A small budget in Acapulco doesn't mean you can't have a grand time, as you'll find plenty of things to do to make memories here without breaking the bank. Acapulco is home to so many amazing viewpoints offering spectacular sunsets, historic sites, fantastic architecture, and beauty that you can spend an entire vacation here just snapping photos and still not see everything there is to see. You can visit archaeological sites, relax on beaches that are tropical paradises, and window shop vibrant shopping districts.

    No matter why you're in this town, you'll find plenty to do that's entirely budget-friendly. Check out some of the best cheap and free things to do on a small budget in Acapulco.

    1

    La Quebrada

    Watch death-defying cliff divers

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    La Quebrada is a stunning cliffside area that's famous for its professional cliff divers, who have been performing for crowds here since 1934, and are a pulse-pounding sight to see. The cliff has two ledges from which the divers leap: 40 feet high and 80 feet high. What makes this so exciting is that at the foot of the cliffs are tons of jagged rocks, and a miscalculation would be disastrous. The divers must calculate the perfect moment to catch an incoming wave as they plunge towards the water.

    Cliff diving is a long tradition here, and many come from the same group. La Quebrada is only 30 minutes west of downtown.

    Location: La Quebrada 25, Centro, 39300 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +52 744 688 4300

    Map
    2

    Mirador Sinfonia del Mar

    See a restored historic amphitheater with ocean views

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo

    Mirador Sinfonia del Mar is a site that features astounding views of the Pacific ocean from a historically restored amphitheater that once served as a meeting spot for high society. Today the amphitheater is open to the public, and you can walk the stage to admire its ornate stonework or climb the 16-level theater to capture panoramic views and photographs of the ocean in front of you and the cliffs behind. Many people come here right before sunset as the views at that time of day are explosively brilliant as the setting sun's colors erupt across the waters.

    The theater also hosts a range of live entertainment performances and concerts. It's 45 minutes west of town.

    Location: Av Costera Miguel Alemán s/n, Las Playas, 39390 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    3

    Parque De La Reina

    Visit a vast green urban park

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Parque de La Reina offers a vast green space to relax and recharge your batteries with breathtaking bay views and plenty of space for the kids to run and play. The park is along the seashore, so it gets a constant, comfortable breeze and offers plenty of parking. Many cultural events occur here throughout the year, and most are free to attend. You'll find plenty of free parking here as well, so if you want a place to get back to nature without getting lost in the forest, this park might be a good option.

    The park is 40 minutes from downtown but close to many local amenities. The most popular time to visit is around 9 am.

    Location: Av Costera Miguel Alemán 248, Terminal Maritima, 39300 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: 24/7

    Map
    4

    Playa Icacos

    Check out a beach known for its watersports

    Playa Icacos is among the largest beaches near Acapulco and yet still manages to be something of a hidden gem in terms of low crowds and a more relaxed vibe. This one is a great option if you're into watersports. Here you'll find opportunities to watch and engage in everything from motorboating to parasailing, water skiing to paddle boarding, jet skiing, and beyond.

    This one also features many beach vendors selling everything from snacks to souvenirs and kitsch. Fair warning: some vendors can be aggressive, but they generally back off if you're polite but firm. The beach is in the Golden Zone, just 30 minutes west of downtown.

    Location: Guerrero, Mexico

    Map
    5

    Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad

    See the city's primary Catholic church

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Catedral de Nuestra Denora de la Soledad, or Our Lady of Solitude Cathedral, is the primary Catholic church in the heart of downtown with nontraditional architecture and stunning décor inside. Outside, you'll see an intriguing design featuring a blue dome in an onion shape with Byzantine-style towers. In contrast, inside, the yellow tiled floor juxtaposed with the white and bright blue walls is breathtaking. Many people enjoy the sculpture here, as well as the church's primary art attraction: the image of the Virgin of Solitude.

    The church was designed by architect Frederico Mariscal and built in the 1940s. It's highly unique in the way it fuses Byzantine, Moorish, and Art Deco styling. It's free to enter but be respectful during services.

