The Best Acapulco Travel Guide – Few places evoke the glamour quite the way Acapulco does. Fifty years ago, you could board a champagne-filled flight to this crown jewel in the Mexican Riviera and, in a few hours, be mingling with the Hollywood, political, and artistic elite in one of the world’s most fashionable travel destinations .
Things have changed. Today travel to Acapulco, comes with some precautions these days due to the drug-cartel violence that plagues a few neighborhoods of the city. This has brought a drop in tourist numbers in recent years. But with careful planning and awareness, a visit to Acapulco is still safe, and can be just as enjoyable and magical as it was in its heyday.
Thanks to the dropping visitor numbers, Acapulco has now become an affordable place for a Mexican beach vacation. In an effort to lure back travelers, hotels here offer frequent discounts off their already reasonable rates. Acapulco feels much more Mexican these days than its flashier competing beach resorts. The American vibe you get at Cancún or Los Cabos isn’t present here anymore and your fellow vacationers will be primarily Mexican citizens.
It still offers plenty of atmosphere and charm, with romantic cliff-side restaurants, VW Beetle taxis, an impressive 17th-century fort, a world-class botanical garden, cliff divers and the old town’s charming shady zócalo. And when you tire of the crowds, secluded beaches such as Pie de la Cuesta are just a short trip away. According to the U.S. State Department , the violence is not directed toward Americans, but travelers should still remain stay aware of their surroundings. The tourist zones are safe and continually patrolled by tourist police. If you’re at all unsure about your safety, choose a different destination. The destinations along Riviera Maya in the east, including Cancún , Cozumel , and Tulum , currently remain safer alternatives to Mexico’s west coast. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches of the Mexican Riviera, visit here, or visit us on Pinterest. Now view our Acapulco Travel Guide to help plan your next Mexican Riviera vacation!
Acapulco Weather – When to Visit
Acapulco is blessed with year-round nice and warm weather, with only variations in the amount of rain and humidity throughout the season. It has a tropical savanna climate with dry winters. Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are a threat from May through November. The temperature remains fairly steady year-round at Acapulco, with winters averaging daily highs of 87 °F and lows of 74 °F. Summers are just a few degrees hotter, when the days typically heat up to 90 °F and nights cool off to 77 °F.
Any time of the year is good for a visit, but the best is in October or November, right after the rainy season. The crowds are small, the prices reasonable, and the hills green from summer rains. Winter is peak tourist travel season as people from colder destinations seek a reprieve in the warm sun and surf of Acapulco. As mentioned, this is the dry season in Acapulco, and therefore, a great time for all kinds of beach activities, including scuba and snorkeling, fishing, and boating. Average high temperatures range from the high 80s to low 90s between November and March and the temperature hardly ever drops below the 70-degree mark.
Top 5 Acapulco Beaches
Calete & Caletilla
These twin beaches are probably the most traditional ones in Acapulco. The beach is not exclusive or spectacular in any way, yet beach goers go for the experience. There are many restaurants along the beach, so you won’t go hungry.
Isla de la Roqueta
This island offers a popular beach, and snorkeling and diving possibilities. You can rent snorkeling gear, kayaks and more. From Playa Caleta, boats make the eight-minute trip regularly. Glass-bottomed boats also make trips from here or the zócalo, pointing out celebrity dwellings, sea life and the Virgin de los Mares, a submerged bronze Virgin statue. Visibility varies.
OneLa Condesa is one of the most popular beaches in Acapulco. It is a great family beach and you will see lots of children at this beach. There are a variety of water sports available such as windsurfing, snorkeling, jet-skiing, water skiing and even bungee jumping on the beach!
This beach is a popular beach for surfers because of the big waves. There is impressive natural beauty to this beach. Revolcadero can be dangerous with it’s big waves. Not necessarily a swimming beach, but great for enjoying the natural beauty it provides.
This is the largest beach in Acapulco. Playa Icacos is a long stretch of sand right in the heart of Acapulco. Being a long beach, there is something for everyone. In some areas of the beach the surf is strong, in another part of the beach its more tranquil. There are lots of windsurfers at this beach.
Best Acapulco Restaurants
Zibu $31 – 60
A nod to the days when Spanish ships plied the trade routes between Acapulco and the West Indies, bearing foreign spices and other exotic ingredients, Zibu serves creative fusion cuisine with Mexican and Thai influences. Standout dishes include octopus carpaccio with coriander and green apple, and prawns in a mango, ginger, tamarind and chipotle sauce. You can enjoy these dishes on their modern patio terrace, shaded by the palm-thatched roofs of the restaurant with a view of the shoreline and forested slopes of Puerto Marqués Bay. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Telephone: 52-744-433-3069 Web: Zibu.
