The Rustic Beach Town of Pie de la Cuesta, Acapulco

Located just about 10 kilometers away from the actual town of Acapulco lies the tranquil seaside suburb of Pie de la Cuesta. Literally translated as “foot of the hill”, this rustic, little town is a hidden gem in the state of Guerrero, in the southwest of Mexico. Blood-red sunsets, laid-back beach vibes and local restaurants have made this place a great destination for backpackers and relaxed tourists. The town itself is not the attraction, but rather that it sits on a relatively thin stretch of beach which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Laguna de Coyuca on the other side. A truly beautiful lagoon, almost as nice as the Laguna de Bacalar we visited on the Yucatan Peninsula before.

A Little Bit About the Acapulco Area

Once known as the jet-set capital and refuge for celebrities, Acapulco has seen an increase in violence, particularly as a result of gang warfare, in the last years. Despite the fact that this drug-related violence has caused some problems in local tourism, the city’s reputation of being a high-energy party and beach town still remains. A large number of local tourists still flock here regularly, enjoying the city’s vast amount of nightlife opportunities. If you are planning to visit Acapulco you will have to consider that the city is divided into 3 different areas: Costera, Punta Diamante and Pie de la Cuesta. Depending on what kind of activities you are planning to do here, you can choose between these areas.

The most famous place for exploring Acapulco’s nightlife with all its madness is Costera – located directly along the coast of the Acapulco Bay. Home to loads of constructions built right along the beach and the best place to go if you want to party hard at night and line-up with the tourists on the beach at daytime. Further down south you will find Punta Diamante, the new kid on the block, sometimes also called “New Acapulco”. This area has been developing rapidly within the last years with loads of new luxury hotels, condos, shopping centers, restaurants, golf courses and a few discos being constructed to basically form a new town. The place to go if you want to just stay in your hotel or apartment, go shopping and lie around the pool all day. The third area and place which we decided to visit is the Pie de la Cuesta. A very chilled area further up north of town and a destination for people who prefer to chill out at the beach and pool, go water-skiing, eat great local food and enjoy some breathtaking sunsets!

Pie de la Cuesta

You can reach the Pie de la Cuesta easily from Mexico City. You can either decide to fly directly to Acapulco International Airport (ACA) or drive to Acapulco with a car or bus. Taking the bus is an easy option as it takes you around 5-6 hours from Mexico City and leaves you right in the middle of the city. From there you can then take a taxi to Pie de la Cuesta, which will cost you around 150-200 Pesos (ca. 8-10 USD). The ride will take you around 45 minutes.

Arriving along the coast you will already see the large beach which stretches as far as the eye can see. As seen on the map, Pie de la Cuesta is settled on a small stretch of land. The left side, facing the ocean, consists of a very beautiful, white beach. The lower part of it belongs to the town and is home to a number of smaller hotels and restaurants. Further up north is a military basis and airport and is a no-gone zone for tourists. The right side, facing the lagoon, is also marked with restaurants, residential homes and serves as a starting point for boat excursions exploring the fresh-water lagoon. The beach itself is not that safe for swimming as the waves can get quite high and strong along the entire coast! I gave it a try and loved to surf the waves but I would only recommend going in here if you are an experienced swimmer.

Where to Stay

The choice of accommodation in Pie de la Cuesta is relatively limited. There a few smaller resorts located both along the beach and also at the lagoon. These are all small-scale properties but provide all the necessary amenities to make your stay comfortable.

One of the most well-known hotels in the area is Baxar. The hotel offers spacious rooms held in a traditional Mexican design and is located on the beach side. It has a small pool and a restaurant offering local Mexican dishes and drinks. They have a nice beach area with hammocks and resting areas to enjoy the beach. Additionally, they offer spa and massage treatments as well as a boat rental for the lagoon. This is also the hotel we stayed in during our trip here.

Mostly famous for its food but also as a great accommodation option is Hacienda Vayma. It offers a large variety of different room types along with a large pool area. It is well-known to be the best place to go with your dogs as it sets itself to be a pet-friendly hotel. So if you are not much into pets running around this might not be the best option!

