Acapulco Mexico Tourism | Acapulco Vacations

Acapulco Mexico Tourism | Acapulco Vacations

Acapulco Mexico Tourism | Acapulco Vacations

About Acapulco Mexico:

Acapulco Mexico Tourism
Acapulco (officially known as Acapulco de Juárez) is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 300 kilometres (190 mi) southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history. It is a port of call for shipping and cruising lines running between Panama and San Francisco, California, United States. The city of Acapulco is the largest in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo and as well, Mexico's largest beach and balneario resorted city.

The city is best known as one of Mexico’s oldest and most well-known beach resorts, which came into prominence by the 1950s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco is still famous for its nightlife and still attracts many vacationers, although most are now from Mexico itself. The resort area is divided into two: The north end of the bay is the "traditional" area, where the famous in the mid 20th century vacationed and the south end is dominated by newer luxury high rise hotels.

The name "Acapulco" comes from Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means "At the big reeds" or "At the broken reeds." The "de Juárez" was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, the former president of Mexico. The seal for the city shows broken reeds or cane.

Acapulco Mexico Weather:

Acapulco Transportation:

From the U.S., many airlines now fly to Acapulco Airport year-round. While in the city, there are many buses and taxi services one can take to get from place to place, but most of the locals choose to walk to their destinations. However, an important mode of transportation is the government subsidized 'Colectivo' cab system. These cabs cost 10 pesos per person to ride, but they are not private. The driver will pick up more passengers as long as seats are available, and will transport them to their destination based on first come first served rules. The colectivos each travel a designated area of the city, the three main ones being Costera, Colosio, Coloso, or a mixture of the three. Coloso cabs mainly travel to old Acapulco. Colosio cabs travel through most of the tourist area of Acapulco. Costera cabs drive up and down the coast of Acapulco, which is where most of the hotels for visitors are, but also includes some of old Acapulco. Where a driver will take you is partly up to his choice. Some are willing to travel to the other designated areas, especially during slow periods of the day.

The bus system is highly complex, and can be rather confusing to an outsider. As far as transportation goes, it is the cheapest form other than walking in Acapulco. The most expensive buses have air conditioning, while the cheaper buses do not. For tourists, the Acapulco city government has established a system of yellow buses with Acapulco! painted on the side of them. These buses are not for tourists only, but are certainly the nicest and most uniform of the bus systems. These buses travel the tourist section of Acapulco, driving up and down the coast. There are buses with specific routes and destinations, generally written on their windshields or shouted out by a barker riding in the front seat. Perhaps the most unusual thing about the privately operated buses is the fact that they are all highly decorated and personalized, with decaling and home made interior designs that range from comic book scenes, to adult themes, and even to "Hello Kitty" themes.

Acapulco Mexico Map

Mexico Map

Acapulco Mexico Map

Image Credit:


Map copyright

Acapulco Mexico Tourism:

Acapulco is one of Mexico's oldest coastal tourist destinations, reaching prominence in the 1950s as the place where Hollywood stars and millionaires vacationed on the beach in an exotic locale. The “original” Acapulco, where hotels owned by personalities such as Johnny Weismuller and John Wayne are located, is on the northern end of the bay. This is where the boardwalk and main square are and today the area is filled with modern, Mexican style hotels, with discothèques and restaurants in walking distance. This side of the bay is also known as “Tradicional” or “Nautica.”

The south end of the bay holds the newer constructions, including the high rise hotels. This area includes Punta Diamante, Puerto Marqués, and stretches from the airport to the Papagayo River which separates it from the older section of town. In this area, no one walks as almost all transportation is by car, limousine or golf cart. The older section of town now mostly caters to middle class, almost exclusively Mexican clientele, while the glitzier newer section caters to international visitors and the Mexican upper classes, many of whom never venture into the older, traditional part of town. This area also has the higher hotel occupancy rates.

Acapulco's reputation is that of a high-energy party town, where one can "have dinner at midnight, dance until dawn then relax in the daytime on the beach. The nightlife has long been a major tourist draw of the city. From November to April, luxury liners stop here daily and include ships such as the MS Queen Victoria, the MS Rotterdam, Crystal HarmonyOcean Star Cruises.

For the Christmas season of 2009, Acapulco received 470,000 visitors, most of whom are Mexican nationals adding 785 million pesos to the economy. Eighty percent arrive by land and 18 percent by air. The area has over 25,000 condominiums, most of which function as second homes for their Mexican owners. Acapulco is still popular with Mexican celebrities and wealthy, such as Luis Miguel, Plácido Domingo and Dolores Olmedo, who maintain homes here.

