What to Do in Acapulco
If you enjoy the nightlife, then an Acapulco vacation is a great match. The area is well-known for its bustling nightlife, which is active on Friday and Saturday nights all year, and every night of the week during the spring break season. Many of the Acapulco discos are open from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM and the cover charge, which starts at about $25, covers all you can drink (with a few club exceptions). Bars in Acapulco are similar to those found elsewhere. Most don’t have live music, but many of them are open-air bars, making it easier to hop from one to another. Among the most popular nightclubs are El Alebrije, a bar that holds up to 5,000 people, and the Palladium, located on a cliff with an entire wall of windows along the dance floor that overlook the city.
Thrill Invoking Activities
There are several activities available in Acapulco that are not for the faint at heart. You can go parasailing off of Condesa Beach or take a hot air balloon ride overlooking the bay. If you want to experience the thrill of falling, bungee Jump off the cliffs at La Condesa or ride the skycoaster, a giant swing, located at the beach.
Take the family for a fun day of great water rides. There are also dolphin shows and opportunities to swim with the dolphins within the park. To save on park entrance fees, buy something at a local grocery store and ask the clerk to stamp your receipt. Show this receipt when buying tickets at Cici and you may get a discount (it’s worth the effort even if it doesn’t work).
There are places to rent equipment for water sports all along the beach, so you really don’t have to worry about bringing your own supplies. The list of possible things to do in the water is as long as your imagination can make it. You can try boogie boarding, surfing, scuba diving or snorkeling. Rent a catamaran or take a glass bottom boat ride. You could even experience a deep sea fishing excursion.
What to See in Acapulco
Clavadistas (“cliff divers” in Mexican) are a must see while on an Acapulco vacation, diving from cliffs as high as 130 feet from the water. Find a restaurant along the cliffs of La Quebrada and enjoy lunch or dinner while you watch the divers in action. Show times start around 1:00 PM (depending on the season) and go well into the evening.
Barra de Coyuca
Sunset at Barra de Coyuca, where the bay meets the lagoon, is a breathtaking experience. You may have to do a bit of climbing and work to get there, but it’s well worth the effort.
Fuerte de San Diego
Near the Zocalo you will find the Fuerte de San Diego. Built in the 18th century to protect Acapulco from pirate attacks, the fort is now a museum depicting the history of Acapulco. This is a great family attraction.
Where to Shop and Eat in Acapulco
The Zocalo, called Plaza Juan Álvarez, is the main public square in the oldest part of Acapulco. The architecture is beautiful and there are plenty of places to shop and eat while there. Check out the Roman Catholic Cathedral, local restaurants and sidewalk cafes, ice cream shops and small local boutiques. The tree shaded area is great for a relaxing afternoon stroll. The weekends are great for people watching and live music.
El Sombrero Cantina restaurant offers an opportunity to enjoy authentic Mexican food, as well as some seafood platters. There’s also a bar and, for those with a little more energy, a mechanical bull to ride. Las Canastas is also one of the more popular Mexican restaurants in town. With rarely a table open, if you get the chance to stop in, it’s well worth the try. If you’re in the mood for a little Italian and an excellent city view, try Casanova. If you want a view of the cliff divers, try La Perla, which not only offers lunch and dinner, but breakfast and Mexican pastries as well.
There’s nothing like a Mexican market to make your trip worth while, and part of the fun is bartering with merchants to get a great price. Visit the Artisan’s Mall, across from Plaza Bahia, which offers an open-air market atmosphere with several arts and crafts vendors to choose from. If you’d rather not bargain and prefer great deals from the start, the Fermin may be the store for you. Located near the La Diana circle in La Condesa, Fermin offers some of the best souvenir prices in Acapulco. You can also visit one of the malls in the area such as La Gran Plaza, Gallerias Diana or Plaza Bahia.
When to Visit Acapulco
The climate in Acapulco is consistently warm, ranging from highs in the 90’s to lows in the 70’s all year round. So if warmth is what you’re seeking, then the time of your vacation matters very little. However, Acapulco does have a full-stream rainy season with an average of 30 to 35 inches of rain per month from June to October, which also results in high humidity. In fact, peak travel season in Acapulco is December to April, especially around spring break during the end of February/first part of March. If you plan to travel there with your family, you may want to avoid the rowdy crowds of the spring break holiday. Be aware that, during peak travel season, you’ll likely pay 20 to 50 percent more on everything from hotels to food to taxi services. This is also the case during holidays such as Easter, Christmas and New Year’s because of the increased number of vacationers.
If you decidedly want to avoid the crowds and are looking for some great deals, then a visit during the rainy season may be your best option, if you don’t mind getting a little wet nearly every day. However, avoid booking a trip from late July to early August, because that’s when many of the Acapulco year-long residents go on vacation, which means no one will be there to cater to your needs and desires. To get the best of everything – sunshine and limited crowds – book your vacation for May or November.
What to Bring to Acapulco
Since the weather rarely changes, packing for a vacation time is fairly simple. First and foremost, you’ll need a passport in order to get back into the United States (2007 Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative). The passport process can take awhile – sometimes as long as three months – so plan accordingly.
Your swimsuit and sunscreen are a must. You’ll absolutely want to bring your camera, even if it’s just to capture the awe inspiring cliff divers in action. If you plan to visit during the rainy season to save money, then you’ll likely want to pack some rain gear, such as a rain poncho or small umbrella.
Getting to Acapulco
Most international airports offer services to Acapulco from the United States. You will likely fly in to the Mexico City International Airport (MEX) and then take a 35 minute flight to Juan N. Alvarez International Airport of Acapulco (ACA).
If you plan to travel by bus, take a service to any major bus station in Mexico. Greyhound offers service to Mexico City. Then take a Mexican bus line to Acapulco. Be sure to pay the extra bit for an “ejectivo” (executive) service, which includes air conditioned buses, snacks and even on-board movies.
By Cruise Ship
Acapulco is a popular sea port destination for cruise ships from South America, Europe and North America. If you book an Acapulco cruise, then you will likely spend at least two days at port, giving you an opportunity to enjoy all that a vacation in Acapulco has to offer.
Why Acapulco vacation rentals?
There’s no better way to enjoy Acapulco than in a vacation rental. Especially if you visit during the busier seasons, the hotels will be crowded and noisy. Staying in Acapulco vacation homes allows you to enjoy your vacation without those bothersome party animals in the hotel room next to you keeping your family awake.
The amenities also make you feel more relaxed and at home, with advantages such as a fully-equipped kitchen, private beach-front property, a washer and dryer, beautiful decks overlooking the water and hot tubs. There is also plenty of room for everyone to vacation under the same roof and still have their own space.