If the cartoon family, the Jetsons, came back from the future for a Mexican beach vacation you can imagine the daily argument over the Best Beaches in Acapulco: Wife Jane wants to visit safe little Playa Caleta, daughter Judy wants to party with her new friends along Playa Condesa, boy Elroy prefers to head south and surf at Playa Bonfil, while poor husband and father George Jetson just wants to go to centrally located Playa Hornos where he knows he will find parking for his flying car.
Yes, Acapulco – in fact all of Mexico’s central Pacific coast in the state of Guerrero – offers beach experiences of every size, shape, and color. One of the most enjoyable parts of a vacation here is making that all-important daily decision: where do we want to lounge and swim today?
This list of Acapulco’s Best Beaches takes you to the sandy spots along Santa Lucia Bay as well as north and south of the city to Costa Grande and Costa Chica.
Acapulco Bay, known officially as Santa Lucia Bay, is a broad, horseshoe shaped indentation in the coastline that has sheltered residents and visitors for almost 3,000 years. Most of the beach activity now clusters along the broad avenue that parallels the shoreline, Avenida Miguel Aleman, or as it’s more commonly known, La Costera.
The Golden Zone lies along the central portion of La Costera. In this area, Playa Icacos has calmer waves and caters to the many guests at the hotels, which line the beach. Playa Condesa is a laid-back singles’ haven, attracting straight and gay young people who are drawn to its laissez-faire vibe. Surf can be rough and unpredictable at Playa Condesa, so be careful. At Playa Hornos, or Hornos Beach, people of all ages, shapes and sizes sit at umbrella-shaded tables, lounge on deck chairs or gather around low tables tucked under thatched roofs.
In Traditional Acapulco’s Peninsula de las Playas, three beaches call out to visitors: Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla and Isla de la Roqueta. The gentle waves of Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla create a safe swimming area, which makes the area ideal for families with small children. Located at the entrance to Acapulco Bay and reached from Playa Caleta, Isla Roqueta attracts many Mexican families to its restaurant and shore club, which face a narrow beach on a shallow bay.
The Diamond Zone is Acapulco’s swankiest area and is located just south of Puerto Marques. Large hotels maintain long stretches of Revolcadero Beach, which can sometimes have treacherous surf.
The area south of Acapulco – in the direction of Oaxaca – is called the Costa Chica. Surfers come hear to ride the waves at remote Playa Bonfil. Drive north a few miles from Acapulco toward Manzanillo to the Costa Grande sandbar separating the Pacific Ocean from Laguna de Coyuca. Locals gather every afternoon on the beach at Pie de la Cuesta to savor Acapulco’s most dazzling sunsets, a sight not to be missed on any visit to the area.
Oh, and the Jetsons’ dog Astro – where would he go on his daily walk? My bet is Barra Vieja, where the waters of Laguna de Tres Palos and the Papagayo River flow into the Pacific Ocean. And he could beg for scraps at popular Beto Godoy’s Restaurant.