Why Acapulco Is Still a Holiday Hotspot in 2024


Once the darling of Hollywood and the jet set, this city of just over a million residents remains one of Mexico´s “pearls of the Pacific” (along with Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta) for its ideal climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant nightlife. And especially if you´re planning a trip with friends, don’t miss this opportunity – and although Acapulco is far from the country´s cheapest beach-resort destination, there are ways to make it more affordable as well as memorable. Read on!



Acapulco´s 3 Main Tourist Zones 

Where to base yourself is the key decision visitors face in any destination. So here´s the lay of the land here:

Traditional Acapulco

The oldest – as well as least expensive for hotels and eateries – area of the city, and also very central and convenient to the beach and attractions like La Quebrada, the famous cliff to which visitors flock to the local restaurant and hotel El Mirador to watch young daredevils dive 41 metres (135 feet) into the rocky depths below.

´The Golden Zone´

Along the east side of Acapulco Bay, the skyline of the Zona Dorada is one of Latin America’s more iconic and impressive; hotel/restaurant prices are also pretty reasonable; and it´s also great  for  both shopping (from handicrafts street markets to upmarket malls) and nightlife including venues with a variety of music including pop, rock, salsa, merengue, reggaetón, rock, and much more.

´Acapulco Diamond´

A bit farther afield, the newest (since the late 1990s) and most exclusive/upmarket district, also known as Punta Diamante, is home to luxury properties such as the famous Palacio Mundo Imperial along with condo complexes; private villas; spas; shopping option like the top-drawer, high-fashion and -tech Isla Acapulco Shopping Village, golf courses; spas; and of course elegant bars, pubs, and discos where world-reknowned DJs spin. 


Acapulco´s Top Beaches

Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla in the traditional area offer numerous water activities such as boat rides, jet skis and the ever-popular “banana boat”,
ad you can also take an eight-minute boat ride from Caleta out to Roqueta Island with its own beach as well as good snorkeling, diving, and kayaking (and if you take the 45-minute glass bottom boat, besides marine life you can also spot a well known underwater bronze madonna known as the Virgen de los Mares (Madonna of the Seas).

The city’s longest strand is Icacos, located in the Golden Zone between the Hotel El Presidente and the Dreams Acapulco Resort & Spa, and we recommend it as being especially great for water sports (perfect for windsurfing, for example) and because whilst popular – especially with foreign visitors – it can be less crowded than the more popular Playa Condesa next door (which also, by the way, has great nightspots and an LGBTQ section). Meanwhile, out in “Acapulco Diamond”, the beaches on the smaller bay of Puerto Marqués also offers oodles of aquatic options suchs as water skiing, jet skiing, and diving, but we particularly recommend it for savouring authentic Mexican fare in the excellent beach restaurants lining the sand. An finally, for something still full service but much more laid back (and by the way where the sunsets glow especially spectacular), take a taxi to the rustic nearby beach town of Pie de la Cuesta.

Partying After Dark

Besides beaches, resorts, and dining, nightlife is another huge part of Acapulco´s appeal, and our main recommendation is the elegant Palladium, up on the Las Brisas hillside in the Diamond zone, where top DJs spin a heady mix of pop, techno, and Latino tracks. Another pick of ours is Kassandra Beach House on the Golden Zone´s Playa La Condesa, with a a paradisiacal open-air vibe, great bites, and cool cocktails. And also on Condesa, Baby Lobster Bar also offers a pretty wild party, and is a little less pricey than the two we mention above. 


Photos| Artur Niedzwiedz ; ClaudineVM ;L-BBE