Acapulco de Juárez (Spanish: [akaˈpulko de ˈxwaɾes]),
commonly called Acapulco, is a city, municipality and major seaport in
the state of
Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 380 kilometres
(240 mi) south of
Acapulco is located on a deep,
semicircular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period
of Mexico's history. It is a port of call for shipping and cruise
lines running between
Panama and San Francisco, California, United
States. The city of
Acapulco is the largest in the state, far
larger than the state capital Chilpancingo.
Acapulco is also Mexico's
largest beach and balneario resort city.
The city is one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, which came into
prominence in the 1940s through to the 1960s as a getaway for
Hollywood stars and millionaires.
Acapulco is still famous and
still attracts many tourists, although most are now from Mexico
itself. The resort area is divided into three parts: The north end
of the bay and beyond is the "traditional" area, which encompasses the
area from Parque Papagayo through the Zócalo and onto the beaches of
Caleta and Caletilla, the main part of the bay known as "Zona Dorada"
('golden zone' in Spanish), where the famous in the mid-20th century
vacationed, and the south end, "Diamante" ('diamond' in Spanish),
which is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels and condominiums.
The name "Acapulco" comes from
Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means
"where the reeds were destroyed or washed away". The "de Juárez"
was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, former
Mexico (1806–1872). The seal for the city shows broken
reeds or cane. The island and municipality of Capul, in the
Philippines, derives its name from Acapulco;
Capul was the western end
of the trans-Pacific sailing route from
Acapulco to what was then a
1.2 16th century
1.3 17th–19th centuries
1.4 20th century
1.5 21st century
2 Geography and climate
4.4 Spring break
6 International relations
7 Pending transboundary nominations
8 See also
11 External links
See also: Timeline of Acapulco
A 1628 relief atlas of
By the 8th century around the
Acapulco Bay area, there was a small
culture which would first be dominated by the Olmecs, then by a number
of others during the pre-Hispanic period and before it ended in the
Acapulco Bay itself, there were two
Olmec sites, one by
Playa Larga and the other on a hill known as El Guitarrón. Olmec
influence caused the small spread-out villages here to coalesce into
larger entities and build ceremonial centers.
Teotihuacan influence made its way here via
Chilpancingo. Then Mayan influence arrived from the Isthmus of
Tehuantepec and through what is now Oaxaca. This history is known
through the archaeological artifacts that have been found here,
especially at Playa Hornos, Pie de la Cuesta and Tambuco.
In the 11th century, new waves of migration of Nahuas and Coixas came
through here. These people were the antecedents of the Aztecs. In the
later 15th century, after four years of military struggle, Acapulco
became part of the
Aztec empire during the reign of Ahuizotl
(1486–1502). It was annexed to a tributary province named
Tepecuacuilco. However, this was only transitory, as the Aztecs could
only establish an unorganized military post at the city's outskirts.
The city was on territory under control of the Yopes, who continued
defending it and living there until the arrival of the Spanish in the
There are two stories about how
Acapulco bay was discovered by
Europeans. The first states that two years after the Spanish conquest
Hernán Cortés sent explorers west to find gold.
The explorers had subdued this area after 1523, and Captain Saavedra
Cerón was authorized by Cortés to found a settlement here. The other
states that the bay was discovered on December 13, 1526 by a small
ship named the El Tepache Santiago captained by Santiago Guevara.
The first encomendero was established in 1525 at Cacahuatepec, which
is part of the modern
Acapulco municipality. In 1531, a number of
Spaniards, most notably Juan Rodriguez de Villafuerte, left the Oaxaca
coast and founded the village of Villafuerte where the city of
Acapulco now stands. Villafuerte was unable to subdue the local native
peoples, and this eventually resulted in the Yopa Rebellion in the
region of Cuautepec.
Hernán Cortés was obligated to send Vasco
Porcayo to negotiate with the indigenous people giving concessions.
