Cancun vs. Acapulco, which one is better?

Arthur Frommer is never shy about saying what's on his mind. The legendary guidebook writer practically invented European travel in the 1950s with his book "Europe on 5 Dollars a Day." At the time, trips to the Continent were not usually taken by the middle class. Frommer asked, why not?

He has never stopped traveling, and is always eager to share his opinion, the more controversial the better. He once wrote a travel guide to Branson, Missouri, that seemed to tell readers not to go.

His latest foray: comparing the two Mexican resort cities Cancun and Acapulco.

Cancun, he says in his blog, "is completely divorced from the travel experience. It partakes very little of Mexico. Visiting its several resplendent shopping malls, you think yourself in Southern California. Staying in its hotels, you could be anywhere on earth."

But Acapulco is an undeniably Mexican place, he notes. The food is Mexican, the fellow vacationers are mainly Mexican, and Spanish is the primary language.

He also rhapsodizes about the setting. "As your bus or van or car rounds a mountain and then reveals to you the sweeping Bay of Acapulco below you, one of the world's great natural sights, you are exhilarated by the experience."

I'm not going to argue with Arthur. But I will say I've never seen water as blue as I have in Cancun. And some of the world's best archaeological sights are within easy reach.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.


Photos via Flickr: Cancun by KingLele_


Acapulco by Mark Hogan


  1. Eva

    Hmm… I’ve never been to Cancun but I have to admit I hardly recognized the Acapulco in Arthur Frommer’s post. I always joke that I’ve been to Acapulco, but I’ve never been to Mexico — I went down there for spring break as a high school senior (along with 1000 other Ottawa-area seniors – yikes) to celebrate graduation and it was your standard-issue, messy, Senor Frog’s type of scene.
    That being said, the hotels are right in the middle of the city and not at all exclusive feeling or isolated, so I guess it would be pretty easy to walk away from the main strip and experience the city, if you chose to? Not sure if that’s the case in Cancun?

    March 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm
  2. Larry Bleiberg

    Cancun has a pretty isolated hotel zone, but there’s plenty of shopping, restaruant and bars that have developed right around it.
    But 1,000 Canadian teenagers on an international blow out? Bet you have some stories!

    March 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm
  3. Eva

    From what I remember, I do indeed. I’m kind of amazed, in retrospect, that our parents let us go!

    March 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm
  4. Jake

    I would defietely recommend CANCUN! it is more fun evnthough more expensive everything is better than in Acapulco!

    August 8, 2009 at 10:15 am
  5. Mitch

    I prefer Acapulco for sure. Yeah, Cancun is crazy, but Spring Break Acapulco is just amazing! There are chill spots and then there are still the crazy clubs- there is literally something for everyone. Plus the sights are just awesome.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:49 am

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