all the way to Acapulco's seaside amphitheater Sinfonia del Mar, or continue on to the little known gem, Playa Angosta.

The locals park along the streets and drink with their friends at night. Lovers kiss and hold hands. You'll never see a more beautiful sunset than from Acapulco's Quebrada as the sun sinks and turns into a green flash of light before disappearing into mysterious Pacific Ocean.

Sinfonia del Mar - Acapulco's Amphitheater by the Sea

Sinfonia del Mar

The Sinfonia is an small amphitheater built right into the cliffs overlooking the ocean near la Quebrada. Performances held there with the sound of the ocean crashing against the rocks below for dramatic effect would be an amazing to behold. Unfortunately, the only show one is likely to see at the Sinfonia are Acapulco kids drinking beer and making out. La Quebrada at night is lined with locals - guys drinking beer and couples doing the "lookout point" thing.

The entire area found between La Sinfonia and La Quebrada has been recently remodeled and provides for some of the most stunning ocean views on the entire west coast of North America. To describe the area as merely romantic or awe inspiring fails to capture its grandeur.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 45.78" N, 99° 54' 54.576" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 45.78" N, 99° 54' 54.576" W
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Villas are large vacation houses – really mansions – characterized by privacy and luxury. Some wealthy families just keep them for their occasional trips to Acapulco, but many others can be rented to groups of friends and family members for special holiday experiences. Most of them are set into the hillside overlooking the ocean or bay. Usually they are of contemporary design, decorated with objects of art and other design features, like a waterfall or fountains. Access is had either through the villa's own secure entrance, or through a gated community, or both. Villas have anywhere from five bedrooms and baths, up to as many as 12 accommodations. They will offer guests a "great room" for parties, which blends into a large dining area. This space will almost certainly opens out onto a large, fresh-air terrace. Some villas specialize in hosting special events, like receptions, business retreats and wedding celebrations, involving many invited guests. All are air conditioned. Villas have one or more private swimming pools, whirlpools, and kids' pools. Some have their own tennis court, squash court or platform tennis facility. The pools are often shaded by palapas, where drinks can be served. A few, near the waterfront, provide mooring facilities for yachts. It is common for villas to have a game room, perhaps with a billiard or pool table, and often a separate entertainment room with a large screen TV or home theater. Usually music can be piped to selected areas of the villa from a central system. Many provide wireless Internet service throughout. Some even provide the computer. Operating a villa requires a staff. Minimally this will consist of a cook and chambermaid, but may also include a pool man, gardener, bartender, waiter and butler. When villas are rented, the price includes the staff, but tips are extra (and expected). The staff stays in special service quarters, usually accessed through a kitchen, laundry room or maintenance area. Villa rentals can run from several hundred dollars a day to several thousand, depending on the size and appointments. If a large group is booked into a villa, the cost can compare favorably with the price of several different rooms in a first class hotel in town. Premium rates and minimum stay requirements are enforced during high holiday times like Christmas-New Years and Holy Week.
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Palma Sola is Acapulco's premier archaeological discovery which consists of ancient Indian petroglyphs (primitive cave drawings) that date back some 2,000 years to the pre-classical period. The area is exotic, located at the foot of a mountain, with lush vegetation on all sides and an excellent view of the bay. The site,featuring 18 stones, is still being studied by the Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH). The site is worth a visit for the ecotourists and history buffs among you, since as the drawing are believed to have been made by the first inhabitants, the Yopes, about which little is known. There is no cost to visit the site and arrangements can be made a Fort San Diego. The site is open to visitors daily 9 am to 5 pm.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 53' 10.446" N, 99° 53' 57.5628" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 53' 10.446" N, 99° 53' 57.5628" W
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Lucha Libre

For wrestling fans, you can see the Lucha Libre at the Arena Coloseo, which in near downtown on the street that connects the Costera to Cuauhtémoc at Las Hamacas. (There's a Comerical Mexicana on the corner of the Costera, where you turn north to go up for a couple of blocks,) Prices go up to about $15 USD, but are generally much less.

Lucha Libre

Gambling

Acapulco, and Mexico more generally, has been flirting with the idea of legalizing gambling for years. In Acapulco, some marginal gambling has made an appearance on the scene in the form of bingo games, sports betting, and off track horse betting at the bingo, jai-alai and sports book building located on the Costera across from the Hyatt Regency. The hall is large: it holds up to 450 people. Its open from 7pm-1am daily. Quasi-casinos featuring slots and sports betting can be found in Galarias La Diana, Acapulco's newest shopping center, and in the Gran Plaza, on the Costera Alemán near Parque Papagayo.