While much of the glitz and glamour that made Acapulco famous still remains, from the latter 20th century on, the city has also taken on other less-positive reputations. Some consider it a “passé” resort, eclipsed by the newer Cancún and Cabo San Lucas. Over the years a number of problems have developed here, especially in the bay and the older sections of the city. The large number of wandering vendors on the beaches such as Tamarindos, who offer everything from newspapers to massages are a recognized problem. It is a bother to tourists who simply want to relax on the beach but the government says is difficult to eradicate as there is a lot of unemployment and poor here. Around the city are many shantytowns that cling onto the mountainsides, populated by migrants who have come here looking for work. Prostitution is also common here as well. In the last decade, drug related violence has caused problems for the tourism trade here.

Another problem is garbage that has accumulated in the bay. Although 60.65 tons have recently been extracted from the bays of Acapulco and nearby Zihuatanejo, more needs to be done. Most of trash that is cleaned up during the off seasons is done on the beaches and in the waters closest to them. However, the center of the bay is not touched. The reason trash winds up in the bay is that it is common here to throw it in streets, rivers and the bay itself. The most common items cleaned out of the bay are beer bottles and car tires.

La Quebrada Cliff Divers:

La Quebrada Cliff Divers
No visit to Acapulco is complete without watching the cliff divers perform their impressive jumps into the shallow stream of water of dangerous tides that forms in the bottom part of La Quebrada. They have been doing it since 1934. You can see the dives from a small platform by the cliff for a small entrance fee, or eat at the La Perla restaurant which offers a good view of the divers. Showtime at 1PM, 7:30PM, 8:30PM and 9:30PM.


Zócalo, Acapulco
Zócalo, Acapulco's town square, lies on the western side of La Costera. It's cool, shady and peaceful during the daytime. There are two fountains and many mature, multi-trunked trees that are a sight in themselves. The Zócalo tends to expose more local culture than other, more tourist-centric, areas. Zócalo contains Acapulco's cathedral, as well as many restaurants ranging in size from sidewalk bistros and tiny street-corner kitchens. Many of the smaller restaurants will provide full dinners for as little as 35 pesos. The Zócalo at night is worth experiencing. Between 8:00 and 11PM the place is flooded with locals & chilangoes. Clowns entertain the crowd for tips. One is dressed as some sort of aztec warrior/statue thing. He is silver from head to toe.

Pie de la Cuesta:

Pie de la Cuesta
Pie de la Cuesta is a quiet strip of land roughly 6 miles northwest of Acapulco, bordered on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by a freshwater lake (Laguna de Cuyoca) on the other. The lagoon is extremely tranquil, but tourists are advised not to enter the Pacific Ocean at Pie de la Cuesta, because the surf is very dangerous. One can reach Pie de la Cuesta via bus. If you are on the Bay Side along the Costera, between Escudero and Diego Mendoza, look for the bus that says Pie de la Cuesta PLAYA LUCES. These go up that narrow strip of land. You can also take one that says San Isidro and that will let you off in the Zocalo in Pie de la Cuesta, but you have to walk a couple blocks to the strip and about a half kilometer up to the lagoon.

Puerto Marquez:


Puerto Marquez

Located at a smaller bay just east of Acapulco, Puerto Marquez sees much less tourist traffic than Acapulco. One side of the bay is completely covered by adjacent beach-side restaurants offering very reasonably priced food and beer. The restaurant owners (as well as most other locals) are very friendly to tourists and some will offer discounts or a free round of beer to groups. Tourists and locals alike munch on shrimp enchiladas, sip negra modelos, wade in the waters, and enjoy the breathtaking sunsets. Fewer locals speak English in Puerto Marquez than in Acapulco, so it is recommended that visitors speak some rudimentary Spanish. One can reach Puerto Marquez via bus.

Isla de la Roqueta:

Isla de la Roqueta
Isla de la Roqueta has a beautiful beach with shallow areas for families to play. You can get there by water taxi (around $3.50 USD) or the glass-bottom harbour tour boat (around $7 USD) from Caleta Beach. The harbour tour provides many sightseeing opportunities as well as seeing the yachts and homes of the rich and famous. As well, you can experience the cliff-divers’ show at La Quebrada, the submarine Virgin of Guadalupe, and see a diver with the tour swim under the boat with food to attract fish. If you don’t pack food while on your tour, there is a great opportunity to have lunch by way of a boat restaurant that comes alongside the boat and prepares your order. Just be prepared to wait depending on the number of people on the tour with you. Once on Isla de la Roquet there are numerous well-maintained trails, a lighthouse and beautiful snorkeling spots - but they can be rough (if this doesn't suit you, your best bet would be to go to the Camino Real for snorkeling). And the bonus, you can take as much time as you want as the tour company’s boats dock throughout the day.