The province of
Acapulco became the encomendero of Rodriguez de
Villafuerte who received taxes in the form of cocoa, cotton and
Codex Tudela: "Acapulco's Yope Indian, at the South Sea"
View of Acapulco, 1879, oil painting by Carl Saltzmann
Acapulco as a major port by the early 1530s, with
the first major road between
Mexico City and the port constructed by
1531. The wharf, named Marqués, was constructed by 1533 between Bruja
Point and Diamond Point. Soon after, the area was made an "alcadia"
(major province or town).
Spanish trade in the Far East would give
Acapulco a prominent position
in the economy of New Spain. Galleons started arriving here from Asia
by 1550, and in that year thirty Spanish families were sent to live
Mexico City to have a permanent base of European
Acapulco would become the second most important port,
after Veracruz, due to its direct trade with the Philippines. This
trade would focus on the yearly
Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade, which
was the nexus of all kinds of communications between New Spain, Europe
and Asia. In 1573, the port was granted the monopoly of the Manila
The galleon trade made its yearly run from the mid-16th century until
the early 19th. The luxury items it brought to
New Spain attracted the
attention of English and Dutch pirates, such as Francis Drake, Henry
Morgan and Thomas Cavendish, who called it "The Black Ship." A Dutch
Acapulco in 1615, destroying much of the town before
being driven off. The
Fort of San Diego
Fort of San Diego was built the following year
to protect the port and the cargo of arriving ships. The fort was
destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and was rebuilt between 1778 and
1783. At the beginning of the 19th century, King Charles IV declared
Acapulco a Ciudad Official and it became an essential part of the
Spanish Crown. However, not long after, the Mexican War of
Independence began. In 1810,
José María Morelos y Pavón attacked
and burnt down the city, after he defeated royalist commander
Francisco Parés at the Battle of Tres Palos. The independence of
Mexico in 1821 ended the run of the Manila Galleon. Acapulco's
importance as a port recovered during the
California Gold Rush
California Gold Rush in the
mid-19th-century, with ships going to and coming from
here. This city was the besieged on 19 April 1854 by Antonio López de
Santa Anna after Guerrero's leadership had rebelled by issuing the
Plan de Ayutla. After an unsuccessful week of fighting, Santa Anna
In 1911, revolutionary forces took over the main plaza of Acapulco.
In 1920, the
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII) visited the
area. Impressed by what he saw, he recommended the place to his
compatriots in Europe, making it popular with the elite there. Much of
the original hotel and trading infrastructure was built by an East
Texas businessman named Albert B. Pullen from Corrigan, Texas, in the
area now known as Old Acapulco. In 1933 Carlos Barnard started the
first section of Hotel El Mirador, with 12 rooms on the cliffs of La
Quebrada. Wolf Schoenborn purchased large amounts of undeveloped land
and Albert Pullen built the Las Americas Hotel.
In the mid-1940s, the first commercial wharf and warehouses were
built. In the early 1950s, President Miguel Alemán Valdés
upgraded the port's infrastructure, installing electrical lines,
drainage systems, roads and the first highway to connect the port with
The Bay of
Acapulco from the top of Palma Sola
The economy grew and foreign investment increased with it. During the
Acapulco became the fashionable place for millionaire Hollywood
stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and
Brigitte Bardot. The 1963 Hollywood movie "Fun in Acapulco", starring
Elvis Presley, is set in
Acapulco although the filming took place in
the USA. Former Swing Musician Teddy Stauffer, so called "Mister
Acapulco", was a hotel manager ("Villa Vera", "Casablanca"), who
attracted a lot of celebrities to Acapulco.
Beach at Acapulco
From a population of only 4,000 or 5,000 in the 1940s, by the early
Acapulco had a population of about 50,000. In 1958, the
Acapulco was created by Pope Pius XII. It became an
archdiocese in 1983.
During the 1960s and 1970s, new hotel resorts were built, and
accommodation and transport were made cheaper. It was no longer
necessary to be a millionaire to spend a holiday in Acapulco; the
foreign and Mexican middle class could now afford to travel here.
However, as more hotels were built in the south part of the bay, the
old hotels of the 1950s lost their grandeur.
In the 1970s, there was a significant expansion of the port.