Acapulco Sports

In the Progresso district of Acapulco the city has constructed a large sporting facility called the Unidad Deportiva de Acapulco or “UDA.” It includes a baseball diamond, an Olympic-size pool and diving tank, and a soccer field with room for up to 6,600 fans on each side. The arena can also be used for events like boxing, “lucha libre” and musical concerts. It is the home field for Acapulco’s division III soccer team, the Acapulco Manta Rays.

Acapulco Mantarrayas

The Manta Rays were established in August of 2003. They have enjoyed successful seasons since the beginning. The first year they went 11-4-2 and won the opening tournaments for both the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Acapulco has a second soccer team as well, based in Ciudad Renacimiento on the outskirts of town. That team is the Club de Fútbol Galgos. Both are division III, group III.

Acapulco became the home of the "Jaguars" in 2009, a division I team in the "futból rápido" (called "indoor soccer" in the US), which came to town from Cancún.

Acapulco is also the host every year for the Mexican Open Tennis Tournament. It takes place in the Mextenis Stadium in Acapulco Diamante, where crowds up to 6,000 can watch their favorite players. Acapulco is also the forum for the International Beach Volleyball Tournament, which is on the world tour of the International Volleyball Federation. There is a men’s division and a women’s division.

Fashion Shows

Acapulco periodically plays host to some rather elegant fashion shows featuring well-know models both Mexican and international.
Acapulco Fashion Shows

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Acapulco has several options for those who want to rid themselves of stress and get ready for a relaxing night out. Many freelancers will provide massages at most of the beaches, and you can also find ads for outcall massages in the papers and phone books. (Be careful: be sure the ads offer massages and not, ahem, another type of service.)

Most vacationers will be looking for more than just a beach massage. For the full treatment, go to our Spa section to learn where to go and what to ask for.

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Taxco (more formally called Taxco de Alarcón) was named by the indigenous inhabitants as “tlacht-co” or place to play ball. Taxco is a beautiful, colonial-style city, set within the Southern Sierra Madres at nearly 6,000 feet of altitude. It is about 190 kilometers from Mexico City and a bit less than four hours’ drive from Acapulco, on good roads.

Taxco

Taxco flourished during colonial times because it was the center of silver mining in the mountains. The miners built their city on the side of the mountain, so the streets are narrow and steep. The paving is with cobblestones, and the houses have the traditional exposed beams with whitewashed walls and red roof tiles. About 50,000 inhabitants live in the town itself.

Today the work of Taxco’s talented silversmiths has made it one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations. From Acapulco it is possible to go to Taxco, spend the day and return in the evening. It makes for a long day, but many visitors believe a day in Taxco should be part of their trip to Acapulco. Taxco is also a popular destination because its colonial architecture has been well-preserved, and the beauty of the old town center, with the famous Baroque church of “Santa Prisca,” is widely known. The Government of Mexico has conferred upon Taxco the recognition of being one of the country’s “Magic Towns” (“Pueblo Mágico”).

Taxco’s post-Columbian history starts with Cortez himself, who explored the area in 1524 looking for tin to help fashion armor for his troops. He found both tin and iron. Six years later the town was established, and mining continued, including much silver, which was sent to Spain. Soon the silver seemed to have been exhausted, and the town no longer prospered. Then, in 1716, a prospector named Don José de la Borda discovered a new vein rich in silver, and Taxco had a rebirth of prosperity from the trade in silver and pieces crafted from it. Don José himself became very wealthy and built many of Taxco’s oldest surviving buildings, including a school, a government office, and Taxco’s iconic parish Church of Santa Prisca. Many call Santa Prisca a cathedral, even though it is a parish church and not the seat of a diocese. Don José is thought of as the father of Taxco. His son was a priest at Santa Prisca.

Taxco

During the struggle for independence, the Spanish barons who controlled the silver mines in Taxco destroyed them rather than have them fall into the hands of the insurgents. It was not until the 20th century that silver mining again was taken up in Taxco. William Spratling, a professor of architecture from Tulane, visited Taxco in 1926. At the suggestion of Dwight Morrow, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Spratling commenced a project to resuscitate the silver crafts of Taxco. In 1931 he brought in a goldsmith from nearby Iguala and trained locals in the art of working fine metals. William Spratling is honored in Taxco as the “father of Mexican Silver.” The Spratling Museum by the Church of Santa Prisca contains many pre-Columbian artifacts and a large collection of silver pieces. During the last week of November of each year Taxco celebrates its silver heritage with a National Silver Fair.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
18° 33' 24.0984" N, 99° 36' 21.3876" W
Acapulco
Mexico
18° 33' 24.0984" N, 99° 36' 21.3876" W
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La Zona Dorada, alternatively called “Golden Acapulco” and the “Golden Zone,” is Acapulco's main tourist area; covered with high-rise hotels, bars, discos, restaurants, and tourist shops.

