This article originally appeared in Delta Air Lines’ 2012 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.
This seaside resort destination started picking up steam in the 1950s and 60s with the likes of Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra singing its praises. Their vacation hotspot by Acapulco Bay is still a favorite, with a spate of beaches—Condesa, Icacos, El Secreto and many others—where boogie boards and sun worshippers are a daily sight. Acapulco’s classic attractions are one of its main draws, in fact. These include a sizzling club scene in hotspots like BabyO and Coco Wash; the clavadistas of La Quebrada, who for generations have braved diving more than 100 ft. into shallow rocky waters; and a penchant for fun and spectacle with events such as the music-filled Acafest. For the city’s most beautiful bay views, head to the cliff-side mansions and seafood restaurants along Costera Miguel Aleman, and at least stop by for drinks at the iconic Las Brisas for an eyeful of the view and a peek into the pink-and-white hotel.
Visitors will want to stop by the Acapulco Botanic Garden, with more than 15 acres of indigenous and imported flora; take a motorboat ride along the mangroves of Tres Palos Lagoon, and spend some time at the San Diego Fort, which offers exhibit halls that reveal the history of the city. The protected island of La Roqueta—about 30 minutes off the mainland—is ideal for snorkeling and diving. Guests can take a glass-bottomed boat there from the beach known as Caleta. Golfers, meanwhile, will want to take advantage of the 18-hole course at the Fairmont Pierre Marques.
Outside of the city is the Tehualcalco Archaeological Zone, which dates back to the Olmec civilization and forms part of the state of Guerrero’s “Jaguar Route” that includes the town of Ixcateopan de Cuauhtemoc, where the last Aztec emperor was laid to rest, and the rock formations of Cacahuamilpa’s Caves.
- Best time to go:
Year-round; it might get chillier during the winter months, especially in Mexico City and Monterrey, but it’s nothing a jacket won’t fix
- Fun fact:
Mariachi music and traditional Mexican cuisine now form part of UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Getting there:
Delta flies from Atlanta to Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos; Delta flies from New York (JFK) to Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta; Delta flies from Minneapolis to Cancun, Cozumel, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Los Cabos, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta; Delta flies from Detroit to Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Monterrey and Puerto Vallarta; Delta flies from Los Angeles to Cancun, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta; Delta flies from Salt Lake City to Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta; Delta flies from 12 additional gateways to Cancun
- Entry documents:
- Must-try local food:
A few of the hundreds of varieties of thick moles; on the Pacific side, pescado zarandeado (grilled fish in a tangy tomato sauce); in Monterrey, try the cabrito a las brasas, barbecued kid goat
- Best buys:
Silver, indigenous original artwork, tequila—some of the best brands are not sold in the U.S.
- Information please:
Mexico Tourism Board’s website—visitmexico.com