Miss Universe 1978
Miss Universe 1978 pageant took place in the city. In 1983,
Juan Gabriel wrote the song "Amor eterno", which
pays homage to Acapulco. The song was first and most famously recorded
by Rocio Durcal. Additionally,
Acapulco is the hometown of actress,
singer and comedian Aída Pierce, who found fame during the 1980s,
1990s and the first decade of the 21st century.
During the 1990s, the road known as the Ruta del Sol was built,
crossing the mountains between
Mexico City and Acapulco. The journey
takes only about three and a half hours, making
Acapulco a favorite
weekend destination for
Mexico City inhabitants. It was in that time
period that the economic impact of
Acapulco as a tourist destination
increased positively and as a result a new type of services emerged
like the Colegio Nautilus. This educational project, backed by the
state government, was created for the families of local and foreign
investors and businessmen living in
Acapulco who were in need of a
bilingual and international education for their children.
The port continued to grow and in 1996, a new private company, API
Acapulco, was created to manage operations. This consolidated
operations and now
Acapulco is the major port for car exports to the
The city was devastated by
Hurricane Pauline in 1997. The storm
stranded tourists and left more than 100 dead in the city. Most of the
victims were from the shantytowns built on steep hillsides that
surround the city. Other victims were swept away by thirty-foot waves
and 150 mph (240 km/h) winds. The main road, Avenida
Costera, became a fast-moving three-foot-deep river of sludge.
In the 2000s, the drug war in
Mexico has had a negative effect on
Acapulco as rival drug traffickers fight each other for the
Guerrero coast route that brings drugs from South America as well as
soldiers that have been fighting the cartels since 2006.
A major gun battle between 18 gunmen and soldiers took place in the
summer of 2009 in the Old
Acapulco seaside area, lasting hours and
killing 16 of the gunmen and two soldiers. This came after the
swine flu outbreak earlier in the year nearly paralyzed the Mexican
economy, forcing hotels to give discounts to bring tourists back.
However, hotel occupancy for 2009 was down five percent from the year
before. The death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009
resulted in infighting among different groups within the Beltran Leyva
Gang violence continued to plague
Acapulco through 2010 and into 2011,
most notably with at least 15 dying in drug-related violence on March
13, 2010, and another 15 deaths on January 8, 2011. Among the first
incident's dead were six members of the city police and the brother of
an ex-mayor. In the second incident, the headless bodies of 15
young men were found dumped near the Plaza Senderos shopping
center. On August 20, 2011, Mexican authorities reported that five
headless bodies were found in Acapulco, three of which were placed in
the city's main tourist area and two of which were cut into multiple
On February 4, 2013, six Spanish men were tied up and robbed and the
six Spanish women with them were gang-raped by five masked gunmen who
stormed a beach house on the outskirts of Acapulco, though after these
accusations, none of the victims decided to press charges. On
September 28, 2014, a Mexican politician called Braulio Zaragoza was
gunned down at the El Mirador hotel in the city. He was the leader of
the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN) in southern
Guerrero state. Several politicians have been targeted by drug cartels
operating in the area. Investigations are under way, but no arrests
have yet been made. The insecurity due to individuals involved
with drug cartels has cost the city of
Acapulco its popularity among
national and international tourists. It was stated by the Dirección
General de Aeronáutica Civil that the number of international flyers
Acapulco decreased from 355,760 flyers registered in 2006 to
52,684 flyers in the year 2015, the number of international tourists
Acapulco lost 85% in the interval of nine years.
Geography and climate
The city, located on the Pacific coast of
Mexico in the state of
Guerrero, is classified as one of the state's seven regions, dividing
the rest of the
Guerrero coast into the Costa Grande and the Costa
Chica. Forty percent of the municipality is mountainous terrain.
Another forty percent is semi-flat, and the other twenty percent is
flat. Altitude varies from sea level to 1,699 metres (5,574 feet). The
highest peaks are Potrero, San Nicolas and Alto Camarón. There is one
major river, the Papagayo, which runs through the municipality, along
with a number of arroyos. There are also two small lagoons, Tres Palos
and Coyuca. along with a number of thermal springs.
