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We kick off the list with a classic tourist attraction in Acapulco, and with good reason. La Quebrada features men jumping from high off the cliff walls, often twisting and turning acrobatically in the air, before safely landing in the waters at the bottom. It is true entertainment, both nerve-wracking and incredibly impressive all in one go. The two ledges that constitute the jumping platforms are 40ft and 8ft high, respectively, meaning that this is not one for the fainthearted. We feel it necessary to point out that tourists are not allowed to partake, given the serious risk of injury involved in this activity. Instead, visit La Mirador and enjoy the spectacle from a safe distance.
The only museum option on our list, the San Diego Fort is a great option for history buffs or those who wish to learn more about the history of Acapulco. It’s the oldest building in Acapulco, constructed in the 1600s, and features explanations in both English and Spanish, as well as helpful staff who are on hand to answer any questions. It has interesting information on the trade that went on between Asia, the Philippines and Acapulco years ago as well the history of the fort’s defensive role in Mexican history. Apart from the history of the place, there is also a beautiful view over Acapulco bay which can be seen either from the roof or the viewing point outside the museum.
Fuerte San Diego, Acapulco de Juárez, Mexico, +52 744 482 1114
Taxco is beautiful town in Guerrero, located close to the border with Mexico City and is well worth the admittedly long journey to get there. Around 4 hours from Acapulco, this colonial gem is famous for its silver, meaning that it is an excellent spot for anyone seeking Mexican jewelry or silverware. However, pick and choose your silver carefully, make sure it’s genuine, and make sure you don’t pay over the odds. Silver aside, the town itself is incredibly charming – cobbled streets and colonial architecture abound, and it also has a stunning cathedral. All of the above reasons explain why it constitutes the only pueblo mágico in the state of Guerrero. Make this an overnight stay, you won’t regret it.
Acapulco is blessed with some fabulous beaches, but they can often be overcrowded and touristy, especially in the peak season. Majahua beach is located just past Playa Marqúes in the Diamante area of Acapulco and is an excellent option for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the more well-known parts of the coastline. It is admittedly a rather small stretch of sand, but the water is incredibly tranquil, making it a great spot for families with young children to relax for the day. Take a book and catch some rays, swim in the sea, or buy some fresh shrimp from the vendors nearby for lunch.
Free to visit on Sundays and 30 pesos (a little less than $2 US) per person otherwise, the Acapulco Botanical Gardens are located just off the Scenic Highway, in Loyola University. This is the perfect place for a family day out, as you can stroll around the gardens at your leisure or take a guided tour if you so choose. Many of the plants featured here have medicinal properties and are a mixture of native and introduced species. Spread over 6 hectares, the Gardens are sprawling and also provide a home to many species of animals such as snakes, birds, scorpions, and iguanas. Throughout the walk, you will cross bridges and see pools which feature aquatic plants too. Well worth the visit, especially given the relatively central location.
The cathedral in Acapulco is well worth stopping by, as its vibrant blue and gold hues contrast perfectly with the white walls and make it an incredibly eye-catching building. Despite being small and quaint — not as impressive as the cathedral offerings in Mexico City and Guadalajara for example — this is well worth a visit. Be sure to go inside, as from within you will be able to fully appreciate the impressive dome that sits atop this building, as well as the vivid blue tiling that dominates the internal decoration. A real change from the typical gold, over-the-top, and heavily decorated Catholic cathedrals that are found in other parts of Mexico.
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are one of the most well-known Mexican partnerships. Both artists, they had a tumultuous and often controversial relationship, with both of them having numerous extramarital affairs. Aside from his personal life, professionally Diego Rivera has become perhaps one of the most famous and recognizable Mexican artists, with his eye-catching, large scale mural work displayed in the National Palace in Mexico City, as well as in New York City, among other locations. However, Acapulco also has its very own vibrant and well-preserved Diego mural, which is a must see on your visit to this city. Reach it by climbing (or cycling) up to La Casa de Los Vientos.
Casa de Los Vientos, Calle Inalámbrica 6, Acapulco de Juárez, Mexico, +52 744 482 1161
Given the crystalline waters in Acapulco, it comes as no surprise that snorkeling is one of our top activities to try while you’re holidaying in this charming city. One of the best options is to take a tour out to La Roqueta Island, where you will be provided with transport, guides, and equipment for your day of snorkeling. A national reserve celebrated for its flora and fauna, La Roqueta Island has vibrant tropical fish to see and also has excellent options for dining, as food isn’t included in the price of the tours. Make a day of it and visit La Roqueta Island.
Take a break from relaxation and give something back to the community, or more specifically, the wildlife, during your stay in Acapulco by taking part in a turtle conservation and release project. Tours are widely available but often very expensive. Instead, get in touch with the non-profit organization Amigos Del Mar Acapulco and arrange your own release or visit to the sanctuary. You will be able to find out more about the conservation efforts underway, as well as help the workers release the turtles back into the water. Turtle releases are seasonal, with the majority taking place throughout the summer, after the October to May hatching period.
Calle Benito Juarez 5, Acapulco de Juárez, Mexico, +52 744 495 9806
Acapulco is as famous for its beaches as it is for its nightlife, as it is home to several huge and well-known night clubs that have been around for years. After a hard day of sightseeing and sunbathing on the beach, be sure to check out what Acapulco by night has to offer, not least the spectacular views that are to be had from pretty much any location which dot the length of the Scenic Highway. Our top recommendation is Palladium, an Acapulco nightclub that has spectacular views over the bay as well as great music. It is a pricey option, and probably not one you’ll want to take the kids to. For the older, more sophisticated crowd, Siboney Piano Bar is one to watch out for. Again, not cheap, but high quality and atmospheric.
Palladium, Carretera Escenica S/N, Acapulco de Juárez, Mexico, +52 744 446 5490