Acapulco Beach:

Acapulco Beaches
Most beaches are in the bay area fronting the main boulevard "La Costera". This bay area is what made Acapulco famous and its beauty and majesty have not faded over the years. Some of the most popular beaches inside the Bay and lining the Costera are Hornos, the traditional "afternoon beach", Papagayo, Tamarindos, and Icacos. Condesa beach at the east end of the bay is gay friendly. Caleta/Caletilla beaches and Langosta Beach are on the open ocean, and usually a bit cleaner. Most hotels in Acapulco are found along the Costera, and prices generally go down as you move west toward the Zócalo and old Acapulco.

Another open water beach, more suitable for surfing, lies in front of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and Fairmont Pierre Marqués Hotels. Playa Revolcadero is east of Acapulco, closer to the airport. The wave action is much higher than inside the bay or at Caleta/Caletilla, which are protected by La Roqueta island. Transportation from La Costera takes about 35 minutes through a winding and scenic road.

Acapulco Beach
Don't miss Barra Vieja, approx. 20 past the Airport coming from the costera ($500-$800 Pesos for a cab all day)

Along with the Acapulco nightlife, the beaches of Acapulco are one of the most popular attractions in this Mexican resort city. Some general tips for spending the day at the beach in Mexico are use plenty of sunscreen, the waves are usually dangerous, so be careful swimming or bodysurfing, and always keep an eye on your possessions when at the beach.

CAUTION: Stay with your kids at all times when they go in the water. There are no lifeguards, and the waves and currents can be very dangerous!

Caleta Beach:

Caleta beach
Once the most popular beach in Acapulco, Caleta beach is located in the "old" part of the city. For swimming it is still one of the best in Acapulco, and so it is popular for families with kids (however, please read the warning above). You will be approached by a steady flow of vendors, so do not expect to get much peace and quiet here.

Icacos Beach:

Icacos Beach
Located in front of La Palapa Hotel, Playa Icacos is a favorite beach for vacationers and spring breakers. Parasailing and waverunners are readily available at both Icacos and Condesa Beach.

Condesa Beach:

Located in the center of Acapulco Bay, Condesa beach is another popular beach for tourists and locals. Consequently, it is also a favorite spot for a variety of vendors who will be bothering you every 5 minutes. Icacos (above) is better.

Puerto Marques:

I like this beach, which is also the favorite of many Mexican tourists. Puerto Marques is located along the route to the airport and is 15-20 minute trip by bus from the main strip. The waves are usually fairly calm here. It's a good beach for taking pictures.

Revolcadero Beach:

Revolcadero Beach Waves in Acapulco
Located by the Princess Hotel near the airport, Playa Revolcadero is a beautiful and relatively private beach. Unless you are staying at Princess, it's a fairly long trip by bus. But if you want to relax at a more exclusive beach, this is your best bet. Eat at the cabanas for lunch.

Pie de la Cuesta:

Plan to go here for the day and stay for the sunset. It's another longer trip, this time to the west. The waves can be huge here, so swimming is generally not recommended. There are some good seafood restaurants nearby, and it is a good escape from the busier beaches along the main strip. There is also a lagoon for waterskiing.

La Bonfil:

The best waves for surfing (or so I am told - let me know if there is a better place). You can also swim here, but the waves are rather high. La Bonfil is located between Puerto Marques and Revolcadero Beach, so you need to take a little trip to get there. The beach itself is rather peaceful and doesn't have the usual horde of vendors.

Hornos Beach:

Closer to the center of town, Hornos beach has calmer waves and is a popular beach for the local population.

Gay Beach:

This is actually part of Condesa Beach and is located between Beto's Restaurant (below the Bungy Jump) and the Condesa Hotel. Visit Palapas nearby.

Acapulco Vacations:

Acapulco’s main attraction is its nightlife, and has been for many decades. Nightclubs change names and owners frequently. Informal lobby or poolside cocktail bars often offer free live entertainment. In addition, there is the beach bar zone, where younger crowds go. These are located along the Costera road, face the ocean and feature techno or alternative rock. Most are concentrated between the Fiesta Americana and Continental Plaza hotels. These places tend to open earlier and have more informal dress. There is also a bungee jump in this area as well.

