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In its glitzy heyday in the 1950s, Acapulco was best known as a getaway for Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Frank Sinatra. The glitz and glamour of those days may be long gone, but Acapulco never really lost its sizzle. This Mexican port city's flashy discos are packed nightly, and hotels rise up along miles of sandy beaches that trace beautiful Acapulco Bay for nearly 4 miles. Mountains ring the city, providing a spectacular backdrop for candlelight dining and the famously fearless Le Quebrada Cliff Divers.
Things to Do
No first-time visit is complete without seeing La Quebrada Cliff Divers plunging from high cliffs into a narrow gorge, much as they have since 1934. You can see the show from public viewing areas or the terrace at El Mirador Hotel. The Fuerte de San Diego, built in 1616 to protect Acapulco from pirate attacks, houses a museum tracing the port's history. Nearby the city's main square, the zócalo, is lined with cafes and shops.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Acapulco's renowned nightlife kicks off around midnight and stays in high gear until the wee hours. The younger crowds flock to the hotel zone where rowdy Disco Beach and the cave-like Baby-O are beachside favorites. Big, upscale clubs catering to the chic are concentrated on mountainside Las Brisas, including Palladium, with breathtaking bay views, and the multi-leveled El Alebrije, with its mammoth dance floor.
Restaurants and Dining
For romance and panoramic views, head for the hills. Overlooking Puerto Marques, Zibu mixes Mexican and Thai influences; try the shrimp in ginger and mango sauce. Set in a hot-pink hillside home, Su Casa offers big margaritas and shrimp with garlic and spices. More casual eateries, many specializing in fresh-caught shrimp, snapper and bass, are packed into the hotel zone. Among them, El Zorrito serves local fare such as pozole, a white hominy stew that's a Thursday lunch tradition in Acapulco.
You can play any number of ways on Acapulco's 12 miles of beaches, from the south end at oceanfront Punta Diamante to the north at low-key Pie de la Cuesta. Go scuba diving, deep-sea fishing for marlin and swordfish or float above the bay by parasail. Glass-bottom boats depart from Caletilla to Roqueta Island for snorkeling, sunning and hiking to an old lighthouse. All kinds of sailing vessels run sunset cruises on the bay and into the open ocean.
Discover this beautiful coastal destination known as Acapulco. Choose to simply relax on a pretty white-sand beach or explore the city's historical and cultural heritage. With our tips on the best things to do in Acapulco, you can plan a getaway that's perfectly tailored to your interests.
The city is located on the Pacific Coast, so many activities in Acapulco revolve around its gorgeous beaches. Many hotels and resorts are located along the water, each with access to stretches of beach that afford the opportunity to while away the day watching the waves roll ashore. If you're seeking a more secluded beach, however, there are also plenty of options. Locals like to get away to Barra Vieja, located outside the city. Surfers prefer Bonfil Beach. We like El Secreto, so named for its protected location and beloved for its excellent view of the rest of the coastline.
When you think of Acapulco, cliff diving often comes to mind. The time-honored tradition is still alive and well, and for many, watching the Quebrada cliff divers is a must on the list of things to do in Acapulco. If you'd like to see the daredevils leap elegantly headfirst into the water, sign up for the Cliff Divers at Night excursion. Included is a three-course dinner at La Perla restaurant, a perfect vantage point from which to view the death-defying divers at sunset.
Acapulco is also noted for its cultural heritage, which you can discover at places such as the Fort of San Diego Museum. The Fort itself was originally constructed in the 17th century and built in the shape of a five-point star on a hillside in downtown. A visit to the fort and the museum is one of our favorite activities in Acapulco. The museum features over a dozen exhibition rooms and halls, with historical objects that relate not only to the history of San Diego Fort but also to the city and its cultural influences. Admission to the museum is free on Sundays, and it's closed on Mondays.
Want to discover this intriguing destination? Whether you'd like to unwind on a sunny beach or discover the city's historical wonders, these travel tips will help you plan an unforgettable trip.
Prices shown are round-trip fares, including taxes and carrier-imposed fees. Advertised travel may be operated by an American Eagle or an American Connection carrier. American Eagle® service is operated by American Eagle Airlines, Inc., SkyWest Airlines, Inc., ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., or Republic Airline Inc. American Connection® service is operated by Chautauqua Airlines, Inc.
|100% Natural||Natural||Costera Hotel Zone||1||2|
|Baikal||Mexican||South of Town: Las Brisas Area||4||1|
|Becco||Italian||South of Town||4||3|
|El Amigo Miguel||Mexican||Downtown||1||2|
|El Cabrito||Mexican||Costera Hotel Zone||2||3|
|El Olvido||Eclectic||Costera Hotel Zone||4||3|
|El Zorrito||Mexican||Costera Hotel Zone||1||3|
|Ika Tako||Seafood||Costera Hotel Zone||1||3|
|La Cabaña de Caleta||Mexican||Downtown||2||3|
|Su Casa/Angel and Shelly's||International||Costera Hotel Zone||4||3|
|Zibu||Seafood||South of Town: Las Brisas Area||4||4|
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