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The Playas of Acapulco, Mexico
by Kriss Hammond

Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com
To read this entire feature FREE with photos.

Visitors to Mexico can stretch their dollar in Acapulco with authentic, incredible cuisine for under US$10, charming accommodations for less than US$60 and a wealth of activities at great values.

A vibrant port city, Acapulco is home to one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Acapulco has long been a favorite for celebrities such as Liz Taylor, Placido Domingo and Julio Iglesias. Today, the destination offers something for travelers of all budgets and is frequented by visitors simply interested in swimming, shopping, dining or just soaking up the sun against one of the world's most spectacular backdrops.

Day 1 - Monday (Lunes)

Click For Acapulco City GuideStart off your trip with a walk to the Zócalo and its Mercado de Artesanías (Crafts Market) and Mercado Municipal. All day the Zócalo is bustling with activity filled with vendors, shoeshine men and people greeting one another.

Locals come to these sprawling markets to purchase their everyday needs, from fresh vegetables and candles to love potions. While Acapulco is not known for its indigenous handicrafts, at the crafts market you can test your bargaining skills for Mexican treasures such as enormous sombreros, piñatas,framed paintings done on velvet of the Virgin of Guadalupe and seashell renderings of the crucifixion. Fruits can be particularly inexpensive with mangos and bananas for as little as 25 cents a pound. Both markets are open daily.

Day 2 - Tuesday (Martes)

Driving along the Costera Aleman could be a great option for travelers looking to take in the scenes without taking an expensive tour. From El Fuerte de San Diego, which was originally built to protect Acapulco from pirates, to Cici, a modern-day water-oriented theme park for children, the Costera Aleman provides visitors not only with a spectacular view of the bay but with some of Acapulco's most treasured and low-cost attractions.

Cici - A water theme park for children, Cici has dolphin and seal shows, a freshwater pool with wave-making apparatus, a water slide and mini-aquarium. Entrance is $4.

Parque Papagayo - Papagayo sits on 52 acres of prime real estate on the Costera. Children enjoy a life-size model of a Spanish galleon, an aviary, a roller-skating rink and a racetrack with child-size racecars. No entrance fee, rides range from $.70 to $1.80.

Casa de la Cultura - A cultural complex houses a small archaeological museum, an exhibit of Mexican and international crafts and the Ixcateopan art gallery. No entrance fee.

Day 3 - Wednesday (Miercoles)

Wednesday night may be just the evening to take a sunset cruise along Acapulco's breathtaking bay. For about $12, visitors can enjoy a cruise with open bar and live and disco music. A good deal for those on a budget, Bonanza's cruises leave downtown near the zócalo at 4:30 p.m. Sunset cruises are likely one of the best ways to also see the cliff divers. Many hotels and shops sell the tickets.

Day 4 - Thursday (Jueves)

A day at the beach is always a day well spent on Mexico's West Coast. For less than a $12 taxi ride or a $.75 bus ride from the city, visitors can find two off-the-beaten-path beaches known as Pie de la Cuesta and the Coyuca lagoon. For the peso equivalent of about $5, visitors can also tour the lagoon in a "lancha" or small motorboat where you can witness fishermen casting their nets, a variety of hidden coves and tiny islands inhabited by a variety of bird species.

Another beautiful, less crowded beach is the pristine Puerto Marqués. Sheltered within a small bay east of Playa Icacos, it boasts the most tranquil waters in the area, breath-taking sunsets, charming little restaurants that will set up tables, chairs and umbrellas for you and where a shrimp cocktail and a bottle of Corona will cost about $5.

Day 5 - Viernes

Day trips to the nearby silver city of Taxco could be a great way to save on local wares, which can be hard to come across in Acapulco.

Approximately 170 miles north of Acapulco, Taxco, one of Mexico's most picturesque and charming cities, is a relic of its colonial past. An old mining town, Taxco remained isolated for centuries until an American William Spratling fell in love with the town and revived its silver mines.

Today, the town of Taxco is littered with silver shops and tourists trying to strike a deal on beautifully designed jewelry and wares. While shopping in Taxco is not what many would consider "cheap," shoppers definitely find good value for their dollar. Even if you can't afford to shop, a visit to Mexico's most medieval looking city is worth the visit.

Day 6 - Saturday (Sabado)

A trip to Acapulco isn't complete until you've seen the world-famous divers at La Quebrada. Trained divers plunge 130 feet into a narrow cove of just 11 feet of water, which is safe only when a wave has come in. You can see the dives, while sipping a drink at the Plaza Las Glorias Hotel or watch from a concrete embankment where admission is only $1.25.

To read this entire feature FREE with photos.

Kriss Hammond, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent – Read Jetsetters Magazine at www.jetsettersmagazine.com To book travel visit Jetstreams.com at www.jetstreams.com and for Beach Resorts visit Beach Booker at www.beachbooker.com

About the Author
Kriss Hammond, Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent. Join the Travel Writers Network in the logo at www.jetsettersmagazine.com Leave Your email next to the logo for FREE e travel newsletter.