Explore Mexico on $430, Part 2: Acapulco!


In my previous post, Explore Mexico on $430, I shared my latest Mexico cruise experience with you.

Like I said, cruises are a great way to explore the coastal cities of Mexico without going out of your comfort-zone because you always have a place (the ship) to go back to when you’re done exploring for the day.

Acapulco, resorts, parking, ship, bay, bountainsSo as promised,  here are some pictures from our first stop in Acapulco! You can click on the pictures to enlarge them. Now let me tell you about Acapulco.

120 Acapulco Cliff Diver, wide view from resortMost of the natives live in apartments in and the surrounding area.  A house may go for $150,000, and a very nice condo may be had for around $120,000, but condos on the beach average between $300,000 and $500,000 and up.

Acapulco, bay, mountain, sky, greenery, color buildingsWith a population of about 2 million, Acapulco is about a 10 hour drive from Guadalajara and around 4 hours from Mexico City (one of the largest cities in the world with a population of approximately 23 million).

Acapulco, colorful buildings and Senor frogFamous for its nightlife, the area still attracts many vacationers, although most visitors are natives of Mexico, and the  number one economic factor is tourism (number two is agriculture.)  

Like most coastal cities, there is a “golden zone” which caters to tourists with many  resorts, shops, services which cater exclusively to tourists in general.

Located on a deep, semi-circular bay the port began in the early colonial period of Mexico’s history.  It is a port of call for shipping and cruising lines running between Panama and San Francisco, California, United States.

The tourist resort city of Acapulco is the largest city in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo.

78 El sol de Acapulco, Organizacion editorial medicene, Malecon Caleta, 50 k sign, no u turn, pedestrian, redpack truckThe resort area is divided into two. The north end of the bay is the “traditional” area, where the famous in the mid 20th century vacationed and the south end is dominated by newer luxury high rise hotels that cater to every whim and dream with the most ornate architecture, luxury first-class services complete with all of the shops and stores you would expect to find in a luxury hotel.

Yet despite this, if you shop around you can always find great deals on hotels to make your dollars stretch. Afterall, my husband, Dick, and I bought our cruise tickets for just $430. Quite a bargain if you know your cruise prices. So do shop around. Don’t ever pay full price.

Acapulco Cliff diver By the way, Acapulco also has the questionable honor of being named as one of the most earthquake-prone areas in Mexico! Yet, despite that, it’s still one of Mexico’s most popular destinations.

How does Acapulco fair as a retirement destination? Well, it’s primarily a tourist trap, but like I mentioned before, expats do live there. You will find such conveniences as  Costco, Baskin Robins, Burger King, Dominos, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Walmart, Home Depot and Block Buster!

All of these help make the small number of North American Expats there feel right at home.

Do you have a

question about

Acapulco or retiring

to Mexico?

Just ask me!  If you don’t see the “write a comment” section below, click on Read Full Article and scroll down. Share your thoughts and concerns with me. I will always reply to you personally.

Acapulco article by Barbie.

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19 Responses to Explore Mexico on $430, Part 2: Acapulco!

  1. terry lunaford

    February 9, 2010 at 6:21 am

    HiBarbie, best places to retire in Mexico as far as costs and safety? For many years I planned to retire in Mexico and have visited many times. I am now considering Belize and Panama because of the safety factor I live in Houston so Mexico is a natural, also I am single. Please give me a comparison. I read your blogs wherever I find them. Thanks Terry.

  2. Susan Young

    February 9, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Thanks Barbie for your very informative article about Acapulco. Having just retired to our home in San Felipe, Baja, my husband and I do hope to explore other parts of Mexico over the next few years and cruising is one of our favorite means of travel.

  3. David Coats

    February 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Barbie, thanks for keeping us informed. I have a question, we are still wanting to move to the Cabo area, is their a book or pamphlet we can acquire alerting us to scorpions, snakes etc which can be encountered and what should we know to be prepared in the event we are stung, bitten etc. Thanks, David.

  4. Margaret Rannow

    February 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Can we have more info on Mazatlan Properties. Apartments or places around Angela Peralta?

  5. Barbie


    February 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hi, Margaret:

    I don’t have any information on rentals, but I will see what I can find. Mostly I focus on houses for sale because the information stays relatively current. With regard to rentals, prices and availability usually fluctuate, so it’s hard to write about that.

    But I will se what I can do! The next time I come across rental information, I will post it!

    Best regards,

  6. Barbie


    February 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Hi David start at http://www.cabodoc.com/ScorpionStings.htm and shoes are always suggested, but always check your shoes before putting you tootsies in them :) Barbie

  7. joey beebe

    February 13, 2010 at 12:52 am

    i’m heading to acapulco in 8 days.
    i’ve returned to college, so money is tight, i’m living off student loans. i am in need of an apartment for 2-5 months. do you have any connections that may assist me in this task.
    also, do you know of an inexpensive place to stay until i find an apt. ?
    i appreciate your help.
    sincerely and God bless you.
    joey beebe

  8. Barbie


    February 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    You’re welcome. Enjoy!

