Acapulco has a long and glamorous history as the preferred location of movie stars and celebrities from as far back as the 1950’s, long before the rise in popularity of Cancun or Cabo. Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Pacific”, everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Frank Sinatra made regular visits to the sunny shores of Acapulco. Elvis Presley even made a movie about it, called “Fun in Acapulco”, and the TV series “The Love Boat” always made a weekly stop in its harbors. Here are some secret Acapulco travel tips that you probably didn’t know from watching the old television set.
Currency, Exchanges, and Bartering
The standard Mexican currency is the peso, listed as M$ by local merchants. They usually also list the alternative US Dollar prices as well, with a US$ demarcation. Most stores will accept either form of currency, as well as American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. But you will likely get a much better deal by paying in pesos. While most of the local hotels provide this currency exchange service, the rates can be very high. Locate a bank or a “casa de cambio” (exchange booth) for the best rates. Whenever buying souvenirs, start out by offering 50% of the estimated cost. This is called “bartering” and is an expected method of conducting business in Acapulco
Let’s say that you need to call home for medical assistance or just to check in with the family. All over the Acapulco area, you will find telephone booths that say “Call Long Distance to the USA” or to Canada. They will try to attract you by saying you only have to “dial 0”. But beware! While these phone booths do usually accept credit cards and make calling home extremely quick and easy, they are being managed and operated by private phone companies that charge extremely expensive rates. As one of the most important Acapulco travel tips, we recommend only using these types of phones for emergency purposes. Otherwise, you might just faint when you get your monthly credit card bill after arriving home.