A&V Hotel Boutique, located a bit further up the beach is a cute, little boutique property. It offers clean and modern rooms and has a small outdoor pool, pool bar and a children’s playground. The hotel has a nice terrace area and a small restaurant with nice views to the sea.

If you are looking for a more upscale accommodation then Hotel Boutique Casa Cormoranes might just be the best option. Located on the lagoon side, this hotel offers some beautiful and spacious villas with a great outdoor pool, sun terrace and restaurant.

Where to Eat

Most of the hotels and resorts in the area also have restaurants which serve meals to both guests and external visitors. Baxar offers some great Mexican dishes and has a variety of western dishes, all very freshly prepared and offered with a great price. Definitely a great place to have lunch or dinner. They also have a selection of great cocktails – highly recommended to try their lemon Margarita!

Hotel Vayma is famous for its pasta and pizza which you cannot find that easily anywhere else along this area. They have a great terrace to relax and enjoy the sunset. Great location for a nice and romantic dinner – definitely try their pizza and customize it according to your personal preferences.

Another famous restaurant and often rated as the best place to eat in Pie de la Cuesta is the Tres Marias Restaurant. They have a great variety of delicious seafood dishes for reasonable prices. It is quite a popular spot for locals so make sure to come a bit earlier.

What to do

Foremost, Pie de la Cuesta is an area famous for its tranquil beach and lazy beach atmosphere. The best thing to do here is the enjoy the peace, relax in the sun, take a dip in the pool or in the ocean and let it go. So our first tip is to simply enjoy the beach and relax. As mentioned earlier, the waves can get quite high in this area so be prepared for some rough times when entering the water. Once you are passed the big waves it is better to swim, presuming you are a good swimmer. Also, you can enjoy some nice walks all the way to the beginning of the beach or do some morning jogging and exercise sessions – it’s the perfect spot for this! Make sure not to head up too far north as the military zone starts there.

If bumming around the pool or beach is not enough for you and you are in need of some activity you can do so on the other side of the road. The lagoon, Laguna de Coyuca, offers a range of different water sport activities such as water-skiing or jet-skiing. Also, you can rent a kayak and discover the surrounding mangrove forests. These are full of different birds that can be observed from up-close. Most of the hotels offer guided tours as you should not enter the preserved forests by yourself. Interesting fact: The movie Rambo: First Blood Part II was filmed in the lagoon – pretty cool, huh?

Alternatively, you can book a tour with a boat on the lagoon and do a trip to Isla Montosa. It’s a nice island which offers some small restaurants with great seafood dishes. You can enjoy some nice swims in the lagoon and spend a day chilling on the island. On the way, you can also pass by an island called Isla Pájaros, which is a bird sanctuary.

To conclude your day we suggest to grab a drink and enjoy an amazing sunset! The sun sets directly in front of the beach and offers some spectacular colors – you won’t be able to miss it!

You can also check out our video about our stay here to get some more inspirations!

4 thoughts on “The Rustic Beach Town of Pie de la Cuesta, Acapulco”

  1. Pingback: Sayulita - Eating, Surfing & Chillin' on Mexico's Pacific Coast |

  2. Thanks for your information on Pie de la Questa. My grandmother lived in Mexico for over 40 years (the 1940s to the 1980s) and had a house in Acapulco and we would visit often. Pie de la Questa was my favorite beach to visit. Back then it was just little houses along the beach and the owners would make little palapas and sometime hang hammocks. They would come out from their houses and offer to make you dinner and drinks for a small price. There was a restaurant along the lagoon but I think that was the only one. Once on our way there, we were told by the military to turn back because there were banditos! I’m interested to know more about the area now as well as the lagoon. When I was a child, there were sharks in the lagoon that had become land locked and acclimated to the fresh or brackish water. Are they still there today?

    1. Hi Margo, thanks for your interesting story about Pie de la Questa’s past! The area is probably more developed by now then it was back then, yet it still remains a fairly rustic town, especially compared to the massive tourists spots in Acapulco. There are still some restaurants along the beach and also the lagoon, I am not sure about the sharks but we went swimming and kayaking around there and did not see any. The military still has a base there though. I hope you get to have the chance to visit this place again as it still has a lovely charm.

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