Few places evoke the glamour of a bygone era quite the way Acapulco does. Fifty years ago, you could board a champagne-filled flight to this crown jewel of the Mexican Pacific coast and, in a few hours, be mingling with the Hollywood, political, and artistic elite in one of the world's most fashionable travel destinations .
Things have, however, changed. Today travel to Acapulco unfortunately comes with some pretty stern precautions these days due to the drug-cartel violence that plagues a few neighborhoods of the city, which brought a drop in tourist numbers in recent years (the meteoric rise of Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cancún, and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo as travel destinations hasn’t helped Acapulco’s cause either). But with careful planning and awareness, a visit to Acapulco is still safe, and can be just as enjoyable and magical as it was in its heyday.
Thanks to the dropping visitor numbers, Acapulco has now become an affordable place for a Mexican beach vacation. In an effort to lure back travelers, hotels here offer frequent discounts off their already reasonable rates. Once almost exclusively the province of foreign tourism, Acapulco feels much more Mexican these days than its flashier competing beach resorts. The American vibe you get at Cancún or Los Cabos isn’t present here anymore and your fellow vacationers will be primarily Mexican citizens (this is the closest beach resort to booming Mexico City). Some things have not changed, however: the food is still delicious; the iconic cliff divers still wow visitors; and Acapulco still commands one of Mexico’s most stunning coastal settings.