Travel Tips for Visiting Acapulco, Mexico

Entry Requirements: Traveling to Mexico requires a passport. Effective December 31, 2006, 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. You will be issued a tourist card for 90 days (which you can extend to 180 days), the price of which is normally included in your airfare. Otherwise it is around US$20. To help get through customs, always say that you are visiting for vacation.

Money: There are plenty of ATMs in Acapulco, primarily in the main tourist areas, but also inside most banks. They charge a US$3 to $5 fee and have good exchange rates. You can take out a maximum of 3000 pesos each day (~US$300). You can also change your cash at money exchanges and banks. Credit cards are accepted at most local hotels and some restaurants and shops, but cash is generally better to use at places other than hotels and fancy shops. If you get money from a bank, ask them to give you some small change.

Travel Books: The best guides for visiting Mexico and exploring the country. The first two books on this page should be required reading for all visitors to Acapulco.

Transportation Tips

Transportation: There's really no need to rent a car, unless you have special plans in mind. There are many buses for local trips along the coast (4 pesos) and afforable buses (at three main terminals) for longer trips. Driving in Acapulco is quite a bizarre experience that is better left in the hands of seasoned professionals, and you don't want to drive to or from the bars and discos anyway. Read more about transportation using the link above.
If you are brave and want to rent a car in Acapulco, make your reservation here.
If you want to rent a car and driver, see our limo rentals page.

Taxis: ALWAYS agree on the price BEFORE entering the taxi. Look for blue and white Volkswagen Bug taxis (you will see at least ten wherever you look). The standard rate is 20 pesos (~US$2), or 30 to 40 pesos at night or for longer trips across town. Taxis with the AC blasting ("Tourist Taxis", non-VW's), are twice as expensive. Make sure you have exact change, or ask if they do when you are negotiating the price ("¿Tienes cambio?"). Taxis from the airport to the main strip should be around 150 pesos (US$15), but be careful!

  Acapulco, Travel Tips, Mexico, Taxis

Safety Tips

Water: As you surely know, NEVER drink the water in Mexico unless it is bottled. You are usually reasonably safe drinking anything they serve in a decent restaurant, including drinks with ice. If you (or your stomach) are the nervous type, order something bottled.

Mexican Food: The local food is awesome. Again, you should be reasonably safe at most restaurants. I eat almost anything and rarely have been sick. In fact, my stomach is better off here because the food is not processed like in the US. Try many different foods, but ask the waiter if you don't know what something is. Try traditional "pozole" on Thursdays.
VEGETARIANS: Look for "100% Natural" restaurants along the main strip.

Crime: As long as you steer clear of the Things to Avoid and are generally aware of your surroundings, Acapulco is not very dangerous for tourists. However, petty theft is very common, so keep an eye on your possessions at all times, especially on the beach.

Tourist Police: If you need help, look for police along the main strip wearing dark shorts, white shirts, and dark hats (and not carrying guns). Perhaps the best advice in my guide is to avoid other Mexican police at all costs - be sure to read the Things to Avoid page.

General Tips

Tipping: Is normally 10-12% at restaurants. Taxis rarely receive tips, but tips make them very happy. Depending on the level of service you want at clubs, tips range from 10-20%.

Phone Calls: Your best bet is to buy a calling card at any convenience store and to look for the TELMEX pay phones that charge US$0.50/min or US$1.00/min to call the US. Using other payphones, calling collect, or placing international phone calls through your hotel can give you a nasty surprise.

Internet: There are numerous Internet cafés all over town and in each major mall.

Clothes: For a list of what to pack, read about out the tropical climate of Acapulco.

Doctors: There are English-speaking doctors in Acapulco. Ask your hotel's concierge.

Important Phone Numbers in Acapulco

Embassy Information for Acapulco - directory of foreign embassies.

Emergency Numbers for Acapulco - local hospitals, police, fire stations, etc.

Acapulco Government Offices - customs, immigration, tourism, consumer protection

Official Tips and Information for Traveling in Mexico

Mexico Travel Tips - Consular Information Sheet for Mexico from the U.S. Dep't of State.