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Acapulco - General Overview

Acapulco is considered Mexico's first resort town and with its array of activities, a visit to this Mexican treasure surely will not disappoint. Considered by many as an ideal romantic setting for a wedding, bride and grooms-to-be can exchange vows on a beach or in a traditional setting of a church. While honeymooning in Acapulco, newlyweds have an assortment of choices of activities from sunbathing on one of the spectacular beaches of Acapulco to deep sea fishing. Acapulco is uniquely located on a semi-circular bay and in addition to amazing beaches, offers an energetic nightlife – ensuring your trip is worthwhile. No matter your preference, Acapulco surely has an activity for you. 


Most Popular Beaches

The name Acapulco makes most people think of beautiful beaches. You may be surprised at how many beaches there really are in and around Acapulco. There is such a variety of beaches in Acapulco that no matter the experience you're looking for you're likely to find it.  Some of the more popular beaches are listed below.

Pie de la Cuesta called the "Sunset Beach" because if offers spectacular views of the sunset is one of the more popular beachs. 

Playa La Angosta is a small beach located in a small cove opening directly into the Pacific Ocean, not far from La Quebrada (where the cliff divers perform). 

Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla beaches are adjacent and situated in the Peninsula de las Playas section of Acapulco, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. 

Playa Honda and Playa Manzanillo beaches were at one point in Acapulco's history, small but popular beaches. 

Playa Tlacopanocha lies along the sea walk and is the closest beach to Plaza Juan Alvarez and Zocalo district.  The waves are very calm making it a most popular spot for families with very small children. 

Playa Hornos and Playa Hornitos are both popular beaches, and, once again, they're both just a few feet from Costera Miguel Aleman and easily reached by public bus, taxi or on foot. 

Playa Pretil is of the most popular stretches of beachfront in all of Acapulco and is lined with hotels and condominiums. 

Playa Condesa is a very cosmopolitan beach that draws an international crowd. It's Acapulco's version of Rio's Playa Ipanema.


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation – From the U.S. many airlines now fly to Acapulco year-round.  While in the city, there are many buses and taxi services one can take to get you around.  However, an important mode of transportation is the government subsidized 'Colectivo' cab system.  These cabs cost 10 pesos per person to ride, but they are not private.  The driver will pick up more passengers as long as seats are available, and will transport them to their destination based on first come first serve rules. The colectivos each travel a designated area of the city, the three main ones being Costera, Colosio, Coloso, or a mixture of the three. Coloso cabs mainly travel to old Acapulco. Colosio cabs travel through most of the tourist area of Acapulco. Costera cabs drive up and down the coast of Acapulco, which is where most of the hotels for visitors are, but also includes some of old Acapulco.

The bus system is highly complex, and can be rather confusing to an outsider.  As far as transportation goes, it is the cheapest form other than walking in Acapulco.  The most expensive buses have air conditioning, while the cheaper buses do not.  For tourists, the Acapulco city government has established a system of yellow buses with Acapulco! painted on the side of them.  These buses are not for tourists only, but are certainly the nicest and most uniform of the bus systems. They travel the tourist section of Acapulco, driving up and down the coast.  There are buses with specific routes and destinations, generally written on their windshields or shouted out by a barker riding in the front seat.

Entry Requirements - Traveling to Acapulco, Mexico requires a passport. Passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to or from the United States regardless of destination. If you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or most Western European countries, you will need to have a visa. 

Upon arrival to Acapulco, you should be issued a tourist card that’s valid for 90 days (which you can extend to 180 days), the price of which is normally included in your airfare. Otherwise it is around USD$20 and can be obtained from immigration officials at your entry point. You will need to state your reason for visiting and should say you are on vacation. Visit Travel-Acapulco for more information.

Languages Spoken / Official language – The official language of Acapulco is Spanish.

Currency – The official currency of Acapulco is the Mexican Peso.

Tipping – Restaurant tipping in Acapulco is 15 to 20 percent for good service. Local sales tax (I.V.A.) is fifteen percent and should not be mistaken for gratuity.

Porters should get approximately USD$1.00 per bag; hotel maids should get USD$.50 to USD$1.00 per day. Taxi drivers in Acapulco do not expect tips unless you hire them for several hours or if they handle baggage for you. Don’t forget to tip your guides!

Acapulco.com says it's customary to tip washroom and parking attendants, even kids who watch your car, a few pesos.

Taxes – Local sales tax (I.V.A.) in Acapulco is fifteen percent and should not be mistaken for gratuity.

Electricity - 120V 60 Hz

2 parallel flat prongs - "American" type

Immunizations/Health Concerns – Before visiting Acapulco, consult your doctor or health-care provider as they will recommend immunizations that you’ll need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.

Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers.  While in Acapulco, follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
2. Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles.  Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
3. Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.
4. Make sure food is fully cooked.
5. Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized. 


Acapulco Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Valid Passports are mandatory to get married in Acapulco as well as:
• Tourist cards (usually obtained from immigration officials at the airports, piers or the border).
• Must be in México 3 Full Business Days prior to ceremony (Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays not included).
• Blood tests must be taken locally in Acapulco, México. They can be done at the Hotel and cost varies up to USD$150.00 per couple (cash paid directly to the doctor). Should the test come back positive for HIV, legally the couple cannot be wed in México.
• A copy of final Divorce decree (if either party is divorced). (Records must be translated into Spanish and attached with an Apostille. An Apostille is obtained by the Secretary of State of your Country and required by Mexican authorities.) A copy of Certificate of Death (if either party is widowed) is also needed.
• Four witnesses are required and if the witness is a Mexican citizen, a photo I.D. is required.

