20 Things To Do In Acapulco

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Acapulco is one of Mexico’s most famous beaches because, for decades, the rich and famous from the United States and other countries have visited this vibrant port city to enjoy its party-like atmosphere, soft-sand beaches and fresh seafood.

Although Acapulco has lost some of its shine in recent years due to recent violence in Mexico, this beach town continues to offer an exciting and luxurious place to vacation. With plenty of family-friendly activities and romantic opportunities, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Acapulco for a wonderful beach vacation.

Acapulco, Mexico

20 Things To Do In Acapulco

1- Be Amazed At The Cliff Divers At La Quebrada

top things to do in acapulco
Another top thing to do in Acapulco is to explore La Quebrada.

La Quebrada is one of Acapulco’s most famous attractions.

Cliff divers plunge from the top of a 40 or 80-foot (12 and 24 m, respectively) cliff face into the ocean below, wearing nothing but a Speedo swimsuit.

This impressive feat requires precise timing to line up the jump as a large wave breaks to avoid injury when the diver hits the water, which is usually a shallow part of the coast.

This diving performance occurs each afternoon around 1 pm and sometimes in the evening.

You will have to pay a small amount to watch the divers from the low platform, which is the best spot.

things to do in acapulco cliff divers
Watching the cliff divers throw themselves off a cliff at La Quebrada is one of the fascinating things to do in Acapulco.

2- Cruise Laguna de Tres Palos

Laguna de Tres Palos is an inland freshwater lake near the Acapulco resort area.

Visitors to this lake are often amazed at how peaceful and quiet this place is, considering its proximity to the bustling port city.

This lake has become an ecotourism destination and the best place to see tropical birds in the area.

You can book boat tours with one of several operators.

Many boat captains make the tour a fun experience by treating guests to a special mud mask reputed to melt away wrinkles and making water lily necklaces for the women on board.

3- Escape To The Beach At Playa de Barra Vieja

Palm tree with relaxing seat in Acapulco, Mexico
If you love the beach, one of the top things to do in Acapulco is to relax on the sand under a palm tree..

Playa de Barra Vieja is a relatively unknown beach about an hour’s drive from Acapulco.

Many people escape Acapulco’s more crowded beaches and enjoy this clean, uncrowded shore.

The gentle slope into the ocean provides plenty of shallow water to play and swim, despite the strong waves that break on the shore.

Palm huts, also called palapas, dot the beach, and during the busy season, locals fry up fresh fish for people to eat.

There are several hotels and restaurants at this beach, so if you want to stay away from Acapulco’s crowds, stay at Barra Vieja.

4- Feel The Sand Between Your Toes At Punta Diamante

things to do in acapulco mx jetty on the beach
Another top thing to do in Acapulco is to visit the beach.

Punta Diamante is a section of Acapulco that has seen an influx of development money poured in to upgrade and refurbish the existing infrastructure.

As a result, Punta Diamante is the diamond within the Acapulco resort area.

Hotels and luxury resorts surround its spectacular beaches and you can find upscale restaurants serving a variety of cuisines throughout the area.

If you’re looking for a budget vacation, stay in a hotel in the older part of Acapulco and visit Punta Diamante for the day to lounge on the long, broad, sandy beach.

Swimming and wakeboarding on this beach are fun for all ages, but riptides do occur, so swimmers should always take care.

5- Get A Thrill On The XTASEA Zipline

Did you know that one of the longest ziplines in the world is in Acapulco? The XTASEA zipline is over 100 m (328 feet) above sea level.

For a thrilling ride and spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, zip across Puerto Marques Bay at 120 km per hour (74 miles per hour).

Riders can go solo or double as they glide 1,800 m (1.1 miles) in either the superman or seated position.

Visitors can also enjoy a sunset or nighttime ride across the bay.

In addition to ziplining, bungee jumping and a ropes course are also available activities.

This exciting activity is a little expensive but the thrill is worth the price.

XTASEA Zipline is at Paseo de los Manglares S/N, Col. Granjas del Marqués, C.P. 39890.

6- Admire Capilla de la Paz

things to do acapulco church with blue domes and white walls
Exploring the city centre is one of the interesting things to do in Acapulco away from the beach. Another architecturally interesting church is Our Lady of Solitude Cathedral.

The Capilla de la Paz or Chapel of Peace in Punta Diamante has become a symbol of peace and offers a scenic view of Acapulco Bay, the city, and the distant mountains.

The large white cross makes it easily recognisable, and because of its location on El Guitarron hill, which is the highest point in Acapulco, it can be seen everywhere in the city.

The minimalistic, non-denominational church is open to everyone and all visitors are also welcome to wander the grounds or sit inside.

Some of the most stunning sunset photos of Acapulco Bay are shot from this location.

Capilla de la Paz is at 2a. Cda. Vientos Cardinales S/N, La Brisa, 39867 Acapulco de Juárez. 

