Is Acapulco worth visiting? The Mexican port city is riding a slight rollercoaster with its tourism, so it is a valid question. Sat on the Pacific Coast, Acapulco has many benefits of a coastal Mexican metropolis – with beaches and infrastructure galore.
In the 1950s, Acapulco was one of the glitziest resort towns in Mexico. And it was only in the 2000s that the city’s fancy reputation took a dive. An increase in crime and its media portrayal as unsafe meant many tourists opted for alternative Mexican destinations, like Cancun. However, over recent years, Acapulco’s reputation as a tourist destination has been rebuilding. And, for this reason, we would say yes, Acapulco is worth visiting.
Aside from a renewed safety stance, Acapulco has lots of attractions and qualities that make it worth visiting. To help you decide, here are our carefully selected reasons to visit Acapulco.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Nightlife
Who doesn’t love Mexican nightlife? And partiers will particularly enjoy Acapulco’s chaotic mix of clubs and bars.
If foam parties, raves, and sleek cocktail bars, sound good to you, it’s worth visiting Acapulco. While the city doesn’t get as much attention as Cancun, it attracts more partiers traveling from other areas of Mexico and tourists who are already complete Acapulco converts.
To attend that foam party we mentioned, head to Disco Beach on a Friday. The venue is located right on the beach – making it the perfect spot to let your hair down and enjoy relaxing coastal scenery. Wednesdays at Disco Beach should also make your diary, as the venue hosts weekly Ladies Nights.
Alternatively, for an ultimate nightclub experience, Palladium is your best choice. On Fridays and Saturdays, the club is full throttle until the early hours of the morning. Perfect for those craving an all-night party with dance music.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Aquatic Sports
While this may seem a vague reason, Acapulco has many aquatic sports to draw tourists to the city.
The main sport is cliff diving, which tourists can famously witness at La Quebrada. From the clifftops, watching the talented divers jump from over 115ft is beyond exhilarating. The perfected timing and technique are more than enough to tempt crowds to watch the divers’ daily shows.
Acapulco’s bay also makes it the perfect place for swimming and snorkeling. Unlike much of Mexico’s coast, its waters are protected and safe to enjoy. In addition to this factor, the nearby Isla de Roqueta has amassed a reputation for its colorful marine life. When visiting Acapulco, you will find lots of snorkeling tour options.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: History
For history lovers, it’s hard to find a better Mexican destination than Acapulco.
The city’s history dates far back to pre-Hispanic history and has a major Mayan and Aztec influence. In fact, Acapulco was first inhabited by Nahua Indians – who both predate the Aztecs and Mayans. It was not until the 1520s that the city came under European rule, with the Spanish arriving and colonizing the land.
Throughout the 20th century, Acapulco became magnetic for tourism and experienced exponential growth in tourist infrastructure. Fortunately, the city’s historical sites were also preserved during this time.
The Fort of San Diego is one site to add to your Acapulco itinerary. The fort was originally constructed in 1617 and has seen action ever since – including the Mexican War of Independence and French Intervention. Visitors can also include the Acapulco History Museum on a trip to the fort, as it is conveniently located on-site to provide more detailed information about city history.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Food
Acapulco is an absolute culinary delight. The city is also true to coastal stereotypes, and visitors can expect lots of chances to indulge in delicious, freshly caught seafood.
For those who like a bit of spice, we’d recommend the Pescado a la Talla. The dish uses snapper fish and gets its reputation from its spicy marination process. The fish is served grilled and is widely available at restaurants – making it an easy dish to find and sample.
In terms of restaurants to visit, La Finca Acapulco Diamante is a deservingly popular choice. For an upscale dining experience in the heart of Acapulco’s exclusive Diamante district, you cannot go wrong with La Finca. The venue is great for those looking to enjoy local Mexican cuisine in true comfort. Visitors should try the Camarones al coco (coconut shrimp) and ceviche.
Alternatively, on a smaller budget, Che Pibe is a renowned steakhouse. The venue is conveniently located in Acapulco’s Costa Azul district and a short walk from the beachfront. What better way to finish a day on the beach than sitting down to a steak?
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Native Animals
If you love getting up close to native animals when traveling, Mexico is already an excellent choice for you. However, Acapulco is a particularly good spot for native animal experiences.
Acapulco is a hotspot for turtles, and, between June and November, turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Sadly, these turtles are classified as endangered animals and face conservation issues due to poaching and natural predators. To combat this, locals have erected two conservation camps in Acapulco to protect turtle eggs and help the newborn turtles reach the ocean successfully.
If you want to visit the camps, the easiest way is by booking a tour through a third party. As local initiatives, many of the camps don’t have websites and can be difficult to contact. Viator offers a day trip for $70 which combines releasing baby turtles at a conservation camp and a horseback beach ride.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Nature
Of course, Acapulco’s extensive beaches are usually the first natural draw to the city. The city’s coasts are split into two sections – the Costa Grande and Costa Chica. These sections translate as the big and little coasts and run from the North and South of Acapulco.
However, the city offers many other encounters with nature. The Sierra Madre del Sur, Mexico’s renowned mountain range, sits just behind the city. Acapulco’s proximity to the mountains is a strong reason to visit the city for hiking and climbing lovers. The section is part of the range’s Southern Highlands and makes a great option for recreational hiking because of its lower elevation.
Another natural draw of Acapulco is its lagoons. The city has freshwater and saltwater lagoons formed by sandbar deposits in sheltered bays along the coast. However, Acapulco’s most notable freshwater lagoon is the Laguna Tres Palos. Laguna Tres Palos is a large lagoon with a series of scenic canals to explore by a tour, or self-drive, boat. Alternatively, if you like to explore at speed, you can opt to adventure the lagoon’s canals via jetski, which are available for hire on-site. Whether you want to swim, boat, admire flora and fauna, or even enjoy a natural escape – the Laguna Tres Palos is deservingly a popular option.
Reasons To Visit Acapulco: Variety of Accommodation Types
Is Acapulco worth visiting? In a word, yes. Acapulco’s varied accommodation types and districts are another reason to visit the city. When it comes to effectively catering to tourism, Acapulco proves that versatility is key.
Are you chasing exclusivity? Golf courses, spa resorts, upscale hospitality, and doorstep beach access? Acapulco Diamante is for you. The area is known for its luxury and is great for those wanting an indulgent resort introduction to Mexico’s coast. When searching for hotels, you should consider properties such as Palacio Mundo Imperial or the Quinta Real Acapulco.
Or are you wanting authenticity and historic immersion? If so, Acapulco Tradicional is a better choice for you. The Acapulco Tradicional district includes Acapulco’s Old Town and many of its attractions, making it an ideal neighborhood for those looking to sightsee and stay amid the action. For higher budgets, the Mirador Acapulco is a luxury property built into a cliff-face – providing stunning coastal views and easy access to the Old Town. The Hotel Acapulco offers centrality, proximity to La Quebrada, and excellent value for money for more budget-conscious travelers. Booking.com lists prices starting from $17 a night.