The Golden Zone starts more or less at the eastern corner of Parque Papagayo. The Avalon Excalibur Hotel is right there. It ends at the Naval Base, where the Grand Hotel Acapulco (formerly the Hyatt Regency) stands. Heading west on the Costera from the Avalon (with the bay to your left), you will go towards the Traditional Zone of Old Town. There you will find el Zólcalo, la Quebrada, Caleta Beach, and several open-air markets. At the other end, heading farther east from the Grand Hotel Acapulco (with the bay to your right), you will rise up onto the Scenic Highway (“Carretera Escénica”) and head towards Punta Diamante and Puerto Marqués, from whence Acapulco continues to expand down the southeastern coast. The ride on the Escénica is breathtaking, both for its beauty and for its hair-raising curves.

Golden Zone Acapulco

The Golden Zone is not an old part of town. Before the 1950’s, the rocky terrain made it difficult to go by land from the area of Parque Papagayo any farther east on the bay. Then, with considerable assistance and encouragement from the federal government, Acapulco reclaimed whole sections of the eastern bay and opened the coastal road. The result was an enormous economic boom. Post-war prosperity in the U.S. and Mexico, combined with advances in transportation and communication, permitted the “democratization of tourism,” that is, the opening up of resorts like Acapulco to middle-class tourists from all over the world, who suddenly had the time and money to be able to come. These influences made the Golden Zone what it is today: a monument to leisure that represents all that is at once glorious and regrettable about the impact of tourism on the local culture.

Whether you're in the middle of it, or off shore in a boat, or peering down at it from an airplane, or just looking at photos online, you will be struck by the panorama of Acapulco's Golden Zone. This scene is one of our hemisphere’s most impressive, ranking with the skyline of New York, the bay in San Francisco and the view from Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro.

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Malecón Acapulco

Would a seaside town in tropical Latin America really be complete without a “Malecón” or town pier? A Malecón is a seaside boardwalk in the Spanish colonial tradition. Perhaps the most famous malecón is in Havana, Cuba. Acapulco’s Malecón is a fascinating example. It is a lively, inviting place, with marvelous views of the bay, and a great variety of things for sale. Usually you will find a blend of tourists and locals at the Malecón. You can negotiate a good rate for a boat ride around the bay or arrange a fishing excursion. If you are so inspired, for not much money you can buy bait, pole and line for an impromptu fishing session right from the pier. This is also the place to board the bay cruiser Acarey for a spin around Acapulco's aquatic neighborhoods. Some of the dive boats also leave from here. In the cool of the evening it is especially pleasant to walk on the Malecón and look at the yachts and other boats at their moorings. It is also a healthy way to walk off the effects of a festive meal at one of the nearby restaurants. Families can bring their children to enjoy the sights.

To find the Malecón, head to the traditional part of town (often called "Acapulco Nautico"). Once you arrive at the central plaza or Zócalo, look accross the street towards the water. There you are.

Locations

Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 51.7668" N, 99° 54' 27.2304" W
Acapulco
Mexico
16° 50' 51.7668" N, 99° 54' 27.2304" W
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Boat Rides and Day Cruises

To see your options for day and evening cruises on Acapulco's bay aboard a party boat, see out section on Tours.

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Part of the fun of visiting Acapulco is to visit the many open-air marketplaces around town, where you can find everything from souvenirs and vacation accessories to clothing, jewelry, food, and even furniture, housewares and works of native art and artisanry. Here is a listing of the main traditional markets you will find on or fairly close to the Costera Miguel Alemán.

Part of the fun of visiting Acapulco is to visit the many open-air marketplaces around town, where you can find everything from souvenirs and vacation accessories to clothing, jewelry, food, and even furniture, housewares and works of native art and artisanry. Here is a listing of the main traditional markets you will find on or fairly close to the Costera Miguel Alemán.

