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Acapulco

In the early days, Acapulco was a playground for North American celebrities. It's more mainstream these days, but that only means that a greater range of budgets are accommodated. While Cancun has seized the title of Mexico's favorite resort destination, there is still something to be said for the vintage charms of Acapulco.

Old Town Acapulco is situated on the westernmost stretch of the coast. This is where household names like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and John F Kennedy holidayed. It's no longer the busiest or most exclusive stretch of coastline, but it does boast some appealing vintage accommodation in Acapulco.

Heading east, each district gets progressively more upscale. The next one over is called the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera), and most visitors find a room here in highrise hotels. Beach bars, restaurants and shopping centers line the waterfront. Further on is the golf course and Acapulco Diamante, the most exclusive stretch of coastline. Luxury villas are joined by upscale restaurants, designer boutiques and chic nightclubs.

Beaches have always been a major draw here, and drastic cleanup measures have wiped out the old pollution problems. Aside from swimming and enjoying water sports, visitors can explore traditional villages on the outskirts of the resort where tourist traffic is much lighter.

East of the main resort is Puerto Marques, a small bay with a spread of simple seafood restaurants and bars. This area is more laid back than the city center, and some tourists prefer to come out here to book hotels near Acapulco. It's far enough from the main resorts that guests in this area will need to arrange transportation. Puerto Marques is closer to Acapulco International Airport than the main resort area.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Acapulco, click on the interactive Acapulco map on the left-hand side of the page.