Another enigmatic attraction at Acapulco are the La Quebrada Cliff Divers. The tradition started in the 1930s when young men casually competed against each other to see who could dive from the highest point into the sea below. Eventually, locals began to ask for tips for those coming to see the men dive. Today the divers are professionals, diving from heights of forty meters into an inlet that is only seven meters wide and four meters deep, after praying first at a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe. On 12 December, the feast day of this Virgin, freestyle cliff divers jump into the sea to honor her. Dives ranges from the simple to the complicated and end with the “Ocean of Fire” when the sea is lit with gasoline, making a circle of flames which the diver aims for. The spectacle can be seen from a public area, which charges a small fee or from the Hotel Plaza Las Glorias/El Mirador from its bar or restaurant terrace.

Acapulco Vacations
There are a number of beaches in the Acapulco Bay and the immediate coastline. In the bay proper there are the La Angosta (in the Quebrada), Caleta, Caletilla, Dominguillo, Tlacopanocha, Hornos, Hornitos, Honda, Tamarindo, Condesa, Guitarrón, Icacos, Playuela, Playuelilla and Playa del Secreto. In the adjoining, smaller Bay of Puerto Marqués there is Pichilingue, Las Brisas, and Playa Roqueta. Facing open ocean just northwest of the bays is Pie de la Cuesta and southeast are Playa Revolcadero, Playa Aeromar, Playa Encantada and Barra Vieja. Two lagoons are in the area, Coyuca to the northwest of Acapulco Bay and Tres Palos to the southeast. Both lagoons have mangroves and offer boat tours. Tres Palos also has sea turtle nesting areas which are protected.

In addition to sunbathing, the beaches around the bay offer a number of services, such as boat rentals, boat tours, horseback riding, scuba diving and other aquatic sports. One popular cruise is from Caletilla Beach to Roqueta Island, which has places to snorkel, have lunch, a small zoo and a lighthouse. There is also an underwater statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe here, created in 1958 by Armando Quesado in memory of a group of divers that died here. Many of the scuba diving tours come to this area as well, where there are sunken ships, sea mountains, and cave rock formations. Another popular activity is deep sea fishing. The major attraction is sail fishing. Fish caught here have weighed between 89 and 200 pounds. Sailfish are so plentiful that boat captains have been known to bet with a potential customer that if he does not catch anything the trip is free.

In the old part of the city, there is a traditional main square called the Zócalo with shade trees and lined with cafes and shops. At the north end of the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad cathedral, with blue onion-shaped domes and Byzantine towers. The building was originally constructed as a movie set, but when was later adapted into a church. Acapulco’s most historic building is the San Diego Fort, located east of the main square and originally built in 1616 to protect the city from pirate attacks. The fort was partially destroyed by the Dutch in the mid 17th century, rebuilt, then destroyed again in 1776 by an earthquake. It was rebuilt again by 1783 and this is the building that can be seen today, unchanged except for renovations done to it in 2000. Parts of the moats remain as well as the five bulwarks and the battlements. Today the fort serves as the Museo Histórico de Acapulco (Acapulco Historical Museum), which shows the port’s history from the pre-Hispanic period until independence. There are also temporary exhibits as well.

The Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantial or CICI is a sea life and aquatic park located on Costera Aleman. It offers wave pools, water slides and water toboggans. There are also dolphin shows daily and a swim with dolphins program. The center mostly caters to children. Another place popular with children is the Parque Papagayo which is a large family park which has life-sized replicas of a Spanish galleon and the space shuttle Columbia, three artificial lakes, aviary, skating rink, rides, go-karts and more.

The Dolores Olmedo House is located in the traditional downtown of Acapulco and is noted for the murals by Diego Rivera that adorn it. Olmedo and Rivera had been friend since Olmedo was a child and Rivera spent the last two years of his life here. During that time, he painted nearly nonstop and created the outside walls with tile mosaics, featuring Aztec deities such as Quetzalcoatl. The interior of the home is covered in murals. The home is not a museum, so only the outside murals are able to be seen by the public.

There is a small museum called Casa de la Máscara (House of Masks) which is dedicated to masks, most of them from Mexico but there are examples from many parts of the world. The collection contains about one thousand examples and are divided into seven rooms called Masks of the World, Mexico across History, The Huichols and the Jaguar, Alebrijes and Dances of Guerrero, Devils and Death, Identity and Fantasy, and Afro-Indian masks. The Botanical Garden of Acapulco is a tropical garden located on lands owned by the Universidad Loyola del Pacifico. Most of the plants here are native to the region, and many are in danger of extinction, such as the Peltogyne mexicana or purple stick tree.

