World ? Caribbean & Central America ? Mexico ? Acapulco

Acapulco: Fast Facts

Area Code -- The telephone area code is 744.

Climate -- Acapulco boasts sunshine 360 days a year, with average daytime temperatures of 80ŶF (27ŶC). Humidity varies, with approximately 59 inches of rain per year. June through October is the rainy season, though July and August are relatively dry. Tropical showers are brief and usually occur at night.

Consular Agents -- The United States has an agent at the Hotel Acapulco Continental, Costera Alemȥn 121, Loc. 14 (tel. 744/469-0556); the office is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 2pm. The Canadian office is at the Centro Comercial Marbella, Loc. 23 (tel. 744/484-1305). The toll-free emergency number inside Mexico is tel. 01-800/706-2900. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. The United Kingdom office is at the Las Brisas Hotel on Carretera Escȳnica near the airport (tel. 744/481-2533). Most other countries in the European Union also have consulate offices in Acapulco.

Currency Exchange -- Numerous banks along the Costera are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Banks and their ATMs generally have the best rates. Casas de cambio (currency-exchange booths) along the street may have better rates than hotels.

Drugstores -- One of the largest drugstores in town is Farmacȷa Daisy, Francia 49, across the traffic circle from the convention center (tel. 744/48126350). Sam's Club and Wal-Mart, both on the Costera, have pharmacy services and lower prices on medicine.

Hospital -- Hospital Magallanes, Av. Wilfrido Massieu 2, Fracc. Magallanes (tel. 744/485-6194 or -6197), has an English-speaking staff and doctors. For local emergencies, call the Cruz Roja (Red Cross), Av. Ruiz Cortines s/n (tel. 065 or 744/445-5912).

Internet Access -- @canet, Costera Alemȥn 1632 Int., La Gran Plaza, Loc. D-1, lower floor (tel./fax 744/486-9186 or -8182), is open weekdays from 10am to 9pm and weekends from noon to 9pm. Internet access costs $2.50 (ţ1.40) per hour. This is a computer shop that also offers Internet access and has a very helpful staff. Also along the Costera strip is the Santa Clara Cafe, Costera Alemȥn 136, serving coffee, pastries, and ice cream, along with Internet service for $1 (55p) for 20 minutes. It's open 9am to 11pm. Internet access kiosks are also available inside Wal-Mart, Costera Miguel Alemȥn 500 (tel. 744-469-0203), with varying rates depending on usage.

Parking -- It is illegal to park on the Costera at any time. Try parking along side streets or in one of the few covered parking lots, such as in Plaza Bahȷa and in Plaza Mirabella.

Post Office -- The correo is next door to Sears, close to the Fideicomiso office. It's open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Other branches are in the Estrella de Oro bus station on Cuauhtȳmoc, inland from the Acapulco Qualton Hotel, and on the Costera near Caleta Beach.

Safety -- Riptides claim a few lives every year, so pay close attention to warning flags posted on Acapulco beaches. Red or black flags mean stay out of the water, yellow flags signify caution, and white or green flags mean it's safe to swim.

As is the case anywhere, tourists are vulnerable to thieves. This is especially true when shopping in a market, lying on the beach, wearing jewelry, or visibly carrying a camera, purse, or bulging wallet.

Telephone -- Acapulco phone numbers seem to change frequently. The most reliable source for telephone numbers is the Procuradurȷa del Turista, on the Costera in front of the convention center (tel. 744/484-4416), which has an exceptionally friendly staff.

Tourist Police -- Policemen in white and light-blue uniforms belong to the Tourist Police (tel. 065 for emergencies, or 744/485-0490), a special corps of English-speaking police established to assist tourists.

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