7- Wander Around The Botanical Gardens

fun things to do in acapulco mexico Portrait in the foreground of a colorful parrot looking in the camera.
Another of the fun things to do in Acapulco is to explore the botanical gardens.

The Botanical Gardens of Acapulco are a beautiful green area located in the mountains outside the city, with a spectacular view of Acapulco Bay from above.

This garden is open every day of the year, from dawn until dusk and has more than 3,000 specimens and 1,200 different species.

Some of the plant species in this living museum are threatened or endangered.

Many bird and animal species also call this garden home, including parakeets, parrots, iguanas, anteaters, deer, and ocelots.

While these gardens are an excellent place for people of all ages to visit, those with mobility issues may not have an easy time navigating the many steps and uneven pathways throughout the garden.

The Botanical Gardens of Acapulco is at Avenida Heroico Colegio Militar sin numero, Frac, Cumbres de Llano Largo, 39820 Acapulco de Juárez. 

8- Relax At Playa Pie de la Cuesta

romantic things to do in acapulco mexico
Looking for cool things to do in Acapulco? Check out the beaches.

Playa Pie de la Cuesta is a unique beach popular with the locals and is a laid-back beach off the beaten path that is a great place to relax in peace.

Nearby hotels offer accommodation for those who want to spend more time at this little piece of unknown paradise and its long beach of golden sand.

Palapas dotted around the beach offer the chance to sit in the shade and soak in the relaxing vibes while sipping coconut cocktails and eating fresh seafood dishes.

The lovely beach is also a nesting area for shorebirds, so birdwatching is a popular activity.

The current is dangerous and it’s not recommended for swimming, but Playa Pie de la Cuesta offers a scenic sunset view that should not be missed.

9- Drive The Avenida Costera Miguel Aleman

things to do in acapulco street sign
Check out the best things to do in Acapulco for fun in the sun.

The Avenida Costera Miguel Aleman is the main road around Acapulco Bay and is lined with hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shops.

Several attractions and points of interest are also found along this road, such as the Zocalo of Acapulco.

This section of the city is a neat place to visit with its large plaza, municipal palace building, a beautiful cathedral and local shops.

Other historical places along this route include the San Diego Fort and several important sculptures and monuments, many of which were donated by other countries.

The Acapulco Malecon also runs parallel to this major road.

Avenida Costera Miguel Aleman is the main road visitors should use to get around the city and find things to do.

10- Go Snorkelling Or Diving Around Isla La Roqueta

things to do in acapulco mexico map
Looking for cool things to do in Mexico? Check these out.

The Isla La Roqueta is an island just off the coast of Las Playas peninsula in Acapulco.

This island has three beaches that can get quite crowded later in the day, so go early.

A couple of restaurants are on the island and provide a place to get a bite to eat.

A hike to the lighthouse is a favourite activity of visitors to the island but the main reason to go to Isla La Roqueta is for snorkelling and diving.

Two reefs loaded with tropical fish, Piedra de Elefante and Piedra de Hierbabuena, are just off the coast of the adjacent small island, Isla La Yerbabuena.

A highlight is the famous Virgen de Los Mares, a submerged image of the Virgin Mary.

11- Visit San Diego Fort

cruise ships docked in Acapulco Bay
A port for cruise ships in Acapulco Bay, naturally, there are plenty of things to do in Acapulco for visitors.

The Fort of San Diego was a grand Spanish fortress during Mexico’s colonial period.

This star-shaped building overlooks the bay and is within easy walking distance of the cruise ship terminal.

Most visitors to Acapulco spend time at the Fort, now the Acapulco Historical Museum.

The museum has several exhibits (in Spanish and English) that include historical artifacts and information about piracy and Pacific trade routes.

Note: The museum closed during the Covid-19 pandemic and has remained closed for renovations.

It’s expected to reopen soon and despite the museum’s recent temporary closure, the view of the bay from the museum is an excellent reason to visit this place.

12- Visit La Casa de Los Vientos

Diego Rivera was a world-famous Mexican muralist. Museums all over Mexico celebrate his art, political contributions and his life.

He was married to Frida Kahlo and commissioned to paint murals all over the United States and Mexico.

Diego Rivera spent the last few years of his life living in Acapulco at what is now called La Casa de Los Vientos.

It has become a museum that displays the last few murals Rivera created before his death in 1957.

The most famous of these murals is a mosaic of Quetzalcoatl on the external wall of the museum, right on the street.

13- Explore Parque Papagayo

Parque Papagayo or Papagayo Park is the largest green space in Acapulco and a lush, tropical area with several wildlife species.

Wander around to discover the park, which is free to visit, and discover the skating rink, zoo and library.

A few man-made lakes are dotted throughout the park, providing a nice place to sit and observe birds.

Families enjoy spending the day at the park, where kids can play on the large jungle gym and playground equipment and then run around on the grass beneath the trees.

This shady bit of kid-friendly space is bordered by restaurants and bars where you can grab something to eat and a sip a cocktail on a hot day.

