Old and new hotels, cultural attractions, and entertainment make Mexico’s glitzy seaport city one of the most vibrant Pacific holiday ports in the country. The 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were boom years for Acapulco, when hundreds of luxury resorts cropped up in the hills and along the shoals of the bay to accommodate the wave of celebrities and millionaires who flocked here to party beneath palapas. Today, Acapulco continues to attract the rich and famous with cutting-edge design, as well as the classic lures of sunshine and margaritas.
Breakfast: 100% Natural – While this cafe also serves lunch and dinner, its breakfasts are really the star attraction, as much for their organic ingredients as their abundant choice. Whether you order fruit shakes, pecan-studded pancakes, or huevos rancheros, nothing on the menu disappoints.
Lunch: Hotel Boca Chica – Half of the delight of going to Hotel Boca Chica is sticking around for a long, lazy lunch — luxuriating by the hotel’s kidney-shaped pool with a cool pour of sake or a michelada. Executive Chef Keisuke Harada carves up some of Mexico’s finest sushi, so sit beneath the hotel’s giant palm-thatched palapa and fuel up on maki or sashimi before heading to the pool for drinks.
Snack: Hotel Los Flamingos – In addition to amazing hilltop views of wonderfully ruinous midcentury private homes, Hotel Los Flamingos serves up some of the tastiest guacamole and hot-from-the-fryer tortilla chips. The margaritas are generous, tart, and strong, and the bill for it all, when it arrives, is one of Acapulco’s finest bargains.
Tip: Instead of sitting down for a full meal that cuts into your brief time in town, consider snacking all day long on the local specialties served up at beach-side bar shacks and waterfront hotel restaurants so you can explore as you graze on zesty ceviche and skewers of grilled snapper.
For Everyone: La Quebrada cliff divers – What began as a tribute to the Virgin de Guadalupe is today one of Acapulco’s most iconic, daily tourist attractions. A public viewing platform at the top of the cliffs near the divers provides an excellent view, or you can choose to watch their daredevil stunts from Hotel Mirador’s restaurant and lounge. Cliff divers perform daily at 1 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm, though inclement weather may affect the schedule. You don’t want to miss the show: These courageous divers leap from sawtooth rock cliffs, elegantly falling into the crashing waves below.
For Couples: Banyan Tree Spa Cabo Marques – This spa is tranquil and secluded, with fabulous views of the bay and the city. Best of all, couples can reserve long, slow massages with sesame oil — or lemongrass and ginger scrubs — in shared rooms or on their own.
For Families: Cici Parque Acuatico – When Acapulco’s temperature spikes, skip the beach and head to this water park for family entertainment that won’t break the bank. You can cool off by tubing down big water slides, bobbing in the giant seaside pool, lounging beneath umbrellas, and swimming with dolphins.
For the Adventurous: Viator Acapulco Snorkeling Tours – Perfect for those who want to spend the day in the water, these tours are just under $50 per person and offer clients transportation to and from La Roqueta Island. Once there, besides a teaming ecosystem of colorful marine life, you’ll find beautiful coves, secluded beaches, and a few good restaurants where you can fuel up on fish tacos in between dives.
Acapulco is a big city, and traveling between the newer and older areas can take up to an hour during traffic jams. Map out your plan for the day before you arrive to minimize travel time.