In the past few years the worst of Mexico's drug-related gang violence has tended to take place in the northern border areas and not in the resorts. One notable exception is Acapulco, where there have been major disturbances since 2006. Although the violence is centered in poorer neighborhoods above the bay, several incidents have occurred in or near the tourist areas.

Visitors are not targets in these situations, and, given the importance of tourism to the city, business leaders have tended to press civic leaders about keeping local security high. In addition, roughly 7,000 federal police and soldiers have been deployed to the area as part of President Felipe Calderon's initiatives to fight drug-cartel violence across Mexico.

Before ruling out a trip to Acapulco, check for updates on drug-cartel activity and security; post inquiries on Fodor'; and scan for on-the-ground, of-the-moment blogs by English-speaking expats. Getting information from several sources will help you to better assess the climate and gauge whether or not the time is right for your Acapulco trip.