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The Beach Near the Port of Acapulco

Acapulco, Mexico Information
Contributed by
Nancy Norris

Language and Currency
What is Acapulco Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Acapulco, Mexico Port Reviews

Language and Currency

Spanish is the official language, but many of the residents speak at least a modicum of English. The official currency is the Mexican Peso, but US currency is widely accepted

What is Acapulco like?

The City of Acapulco

On the west coast of Mexico, 300 miles south of Mexico City, a natural harbor is the setting for this beautiful city on the bay. This 4 mile stretch, lined by beaches and framed by mountains offers views that are nothing short of spectacular! Billed as Mexico’s first resort, during the 50’s and early 60’s, Acapulco was THE playground of the rich and famous. Pollution, over-commercialization and corruption tarnished its image and its popularity declined. In recent years Acapulco has experienced a resurgence, however, and it is once again becoming a popular destination for those who love late night dinners at fabulous restaurants, dancing until dawn at glitzy discos and lounging on sun-drenched beaches all day. Inhabited for thousands of years by Aztecs, Acapulco was originally the center of the fishing and trading industry. Who would have ever imagined it would become a flashy resort city that pulses with 24-7, non-stop energy.

What is the weather like?

This is a tropical resort that boasts of 360 days of sun each year. Daily temperatures range from 72-91°F, with daytime temperatures in the winter often in the upper 80’s. There is only a few degrees difference between winter and summer months. Be sure to pack your sunscreen as the suns rays can get quite intense.

Where does the ship dock?

The Port of Acapulco

A relatively new cruise terminal has been built in the downtown area across from the Zocalo (Town Square). Most of the “action” is located at Playa Condesa on the Zona Dorado (Golden Zone), east of the terminal. One of the plentiful VW Bug taxis can get you into the center of town for $2US. But taxi fares are not pre-set, so make sure you negotiate the price before you embark on your ride. There are excellent beaches within easy walking distance of the port in both directions.

Where is the shopping?

Acapulco's Municipal Market

Boutiques, department stores, upscale chains and local craft markets line Avenida Costera Miquel Alemán, the main artery through town (known by the locals as “Costera”). If you are looking for the local experience, head for the Mercado Municipal (within walking distance of the cruise terminal) or Mercado de Artesanias, near Cinco de Mayo in the downtown Zocalo. Be prepared to barter.

What is there to buy?

In the markets you will find silver, embroidered cotton clothing, pottery, hand-painted ceramic plates and papier-mâché items. Leather sandals, Guerrero masks and hand-carved wooden items are probably the best buy. The is also a wealth of souvenirs of every possible description; tee shirts, key chains, shot glasses, trinkets, shells and items made from shells, puppets and lots more.

What is there to do?

A Typical Restaurant on the Beach at Acapulco

Acapulco is a party town, but the real action doesn’t begin until late at night. Late night revelers don’t begin to fill the numerous flashy discos, dance clubs and bars until 11:00 pm. However, the party doesn’t really get started until midnight, but goes until sunrise. Most of the dance clubs have a hefty cover ($10 low season to $30 during high season), but the cover charge often includes your drinks. If you are not into the late night scene, there are other alternatives.

La Quebrada, Home of Acapulco's Cliff Divers

Perhaps one of the most famous tourist activities is a visit to La Quebrada, where the cliff divers perform nightly. My suggestion would be to forego the dinner packages that are offered and watch from the viewing deck. Dinners are mediocre and, in my opinion, way over-priced. (Particularly when there are so many fabulous dining opportunities in Acapulco). The divers perform daily at 1:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 pm.

The Entrance to the Zocalo

Spend some time wandering around the Zocalo, enjoying the festive atmosphere and cafés, under the shade of the rubber and mango trees.

The Cathedral on the Zocalo

Stop by the Cathedral on the Plaza. You can’t miss its Moorish-style, sky-blue domes.

Acapulco's Fort San Diego

Visit the Historical Museum of Acapulco housed in the once active Fort San Diego.

Looking Out One of the Windows of Fort San Diego

Spend the day on the beach where you can parasail, bungee-jump, rent jet-skis, or just lounge on the marvelous stretch of sand. There are some excellent golf courses and tennis and horse-back riding are also available. At the marina in town, boats offer a variety of tours for both fishing and sight-seeing. Make sure to allow some time to barter with the locals at one of the craft markets. Some of the best restaurants in Mexico are located in Acapulco, so take advantage of the bountiful fare.

Is there anything of “Don’t Miss” quality?

Acapulco's El Miradore Hotel
Home of La Perla and the Cliff Divers

A visit to Acapulco would not be complete without seeing the cliff divers at La Quebrada.

Are there any great restaurants or bars?

Actually I have 3 recommendations, each offering a completely different dining experience. First, for a glimpse of Acapulco in its heyday, not to mention some outstanding shrimp and a gorgeous sunset view, try Hoteles Los Flamingos. Located in the hills above Caleta and Caletilla, in Old Acapulco this is a restaurant made famous by such stars as Johnny Weissmuller and John Wayne. Second, for an upscale dining experience of succulent steak, sample the fare at La Mansion, located along the “Costera”. Finally, if you are looking for great atmosphere, with excellent seafood, reasonably priced, visit The Shack, also located along the “Costera”. This place doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once inside you are in for a real treat.

 Port Reviews

  • JK Patrick,

    J. M. Patrick Pretty faded from its heyday of the 70s and 80s. The ship will try to steer you towards the few expensive stores where they have pre-established arrangements made. more

    92 users found this review helpful.
  • Donna Sherf,

    Acapulco is a tourist resort abundantly favored by nature. It faces the Pacific Ocean with two splendid bays that possess natural coves, steep cliffs and more

    86 users found this review helpful.
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