Free Things To Do in Acapulco
- #1View all PhotosfreePlaya Icacos#1 in AcapulcoBeaches, Sports, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Sports, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Adjacent to Playa Condesa is the popular -- and less-crowded -- Playa Icacos, one of the largest beaches in the area and home to the "CICI" Recreation Area, which offers watersports including sailing, motor boating, parasailing and water skiing. Here you'll find a fewer number of beach goers and vendors than Condesa, but the watersports attractions remain relatively similar.
You can access Playa Icacos through the La Palapa Hotel. It also sits near the American restaurants Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.
- #4View all PhotosfreeChapel of Peace#4 in AcapulcoChurches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDChurches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Overlooking Acapulco Bay from the southern end, La Capilla de la Paz (The Chapel of Peace) offers visitors beautiful seaside views and a peaceful atmosphere. According to one TripAdvisor user, "This is one of the best views in Acapulco—just gorgeous. This is a must see." Many visitors are drawn to the highest point in Acapulco by the massive white cross, which is visible from almost anywhere in the city. Although the chapel itself is pretty minimalistic, the surrounding gardens provide respite from the hustle and bustle of the city below.
Many recent visitors agree that the best time to make the trip up to The Chapel of Peace is in the evening, when you can witness the sun setting over the bay. For a stunning photo, nab a spot near Las Manos de la Hermandad (The Hands of Brotherhood); this sculpture of clasped hands provides the perfect frame for the sunset.
- #5View all PhotosfreePlaya Condesa#5 in AcapulcoBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Playa Condesa is one of the most central and popular beaches in Acapulco, with a reputation for crowded sands and great access to watersports. To avoid the crowds, try getting to the beach before 11 a.m. You can also rent a lounge chair and umbrellas from nearby merchants. According to one traveler on TripAdvisor, "the prices for a lounge chair & umbrella tend to vary & your negotiating skills come into play," but usually the price is very affordable.
Like other parts of Mexico, Playa Condesa attracts beach vendors, but a polite refusal will usually keep them moving. The water can also get dirty, but this beach remains popular for its excellent proximity to local restaurants and shopping outlets.
- #7View all Photos#7 in AcapulcoFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Acapulco is emerging from its outdated reputation toward a hip, classy and altogether modern Mexican city. This rapid transformation might not hold true in all of Acapulco, but one recently renovated area is really making its mark: Acapulco Diamante. Located on the south end of the city, across the bay from Old Acapulco and what the New York Times calls "tourist frenzy," Acapulco Diamante's hotels and restaurants are perfect for the luxury or romance traveler seeking a quite, refined beach getaway far from Acapulco's hustle and bustle. And though this stylish area might be too expensive to stay in, you should at least visit for a little while, if only to catch the sunset or take a few pictures atop the nearby Capilla de la Paz.
Getting to Acapulco Diamante is easy. Just take a cab or bus along La Costera to the south side of the bay. Be sure to reserve hotel rooms and restaurant tables well in advance since the area is becoming increasingly popular among travelers and locals alike.
- #8View all PhotosfreePie de la Cuesta#8 in AcapulcoBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
If you need to get away from Acapulco, just travel six miles northwest to Pie de la Cuesta, a small beach resort town that contains a calm lagoon excellent for water-skiing. You'll also find many local resorts and restaurants, perfect for couples seeking secluded romance or a break from the frantic shores of Acapulco. Should you choose to stay the night, Pie de la Cuesta offers a variety of hotel options.
You can also take a boat tour around the lagoon for a small fee. Another popular attraction is the Barra de Coyuca spa, which is contained in a simple thatched hut. The spa offers affordable facials or full-body mud treatments. While Pie de la Cuesta offers travelers respite from an often crowded (and frankly, dated) Acapulco, the area isn't ideal for those seeking excellent restaurants and nightlife options. For that, try the closer Acapulco Diamante.
- #9View all Photos#9 in AcapulcoBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Playa Revolcadero is a true beauty of a beach located just south of Acapulco, but nearly all those familiar with it tell you to look but not touch. As pretty as Playa Revolcadero may be, its waves are too rough for even strong swimmers. This is also something to consider if you were planning a stay at the well-liked Fairmont Pierre Marques hotel (it sits on Revolcadero's sands). If you really love to swim and want to be near the best beaches for that, head to Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla, near the Traditional Zone. The popular (but crowded) Playa Condesa is also a great choice.
- #10View all Photos#10 in AcapulcoBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Twin beaches that sparkle brightly near the Traditional Zone, Playa Caleta and Caletilla beckon to tourists for their exhaustive roster of restaurants. Caleta and Caletilla are separated by tiny Roqueta Island, which also acts as a wave buffer against the Pacific Ocean, so come ready to enjoy the calm surf.
Still, Yahoo! Travel users have split opinions on whether you should just avoid these two beaches altogether. While one satisfied vacationer says it "is very nice when you have kids that want to swim a little," another reviewer suggests you "Watch out for the purse snatchers and pickpockets." You should also consider Playa Icacos if you want the convenience of restaurants by the beach; plus, Icacos has an on-duty lifeguard.
- #11View all PhotosfreeThe Zocalo#11 in AcapulcoFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Simply put, el Zócalo is a must-see for travelers interested in exploring local Mexican culture and nightlife. The city's main square houses the city's government buildings and several popular and affordable local restaurants. The area also offers excellent opportunities to people-watch, especially during the evening.
The square is open (and usually bustling) year-round, but Friday and Saturday nights remain the area's prime time. At those times you'll find the Zócalo flooded with local musicians, street performers, and clowns. If you want to tour the city's unique architecture, be sure to check out the Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude) Cathedral, located right in the heart of the square.
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