14- Visit The AfroMex Village Baby Turtle Release

Many people visit Acapulco when their cruise ship lands at the cruise terminal.

Usually, tourists have only a short time to explore the city and must choose their activities carefully.

One of the most popular activities involves a Vallarino Turtle Release Camp tour.

At this camp, a professional guide educates everyone about sea turtles and their struggle to survive.

Camp guests can then help this marine species’ survival by releasing newly hatched baby turtles into the ocean.

Depending on the tour option booked, you can also choose another activity such as horseback riding on a private beach, boating through Tres Palos Lake or visiting a crocodile farm.

15- Go On A Day Trip To Taxco

Taxco de Alarcon is a Pueblo Magico that is a three-hour drive from Acapulco, a distance that is not too far for a nice day trip or overnight trip.

The main draw to this touristic city is the expert craftsmanship of its silversmiths.

This city once mined silver, and its many silversmiths are renowned for their artistry.

Although the mines are no longer actively producing silver, the silversmithing legacy continues today, passed down from one generation to the next.

With the city’s colonial architecture and cobblestone streets, it’s a lovely place to soak in history and browse through the hundreds of silver shops.

16- Eat Delicious Mexican Seafood

best things to do in acapulco mexico prawn tacos on paper
Eating tacos is one of the fun things to do in Acapulco.

Mexico is world-renowned for its cuisine that uses corn, chiles, tomatoes, and more in various ways to produce delicious foods.

However, Acapulco’s cuisine differs from the interior parts of the country. The city’s location on the ocean means that the restaurants here offer fresh seafood dishes.

The basic Mexican staples of tacos, tortas and tostadas are given a unique twist by using fresh-caught seafood to create the most mouth-watering dishes.

A blend of seasonings and regional ingredients is used to make unique salsas that boost the flavour of the fish, shrimp, and octopus found on menus all over the city.

You’ll find excellent restaurants overlooking the bay in places like Mariscos El Sirenito, La Concha, and Paititi Del Mar.

17- Have Fun At El Rollo Acapulco Waterpark

Acapulco is home to a small, inexpensive waterpark, El Rollo Acapulco.

This family-friendly waterpark has several waterslides and pools that provide hours of fun for kids.

They periodically offer ticket promotions and discounted prices, especially during the week, so check out their Facebook page for up-to-date deals.

The park’s main attraction is its spectacular dolphin show and you can purchase a package to swim with the dolphins, a truly unforgettable experience.

The price of admission is budget-friendly and various packages can make the experience even more affordable.

The dolphin-swimming experience is more expensive but well worth the price.

18- Go On A Sunset Cruise

Acapulco is on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and as the sun sets in the west, the sky transforms into some of the most beautiful sunsets.

While there are plenty of opportunities on land to catch these sunsets, another exciting way to enjoy the sunset is on a Sunset Yacht Cruise.

Several cruises are available, and they can easily be booked online to avoid missing out.

Some cruises motor along the shoreline, pointing out places of interest while you drink cocktails and enjoy the view.

Other cruises offer live music, cocktails, and dancing while the sun sets.

19- Enjoy the Nightlife

fun things to do in acapulco Chihuahua dog relaxing and resting, drunk on the sand at the beach on summer vacation holidays, ocean shore behind
One of the fun things to do in Acapulco is to head to the beach.

Acapulco is famous for its vibrant nightlife that draws visitors from all over the world who enjoy partying until dawn.

Avenida Costera Miguel Aleman, the main artery that follows the bay’s shoreline, has many nightclubs and bars that overlook the water.

The loud beach bars and rocking nightclubs open up after dark, typically around 10 or 11 pm, and do not close until 5 or 6 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

The party atmosphere made Acapulco popular decades ago, drawing many famous American movie stars and performers.

Note: Crime has increased in recent years, so be careful when drinking and partying late at night.

20- Playa Revolcadero

top 10 things to do in acapulco
One of the fun things to do in Acapulco is going to beach.

Playa Revolcadero is one of the most famous of Acapulco’s beaches.

This shoreline has a shallow, wide stretch of water where you can walk out quite far and still touch the sandy bottom.

Because this beach is not protected within the bay, the waves here can be strong and unsuitable for weak swimmers.

Even strong swimmers should exercise caution when swimming out away from shore since the waves are occasionally rough.

But no matter how rough the ocean might be, visitors still crowd this beach because the sand is clean, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the surfing is excellent.

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Angie Grier is a spicy señora living in central Mexico with a penchant for freelance writing. Having spent most of her adult life writing as a scientist and then as a teacher, she now contributes articles on a wide variety of topics for print and online media. Originally from the US, she has lived in several different states on the US West and East coasts, the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Midwest. These days, when she’s not camping in the woods in a US national park or shopping in Tonalá or eating chilaquiles, she writes a travel blog detailing her life and adventures in Mexico at www.onaroadleadingsomewhere.com.