The annual French Festival takes place throughout Acapulco city and offers a multitude of events that cement cultural links between Mexico and France. The main features are a fashion show and gourmet food fair. The Cinépolis Galerías Diana and the Teatro Juan Ruíz de Alarcón show French and French literary figures give talks on their specialized subjects. Even some of the local nightclubs will feature French DJs. Other festivals celebrated here include Carnival, the feast of San Isidro Labrador on 15 May and a crafts and livestock fair called the Nao de China in November.

There are a number of golf courses in Acapulco including the Acapulco Princess and the Pierre Marqués course, the latter designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1972 for the World Cup Golf Tournament. The Mayan Palace course was designed by Pedro Guericia and an economical course called the Club de Golf Acapulco is near the convention center. The most exclusive course is that of the Tres Vidas Golf Club, designed by Robert von Hagge. It is located next to the ocean and is home to flocks of ducks and other birds.

Acapulco also has a bullring, called the Plaza de Toros, near Caletilla Beach. The season runs during the winter and is called the Fiesta Brava.

Spring break:

Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to resort areas and balnearios throughout Mexico over spring break each year. The main reason students head to Mexico is the 18 year old drinking age (versus 21 for the United States), something that has been marketed by tour operators along with the sun and ocean. This has become attractive since the 1990s, especially since more traditional spring break places such as Daytona Beach, Florida have become restrictive on drinking and other behaviors. This has pushed spring break visitation to various parts of Mexico, with Acapulco as one of the top destinations.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Cancún had been favored at the spring break destination of choice. However, Cancun has taken some steps to control the reckless behavior associated with the event, and students have been looking for someplace new. This has led many more to choose Acapulco, in spite of the fact that the flight is longer and more expensive than to Cancun for many travelers. Many are attracted by the glitzy hotels on the south side and Acapulco’s famous nightlife. In 2008, 22,500 students came to Acapulco for spring break. Hotels did not get that many in 2009, mostly due to the economic situation in the United States, and partially because of scares of drug-related violence. MTV will transmit special programming from Acapulco in 2010.

In February 2009, the US State Department issued a travel alert directed at college students planning spring break trips to Acapulco. The warning—a result of violent activity springing from Mexico's drug cartel debacle—took college campuses by storm, with some schools going so far as to warn their students about the risks of travel to Mexico over spring break. The New York Times tracked the travels of another Penn student on spring break in Acapulco just a week after the dissemination of the email, while Bill O'Reilly devoted a segment of his show, The O'Reilly Factor, to urge students to stay away from Acapulco. In June 2009 a number of incidents occurred between the drug cartel and the government. These included coordinated attacks on police headquarters and open battles in the streets involving large-caliber weapons and grenades. However, no incidents of violence against spring breakers were reported.

The Best Views in Acapulco:

Barra de Coyuca:

Barra de Coyuca

Barra de Coyuca

Head on over to Pie de la Cuesta for the sunset. Barra de Coyuca is the point where the bay meets the lagoon. It's an adventure to get there, but it is a magical place.

Las Brisas:

Many of the best restaurants and night clubs are located on the hills in Las Brisas. On the top of the mountain there is also a huge cross at the "Chapel of Peace".

Acapulco Thrills

Bungy Jumping:

Located in La Condesa among the main strip and many bars, look up when you see a large crowd gathered on the sidewalk. US$50 (+$20 for a video or photos of your jump). Warning: The cord broke in 2008 but luckily the jumper was unhurt.


Go to Condesa beach and look up. Rides should only cost you US$20.

Balloon Rides:

More of a tethered, up-and-down balloon ride for a commanding view of the bay. Rides are reasonably priced at US$10 per person.


A giant swing, located on the beach near the giant balloon. Rides are US$15.

Acapulco Mexico - Fun Things to Do

Many visitors to Acapulco get too caught up in the nightlife that they miss out on some great sights, trips, attractions, and activities that the city has to offer.

If you want to really experience Acapulco, you should go on at least one tour of the city - you can pick your favorite from the list of tours in the menu to your right.

These tours are hosted by excellent tour guides in Acapulco and tickets are very reasonably priced. Making a reservation with them will allow you to avoid hassles while you are here and will free up valuable time to enjoy more of your vacation or holiday

CICI - a water park right by the main beach. Especially nice for kids. Entrance is 100 pesos and it features many different pools and slides, a Skycoaster (a mix between a swing and a bungee jump) and a dolphinarium. Dolphin shows are on offer, and so is one hour swims with the dolphins - a lifetime memory for USD120.