Acapulco features a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw): hot
with distinct wet and dry seasons, with more even temperatures between
seasons than resorts farther north in Mexico, but this varies
depending on altitude. The warmest areas are next to the sea where the
city is. Tropical storms and hurricanes are threats from May through
November. The forested area tends to lose leaves during the winter dry
season, with evergreen pines in the highest elevations. Fauna consists
mostly of deer, small mammals, a wide variety of both land and sea
birds, and marine animals such as turtles.
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional (humidity
Source #2: NOAA (sun 1961–1990)
Acapulco mean sea temperature
28.1 °C (82.6 °F)
28.2 °C (82.8 °F)
27.6 °C (81.7 °F)
28.6 °C (83.5 °F)
29.4 °C (84.9 °F)
29.7 °C (85.5 °F)
29.9 °C (85.8 °F)
30.0 °C (86.0 °F)
29.9 °C (85.8 °F)
29.5 °C (85.1 °F)
29.1 °C (84.4 °F)
28.7 °C (83.7 °F)
The temperature of the sea is quite stable, with lows of 82 °F
(28 °C) between January – March, and a high of 86 °F
(30 °C) in August.
A view of Acapulco's beach with a Bandera monumental in the background
As the seat of a municipality, the city of
Acapulco is the government
authority for over 700 other communities, which together have a
territory of 1,880.60 km2. This municipality borders the
municipalities of Chilpancingo, Juan R Escudero (Tierra Colorada), San
Coyuca de Benítez
Coyuca de Benítez with the Pacific Ocean to the south.
The metropolitan area is made up of the municipalities of
Juárez and Coyuca de Benitez. The area has a population (as of
2005[update]) of 786,830.
Tourism is the main economic activity of the municipality and most of
this is centered on
Acapulco Bay. About seventy-three percent of the
municipality's population is involved in commerce, most of it related
to tourism and the port. Mining and manufacturing employ less than
twenty percent and only about five percent is dedicated to
agriculture. Industrial production is limited mostly to bottling, milk
products, cement products, and ice and energy production. Agricultural
products include tomatoes, corn, watermelon, beans, green chili
peppers, and melons.
Acapulco Yacht Club
Fort of San Diego
Manzanillo Beach, a beach in the tourist area of Acapulco
Acapulco is one of Mexico's oldest coastal tourist destinations,
reaching prominence in the 1950s as the place where Hollywood stars
and millionaires vacationed on the beach in an exotic locale. In
modern times, tourists in
Acapulco have been facing problems with
local corrupt police who steal money by extortion and intimidate
visitors with threats of jail.
The "original" Acapulco, where hotels like Hotel Los Flamingos, owned
Johnny Weissmuller and
John Wayne are located, is on
the northern end of the bay. This area is part of the "traditional
zone", anchored by attractions such as the beaches of Caleta and
Caletilla, the cliff divers of La Quebrada, and the city square, known
as "El Zocalo." The "heyday" of this part of
Acapulco ran from the
late 30s until the 60s. Starting in the late 50s, and with development
continuing through the 80s, the main area of
Acapulco bay grew into
what as known at the "Zona Dorada" or Golden Zone. This is where the
boardwalk and main square are and today the area is filled with
modern, Mexican and International branded hotels, with discothèques
and restaurants within walking distance. This area also has the higher
hotel occupancy rates.
South of the bay connected by the highway La Escenia holds the newer
constructions, including high-rise hotels and condominios. This area
known simply as "
Acapulco Diamante" includes Playa Diamante, Puerto
Marqués, and stretches from the airport to the mountains that
separates it from the bay. In this area, all along Boulevard de Las
Naciones no one walks, as almost all transportation is by car,
limousine or golf cart. The older section of town now caters to
mostly middle class, almost exclusively Mexican clientele, while the
glitzier newer section caters to the Mexican upper classes, many of
whom never venture into the older, traditional part of town.
Acapulco's reputation is that of a high-energy party town, where one
can "have dinner at midnight, dance until dawn then relax in the
daytime on the beach. The nightlife has long been a major tourist draw
of the city. From November to April, luxury liners stop here daily and
include ships such as the MS Queen Victoria, the MS Rotterdam, Crystal
Harmony, and all the Princess line ships. Despite Acapulco's
international fame, most of its visitors are from central Mexico,
especially the affluent from
Acapulco is one of the
embarkation ports for the Mexican cruise line Ocean Star Cruises.