  9. Barbie


    February 17, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Panama ranks higher in a Quality of Life index than does Mexico. Panama and Mexico rank almost the same as far as Cost of Living…with Belize a bit lower. Mexico ranked highest as far as healthcare, and Mexico ranked highest as far as Climate…but – all in all, the three rank pretty close for everything. Just depends on your desires. Belize is not that easy to reach, and Panama is quite a distance too. When we retired, you’ll see in my book, Retire In Luxury, Mexico placed #1 as the best place to retire, with Panama coming in at #5, and Belize at #6. These ratings do change from time to time.

  10. Barbie


    February 17, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Joey,
    Tight money, student loans, and you’re headed where? for how long? Why? I know I’m sounding like a Grandma – but, that’s what I am. Things have changed – my kids used student loans to pay off college expenses – is Acapulco pertinent to your schooling? Maybe it is. Now, off my preaching podium – Joey, I hesitate to suggest places for people, ’cause one person’s “nice” is another’s “ugg”. Perhaps you can get on a good chatline and ask some expats living there if they know of any apartments or rooms. Usually, word of mouth info will get you the best deals. Best to you, Barbie – and good luck in your education pursuit. Barbie

  11. Richard McClure

    February 18, 2010 at 9:14 am


    I am retired now in Florida but the cost is getting high. I am planning to fly down to Mazatkan in May to look around. I would like to find a place to stay for a week. I am not pickie cleen is nice.

    Thanks for any help.


  12. Barbie


    February 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Richard – I very seldom suggest any place to stay – people have different expectations, but, I just found this deal… Now, remember, I haven’t been in to check it out – but, location, etc., seems good. And the rates are great! http://www.sandsarenas.com/index_in.html
    Let me know how it turns out.
    Best to you, Barbie

  13. Charles

    March 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I have a question regarding pets (dogs and a cat).

    What is required to bring them into Mexico and what is required to return them back into the U.S.?


  14. Barbie


    March 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Charles – that’s found on page 19 of my book, Retire In Luxury
    You can order straight from my site – it’s an ebook, so you will receive it immediately – no waiting! Barbie

  15. William

    April 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Richard – I very seldom suggest any place to stay – people have different expectations, but, I just found this deal… Now, remember, I haven’t been in to check it out – but, location, etc., seems good. And the rates are good! http://www.sandsarenas.com/index_in.html
    Let me know how it turns out.
    Best to you, Barbie

  16. Barbie


    January 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    My husband and I are hoping to visit Acapulco again in mid-February…about 2 weeks. I’m retired so we’re on a budget and are hoping to find a “local” hotel or small apartment for rent near the Caleta Beach.
    I realize you don’t recommend accommodations (and I understand why!), but how do I find expat blogs to contact?
    I appreciate your help…..and envy you your vast knowledge of Mexico and south!
    Mary Rafter
    Fairbanks, AK (now you know why we want a warm vacation!)

    I told her I’d list this in my blog section – Barbie. Hopefully she’ll receive some info.

  17. Mexico Rentals

    March 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Hi Margaret, you can find some stuff Mexico rentals here, though I am not on your destination.

    Barbie, I have “retired” (I’m only 40!) in Playa del Carmen 10 years ago… I love, than you for sharing all this information!

  18. Condominios en Houston

    April 1, 2011 at 10:06 am


    Is it safe in Mexico? I’ve been reading and hearing a lot of stories about how Mexico is unsafe. What are your thoughts?


  19. Barbie


    April 2, 2011 at 11:11 am

    And, it’s true, Mexico is having huge trouble with the drug lords now – I can’t guarantee anything, but, I’ll answer with an email I received last night – everyone must make up their own mind – traveling anyplace nowadays can be harrowing!
    “Dear Barbie,
    Thought you would be interested to know, we have just spent eleven weeks in Ajijic, Chapala. What an amazing place, fell in love with it, weather fantastic every day we were there. You can at least plan a family reunion three months in advance and know what the weather will be doing!!!!!! Where can you hop on a bus and take a 20 minute ride to the next village for 7 cents one way? Cost of living we found extremely cheap compared to Canada. Found the Mexican people in the area so friendly and wonderful.
    We had the pleasure of meeting a great dentist, doctor and rheumatologist during our stay, and were very impressed with their knowledge, care and the cost.
    Through your contact, we met up with Charlie (I deleted Charlie’s last name-Barbie), what a great guy he is. He drove us to the south side of Lake Chapala to San Luis Soyatlan where he lives. We had breakfast together, then he drove us around the village and took us to see his house. What a great place he has which he pays $225 a month rent for. He gave us some very valuable information which we are very grateful for.
    We arrived back in Canada this morning and are now making plans to move to Mexico.
    Keep up the good work, your information has been so helpful to people like us.”
    So, lots of research, and some connections before you go – well, these folks loved it. Barbie

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