Mercado de Artesanías Dalia

This large collection of shops is across the Costera from the Plaza Bahía shopping mall. There are over 60 establishments in a very old market building, offering every sort of souvenir and item of Mexican folk art imaginable. It is a good place to buy the distinctive coconut or guava candies. If you forgot a bathing suit or sun tan lotion, they will have it here. The restaurants here are inexpensive and clean – just the right place for a different sort of breakfast or a typical Mexican lunch. Costera Alemán (Magallanes), 39670 Acapulco, Gro., México.

Mercado de Artesanías Parasal

Traditional Markets Acapulco

El Mercado de Artesanías Parasal, also called locally "El Tepito," is Acapulco’s oldest and perhaps biggest arts and crafts market. It has it all. Here you can choose, from among hundreds of stalls, leather goods, ceremonial masks, chili ristras, alebrijes, ceramics, pottery, decorative items made of shells, hammocks, jewelry of all sorts, silver (both real and imitation), wood carvings, embroidered blouses, dresses and pants, sandals, sombreros, onyx chess and checker sets, cheap guitars, and endless varieties of T-shirts. Many items are of good quality, but some are not, so keep a discerning eye. You will see lots of bootleg DVD's and pirated CD's as well. Calle Cinco de Mayo, Parazal s/n (Centro), 39300 Acapulco, Gro., México.

To get there from the Zócalo, walk east out of the square (with the bay to your right) for a block or two to Avenida Juan Escudero and turn north (left, so that the ocean is at your back). Go a block or two (depending on from where in the Zócalo you started) and walk down 5 de Mayo or Vásquez de León (which is the next block after 5 de Mayo). Turn right and go for a block or two more. (If your street does not go through, just go the left a little, and keep going.) The market is about 2 blocks east and 3 blocks north of the Zócalo.

Mercado de Santa Lucia

While the Mercado Santa Lucia is filled with your typical low quality fair, the crafts fair on Caletilla beach is famous for all sorts of regional arts made by hand by local, indigenous craftsmen. Playa de la Caletilla (Caleta), 39300 Acapulco, Gro., México.

Mercado de Artesanías La Diana

The Diana outdoor market is similar to the Mercado de Artesanías Dalia, just up the boulevard towards downtown. It is somewhat more focued on contemporary needs, like sandals, beachwear and sport clothes. La Diana has much the same feeling of a flea market, though it, too, is housed in a permanent building, open to the air. There are dozens of different stalls, selling all sorts of merchandise, from fine leather goods to trinkets. Its location makes it very convenient for people staying in the area of La Condesa (like the Emporio, Hotel Tortuga, Romano Palace, Fiesta Americana, Fiesta Inn or El Presidente), or who may be passing by there on the way to a bar or restaurant on this very active part of the Costera Alemán. The Mercado de Artesanías Diana is inclined to stay open a little later at night than the other markets because it is found in such a busy part of town. Costera Alemán (Diana Traffic Circle), 39670 Acapulco, Gro., México.

Mercado de Artesanías Noa Noa

Noa Noa is not an enormous and sprawling market like those in the center of the Old Town. This market, near the Tamarindos beach, is more relaxed and less bustling. It invites shoppers to take their time. Most of the usual array of crafts and folk art are on display here, like carvings from wood, onyx and alabaster, woven goods, ceramics and clothing. The prices are potentially just as good as elsewhere, depending somewhat on who is doing the bargaining. Try the coconut sweets (called “cocadas”), which are a local specialty. Costera Alemán (Across from Playa Tamarindos) (Hornos) 39355 Acapulco, Gro., México.

Mercado Papagayo

Near Parque Papagayo, the Mercado Papagayo offers mainly modern souvenir products like T-shirts, beachwear, clothing and toys. A good bit of home made jewelry, including lots of necklaces and bracelets made with shells, can be found here. Prices are reasonable and always open for discussion with a good customer.

Two other shopping opportunities appear near the Parque Papagayo, though they are not so organized as to constitute a "market." One is in the entrance to the park itself, where visitors have yet another opportunity to buy crafts, T-shirts and toys. The other is in the small plaza space to the east of the Hotel Ritz Acapulco, one block east of Parque Papagayo (away from downtown), on the bay side of the street. Here indigenous vendors from upland villages sell their crafts, including a range of woven fabrics, colorful baskets, ceramics, pottery, leather goods, silver and jewelry. Costera Miguel Alemán (Parque Papagayo area) 39550 Acapulco, Gro., México .