For the Christmas season of 2009,
Acapulco received 470,000 visitors,
most of whom are Mexican nationals, adding 785 million pesos to the
economy. Eighty percent arrive by land and 18 percent by air. The
area has over 25,000 condominiums, most of which function as second
homes for their Mexican owners.
Acapulco is still popular with
Mexican celebrities and the wealthy, such as Luis Miguel, Plácido
Domingo, and Dolores Olmedo, who maintain homes here.
While much of the glitz and glamour that made
Acapulco famous still
remains, from the latter 20th century on, the city has also taken on
other less-positive reputations. Some consider it a "passé" resort,
eclipsed by the newer
Cancún and Cabo San Lucas. Over the years, a
number of problems have developed here, especially in the bay and the
older sections of the city. The large number of wandering vendors on
the beaches such as Tamarindos, who offer everything from newspapers
to massages, are a recognized problem. It is a bother to tourists who
simply want to relax on the beach, but the government says it is
difficult to eradicate, as there is a lot of unemployment and poverty
here. Around the city are many small shantytowns that cling to the
mountainsides, populated by migrants who have come here looking for
work. In the last decade, drug-related violence has caused problems
for the local tourism trade.
Another problem is garbage that has accumulated in the bay. Although
60.65 tons have recently been extracted from the bays of
nearby Zihuatanejo, more needs to be done. Most of trash removal
during the off seasons is done on the beaches and in the waters
closest to them. However, the center of the bay is not touched. The
reason trash winds up in the bay is that it is common here to throw it
in streets, rivers and the bay itself. The most common items cleaned
out of the bay are beer bottles and car tires.
Acapulco has seen
some success in this area, having several beaches receiving the high
"blue flag" certifications for cleanliness and water quality
Acapulco's gastronomy is very rich, the following are typical dishes
from the region: Relleno is baked pork with a variety of vegetables
and fruits such as potatoes, raisins, carrots and chiles. It is eaten
with bread called bolillo. Pozole is a soup with a salsa base (it can
be white, red or green),corn, meat that can be either pork or chicken
and it is accompanied with 'antojitos' like tostadas, tacos and
tamales. This dish is served as part of a weekly Thursday event in the
city and the state, with many restaurants offering the meal with
special entertainment, from bands to dancers to celebrity
Acapulco's main attraction is its nightlife, as it has been for many
decades. Nightclubs change names and owners frequently. For
example, Baby ‘O has been open to the national and international
public since 1976 and different celebrities have visited their
installations such as Mexican singer Luis Miguel, Bono from U2 and
Sylvester Stallone. Another nightclub is Palladium, located in the
Escénica Avenue, the location gives the nightclub a beautiful view of
the Santa Lucia Bay at night. Various dj’s have had a performance in
Palladium among them DVBBS, Tom Swoon, NERVO and Junkie KID.
Informal lobby or poolside cocktail bars often offer free live
entertainment. In addition, there is the beach bar zone, where younger
crowds go. These are located along the Costera road, face the ocean
and feature techno or alternative rock. Most are concentrated between
the Fiesta Americana and Continental Plaza hotels. These places tend
to open earlier and have more informal dress. There is a bungee jump
in this area as well.
La Quebrada Cliff Divers
Another enigmatic attraction at
Acapulco are the La Quebrada Cliff
Divers. The tradition started in the 1930s when young men casually
competed against each other to see who could dive from the highest
point into the sea below. Eventually, locals began to ask for tips for
those coming to see the men dive. Today the divers are
professionals, diving from heights of forty metres (130 feet) into
an inlet that is only seven m (23 ft) wide and four m
(13 ft) deep, after praying first at a shrine to the Virgin of
Guadalupe. On December 12, the feast day of this Virgin, freestyle
cliff divers jump into the sea to honor her. Dives range from the
simple to the complicated and end with the "Ocean of Fire" when the
sea is lit with gasoline, making a circle of flames which the diver
aims for. The spectacle can be seen from a public area which
charges a small fee or from the Hotel Plaza Las Glorias/El Mirador
from its bar or restaurant terrace.
