Puerto Vallarta vs. Acapulco: Songs from the Pacific

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Difference between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco

Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco are popular destinations to visit when travelers go to Mexico. However, these areas are quite different from each other, even though many people automatically assume that they are the same in what they offer and so forth. The main differences between these two areas are the residents who live in the area, things to do, and atmosphere.

Puerto Vallarta

Residents In The Area

The areas around Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta are home to larger local populations. However, many people who have ventured to these areas while visiting Mexico, point out that the residents in each area are completely difference from on another. Acapulco is an area in which the government promotes travel for Mexicans, while the Puerto Vallarta area is where the government promotes for tourists. Acapulco is highly populated with around 3 million people, while Puerto Vallarta population is more around the 300,000 mark for residents who live in the area. Thus, if looking for a small and intimate vacation, then Puerto Vallarta is going to be the area that you would want to visit.

Things To Do In The Area

Due to the size differentiation between these two areas, each area boasts a number of different things to do. Acapulco is steadily becoming a major metro city which means that for those who are looking to party at clubs and bars, then this is the place to go. There are a variety of shops in the area as well.

On the other hand, Puerto Vallarta is provides visitors with more laid back things to do. The person will find that the spending time on the beaches is a great way to relax, and there are a few low key but charming restaurants nearby. When thinking of things to do, each area offers something different. Many people visit both areas to get the best of both worlds when they visit west coast Mexican beaches.


The atmosphere in each area is entirely different. Since the population is much smaller in Puerto Vallarta most people report that the residents are friendly and go out of their way to be helpful. The local activities tend to be lower key and relaxing, which is what many people are looking for when they visit the area. Acapulco has a more metropolitan feeling, most travelers report that it is a busier tourist destination and visitors are less likely to strike up a casual conversation with a local resident. As a tourist destination catering to Mexican speaking tourists, English may not be as commonly spoken as it would be in other tourist areas.

Compare and Contrast

When visiting Mexico both areas are places that people are going to want to visit since they are so different from one another:

  • Puerto Vallarta has a much lower population with only around 300,000 residents and it caters to foreign visitors, thus is a popular vacation destination.
  • Acapulco is a high rise city that has a popular of around 3 million and still rising.
  • Acapulco is an area in which many clubs and bars can be found, as well as shopping available around every corner.
  • Puerto Vallarta is lower key with beaches being the main points of attraction for those who live in the area.
  • Puerto Vallarta offers a laid back atmosphere where everyone is friendly, while Acapulco offers more busy things to do and is constantly running.


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