Acapulco and neighboring Beaches

- The Basics The 800km stretch of coast between Puerto Vallarta and Punta Maldonada, where the Sierra Madre reaches out to the ocean to form a string of coves, bays and narrow stretches of sand, is lined with some of Mexico's most popular resorts. Acapulco - the original, the biggest, and still for many the best - is a steep-sided, tightly curving bay that for all its excesses of high-rise development remains breathtakingly beautiful, from a distance at least. This is still the stamping ground of the wealthy, whose villas, high around the wooded sides of the bay, offer isolation from the packaged enclaves below.

All along this coast, between the major centers, you'll find beaches: some completely undeveloped; others linked to a village with a few rooms to rent and a makeshift bar on the sand; and the odd few with an isolated, maybe even luxurious, hotel. The ocean breakers can be wild, positively dangerous at times, and there are minor discomforts - unreliable or nonexistent water and electricity supplies, vicious mosquitoes - but the space and the simplicity, often just an hour's drive from a packed international resort, are well worth it.

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