Mercado del Campesino

The Mercado del Campesino (loosely translated as a “Country Market”) is comprised of booths and tables spread around in the open air, like all the other Acapulco marketplaces. Folk arts and crafts are all over the place. The ceramics and woven fabrics are usually the best value. The Mercado del Campesino is found in Progreso, the neighborhood between the traditional part of downtown and the area of Parque Papagayo, only farther uphill, crossing the Avenida Cuahutémoc. For those unfamiliar with the area, taking a taxi is a wise decision. Visitors to the Mercado del Campesino praise the tasty sweet rolls that can be found there and the “Chilapa Bread,” which has its origin in a nearby town of the same name. The Mercado del Campesino is "the real thing," so bring a camera. Calle Durango,
s/n (Progreso), 39578 Acapulco ,Gro., México.

Mercado Central

Sometimes called just “the Market” (“Mercado”), the Mercado Central is Acapulco's largest, most active and best-stocked commercial center for fresh food of all kinds. Early in the day it is where people come to buy meats, poultry, produce and seafood. Some booths have non-perishable food items, like honey and spices. Chefs from local restaurants begin their day here, buying the fresh ingredients for their day's customers. Later on (after 10 am) the booths, tables and stalls – more than 400 of them -- open up with wares for the visitors. Vendors offer crafts and folk art as well as items more often associated with “flea markets.” Examples of the native crafts available at the Mercado Central are woven textiles, embroidered clothing, leather purses and belts, ceramics and bright piñatas. You can even have a shirt or jacket made to your own measurements if you can wait the hour or two it will take to produce the finished product. Prices are low, and subject to bargaining. If the trip makes you hungry, several stands sell tacos, tortas, churros, and other prepared foods. Avenida Cuahutémoc at "Cine Rio” (Traditional Zone), 39350 Acapulco, Gro., México.

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Boating, Sailing & Fishing in Acapulco

It is hard not to fall in love with the sea when you have so many choices of boating, sailing and deep sea fishing in Acapulco. Even if you are not the maritime type, you will be missing out on a lot of fun in Acapulco if you did not at least go out on a boat and cruise around the bay.

Acapulco Bay

All the imaginable varieties of vessels and captains can be hired in Acapulco, and you have a wide range of choice for places to visit up and down the coast. Heading west and north, you will go towards La Quebrada and then Pie de la Cuesta. On the way, be sure to notice the traditional hotels, set up on the cliffs of old Acapulco. You can also aim south and east out of the bay towards Puerto Marqués and Acapulco Diamante, or just cruise the bay and look at the grand homes of the wealthy and well-known in the traditional part of town.

In truth, there are two Acapulco's: Splendorous Acapulco by day and the sultry Acapulco by night. Each has its own personality. Day trips are filled with swimming, snorkeling, fishing and sightseeing. At, night the excursions are all about romance (the moonlight cruises) or partying (the "booze cruise," where you can drink till you drop).

Acapulco Yacht Club

The Acapulco Yacht Club is a well-known anchorage, where many of world's rich and renowned have docked. Services include water, ice, restaurants, fuel, telephones, internet, gym, dry docks, stream rooms, pool, and more.

La Marina

The Nautical Club offers slips for 332 boats, condos, gardens, and 24 hour security.

Scuba Diving &; Snorkeling

Several companies in Acapulco offer scuba lessons and outings Look for them under tours and excursions or got the business directory.

Acapulco Surfer Girl

Parasailing & Paragliding

You can't miss it. At all hours of the day you can people high in the sky on Acapulco bay. The way to find it is to go out on the beach in the hotel zone and follow the para-sailers to the source. An outing of paragliding normally runs about $30 USD.

Surfing & Boogie Boarding

Though Acapulco Bay is not a very good location for it, Acapulco does has some decent surfing at Diamond Point, Revolcadero Beach, and Bonfil.

Water Skiing

Acapulco is a great place to go water skiing, especially over by Manzanillo Beach and the Yacht Club, where the waters are a little calmer than out in the bay or up at the east end.

Waver Runners and Jet Skis

Over in the hotel zone (Condesa and Icacos more specifically), you can rent jet skis by the hour or half hour. The machines are lined up along the beach. Look for the parasailing and you'll find the jet ski rentals. The cost is about $25-30 for a half hour.

Windsurfing in Acapulco

Acapulco has some decent windsurfing around the Costa Club Hotel and Hornos beach.

The Banana

Take a ride on "the banana." Paris has its cafes, London has its pubs, and Acapulco has the banana. It is little more than a large, yellow inflated... well, banana. A group of people climb on it and then are pulled behind a motor boat. They are a lot of fun, especially for kids. Highly recommended for people who are too dignified to enjoy themselves while on vacation. Be sure to take their picture to show to the friends back home.

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