There are a number of beaches in the
Acapulco Bay and the immediate
coastline. In the bay proper there are the La Angosta (in the
Quebrada), Caleta, Caletilla, Dominguillo, Tlacopanocha, Hornos,
Hornitos, Honda, Tamarindo, Condesa, Guitarrón, Icacos, Playuela,
Playuelilla and Playa del Secreto. In the adjoining, smaller Bay of
Puerto Marqués there is Pichilingue, Las Brisas, and Playa Roqueta.
Facing open ocean just northwest of the bays is Pie de la Cuesta and
southeast are Playa Revolcadero, Playa Aeromar, Playa Encantada and
Barra Vieja. Two lagoons are in the area, Coyuca to the northwest of
Acapulco Bay and Tres Palos to the southeast. Both lagoons have
mangroves and offer boat tours. Tres Palos also has sea turtle nesting
areas which are protected.
In addition to sunbathing, the beaches around the bay offer a number
of services, such as boat rentals, boat tours, horseback riding, scuba
diving and other aquatic sports. One popular cruise is from Caletilla
Beach to Roqueta Island, which has places to snorkel, have lunch, and
a lighthouse. There is also an underwater statue of the Virgin of
Guadalupe here, created in 1958 by Armando Quesado in memory of a
group of divers who died here. Many of the scuba-diving tours come to
this area as well, where there are sunken ships, sea mountains, and
cave rock formations. Another popular activity is deep-sea
fishing. The major attraction is sail fishing. Fish caught here have
weighed between 89 and 200 pounds.
Sailfish are so plentiful that
boat captains have been known to bet with a potential customer that if
he does not catch anything, the trip is free.
In the old part of the city, there is a traditional main square called
the Zócalo, lined with shade trees, cafés and shops. At the north
end of the square is Nuestra Señora de la Soledad cathedral, with
blue onion-shaped domes and Byzantine towers. The building was
originally constructed as a movie set, but was later adapted into a
church. Acapulco's most historic building is the Fort of San
Diego, located east of the main square and originally built in 1616 to
protect the city from pirate attacks. The fort was partially
destroyed by the Dutch in the mid-17th century, rebuilt, then
destroyed again in 1776 by an earthquake. It was rebuilt again by 1783
and this is the building that can be seen today, unchanged except for
renovations done to it in 2000. Parts of the moats remain as well as
the five bulwarks and the battlements. Today the fort serves
as the Museo Histórico de
Acapulco Historical Museum),
which shows the port's history from the pre-Hispanic period until
independence. There are temporary exhibits as well.
Tlacopanocha, or Tlaco de Panocha, is one of the city's main beaches
The Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantil or CICI is a sea-life
and aquatic park located on Costera Miguel Aleman. It offers wave
pools, water slides and water toboggans. There are also dolphin shows
daily and a swim with dolphins program. The center mostly caters to
children. Another place that is popular with children is the
Parque Papagayo: a large family park which has life-sized replicas of
a Spanish galleon and the space shuttle Columbia, three artificial
lakes, an aviary, a skating rink, rides, go-karts and more.
Dolores Olmedo House is located in the traditional downtown of
Acapulco and is noted for the murals by
Diego Rivera that adorn it.
Olmedo and Rivera had been friend since Olmedo was a child and Rivera
spent the last two years of his life here. During that time, he
painted nearly nonstop and created the outside walls with tile
Aztec deities such as Quetzalcoatl. The interior of
the home is covered in murals. The home is not a museum, so only the
outside murals are able to be seen by the public.
There is a small museum called Casa de la Máscara (House of Masks)
which is dedicated to masks, most of them from Mexico, but there are
examples from many parts of the world. The collection contains about
one thousand examples and is divided into seven rooms called Masks of
Mexico across History, The Huichols and the Jaguar,
Alebrijes and Dances of Guerrero, Devils and Death, Identity and
Fantasy, and Afro-Indian masks. The Botanical Garden of Acapulco
is a tropical garden located on lands owned by the Universidad Loyola
del Pacífico. Most of the plants here are native to the region, and
many, such as the Peltogyne mexicana or purple stick tree, are in
danger of extinction.
