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A premier holiday destination with a budding scuba industry, Acapulco’s underwater shrine, wrecks and drifts make it a noteworthy dive destination.


A Submerged Shrine

Known locally as “Virgen Sumergida,” this underwater statue is located at Roqueta Island and due to its shallow depth is accessible to beginners.

Rio de la Plata

For shipwreck lovers, Rio de la Plata, which was sunk in 1944 and remains in fairly good condition, is found in the middle of the bay at 45 ft (15m).

Humpbacks and Whale Sharks

Although rare, it is possible to find humpback whales and whale sharks during the winter and spring months near the cliffs of Los Bajos de la Quebrada.

Diving in Acapulco

Quick facts

On the southern end of the Central Pacific Coast, Acapulco is a traditional holiday destination without a defined scuba industry. This is steadily changing as dive operators open and discover interesting new dive sites. Caves, walls, sunken ships and rocky reefs make up the majority of underwater environments.

Dive sites in the area sit at one of two extremes. Either they are suitable for beginners and basic dive training, or they feature heavy current and surge that is only suitable for advanced divers with drift experience.

Because of the area’s rocky shoreline, most diving takes place from small motorized boat with a giant leap exit.

Keep in mind that a 16% tax is levied on all dive operations in Mexico.

When to go

Pelagic species are most easily seen from November to May when conditions are calm. June to October features the warmest water temps and best visibility.

November to May

November to May is considered the best time to dive open ocean sites in Central Mexico, because the sea conditions in the Pacific are calmest during these months. The weather is good too; generally it’s sunny with an occasional rain shower.

Divers also have the chance of spotting the rare whale shark or even a migratory whale during these months.

At this time, however, visibility is negatively impacted is by the very plankton blooms that attract the pelagic species. These are most common around the full moon.

If you love diving with pelagic species and calm underwater conditions, book your holiday between November and May.

However, November to May is considered high season for general tourism, causing an increase in the price of flights and accommodation.

June to October

June to October is the offseason for general tourism in the area. However, at this time, the water warms significantly, reaching 75°F (24°C) in August and September. For many divers, especially beginners who will find the open ocean sites difficult to reach, the summer months are an ideal time to dive.

In addition, visibility is at its peak from June to October. It’s also low season for tourism throughout Mexico, meaning you should find excellent deals on accommodation, airfare and excursions. However, you will have to battle the hot and humid summer weather while topside.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

Conditions in Acapulco are always changing. Generally, beginners should stay to the north of La Roqueta while advanced divers can explore the west of the city.

    Snorkeling in Acapulco

    Like most Mexican tourist destinations, snorkeling tours are plentiful in Acapulco. Roqueta Island, Caleta and Caletilla are the best area for snorkeling. These areas feature a variety of fish, calm conditions and generally good visibility. Be prepared to access these snorkeling areas via small speed boat.
    There are approximately 20 dive sites near Acapulco, but the most popular surround La Roqueta Island. Most of these are suitable for beginners although there are some caves to explore for the more advanced, particularly at the aptly named Las Cuevas. A few of the best sites in the area include Palmitas, El Rincon, El Jardin and El Canal, an easy drift. Beginners can also take advantage of the Caleta and Caletilla dive sites as well as Rio de la Plata when conditions are calm. For advanced divers, Bufadero offers a challenge as does the exciting site called Los Bajos de la Quebrada where whale sharks and humpback whales are occasionally spotted.

    What to see

    Acapulco’s warm waters and rocky reefs are home to a variety of tropical fish. Small coral formations, sea fans, barnacles and gorgonians dot the underwater landscape. Sea stars, trumpetfish, jacks, boxfish, balloonfish, moray eels and mackerel are a common sight. Seahorses hide among the reef, waiting for a watchful eye to spot them. Sea turtles feast while divers and snorkelers look on. Sometimes a playful dolphin swims by the boat. At the easterly dive sites, flocks of eagle rays hang out during November and December. Finally, while rare, it is possible to chance across a whale shark or a humpback whale during the winter and spring months.


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    Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


    Acapulco de Juarez, or Acapulco for short, is a major seaport on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Located in the state of Guerrero, Acapulco enjoys the title of Mexico’s largest beach resort city.

    Dating back to the 8th Century, Acapulco has a long history of war and expansion. From the 1950s, the city became famous as a tourist destination for millionaires and Hollywood’s elite.

    Unfortunately, Mexico’s drug war has had a negative effect on tourism in the area. Gang violence continues to plague the city although government officials are making strides to restore security to the once famous tourist destination.

    Other attractions

    As one of the oldest tourist destinations in Mexico, Acapulco has plenty of activities to keep you busy during your holiday. One of the most popular thing to do is see La Quebrada Cliff Divers who have been performing daring dives into the sea since 1934. The shady walks of Zocalo, Acapulco’s town square, and Pie de la Cuesta invite visitors to relax and take in the gorgeous scenery. If you’re looking for a bit more adventure, the CICI waterpark and a bungee jump platform are located near the main beach. Don’t forget to do a little shopping downtown and to relax on the pristine beaches. You’re sure to return home feeling recharged after a holiday in Acapulco.

    Getting there

    For holidaymakers who wish to make Acapulco their only destination, Juan N. Alvarez International Airport is well-connected internationally and domestically. For those arriving from Mexico City, several bus companies from basic to luxury make the trip in approximately 5 hours. If you have a rental car, driving along the modern four lane highway from Mexico City to Acapulco takes only 4 hours.


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    Main airport

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