Introduction This beach destination on a stretch of Pacific coast known as the “Mexican Riviera” boasts the tropical allure of blue water, golden sand and sunshine. Acapulco became famous in the 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood movie stars. Today, however, it's more popular with Mexican families. Luxury resorts and hot dance clubs remain, although in recent years the city has had to contend with headline-grabbing violent incidents associated with Mexico's ongoing drug cartel wars.
Relaxation rather than sightseeing is the byword, as there are few museums or other attractions to lure vacationers away from their poolside lounge chairs and frozen drinks. One of the places to go that is worth experiencing is watching Acapulco's celebrated cliff divers, or clavadistas, leap off rocky La Quebrada into the surf below. There's no shortage of fun things to do on or in the water, from parasailing and water skiing to snorkeling and deep-sea fishing.
Dining under the stars at local restaurants is one of the city's greatest pleasures, whether it's a romantic table on a secluded rooftop terrace or wriggling your toes in the sand at an ultra-casual beachside taquería. Acapulco's legendary discos stay open until the wee hours, but a more convenient, and safer, alternative is to take advantage of the evening entertainment—in the form of floor shows or themed fiesta nights—offered by the major hotels.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
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.