One cultural event that is held yearly in
Acapulco is the Festival
Internacional de la Nao, it takes place in the Fort of San Diego,
located near the Zócalo in downtown of the city. The Festival honors
the remembrance of the city’s interaction and trades with Oriental
territories which started back in the Sixteenth Century. The Nao
Festival consists of cultural activities with the support of
organizations and embassies from India, China, Japan, Philippines,
Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea. The variety of events go from
film projections, musical interpretations and theatre to gastronomical
classes, some of the events are specifically for kids.
The annual French Festival takes place throughout
Acapulco city and
offers a multitude of events that cement cultural links between Mexico
and France. The main features are a fashion show and a gourmet food
fair. The Cinépolis Galerías Diana and the Teatro Juan Ruíz de
Alarcón present French and French literary figures who give talks on
their specialised subjects. Even some of the local nightclubs feature
French DJs. Other festivals celebrated here include Carnival, the
feast of San Isidro Labrador on 15 May, and in November, a crafts and
livestock fair called the Nao de China.
There are a number of golf courses in
Acapulco including the Acapulco
Princess and the Pierre Marqués course, the latter designed by Robert
Trent Jones in 1972 for the World Cup Golf Tournament. The Mayan
Palace course was designed by Pedro Guericia and an economical course
called the Club de Golf
Acapulco is near the convention center. The
most exclusive course is that of the Tres Vidas Golf Club, designed by
Robert von Hagge. It is located next to the ocean and is home to
flocks of ducks and other birds.
Another famous sport tournament that has been held in
1993 is the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, a 500 ATP that takes place in the
tennis courts of the Princess Mundo Imperial, a resort located in the
Diamante zone of Acapulco. Initially it was played in clay courts but
it changed to hard court. The event has gained popularity within the
passing of the years, in 2017 the tournament took place from the 27th
of February to the 4th of March. The athletes who participated in the
competition were some of the most famous players in the last couple of
years, among them were Novak Djokovic currently ranked second, Rafael
Nadal positioned sixth in the ranking and Marin Cilic who is the
number eight in the ranking. The prizes are $250,000.00 USD for WTA
and $1,200,000.00 USD for ATP.
Acapulco also has a bullring, called the Plaza de Toros, near
Caletilla Beach. The season runs during the winter and is called the
360° panoramic view of Acapulco.
Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to resort
areas and balnearios throughout
Mexico during spring break each
year. The main reason students head to
Mexico is the 18-year-old
drinking age (versus 21 for the United States), something that has
been marketed by tour operators along with the sun and ocean. This has
become attractive since the 1990s, especially since more traditional
spring break places such as Daytona Beach, Florida, have enacted
restrictions on drinking and other behaviors. This legislation has
pushed spring break visitation to various parts of Mexico, with
Acapulco as one of the top destinations.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s,
Cancún had been favored as the
spring break destination of choice. However,
Cancún has taken some
steps to control the reckless behavior associated with the event, and
students have been looking for someplace new. This has led many more
to choose Acapulco, in spite of the fact that for many travelers, the
flight is longer and more expensive than to Cancún. Many are
attracted by the glitzy hotels on the south side and Acapulco's famous
nightlife. In 2008, 22,500 students came to
Acapulco for spring
break. Hotels did not get that many in 2009, due mostly to the
economic situation in the United States, and partially because of
scares of drug-related violence.
In February 2009, the US State Department issued a travel alert
directed at college students planning spring break trips to
Acapulco. The warning—a result of violent activity springing
from Mexico's drug cartel débâcle—took college campuses by storm,
with some schools going so far as to warn their students about the
risks of travel to
Mexico over spring break. The New York Times
tracked the travels of a Penn student on spring break in
a week after the dissemination of the email, while Bill O'Reilly
devoted a segment of his show, The O'Reilly Factor, to urge students
to stay away from Acapulco. In June 2009, a number of incidents
occurred between the drug cartel and the government. These included
coordinated attacks on police headquarters and open battles in the
streets, involving large-caliber weapons and grenades. However, no
incidents of violence against spring breakers were reported.