There are several more attractions, including golf courses, night clubs and post-hispanic fortifications. Nightlife in Acapulco is pretty much fun, and many places are suited for tourism including "El Alebrije", "Disco Beach" and "Palladium", this last having a awe-inspiring sight of the whole bay of Acapulco.

El Castillo de Los Moyis: A new, themed water park in Pie de la Cuesta. Make a day out of visiting Pie de la Cuesta and enjoy the beach, waterpark, restaurants, and sunset.

Acapulco Nightlife:

Acapulco has an amazing nightlife. On Fridays and Saturdays year-round, and every night on spring break, the city is alive with flashing lights and music pumping out of every establishment along the main strip and in Las Brisas. For spring-breakers, the beaches and nightlife are probably the main attractions, though there are many other things to do if you read the other sections of this site. This section mainly focuses on discos and bars and includes reviews for the most popular night clubs and some of my personal favorites.

Acapulco Discos:

Acapulco has some of the best discos in the world. Hit one of these on Saturday nights, and Friday nights as well during spring break, but don't expect to go to sleep until 6:00 am. Most discos cost around the same to enter (US$30-35 for men, US$25-30 for women). Sounds expensive? Well, get ready for some good news because the price includes ALL YOU CAN DRINK (see the reviews for exceptions). Most discos open at 11:00 pm and close at around 6:00 am. During spring break, the most popular nightclubs have HUGE lines (well, more of a seething mass). If you find yourself in one of these masses, you should consider trying a different disco because you will wait a long time outside, and the bars will be too crowded to get served inside.

Acapulco Bars:

With a few exceptions, the bars in Acapulco are fairly similar to those found elsewhere in the world. First, there is not much live music (see the reviews for exceptions). Second, spontaneous displays of dancing often erupt in the middle of the bar, and occasionally on top of the bar. Along the "Costera", most bars are open-air and you can go bar hopping quite easily. You should consider going to bars frequented by the local population because you can party with your fellow gringos any day at home.

Golf in Acapulco:

Club de Golf: Country Club located on the Costera near the Convention Center. 484-0781.

Acapulco Princess Golf Course: Acapulco Diamante next to the Princess Resort.

Pierre Marquéz Golf Course: Acapulco Diamante, by the Pierre Marquez Resort.

Mayan Palace Golf & Tennis Club: Av. Costera de Las Palmas #1121. Phone 469-0221.

Tres Vidas Golf Course: Carretera a Barra Vieja Km. 7. Phone 444-5135.

Watersports in Acapulco:



Yachting: You can rent yachts at "Club de Yates" at Caleta Beach. They also have remote-controlled boats for kids (and adults).

Scuba Diving: Go to Condesa Beach and ask anyone about the scuba diving tours.

Waterskiing: There is a lagoon at Pie de la Cuesta (a beach to the west) where you can rent boats and skis.

Fishing: Try the lagoon at Pie de la Cuesta.

Deep Sea Fishing

Parasailing: Look up in the sky while at Icacos or Condesa Beach - you can't miss them. You should pay US$20, so (as with anything on the beach) be prepared to bargain.

Wave Runners: Wave Runners are available for rent, also at Condesa or Icacos Beach. You will be offered one within 60 seconds of stepping foot on the beach. You can get one for US$25 (half-hour) or US$40 (hour), but they will ask you for US$35 for a half-hour.

Tennis in Acapulco:

Club de Golf: 
Located on Costera Miguel Aleman. Phone 484-0781.

Mayan Palace Golf & Tennis Club: 
Av. Costera de Las Palmas #1121. Phone 469-0221.

Park Hotel & Tennis Center: 
Av. Costera Miguel Aleman #127. Phone 485-5992.

Club de Tenis Panoramic: 
Costera Vieja y Punta Bruja. Phone 484-3318.

Other Sports:

Jai Alai: There is a large Jai Alai arena (with wagering) near Costa Azul along the "Costera". They also have bingo here. The building is huge - every taxi knows where it is.

