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Der Strand von Acapulco, Bild: Rafal Kubiak / shutterstock

Acapulco – cliff divers, dream beaches and nightlife

The famous seaside resort of Acapulco is located on the Mexican Pacific coast and developed into the favorite resort of the US jet set from the 1950s onwards thanks to its excellent natural conditions, such as miles of sandy beaches and year-round bathing weather. Especially after the revolution in Cuba, when this exotic holiday destination was no longer accessible, Acapulco quickly took one of the top places in the favor of the Americans. In the decades that followed, many wealthy Hollywood personalities bought a villa here, spent their luxurious honeymoons under Mexico’s tropical sun, and ensured that exclusive bars and nightclubs were established. However, due to drug problems and the high crime rate, the number of tourists in Acapulco has been falling for years.

General information about Acapulco

La Quebrada Rock, Acapulco
The rock La Quebrada, Image: Anton_Ivanov / shutterstock

The city with around 690,000 inhabitants stretches along a wide bay on a strip of only 800 m wide between the sea and the mountains of the Sierra Madre del Sur. Today, the image of the village is mainly shaped by the many high-rise buildings that were built in the heyday of tourism. Playa La Icacos and Playa La Condesa are just two of the beautiful sandy beaches of Acapulco, which extend over a total length of 16 km. Since the region has a tropical climate with year-round temperatures between 23° and 30° C, beach vacationers and water sports enthusiasts get their money’s worth at any time of the year, but the rainy season is from June to October. The Pacific Ocean offers ideal water temperatures that never fall below the 25°C mark, so swimming, snorkeling and diving are among the most popular activities. Even on the more than well-visited beach sections, there is still a relatively intact underwater world. For water sports enthusiasts, Acapulco is an excellent area with a varied offer – for example, you can surf, water ski or simply go on a relaxing boat tour.

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Sights, excursion destinations and possible activities

Island “La Roqueta” in Acapulco, Image: Jorge Zorrilla AM / shutterstock

One of the main attractions of Acapulco, which hardly any vacationer misses, are the cliff divers (clavadistas) of La Quebrada. In earlier times, pearl divers jumped from this rock into the depths – today it is only a purely tourist event. If you want to save the entrance fee for “the show”, you have just as good and unrestricted a view from a small bridge on the opposite side as from the visitor platform, for which a ticket must be purchased. Acapulco’s most significant historical attraction is located in the city’s harbor, where the 17th-century Fort San Diego can be admired. The complex with its unusual five-pointed shape is one of the most beautiful examples of the former Spanish defenses on the Pacific coast and has housed the city’s historical museum since 1986. It is worth strolling through the exhibition rooms and getting a comprehensive impression of the time of colonization to Mexico’s independence.

Despite the distance of almost 200 km, many culturally interested tourists, for whom the holiday package of sun, beach and sea is not enough, take part in an organized tour to the silver city of Taxco. The village is located at an altitude of 1515 m in the mountains and even the drive over a winding serpentine road is an adventure. Taxco is an authentic small colonial town and a national monument. Visitors stroll through the alleys with the whitewashed houses and like to sit in the cafés on one of the many squares. If you are enthusiastic about silver jewelry, you are guaranteed to find one or the other beautiful piece in the shops of the municipality, because Taxco is the center of Mexican silver processing. Under no circumstances should you miss a visit to the baroque cathedral of Santa Prisca, which was built in the 1750s and is one of the most beautiful churches in the country due to its ornate interior decoration with rich carvings and magnificent paintings.

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Mexico is also a destination for animal and plant lovers and so numerous tours are offered from Acapulco. One of the most popular excursions is a trip to Laguna Coyuca, a beautiful bird sanctuary that can be discovered on an organized, guided boat tour or in a rented kayak. The small island of Isla de la Roqueta, which lies about one kilometre off the coast in the bay of Acapulco, is also worth a stay of several hours and scores with its lush tropical vegetation. Snorkelers and divers are happy about the intact reefs, but families with children will not get bored either, because the zoo and a lighthouse provide suitable activities on the 8 km² island.

There are several excellent golf courses in Acapulco and tennis is also one of the sports practiced by many holidaymakers here. For many holiday guests, the unforgettable experiences include horseback rides along the beach and romantics like to extend their stay with a picnic afterwards and enjoy the fantastic sunset over the Pacific.

Although Acapulco has lost many tourists to other resorts, such as Cancun, in recent decades, the noble myth of this seaside resort on the Pacific Ocean still lives on. If you want to spend a beach holiday with all amenities and a very good infrastructure, appreciate a varied entertainment programme and perhaps sometimes want to turn night into day during your holiday, you will find the best conditions for this in Acapulco.