General Juan N. Álvarez International Airport
Cruising at the International Transatlantic Port Lieutenant José
Acapulco's Miguel Alemán Coastal Avenue
Many airlines fly to
Acapulco International Airport. In the city,
there are many buses and taxi services one can take to get from place
to place, but most of the locals choose to walk to their destinations.
However, an important mode of transportation is the government
subsidized 'Colectivo' cab system. These cabs cost 13 pesos per person
to ride, but they are not private. The driver will pick up more
passengers as long as seats are available, and will transport them to
their destination based on first-come first-served rules. The
colectivos each travel a designated area of the city, the three main
ones being Costera, Colosio, Coloso, or a mixture of the three. Coloso
cabs travel mainly to old Acapulco. Colosio cabs travel through most
of the tourist area of Acapulco. Costera cabs drive up and down the
coast of Acapulco, where most of the hotels for visitors are located,
but which includes some of old Acapulco. Where a driver will take you
is partly his choice. Some are willing to travel to the other
designated areas, especially during slow periods of the day.
The bus system is highly complex and can be rather confusing to an
outsider. As far as transportation goes, it is the cheapest form,
other than walking, in Acapulco. The most expensive buses have air
conditioning, while the cheaper buses do not. For tourists, the
Acapulco city government has established a system of yellow buses with
Acapulco painted on the side of them. These buses are not for tourists
only, but are certainly the nicest and most uniform of the bus
systems. These buses travel the tourist section of Acapulco, driving
up and down the coast. There are buses with specific routes and
destinations, generally written on their windshields or shouted out by
a barker riding in the front seat. Perhaps the most unusual thing
about the privately operated buses is the fact that they are all
highly decorated and personalized, with decals and home-made interior
designs that range from comic book scenes, to pornography, and even to
"Hello Kitty" themes.
The conflictive public transportation would be upgraded the 25th of
June 2016 with the implementation of the Acabus. The Acabus
infrastructure has a length of 36.2 kilometres (22.5 miles), counts
with 16 stations that spread through the city of
Acapulco and 5
routes. This project will help organize traffic because the buses now
have a specific line on the roads and there would be more control over
transportation and passengers.
The Russian Federation
Pending transboundary nominations
Manila-Acapulco Galleon Memorial at Plaza
Mexico in Intramuros,
In 2014, the idea to nominate the
Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route
was initiated by the Mexican ambassador to
UNESCO with the Filipino
ambassador to UNESCO.
An Experts' Roundtable Meeting was held at the University of Santo
Tomas (UST) on April 23, 2015 as part of the preparation of the
Philippines for the possible transnational nomination of the
Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route to the World Heritage List. The
nomination will be made jointly with Mexico.
The following are the experts and the topics they discussed during the
roundtable meeting: Dr. Celestina Boncan on the Tornaviaje; Dr. Mary
Jane A. Bolunia on Shipyards in the Bicol Region; Mr. Sheldon Clyde
Jago-on, Bobby Orillaneda, and Ligaya Lacsina on Underwater
Archaeology; Dr. Leovino Garcia on Maps and Cartography; Fr. Rene
Javellana, S.J. on Fortifications in the Philippines; Felice Sta.
Maria on Food; Dr. Fernando Zialcita on Textile; and Regalado Trota
Jose on Historical Dimension. The papers presented and discussed
during the roundtable meeting will be synthesized into a working
document to establish the route's Outstanding Universal Value.
The Mexican side reiterated that they will also follow suit with the
preparations for the route's nomination.
Spain has also backed the nomination of the Manila-
Route Route in the
World Heritage List
World Heritage List and has also suggested
the Archives of the Manila-
Acapulco Galleons to be nominated as part
of a separate
UNESCO list, the
UNESCO Memory of the World
The Historic Manila‑
Acapulco Galleon Trade Route
Philippines and Mexico
White represents the route of the Manila Galleons in the Pacific
New Spain portal
Triangle of the Sun
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Acapulco
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Acapulco.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Acapulco.
(in Spanish) Official city government website
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