    Location: Independencia Numero 1 Centro, 39715 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Phone: +52 744 482 1848

    Map
    6

    Playa Condesa

    Visit Acapulco's popular LGBTQ+ beach

    Playa Condesa offers one of the most popular beaches in the area, with fantastic watersports, a celebratory vibe, and great views of the bay from stretches of gold sand. This beach tends to get crowded, so it's best to arrive before 11 am to stake out your spot, but it's backed by luxury hotels and tons of amenities like restaurants, shopping, and entertainment venues. Loungers and umbrellas are available to rent, and beach vendors offer snacks and souvenirs. Another thing that sets this one apart is that it's LGBTQ+ friendly, with a gay beach section.

    If you're looking for a vibrant beach with plenty of shopping and dining, this is the spot. It's 30 minutes west of downtown.

    Location: Guerrero, Mexico

    Map
    7

    Mercado Central

    Check out a vast, traditional market

    Mercado Central, also known as the Municipal Market, is one of Acapulco's biggest and best local traditional markets with souvenirs, arts and crafts, and local food. Here you can try dishes cooked up by chefs from local restaurants and browse endless stalls of fresh produce, cured meats, specialty items like honey, jelly, and jam, and a welcoming local crowd. Besides food, you'll also find tons of shops offering locally handcrafted arts and crafts, flower shops, gift shops, secondhand goods and collectibles, and shops selling general bric-a-brac.

    No trip to Mexico would be complete without experiencing a traditional outdoor local market, and Mercado Central is just that in Acapulco. It's 35 minutes west of central downtown.

    Location: Av. Constituyentes, Cuereria 25, 39350 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6.30 pm

    Map
    8

    Plaza Alvarez

    Check out a classic public square

    Plaza Alvarez offers the chance to experience a classic, traditional, and photo-worthy public town square as well as the premier shopping district in Acapulco. The bandstand at the center of this square is ideal for photos, and the entire area is surrounded by stores selling everything from souvenirs and gifts to the latest hot fashions. You can also grab a bite to eat here at restaurants ranging from quick takeout stands to fine dining. Even if you're on a budget, there's no harm in window shopping—the sights and smells are all free.

    You can easily spend a few days exploring this neighborhood before seeing everything here. It's about 35 minutes west of downtown.

    Location: Av Costera Miguel Alemán s/n, Centro, 39300 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: 24/7

    Map

    photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Mirador Puerto Marques

    Capture stunning vistas for miles around

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo

    Mirador Puerto Marques offers stunning seaside views of the waves crashing against the rocks and makes for great photo ops to become the highlight of your social media feed. This narrow roadside viewpoint is a quick stop off while you're on your way between seeing the sights. Still, you won't be disappointed as it offers views for miles in every direction, with the endless waters of the Acapulco Bay on one side and miles of inland viewpoints on the other.

    Pro tip: stop here at sunset and catch a stunning image as the brilliant red, orange, and pink of the Mexican sinking sun colors the entire world. It's only 19 minutes south of downtown.

    Location: Acapulco - Aeropuerto Acapulco 4107, Pichilingue, 39880 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Map
    10

    Zona Arqueologica de Palma Sola

    See a hidden, historic gem of the region

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    Zona Arqueologica de Palma Sola is a hidden gem of Acapulco which offers archaeological ruins dating back as far as 450 BCE with native art and stunning city views. Here you can see perfectly preserved rock paintings that are thousands of years old, as well as petroglyphs that depict the ancient native story of creation. Of course, the birds-eye view of Acapulco far below is also an Instagram-worthy snapshot. The site is believed to have been a holy location for ancient peoples and has a serene, meditative vibe.

    When you come here, be sure to bring water as there aren't amenities nearby, and the climb is a long one. It's about 42 minutes northwest of downtown.

    Location: 39510, Palma Sola, 39510 Acapulco de Juárez, Gro., Mexico

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 8 pm (closed Saturday–Sunday)

    Phone: +52 744 355 6660

    Map

    photo by FernandoReyesAlvarez (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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