The best things to do in Acapulco naturally start at the city’s fabulous beaches, but there’s more to the place than just sun, sea, and sand. Having been a popular tourist destination since the 1950s, it has a good number of attractions and distractions to keep you entertained for the duration of your stay.

    Acapulco has a very well-established reputation for its wild nightlife, to the extent that cruise ships routinely stop in the city’s large bay just to allow their passengers to ‘go loco’, as the famous Four Tops song put it. While Acapulco may have lost some of its notoriety to the likes of Cabo San Lucas and Cancun, this list will show you that there’s still plenty to see and do in the Pearl of the Pacific.

    What are the best things to do in Acapulco?

    1

    Acapulco beaches

    Take your pick of golden-sand beaches

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    The beaches of Acapulco are arguably what catapulted the Mexican city to stardom in the mid-20th century and they remain one of the star attractions. They are, for the most part, everything you would hope for from a beach – huge tracts of soft golden sand, bordered by sparkling seas and great facilities.

    Right at the back of the Acapulco Bay, Playa Condesa is one of the city’s most popular beaches, with plenty of other great options around it. Out on the headland of Las Playas, you’ll find the small but extremely popular Playa Caletilla and Playa Caleta right next to each other. For something more peaceful, consider Playa Revolcadero or Playa Majahua in Punta Diamante. All of these beaches have a wide range of facilities include sun loungers, nearby bars and restaurants, and water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, snorkelling, and more.

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    La Quebrada cliffs

    Watch the graceful and daring cliff divers

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    The cliffs of La Quebrada are among the most iconic scenes in Acapulco – or, to be more precise, the image of people leaping from them is. At about 40 metres high, it’s certainly a feat of skill and courage – one that has been entertaining visitors since 1934.

    To clarify, this is an organised show rather than something that you can try for yourself. The waves are pretty rough and the cliffs form a very narrow chasm, making it a very risky activity. Clearly, these professional divers have a lot of experience helping to make sure they dive into the right place. It's a spellbinding display, which you can enjoy from surrounding viewpoints.

    Lokasi: La Quebrada 25, Centro, 39300 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Telepon: +52 744 688 4300

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    Acapulco Historical Museum of Fort San Diego

    Learn more about the city and its long history

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    The Acapulco Historical Museum of Fort San Diego started as one of the Spanish Empire's most important Pacific-coast fortifications. Originally built around 1616 to protect Acapulco from pirates, it was so severely damaged in an earthquake in 1776 that it was completely rebuilt a couple of years later. The formidable defences of the new star-shaped fort were put to the test during the Mexican War of Independence and the Mexican Revolution.

    The fort first became a museum in 1949 and opened to the public in 1986. Its artefacts cover the entire history of Acapulco from Mezcala culture to the fort’s role in shaping modern Mexican culture. The nearby Museo de la Máscara can provide a more detailed look at the pre-Colombian population of the area. The fort museum is open every day except Monday, with free entry on Sundays.

    Lokasi: Hornitos s/n, Centro, 39300 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Buka: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Telepon: +52 744 482 1114

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    Isla la Roqueta

    Discover the natural beauty above and beneath the waves

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    Isla la Roqueta is a jungle-covered island about 300 metres off the mainland coast. There's no permanent population here, but its beautiful beaches are home to a few small restaurants. While reaching these beaches takes a little more effort, they're much less crowded than those on the mainland, making it a great place to enjoy the paradisical surroundings in peace.

    The main activity to do on and around Roqueta Island is snorkelling. The waters here are beautifully clear, with plenty of tropical fish to spot. There's also the Capilla Submarina – an underwater monument to the Virgin of Guadeloupe. If you'd rather stay dry, the island has a network of hiking trails you can explore, some of which pass by a lighthouse and various viewpoints.

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    Diego Rivera's mosaic mural

    See some of the famous artist’s last works

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    Diego Rivera’s name will certainly be familiar to anyone with an interest in Mexican art. His famous frescoes started an entire national and international art movement. He left his mark in Acapulco in the form of a large mural on the side of what is now a cultural centre – Centro Cultural La Casa de los Vientos.