Acapulco Hotel:

  • Banyan Tree Cabo Marques
  • Las Brisas Acapulco
  • Fiesta Americana Villas Acapulco
  • Hotel Encanto
  • The Fairmont Pierre Marques
  • The Fairmont Acapulco Princess
  • Quinta Real Acapulco
  • Camino Real Acapulco Diamante
  • Villa Vera Hotel Spa and Racquet Club
  • Villas Olinala Princess
  • Acasol Hotel
  • Hotel Acamar Acapulco
  • Acabay Hotel & Beach Club
  • Emporio Acapulco Hotel
  • Acapulco Malibu
  • Grand Hotel Acapulco
  • Holiday Inn Resort Acapulco
  • Elcano Hotel
  • Crowne Plaza Acapulco
  • Calinda Beach Acapulco
  • Mayan Sea Garden Acapulco
  • Seascape Hotel Acapulco
  • Park Royal Acapulco
  • Copacabana Beach Hotel
  • Holiday Inn Acapulco La Isla
  • Casa Yalmaka'an
  • Avalon Excalibur Acapulco
  • Las Torres Gemelas
  • Hotel Restaurant Quinta Karla Pie de la Cuesta
  • Hotel Copacabana Acapulco
  • Hotel Calinda Acapulco
  • Hotel En Acapulco
  • Hotel Marbella Acapulco
  • Hotel Princess Acapulco
  • Hotel Ritz Acapulco
  • Mayan Palace Acapulco
  • Playa De Acapulco
  • Romano Palace Acapulco

Acapulco Beach Resort:

  • Quinta Real Acapulco
  • Camino Real Acapulco
  • Acapulco Princess
  • Las Brisas Resort
  • Hyatt Regency Acapulco
  • Villa Vera Hotel & Racquet Club

Acapulco Restaurant:

  • Acapulco Mexican Restaurant and Cantina
  • Esmirna del Mar (Barra Vieja)
  • La Casa de la Pasta
  • Zibu
  • Carmenere
  • Sirocco
  • Tres marias pie de la cuesta restaurant bar& club de ski
  • Restaurant El Tulipan (Hotel Las Brisas)

History of Acapulco Mexico:

By the eighth century, there was a small culture in the Acapulco area, which would first be dominated by the Olmecs, then by a number of others during the pre-Hispanic period. In Acapulco bay itself, there were two Olmec sites, one by Playa Larga and the other on a hill known as El Guitarrón. Olmec influence caused the small spread-out villages here to coalesce into larger entities and build ceremonial centers. Later, Teotihuacan influence made its way here via Cuernavaca and Chilpancingo. Then Mayan influence arrived from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and through what is now Oaxaca. This history is known through the archeological artifacts that have been found here, especially at Playa Hornos, Pie de la Cuesta and Tambuco. In the 11th century, new waves of migration of Nahuas and Coixas came through here. These people were the antecedents of the Aztecs. Acapulco formally became part of the Aztec Empire in 1486 during the reign of Ahuizotl. It was part of a tributary province called Tepecuacuilco, but control here was relatively unorganized.

There are two stories about how Acapulco bay was discovered by Europeans. The first states that two years after the Conquest, Hernán Cortés sent explorers west to find gold. The explorers had subdued this area after 1523, and Captain Saavedra Cerón was authorized by Cortés to found a settlement here. The other states that the bay was discovered on 13 December 1526 by a small ship named the El Tepache Santiago captained by Santiago Guevara. The first encomendero was established in 1525 at Cacahuatepec, which is part of the modern Acapulco municipality. In 1531, a number of Spaniards, most notably Juan Rodriguez de Villafuerte, left the Oaxaca coast and founded the village of Villafuerte where the city of Acapulco now stands. Villafuerte was unable to subdue the local native peoples, and this eventually resulted in the Yopa Rebellion in the region of Cuautepec. Hernán Cortés was obligated to send Vasco Porcayo to negotiate with the indigenous people giving concessions. The province of Acapulco became the encomendero of Rodriguez de Villafuerte who received taxes in the form of cocoa, cotton and corn.

Cortés established Acapulco as a major port by the early 1530s, with the first major road between Mexico City and the port constructed by 1531. The wharf, named Marqués, was constructed by 1533 between Bruja Point and Diamond Point. Soon after, the area was made an “alcadia” (major province or town).

Spanish trade in the Far East would give Acapulco a prominent position in the economy of New Spain. Galleons started arriving here from Asia by 1550, and in that year thirty Spanish families were sent to live here from Mexico City to have a permanent base of European residents. Acapulco would become the second most important port, after Veracruz, due to its direct trade with the Philippines. This trade would focus on the yearly Manila Galleon, which was the nexus of all kinds on communications between New Spain, Europe and Asia. In 1573, the port was granted the monopoly of the Manila trade.