Tabasco Beach $11 – 30
An Acapulco institution, Tabasco Beach comes into its own each morning with a devoted breakfast clientele. The morning menu runs from the American (think omelets and eggs Benedict) to the Mexican, with salpicón, a mix of flank steak, eggs, and ranchero sauce. The buffet lunch makes it a popular lunch stop for cruise passengers. Evening gives way to a two-for-one happy hour, enjoyed alongside dinner options like red snapper, garlic shrimp, and mustard chicken. The whole production sits a few feet above the beach, creating a quintessential seaside restaurant. Telephone: 52-744-484-1070 Web: Tabasco Beach.
100% Natural $11 – 30
Mexican cuisine may be flavorful and delicious, but it isn’t always healthy. 100% Natural, a small chain with several branches across Acapulco, aims to match great Mexican flavors to nutritious, wholesome ingredients. From breakfasts of fresh fruit and muesli to wholegrain and gluten-free versions of Mexican lunchtime classics, you’ll find an extensive menu here with plenty of vegetarian options. While their pastas and noodle dishes are quite tasty, the salad options are particularly strong, enriched by nuts, seeds and sprouted grains to fuel you up without weighing you down. The Café Del Mar location is especially appealing thanks to its proximity to La Caleta beach, though the Magallanes branch is also a contender with its pontoon seating and lovely views of the bay. Telephone: 52-744-480-1450 Web: 100% Natural.
Pesca’O $11 – 30
A seafood shack decked out with nautical bric-à-brac and old movie posters, Pesca’O serves outstanding fish tacos, punchy shrimp cocktails, and lime-laced ceviche, along with margaritas and cold beers. Their most popular, highly rated specialties include the seafood-stuffed chilies and the yellow fin tuna carpaccio. Desserts of flambéed bananas and chocolate brownies à la mode are simple but satisfying, and the price is right. Just a short walk from the beach, Pesca’O is popular with both locals and visitors. Its dining room is a good bit smaller than its widespread reputation, so get there early if you want to beat the line. Telephone: 52-744-481-3104 Web: Pesca’O.
Becco al Mare $31 – 60
Another of Acapulco’s fashionable, recent arrivals, Becco al Mare is an Italian restaurant with a minimalist white interior and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Like Zibu and many of Acapulco’s more upmarket restaurants, it’s set back off the Avenida Escenica, which follows the coast out of town; to make the most of the views, look for a seat on the terrace. On their expansive menu, you’ll find exquisite seafood dishes like grilled lobster with rosemary butter, fresh pasta with mussels and saffron, and risotto with melted taleggio cheese. Becco al Mare also boasts one of Acapulco’s most comprehensive wine cellars, stocked with over 4,000 bottles. Telephone: 52-744-446-7402 Web: Becco al Mare.
Best Acapulco Bars Nightlife
This cliff-side club generally welcomes a younger, rowdier crowd that enjoys the equally fabulous views and the dancing platforms set in the glass windows overlooking the bay. Around 3am, Silver Man, complete with an Aztec headdress, performs, followed by a spray of fireworks outside the windows. Telephone: 52-744-446-5490 Web: Palladium.
This longtime favorite is a throwback to the town’s heady disco days, but the music is contemporary. The mid-to-late 20s crow dances to everything from house to hip-hop, techno to dance. Baby’O has a dance floor surrounded by several tiers of tables, serviced by 5 bars. This is a great club for those who enjoy a more intimate setting. Telephone: 52-55-4615-9378 Web: Baby’O.
This high-tech club boasts an exterior of reflection pools, gardens, and flaming torches. Inside, stadium seating, booths, and round tables surround the vast dance floor. The disco doubles as a venue for concerts and live performances. The dress code forbids shorts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, sandals, and jeans. Average age here is late teens to early 20s. Telephone: 52-744-484-6848 Web: El Alebrije.
This club offers a fantastic bay view. It caters to a more mature crowd, and admits only those over 25. The club periodically projects a laser show across the bay. The dress code prohibits shorts, jeans, t-shirts, or sandals. Reservations are recommended. Telephone: 52-744-446-5691.
Carlos ‘n’ Charlies
For fun, danceable music and good food, you can’t go wrong with the place. It’s always packed. So get there early and get a seat on the terrace overlooking the Costera. This is a great place to go for late dinner and a few drinks before moving on to a club. Telephone: 52-744-462-2104 Web: Carlos ‘n’ Charlies.