    As with many of his works, Rivera’s 1957 mural in Acapulco depicts scenes from Mexico’s pre-Columbian cultures. In this case, it shows Quetzalcóatl, a feathered serpent that played a very important role in the Aztec pantheon. The house itself, which is also known as Exekatlkalli, was Rivera’s home for the last couple of years of his turbulent and controversial life.

    Lokasi: Inalámbrica, Las Playas, 39390 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Telepon: +52 744 482 1161

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    Chapel of Peace

    Watch the sunset from Acapulco’s highest point

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    The Chapel of Peace (La Capilla de la Paz) is a striking church towards the eastern end of Acapulco, though it’s more famous for the views offered by its clifftop location. It’s an easy spot to find thanks to the 40-metre-tall white crucifix, as well as being the highest point in the city. The church itself was built in the 1970s and has a distinctive A-frame design from that decade.

    The chapel isn't really the reason you'll want to investigate this particular spot. The view across Acapulco, especially at sunset, is fantastic. Being in a relatively quiet neighbourhood and with a lovely garden on the chapel's grounds, it's a haven of peace in a bustling city. For the best photos, look for Las Manos de la Hermandad (The Hands of Brotherhood), a sculpture of clasped hands by Claudio Favier that provides a fantastic frame for your sunset shots.

    Lokasi: 2a. Cda. Vientos Cardinales S/N, La Brisa, 39867 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Buka: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Telepon: +52 744 446 5458

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    7

    Zócalo

    Hang with the locals outside Acapulco Cathedral

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    The Zócalo is the central square and main hub of any vaguely busy Mexican town – in Acapulco’s case, a role taken by Plaza Álvarez. Bordering the Acapulco Bay at one end, the square’s inland end is dominated by the beautiful Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (also known as the Our Lady of Solitude Cathedral or just Acapulco Cathedral).

    The Zócalo has always been a bustling meeting point for locals and, as such, it’s ringed with cafés and restaurants, as well as a few shops. You can also choose to sit in the shade of the trees and enjoy some people watching. The square makes a good starting point for trips around the older part of town, with several noteworthy attractions within easy walking distance.

    Lokasi: Juan Álvarez, Las Cruces, 39770 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

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    Laguna de Tres Palos

    Experience unspoilt nature within easy reach of Acapulco

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    The Laguna de Tres Palos is a massive lagoon just behind Punta Diamante and Barra Vieja, which has added an ecotourism element to the many reasons to visit Acapulco. Tres Palos Lagoon is located to the south of the city, with the slightly smaller Coyuca Lagoon to the north. Both provide natural habitats for migrating birds, which you can explore on tour boat rides.

    Uniquely among Acapulco’s lagoons, Tres Palos contains a beautiful lotus flower garden in its farther reaches. The clay in this lagoon is said to be an excellent beauty treatment, too, supposedly taking 10 to 15 years off your appearance. Boat crews will happily gather the mud for you to give it a test.

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    Punta Diamante

    Check out the upscale side of Acapulco

    Punta Diamante (Diamond Point) is the fast-developing tourist enclave of Acapulco, located south and to the east of the city. A lot of investment into the area has created a small but luxurious neighbourhood, packed with excellent restaurants, hotels, shops, and activity centres.

    The beaches of Punta Diamante tend to be quieter than those in the city centre, though they're also less peaceful. The waves here come right out of the Pacific Ocean and tend to be best left to surfers and strong swimmers, with Playa Revolcadero known as the best for board sports. For a safer adrenaline rush, check out the zipline courses at Xtasea Tirolesa.

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    Costera Street

    The nightlife hub of Acapulco

    Costera Street is the main hub of Acapulco’s famous nightlife. Fully named Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán, the road runs parallel with the main beaches of Acapulco Bay for the majority of its shore. Most of its length is lined with beach bars, restaurants, and world-famous nightclubs, as well as some luxury hotels and resorts towards the eastern end.

    Among the top venues along Costera Street are Disco Beach, Baby`O Acapulco, Baby Lobster, Barbarroja and various hotel bars and beach clubs. Once you’ve got some liquid courage in your system, you might be tempted to check out Paradise Bungy Acapulco.

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