Acapulco NightlifeIf you're looking for fun things to do with friends, don't miss Acapulco's glitzy dance clubs, which feature elaborate light shows, mirrored walls, fireworks and dance beats pounding from state-of-the-art sound systems. The music ranges from techno to house to hip-hop to Top 40. They start hopping around 10:30 p.m. and stay open until the wee hours. A dress code is standard (jeans and T-shirts are usually frowned on). Cover charges are steep ($30 or more during the winter high season, less at other times), although they are sometimes waived to draw customers. Women normally pay a reduced charge. Bar drinks, of course, are extra.
One of the hottest places to go is Palladium Acapulco , on Carretera Escénica (Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán) at Las Brisas. High on a hillside at the southern end of Acapulco Bay, it has glass windows 160 feet wide that look out over the water, giving dancers the feeling of being suspended in mid-air. Lighting and sound are top of the line, and as a result there's always a line to get in.
Baby'O , Costera Miguel Alemán #22, is a mainstay that has been around since the disco days of the '70s and is still going strong. The atmosphere here is akin to a very high-class cave pierced by laser lights, rumbling to the throb of techno, hip-hop and dance music.
The city's most celebrated nighttime destination is the diving from La Quebrada cliff. Professionally trained young men perform these spectacular dives, which date back to 1934, when La Quebrada first became a popular spot for local divers to display their talent.
A successful dive depends as much on timing as on skill, since a diver enters a channel less than 25 feet wide and must wait for an opportunity when the water is deep enough to permit a safe entry at a speed of about 55 miles an hour. Getting to the top of the cliff is risky as well—barefoot divers scale the steep, vertical cliffside by grasping at rocky outcrops that occasionally snap off. Evening dives feature blazing torches that enhance the theatrical effect.
The traditional place to view the cliff divers is from the bar or terraces of the La Perla restaurant at the El Mirador Acapulco hotel, but you'll be required to pay a cover charge (which includes two drinks) or have dinner. Reservations are advised during the winter high season; phone (744) 483-1260.
The major hotels offer nightly entertainment, such as Mexican-style fiestas or theme parties, during the high tourist season. Live music often accompanies hotel bar or poolside cocktail bar happy hours, and there's also no shortage of evening floor shows.
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13 meters (43 feet)
Dial 911 and ask to be connected to an English-speaking operator.
English-speaking “tourist police” outfitted in white and light blue uniforms patrol streets in tourist areas and can provide assistance to visitors. Phone (744) 485-0490.
(provides assistance in locating vehicles or missing persons, or to those in need of public services): (744) 481-1100. The office is at Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán #3221.
Hospital Privado Magallanes, Calle Wilfrido Massieu Perez #2, (744) 485-6544; IMSS (Mexican Social Security Hospital), downtown at Av. Cuauhtémoc #95, (744) 469-0270; Red Cross (Cruz Roja), Calle Andrea Dorian #1 (off Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán), (744) 481-3385. Many hotels have an in-house doctor or a contact physician on 24-hour call.
Local Phone Calls
Public phones take prepaid Ladatel/Telmex phone cards, which can be purchased at any convenience store. The smallest card value is 30 pesos; local calls cost only a couple of pesos, depending on the time the call is made. Insert the card chip side up and then dial your call; an LED display shows the remaining value of the card after the call is finished.
Sanborns, a Mexican restaurant chain, has English-language books and periodicals. There are locations at Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán #3111 (several blocks south of the El Rollo Acapulco water park), Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán #1260 (in the vicinity of Playa Calinda) and at Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán #209 in old downtown Acapulco.
Boulevard Miguel Alemán #4455 Acapulco, GR . Phone:(744)484-4416
Most banks along the Costera, both in the downtown area and the hotel zone, are open Mon.-Fri. 9-5 (some also Sat. 10-2). Casas de cambio (currency exchange houses) line the Costera in the vicinity of the big hotels; these are open daily and often until 8 p.m. ATMs are plentiful and accept international credit cards; withdrawals are in pesos.
In recent years Acapulco has experienced high-profile incidents of drug cartel-related violence, some of which have occurred in or near tourist areas. If you leave your hotel, stick to areas frequented by visitors (the beaches and tourist-oriented businesses along Boulevard Costera Miguel Alemán). The old downtown area is also safe during daylight hours. Tourists often are targeted for petty theft; stay alert if you happen to be in a crowded public place, like a market. Never carry large sums of money or personal valuables and always keep your hotel room key card with you, preferably in a hidden pocket or other safe place.