Situated on one of the loveliest bays on the Mexican coast and backed by the evergreen vegetation of the Sierra foothills. Acapulco is the Queen of Mexican beach resorts, the loudest and most famous in the country with non-stop energy, high-rise hotels and a glittering nightlife, along with silver white shores and an enormous range of holiday activities.

The main attraction in Acapulco is the string of beaches that sweep around the bay, each offering a different atmosphere and ample opportunities for watersports, with calm waters, sun bathing and seafront dining of international quality. One of the few downsides of Acapulco is the overcrowded old town area, but it's easy enough to ignore this with plenty to keep visitors happy along the glitzy holiday resort strip, with its shopping plazas, restaurants and beaches.

A famous Acapulco institution since the 1930s are the Quebrada cliff divers, who jump gracefully from a height of 148ft (45m) into the seemingly shallow water of a narrow chasm in the ocean below after praying at the small rock shrine for safety. Active pursuits abound, such as bungy jumping, horse riding or mountain biking, as well as tennis and golf on one of four great championship courses. Local operators offer popular jungle tours, snorkelling expeditions and the ever-popular sunset cruises.

The nightlife is varied, from big parties at the famous Palladium to salsa dancing at numerous clubs and bars. There's also loads of options for those seeking retail therapy, ranging from native products to upmarket offerings. Many upscale boutiques sell well-known designer labels which pepper the streets of the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), also dubbed Mexico's 'Sunset Boulevard'. As far as modern malls go, Acapulco's biggest is Le Gran Plaza, situated on the Costera.

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