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Most people arrive on the new, fast - and expensive - Autopista del Sol from Mexico to Acapulco, but the coast road, whatever some old maps may say, is perfectly feasible - if a little rough in the final stretches - all the way from the United States border to Guatemala. Between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, it's a good modern highway; unrelentingly spectacular as it forces its way south, sometimes over the narrow coastal plain, more often clinging precariously to the fringes of the Sierra where it falls away into the ocean. Most buses heading down from Mazatlan turn inland to Guadalajara, but many also continue to Puerto Vallarta, and from there on down Highway-200 towards Acapulco. Guadalajara itself has very frequent bus connections with Puerto Vallarta, Barra de Navidad and Manzanillo, while from central Michoacan you can head down to the coast at Lazaro Cardenas. Zihuatanejo has direct bus services from Mexico. Plentiful buses also run between these resorts, though you may have to change if you're traveling long-distance. It's easy to get from Puerto Vallarta to Barra de Navidad, and from there to Manzanillo and from Manzanillo to Lazaro cardenas, but there are few direct services from Puerto Vallarta all the way down. In the state of Guerrero there are occasional military checkpoints on the roads, where all traffic is stopped and searched. Tourists usually assume that this is for drugs, which may be at least partly true, though the check rarely amounts to more than a peremptory prod at the outside of your case; more importantly the hills remain wild and relatively undeveloped, retaining a reputation for banditry and guerrilla activity. This is not something you need expect to come across, but traveling these roads you should keep your passport and papers handy and not carry anything you wouldn't want discovered in your possession.

Prices in the resorts, particularly for accommodation, are dictated largely by season which, in the bigger places, stretches from early or mid-December to after Easter or the end of April. In high season the swankier hotels on the Pacific coast charge about double the off-season rates and need to be booked in advance. Budget hotels vary their rates less but costs are still 20-30 percent down outside the peak season. Smaller beach towns catering exclusively to Mexicans have a shorter season, usually just December and Semana Santa, but the same rules apply.