Non-Mexican witnesses require a valid passport (mandatory to be able to be a witness).

Your wedding ceremony should be scheduled with officials at least one month in advance. If you are staying at an All Inclusive or a more popular resort, Alecessary paperwork is handled directly by the Wedding Coordinator at your hotel. Hotels usually require a minimum of 3-business days notice to complete all formalities.


Tourism Office Information

Acapulco Tourism Office, Visit Mexico,

Av. Costera Miguel Aleman No. 187 Fracc. Hornos
39350 Acapulco, Gro.
Tel: (74) 84 24 23 Fax: (74) 81 11 60

For more information on Acapulco, visit the Official municipal Web site.


Other Acapulco Related Websites

www.acapulcoinsider.com

www.acapulco.com

www.mexico.us/acapulco.htm

www.usembassy-mexico.gov


Climate Information (When is the Best Time to Travel)

Acapulco is hot and sunny all year round.  The average temperature fluctuates between 80 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 33 degrees Celsius). July and August are the warmest months and rainy season runs from June to October, though showers usually last only 15 or 20 minutes and fall at night. {Source – Acapulco.com}

High & Low Season for travel - The peak tourist seasons in Acapulco, México are during the month of December and during the mid-Summer. There are also brief surges during the week before Easter and surges during Spring break at many of the beach resort sites which are popular with vacationing college students from the United States.  Travel in winter for a bustling nightlife and in off-season for a quieter retreat.


Map

Map of Acapulco


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Since 1934 the La Quebrada Cliff Divers in Acapulco have performed their impressive jumps into the shallow water and dangerous tides that form in the bottom part of La Quebrada.

There is a very vibrant night life in Acapulco which caters to all comers. Especially during Spring Break, many bars and night clubs sign special contracts with U.S.-based travel companies and cater specifically to the needs of an American crowd, which pay in advance through the travel company (it is open to everyone however). Most clubs are open bar, while the smaller bar establishments are pay on tab (these also tend to have DJ or live music and dancing). Of the American favored clubs, the top three are Palladium, Mandara, and Privado, all located within a mile of each other. These clubs play mostly American music during spring break, with some popular music from México - generally rock, rap, or pop - and lots of Shakira. Music is often live.

There are multiple clubs which tend to cater to the local population as well as visitors from México City and other locations within the country. The two most popular clubs are Salon Q and Ninas, both located on the coast a few blocks apart in the heart of Acapulco.  


Most Popular Hotels

Las Brisas Acapulco is an exclusive Resort with spectacular views, set in 110 garden acres on hillside above Acapulco Bay.  Featuring a pink and white color scheme, from buildings to Jeeps to table linens and towels, Las Brisas has been widely copied since it opened in 1957 as a tranquil, adults-only, prestigious retreat.  Celebrities still come occasionally, along with couples seeking romance and privacy, but now Las Brisas resort accepts children, although certain accommodation sections are still reserved for adults. Each morning guests receive a complimentary "Brisas breakfast," (fresh fruit, sweet rolls, and Thermos of coffee) which is quietly slipped into a two-door "magic box" near casitas’ doors, to be retrieved from inside when guests desire.  Guests in Brisas Beach Club rooms and junior suites also receive two glasses of complimentary wine and complimentary hors and d’oeuvres each evening.

Overlooking the famous beaches of Acapulco, the Crowne Plaza Hotel Acapulco offers first class accommodations and great services. Located just minutes from the airport and Acapulco’s city center, Crowne Plaza offers many services. It has both business and recreational facilities for travelers of all types. Hotel rooms are complete with basic amenities including air-conditioning, bathroom, and cable TV.

Grand Mayan Acapulco Resort is located in Punta Diamante, along one half-mile of beach, and the nearest airport is Acapulco-Alvarez International Airport. Local attractions include downtown Acapulco, and water sports. Guest rooms feature air conditioning, purified water, satellite TVs, telephones, voicemail, electronic safes, hairdryers, work desks, irons and ironing boards, ceiling fans, and balconies.

Mayan Palace Acapulco is a sprawling oasis located on Playa Diamante, Acapulco's most desirable beach. The Mayan Palace Acapulco Wyndham is a towering achievement of limitless luxury and endless entertainment. Enjoy postcard views of swaying palm trees and azure seas from every vantage point as you explore all the Mayan Palace Acapulco Wyndham has to offer. Take in the fragrant beauty of exotic tropical gardens, practice your swing at the 18-hole, par-72 golf course, play a casual game of doubles or perfect your serve at one of 12 lighted clay tennis courts, or treat yourself to a massage at the world-class spa. Glide through a fantasy world of waterfalls, slides, and hanging bridges at Aqua Park or swim in the largest pool in the world!

The Avalon Excalibur Hotel is a hip hotel located at the beach front and just 30 minutes from the airport. Avalon Excalibur is a three-star hotel that welcomes guests anytime with its 24-hour reception. It also has children’s play area, Jacuzzi, and swimming pool where guests can unwind and relax. Hotel rooms are complete with basic amenities including air-conditioning and bathroom.