Acapulco Travel Guide

Situated on one of the loveliest bays on the Mexican coast and backed by the evergreen Sierra foothills, Acapulco is the Queen of Mexican beach resorts. The loudest and most famous in the country, it has 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. Travellers will find calm waters, sun bathing and seafront dining of international quality. One of the few downsides of Acapulco is the overcrowded old town area, though it's easy enough to ignore this feature along the glitzy holiday resort strip, with its shopping plazas, restaurants and beaches.

Visitors to Acapulco can also watch the Quebrada cliff divers, who've been a famous local institution since the 1930s. They're known for jumping 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 renowned Palladium to salsa dancing at numerous clubs and bars. There are loads of options for those seeking retail therapy, ranging from native products to upmarket offerings. Many upscale boutiques sell well-known designer labels that 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 La Gran Plaza, situated on the Costera.