Acapulco is a lively resort town with sandy beaches, stunning mountain views, and an exciting nightlife. The city has been a famous getaway since the 1950s, when Hollywood stars discovered this gem. The city is a popular spring break destination, and visitors will find an endless amount of stylish bars and nightclubs, many of which stay open until dawn.
Located along Mexico's Pacific coast, Acapulco sits on the Bay of Santa Lucia, which is commonly referred to as Acapulco Bay. Lovers of water sports will find an abundance of activities to enjoy, with parasailing, jet ski rentals, fishing charters, and snorkeling expeditions readily available.
Acapulco has a long and rich history. The first settlers in the area were Nahua Indians, who preceded the Aztecs. These people inhabited the land for around 2,000 years before the Spanish arrived in the 1520s and began the era of European colonization. Due to its ideal location along the Pacific coast, the city developed into a busy port, shipping goods to South America and Asia.
In 1921, the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VIII visited the city on a fishing excursion. When a paved road linking Acapulco to Mexico City was completed in 1931, wealthy Mexicans began vacationing there. Hollywood stars discovered the area in the 1950s and 60s. Famous visitors include John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Judy Garland.
Following a boom in the the 1970s, the area declined in the 80s, but revitalization efforts in late 1990s lead to new hotels and attractions being built. In the early 2000s, college students began flocking to the area during their spring and summer breaks, drawn by the beautiful beaches and affordable accommodations.
© Prayitno - View of Acapulco
The easiest way to get to Acapulco from the United States is to fly to the Juan N. Alvarez International Airport (ACA), which is located 20 miles east of the city. Direct, non-stop flights are available from a number of major American cities, including Chicago and Atlanta.
You can also fly to Mexico City's airport and take a connecting flight to ACA. Flights to Mexico City take off from every major American airport. If you're interested in traveling by road from Mexico City, a number of buses run between the two areas. This mode of transportation is inexpensive, comfortable, safe, and fast. The average bus ride will take around four hours.
© Mitrush - Acapulco Airport
Taxis are a great way to get around Acapulco itself. You'll find them everywhere, and most are unmetered, so you'll need to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in. The rates are usually inexpensive, with a trip in the area costing no more than 50 pesos, which is less than $3.
The area's buses offer a unique Acapulco travel experience. They're all privately owned and often painted in bright colors. Because there aren't any official bus stops, you have to flag them down yourself when you see one coming. Drivers are usually eager to stop, so catching a ride is easy.
If you're interested in exploring all the area has to offer, rental cars are available, with several affordably priced companies operating out of the airport. However, the city's busy traffic can make it hard to navigate.
© Dolphin_Adictus - Bus to Acapulco
Whether you're looking for modern amenities or basic accommodations, Acapulco hotels have something to offer, with thousands of rooms throughout the city. Prices vary widely, with budget hotels available from $50-75 a night. If you want to stay in an all-inclusive, five-star hotel, you can expect to pay around $100-200 a night. Prices will be higher during the peak visiting times in December, January, April, and July.
Many international visitors choose to book a room in the Golden Zone, along the central area of the bay. There are a number of beachfront, luxury hotels in this area, and they're conveniently located close to bars and restaurants. Cheaper hotels can be found on the outskirts of the Golden Zone. Although they may not be right on the water, these accommodations generally offer clean rooms and free internet access, and they're often just a short walk from the beach.
© Judy Paris - Hotels in Acapulco
Whether you're looking to relax on the sand or experience some of the local culture, there are plenty of fantastic Acapulco attractions for you to enjoy.
Acapulco is famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, and many are located in the bay area close to hotels, bars, and restaurants. Here are five of the best beaches:
© Elena Pérez Melgarejo - Beach in Acapulco
If you're looking to get away from the beach for a little while, the city has plenty of other attractions on offer. Here are five of the most popular:
© Prayitno - Acapulco Zocalo
Although Acapulco has many well-known sights, there are still hidden gems to discover. Acapulco TripAdvisor offers a number of suggestions for where you can find hidden wonders. Here are four places worth a visit:
© Limor Hader - Roqueta Island Beach
Here are five important Acapulco facts to know: