We also just got back from Dawn Feb trip and it was our first to Acapulco and Zhiahuartanejo. We booked an all day tour with Rosie in Acapulco to get a good overview of the city and area. We ended up with five of us from the cruisecritic roll call group and we had large Ford van. She is very good, and funny. We saw the cliff divers in early morning show with no crowds, the coastline, the old hollywood hotel, view of the bays, the ship, the cathedtral, malecon or ocean walk, flying acrobats, shopping areas, Senior Frogs for lunch and view. Ended up at Fort and enjoyed the whole day doing a lot more than we could have on our own or with big bus tour. City has lots of trash out and traffic is nightmare, beggers out in force in some areas.
Zhia was our favorite. Nice small town, with easy walking tours. We only had from 7am-2pm here so didn't have time to go to IXtappa. The island over there with swimming, snorkeling and beaches sounds nice and we may do next time but this time we wanted to see the cities on these new ones.
For Cabo, we love to go whalewatching and it was great as always. We saw breeching whales for first time in 10 or 12 tours around the world. Walking around marina area is also nice. We have previously taken city and coastal tour that goes up the coast to San Jose de Cabo, and a couple of large hotels.
Mazatlan--We have done Sierra Madre tour if you have 8 or 9 hrs, which goes to Concordia, Copola and tours the city. We have also gone horseback riding with Randi's happy horses on Stone Island with lunch at Victors. Both were great, again with the area tours our preference for 1st trip. Randi's was laid back tour with time for food, drink and sitting near beach. This time we went with Mazatlan Frank on our own van tour in order to maximize our 1-7pm time there. We got the Colonial tour, which is city, some country including Concordia, a tile maker, a brickmaker, outside furniture factory, bakery, and a private hacienda. We saw Old Maz and other city sights.
For PV, we have done the rainforest safari in big 4x4 mercedes trucks thru small towns, across river beds, ranches to rainforest for short walk and then beach bbq. Takes whole day but fun and crazy and you learn a little too. Have also done city tour and coastal tour. Pretty city to walk around in. This time we did city tour with mexican fiesta at nearby hacienda and tequila factory with tastings and lunch.
Haven't found anything we didn't like. The big buses tours spend more time at shopping areas in your limited time window. Lots of people just hit the beaches or bars and sit there all day in all of these ports. We like the beach but don't want to waste time doing nothing but that. So there is plenty to do or not do.