Acapulco Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Siesta, Siesta Many stores and restaurants close between noon and 2 p.m. while area residents take a break from the afternoon heat. So sit back, relax, and take a nap before you hit the nightlife.
- Here's a Tip Tipping is standard practice in Acapulco. Waiters expect to receive between 15 and 20 percent for excellent services, and porters are accustomed to being tipped at least $1 USD per bag.
- Be Vigilant According to the U.S. State Department, drug cartel violence in Acapulco is not directed toward Americans, but travelers should still be aware of their surroundings.
In the 1950s—long before the rise of Cancún and Cabo—Acapulco was the go-to Mexican destination. During its heyday, the "Pearl of the Pacific" attracted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and even John F. Kennedy with its amber beaches and pulsating nightlife. Acapulco's former beauty was celebrated on the big screen in films like Elvis Presley's "Fun in Acapulco" and the hit TV series, "The Love Boat." But as the 20th century wore on, Acapulco's glorious reputation tarnished as the city succumbed to over-crowding, pollution, and drug trafficking.
Several decades after its fall from beach-destination grace, Acapulco is steadily reviving. It's a popular weekend getaway for many Mexican vacationers, not to mention a prevailing hideaway for European travelers, so you'll find the ambience is more international than the Americanized Cancún. Dance to the live music along the Zócalo, hunt down some of Mexico's best ceviche downtown, or escape from the tourist hubbub in Acapulco Diamante's swank nightclubs—you can still hear echoes of the glamour and glitz of the city's Hollywood heyday.
How To Save Money in Acapulco
- Bargain for your taxi Always negotiate your taxi fare before entering the cab. You can also negotiate an hourly price if you want to stop for a meal or check out entire areas like Old Acapulco.
- Go local Although they don't have the extended hours of the casas de cambios (exchange houses), local banks will give you the best exchange rates.
- Barter at 50 percent Always barter for your souvenirs, suggesting at least 50 percent of the vendor price, and stick to your guns. Be sure to ask for a discount if you're buying more than one item at a time.
Acapulco Culture & Customs
The dress code in Acapulco is informal during the day; standard beach apparel is acceptable. During the night, "dressy casual" is the norm, and many clubs prohibit jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, or shorts.
English is a common language spoken in Acapulco, but you'll win over local citizens if you try to speak some Spanish. Common phrases include hola (hello), adios (goodbye), por favor (please), and gracias (thank you).