Acapulco is not among the best places to buy Mexican crafts, but it does have a few interesting shops, and the Costera is lined with places to buy tourist souvenirs, including silver jewelry, Mexico knickknacks, and the ubiquitous T-shirt.
The shopkeepers aren't pushy, but they'll test your bargaining mettle. The starting price will be steep, and dragging it down may take some time. Before buying silver, examine it carefully and look for ."925" stamped on the back. This supposedly signifies that the silver is 92.5% pure, but the less expensive silver metal called "alpaca" may also bear this stamp. (Alpaca is generally stamped MEXICO or MEX, often in letters so tiny that they are hard to read and look similar to the three-digit ."925.")
Linda de Taxco, located at the Quebrada where the cliff divers perform (tel. 744/483-3340), is a large store selling silver and gold pieces, including quality silver from Taxco. It's open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 10pm.
Sanborn's (www.sanborns.com.mx), an excellent department store and drugstore chain, offers an array of staples, including cosmetics, music, clothing, books, and magazines. It also carries high-quality folk art from around Mexico. Its bakery and candy counters are irresistible, and the restaurants serve excellent breakfasts (and other meals). Locations in Acapulco include downtown at Costera Miguel Alemán 209, across from the boat docks (tel. 744/482-6167), and one with an outdoor patio by the beach at Costera Miguel Alemán 1226, at the Condo Estrella Tower, close to the convention center (tel. 744/484-2035). All are open daily from 7:30am to midnight.
Boutiques selling resort wear crowd the Costera Alemán. These stores carry attractive summer clothing at prices lower than you generally pay in the United States. If there's a sale, you can find incredible bargains. One of the nicest air-conditioned shopping centers on the Costera is Plaza Bahía, Costera Alemán 125 (tel. 744/485-6939, -6992), which has four stories of shops, movie theaters, a bowling alley, and small fast-food restaurants. The center is just west of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The bowling alley, Aca Bol in Plaza Bahía (tel. 744/485-0970, -7464), is open daily from noon to midnight (1am on weekends). Another popular shopping strip is the Plaza Condesa, adjacent to the Fiesta Americana Condesa; shops include Guess, Izod, and Bronce Swimwear. Olvido Plaza, near the restaurant of the same name, has Tommy Hilfiger and Aca Joe. The enormous glass Gran Plaza, Costera Alemán 1632 (tel. 744/486-6479), is the Costera's largest, with department stores, 135 shops, Internet cafes, a Starbucks, and a large food court. It's a great place to escape the heat.
The top shopping center in Acapulco is La Isla, Blvd. de los Naciones 1813, off the Carretera Escénica close to the airport (tel. 744/462-1962). Opened in late 2008, the open-air mall with streams and lush landscaping houses the Mexican department stores Liverpool and Casa Palacio, as well as name-brand stores including Coach, Calvin Klein, DKNY, and Hugo Boss. There's also a cinema and Carlos 'n Charlie's located here, along with other restaurants and entertainment options, and there's free Wi-Fi throughout the property. It's one of the most popular places for locals on weekends, when families stroll about during the day and couples take over the pedestrian pathways and park benches at night.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.