Pin This

Discover Mexico's oldest beach resort, Acapulco

© Creative Commons / Rodolfo Cardas

Acapulco beaches

Dazzling lights frame Acapulco Bay at night, when Mexico's oldest beach resort comes to life. Acapulco was wildly glamorous in the 1950s, when Hollywood stars and the European elite played in gorgeous villas around Las Brisas, the famed pink and white hotel overlooking the bay. These days the mid-range hotels lined side-by-side along the Costera are packed with travellers seeking modest prices and rowdy beach bars, while the Las Brisas area still attracts a well-heeled clientele. A new destination with all-inclusive and timeshare resorts and golf courses is rising at Acapulco Diamante near the airport.


Acapulco's main beaches along the Costera are packed with sunbathers most days. Holidaymakers can hire parasails, inflatables and jet skis beside most hotels. The surf can be strong along the Costera and the water's not at its cleanest after summer and fall rain showers. Swimming is more pleasant in the waters off Isla Roqueta, a small island a short boat ride from Old Acapulco.

Beyond the beach

The traditional center of the city is the zócalo, also called Plaza Alvarez, in Old Acapulco southwest of the Costera. El Fuerte de San Diego (Avenidas Costera Alemán and Hornitos) overlooks the bay from a slight hill. The star-shaped fort, originally constructed in 1616 and rebuilt after the 1776 earthquake, is home to an impressive historical and nautical museum.

Family fun

For all sorts of water fun take the kids to CICI (Costera Alemán at Colón), a wildly popular water park with water slides and wave machines. Mágico Mundo Aquarium (Playa Caleta in Old Acapulco) is a combination amusement park, beach club, and aquarium with seals, tropical fish, turtles, and alligators on display. Kiddie-sized amusement rides, a roller-skating area, and a shady lagoon with boats bring local families to Parque Papagayo (Costera Miguel Alemán at Calle Manuel Gómez Morín 1), especially popular on weekend afternoons.

Exploring further

For the best sunsets head to Pie de la Cuesta, a small beach town about a 25-minute cab ride west of the city. The long beach lined with palapa (palm-thatch) seafood cafes is pleasant escape from the bustling Costera, and nearby Laguna Coyuca is a great spot for boating and waterskiing.

Splashing out

Far removed from the hubbub on the Costera, the Fairmont Pierre Marques (Playa Revolcadero s/n) ( exudes an air of refined luxury. Built by J Paul Getty as a secluded getaway in 1958, the hotel now has a series of bungalows with private plunge pools set amid lush tropical gardens. The best suites overlook the waves pounding the sand at Playa Revolcadero, a long beach perfect for sunset walks. The restaurants are excellent, and guests have access to all facilities at the Fairmont Princess next door.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.