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Acapulco Insider Tips

Sure the pictures look great and the price is right.  It looks like there's lots to do during both the days and nights at Acapulco.  But, just like any other major Spring Break destination, there are things you should avoid to prevent being ripped off or scammed by those trying to take advantage of the sheer numbers of Spring Breakers just looking to have a good time.  We've compiled a list of Acapulco insider tips you should know before ever leaving for Spring Break.

  • Acapulco is not Cancun.  Cancun was built 30 years ago for the sole purpose of being a tourist destination.  Acapulco is a real city that has been around for 400 years and has over a million people living in and around it.  Lesson learned: once you leave the hotel zone you are in a true Mexican city, venture here only if you are comfortable with Spanish and are not afraid of getting lost.
  • Pack lightly.  Bring several changes of clothes and your essential toiletries.  You can buy just about everything else you need there- for relatively cheap prices.  There is a WalMart, Costco, and Sam's Club just off the Costera (main highway through the hotel zone). 
  • Prices are good in Acapulco.  Once you get outside the hotel gift shop, most stores have to compete with WalMart.  This keep prices low- about 20% of what you will pay in the U.S.  What you pay taxis and street vendors is only limited by your negotiation skills.
  • Use your bank card.  Almost all hotels and storefront businesses accept U.S. major credit cards for payment.  You will be charged in pesos and then see the currency exchange on your statement.  The exchange rate tends to be very favorable here, as opposed to attempt to change money directly at your hotel.  If you take traveler's checks, expect a wait and hassle of trying to get authorization to finally cash and convert those checks.  This is one of our best money-saving Acapulco Insider Tips.
  • Be wary of drinking the water.  Many of the higher end hotels have chlorinated water, as do some of the better restaurants, but we would rather err on the side of caution. We don't eat anything this is not boiled, fried, baked or peeled. So, no salads for us in Acapulco. We also don't drink anything that is not boiled, carbonated, or in a sealed container, and we hold the ice where possible.  Thank goodness alcohol kills most germs!
  • Use the bus.  Several busses go up and down the Costera (such as the Caleta - Base route). Never run after a bus, another is right behind it. Going east to the airport is a bit tricky, but going west to Pie de la Cuesta is easy on the bus (sit on the left side going there to see the coasts and cliffs). Most busses are about three pesos, and they give change.
  • Negotiate with the taxi drivers.  One of our best Acapulco Insider Tips!  Tell the taxi where you want to go. Ask the price (¿"cuanto"?) and then give a price no more than half that amount. If he shakes his head and drives off, try a little bit higher with the next one. There is always another taxi.
  • Don't drive.  Period.  The worst thing you can do in Acapulco is rent a car. It is unnecessary, given the great bus and taxi service. You will get lost. The streets change direction and even their names every few blocks, and most do not follow a north-south, east-west grid with 90 degree angles, as in most U.S. cities.  Parking can also be a nightmare.  Once again, use the bus or taxi.
  • Avoid the salesmen.  Along the Costera you may notice men in bright blue or peach shirts promising you everything for extra low prices.  Avoid them- most are scam artists.  Same for those people selling timeshares on the beach.
  • Avoid drugs.  This is a common sense Acapulco insider tip.  It is very possible someone will walk up to you and offer to sell you drugs in Acapulco.  Mexican jails are not nice places, even in resort towns.  If you want to enjoy your Spring Break, politely walk away.
  • Getting help in Acapulco.  If you feel that you need to go to the police for some reason, go to your Embassy instead. Be especially careful to avoid the Acapulco police in blue uniforms. If you stray from the main strip, they will hassle you just for being a tourist.  The "tourist police" (found along the Costera and wear white shirts, dark shorts, and dark hats) are also helpful. They are here for the comfort of the tourist, but lack any real law enforcement power. They mainly help to reduce petty street crime.

Looking to Book your Acapulco Spring Break trip?  Don't miss our buyers' guide and pick for the best Acapulco Spring Break travel agent.

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Spring Breaker's Acapulco Insider Tips

Have you been to Acapulco for Spring Break?  Have Acapulco insider tips others might like to know?  We're always looking for Acapulco advice, stories, photos and comments from our fellow Breakers to enhance this site and keep our information as current as possible.  If you have something to add, please submit your Acapulco Insider Tips here.