Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
Mexican Riviera

Acapulco Cruise Port Guide

Acapulco skyline; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Acapulco skyline; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Acapulco is a major cruise port on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is best known for being one of Mexico’s oldest beach resorts and is also famous for its nightlife.

The city is the most southern port for Mexican Riviera cruises. It is on the Mexican Riviera, which is the Pacific coast of Mexico. But only the longest cruises go that far south because it is nearly 2,000 miles south from Mexican Riviera embarkation ports such as San Diego. It is more likely a port of call for Panama Canal cruises.

Acapulco is split into two areas: the “traditional” area at the north end of the bay and the south end, which has newer resorts.

Cruise ships will dock at the Terminal Maritima pier by Old Acapulco. Just a few blocks to the west is the city center of Old Acapulco and the bay beachfront is a short walk to the east. The cruise terminal is small with an Internet station, restrooms and a few souvenir shops.

Quick Travel Tips

  • Acapulco has plenty of sites for walkers to visit.
  • Cliff diving is the most famous attraction.
  • Hot summers and wet falls make spring months the best time to visit.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Walking Around Attractions

Acapulco Cruise Port Map

Walkers will find plenty to see on their own. Acapulco is divided into three districts, and they all have a different feel. Old Acapulco has a great plaza which is the heart of the community. The area has a warm atmosphere with cafes, shops and friendly locals.

Fort of San Diego is about a half mile or 10 minute walk from the docks. It is the most important historical site in Acapulco and has been called the most important Spanish fort on the Pacific coast. The building is home to Acapulco’s city museum.

La Casa de los Vientos Cultural Center is a hidden gem in Acapulco, so a guide may be necessary to find it. It is found in the old section of the city, at the home of the late Dolores ‘Lola’ Olmedo Patino. She had the world’s largest collection of Diego Rivera paintings. The outside mural is a mosaic sculpture painting portraying the ancient Aztec Gods. Although we have walked more than two miles in a cruise port, getting there on foot for some people is a challenge. The museum is nearly a mile and a half from the cruise port and requires either good GPS tracking or some local help.

Shore Excursions

Acapulco cliff diver
Cliff diving is a famous attraction in Acapulco. Credit: Pixabay license

There are many shore excursions that cruise visitors can take to explore the city.

Guided city tours that include a chance to see cliff divers are common. They cost about $30 to $40 per person. Some city tours go as long as six hours and will cost more.  They take guests to see historic sites, churches and museums.

The hilltop Chapel of Peace with its 130-foot-tall cross is a popular site on guided tours for its great views of Acapulco Bay. Cruise visitors can see the white cross from a distance throughout Acapulco. It is eight miles south of the cruise docks.

Besides Old Acapulco, two other districts require transportation. The second district is the Costera, which is a five-mile strip along the bay. Restaurants, shops and hotels line the street and buzz with tourists. There are also many beaches with local fisherman and thatched roof bars.

Acapulco Diamante is the third district, known as an exclusive high-end society. Stunning white sand beaches can be found here along with lavish resorts and homes of celebrities.

Xtasea claims it is the longest overwater zipline in the world. The zipline goes more than a mile over Acapulco Bay at speeds up to 60 miles an hour and heights up to 328 feet. Prices start at $50 depending on the sailing date.

Quite a few Acapulco shore excursions include baby sea turtle releases as an extra amenity.

Snorkeling and Scuba trips range from $75 to $85.

Beaches Near the Port

Hammocks Beach begins a long series of beaches along Acapulco Bay. Cruise visitors can walk less than a half mile east of the cruise terminal to reach it.

They also can walk a half mile southwest to Playa Tlacopanocha, which is a much smaller beach. Resorts line all of these nearby beaches.

Getting Around / Transportation

With the cruise dock being in such a convenient location, tourists can visit many attractions by foot.

There is a public bus that runs up and down the main strip with the cost of a few U.S. dollars. Taxis are everywhere, but they do not have a meter so you should establish the price before taking a ride. Private SUVs with guides are also available at $60 per hour.

Cruise Weather

Acapulco monthly rainfall
© 2021 Scott S. Bateman

Acapulco weather is hot and humid with year-round heat thanks to its southern location on the Mexican Riviera coast.

Temperatures stay in a narrow range throughout the year. The average high temperature stays in the upper 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius, although temperatures climb into the 90s during the summer. The average low, mostly at night, hovers in the low to mid 70s Fahrenheit or mid 20s Celsius.

The rainy season is June through October when average rainfall reaches as high as 10 inches a month. The dry season is November through May when the average rainfall is less than one inch a month.

Late spring is the best time to visit for a combination of comfortable temperatures and low risk of rain.