The Manila Galleon would make its yearly run from the mid 16th century until the early 19th. The luxury items it brought to New Spain attracted the attention of English and Dutch pirates, such as Francis Drake, Henry Morgan and Thomas Cavendish, who called it “The Black Ship.” To protect the port and the cargo of ships coming here the San Diego Fort was built. Despite the fort’s existence, a Dutch fleet invaded Acapulco in 1615, destroying much of the town and fort before being driven off. The fort was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and was rebuilt in 1783. At the beginning of the 19th Century, King Charles IV declared Acapulco a Ciudad Official and it became an essential part of the Spanish Crown. However, soon after the Mexican War of Independence began. In 1810, José María Morelos y Pavón attacked and burnt down the city, after he defeated royalist commander Francisco Parés at the Battle of Tres Palos.[1] The independence of Mexico in 1821 ended the run of the Manila Galleon. Acapulco’s importance as a port recovered during the California Gold Rush in the mid 19th century, with ships going to and coming from Panama stopping here.

In 1911, revolutionary forces took over the main plaza of Acapulco. In 1920, the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) visited the area. Impressed by what he saw, he recommended the place in Europe, making it popular with the elite there. Much of the original hotel and trading infrastructure was built by an East Texas businessman named Albert B.Pullen from Corrigan, Tx. in the area now known as Old Acapulco. But some of Acapulco’s best known hotels were built by others. In 1933 Carlos Barnard started the first section of Hotel El Mirador, with 12 rooms on the cliffs of La Quebrada. Wolf Shoenborn purchased large amounts of undeveloped land and Albert Pullen built the Las Americas Hotel.

In the mid 1940s, the first commercial wharf and warehouses has been built. In the early 1950s President Miguel Alemán Valdés upgraded the port’s infrastructure, installing electrical lines, drainage systems, roads and the first highway to connect the port with Mexico City.

The economy grew and foreign investment increased with it. During the 1950s, Acapulco became the fashionable place for millionaires Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Brigitte Bardot. Former Swing Musician Teddy Stauffer, so called "Mister Acapulco", was a hotelowner ("Villa Vera", "Casablanca"), who attracted a lot of celebrities to Acapulco.

From a population of only 4,000 or 5,000 in the 1940s, by the early 1960s Acapulco had a population of about 50,000. In 1958, The Diocese of Acapulco was created by Pope Pius XII. It would become an archdiocese in 1983.

During the 1960s and 1970s, new hotel resorts were built, and accommodation and transport were made cheaper. It was no longer necessary to be a millionaire to spend a holiday in Acapulco, the foreign and Mexican middle class could now afford to travel here. However, as more hotels were built in the south part of the bay, the old hotels of the 1950s lost their grandeur.

During the 1990s, the road known as the Ruta del Sol was built, crossing the mountains between Mexico City and Acapulco. The journey only takes about three and a half hours, making Acapulco a favorite weekend destination for Mexico City inhabitants. The port continued to grow and in 1996, a new private company, API Acapulco, was created to manage operations. This consolidated operations and now Acapulco is the major port for car exports to the Pacific.

The city was devastated by Hurricane Pauline in 1997. The storm stranded tourists and left more than 100 dead in the city. Most of the victims were from the shantytowns that surround the city, built on steep hillsides. Other victims were swept away by thirty foot waves and 150 mph (241 km/h) winds. The main road, Avenida Costera became a fast-moving three foot river of sludge.

In the 2000s, the drug war in Mexico has had a negative effect on tourism in Acapulco as rival drug traffickers fight each other for the Guerrero coast route that brings drugs from South America as well as soldiers that have been fighting the cartels since 2006. A major gun battle between 18 gunmen and soldiers took place in the summer of 2009 in the Old Acapulco seaside area, lasting hours and killing 16 of the gunmen and two soldiers. This came after the swine flu outbreak earlier in the year nearly paralyzed the Mexican economy, forcing hotels to give discounts to bring tourists back. However, hotel occupancy for 2009 was down five percent from the year before. The death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 resulted in infighting among different groups within the Beltran Leyva cartel. Gang violence continued to plague Acapulco through 2010 and into 2011, most notably with at least 15 dying in drug-related violence on March 13, 2010 and another 15 deaths on January 8, 2011. Among the first incident's dead were six members of the city police and the brother of an ex-mayor. In the second incident the headless bodies of 15 young men were found dumped near the Plaza Senderos shopping center. On August 20, 2011, Mexican authorities reported that five headless bodies were found in Acapulco, three of which were placed in the city's main tourist area and two of which were cut into multiple pieces.

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