Acapulco - A City Beyond The Magical Beaches
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Sun, Sand and Sea sounds like vacation goals right? What if I tell you that there is a place in Guerrero, Mexico where you can spend your lazy days at the beach, sipping on your chilled beer or fresh coconut water and when you have soaked enough sun you can just head to the beautiful city to soak in all the Mexican-ness that you’ll ever need. In Acapulco there's a lesser known but equally beautiful city beyond the gorgeous beaches.
Did you know that Acapulco was the first real travel destination in Mexico back in in 70’s and 80’s? Way before the fancy blue water Caribbean destinations ever became famous in Mexico, Acapulco was the original traveler's choice with tourists from the US and Canada visiting all year round.
My journey to Acapulco started from Mexico City in an Estrella de Oro bus which takes around 5 hours to reach. A super comfortable journey because they have one of the best and most reliable services here in Mexico. The buses are on time, have two restrooms and also provide some munchies aboard so that you don’t go hungry. I would definitely recommend their services for travelling anywhere in Mexico.
Looking to plan a family vacation? A bachelorette trip with your girls or boys, a long overdue fun trip with friends or that romantic getaway with your partners? Acapulco has got you covered. A place that's not just clean and beautiful but also very very safe. We were travelling as a group of three during all times of the day and night across the city including the downtown areas and not once did we feel unsafe or threatened.
So let me now tell you in a few more, or maybe a lot more sentences what is it that makes this place amazing.
The Cliff Divers at La Quebrada - This is and has been one of the top attractions of Acapulco - something that you must not miss if you are in Acapulco. The cliff diver shows at La Quebrada are one of the most culturally rich and prized possessions of Acapulco. The cliff divers risk their lives every day and jump off of a 115 foot cliff called La Quebrada (The fractured rock ).The divers need to dive at a very specific time when there is a high tide else it could be a risk as the channel is approximately 4 meters deep. The shows take place during the day as well as night. There is a minimal ticket cost of around 40 pesos.
Eating Pozole at El Jaguar - Pozole is a traditional soup/stew from Mexican cuisine. It's specially famous in Acapulco and if you’re a meat lover then you must visit El Jaguar restaurant which is famous for serving eight different types of pozoles - offered to you in the form of a buffet and you can select your concoctions and create your favourite combinations of Pozole and have it while the cool ocean breeze kisses your skin.
Zip line at Xtasea - It was my first ever zip line experience and it could not have been any better. Flying, superman style over the beautiful Puerto Marquis Bay. You have the option of flying solo, with your partner, zip line at night and so much more. Xtasea is Acapulco’s latest tourist attraction and world longest zip line over the sea. It was safe and the staff were very warm and professional. There are four parallel lines where you can zip line at a speed of 120 kph covering a distance of 1800 meters at a height of 140 meters. I swear I felt like I was a bird flying across the bay and leaving the world behind. If you are an adventure seeker and not afraid of heights then this is a must must try when in Acapulco.
Acapulco Historical Museum of Fort San Diego - Fuerte de San Diego (Fort of San Diego) is a beautifully built fort in Acapulco which was originally built by the Spanish empire in the 17th century. It was badly damaged in an earthquake in the year 1778 and was rebuilt from scratch. In the museum you can find excerpts from the Mexican history, archaeological remains of the Mezcala culture, stunning Mexican creations and lots of historical artefacts. The museum is open to public from Tuesdays till Sundays with free entry on Sundays. Its a place soaked in history, and will tell you much about the the trade, shipping routes and royal culture during the times when Mexico was part of New Spain. Take a stroll on Costera Miguel Aleman Avenue - The main street connecting old and new Acapulco, where you’ll find the tallest towers in the city, the buzzing bars and pubs, night clubs, shopping malls and everything that constitutes a modern city. A trip to Acapulco is not complete until you just put your hair down and take a walk on this avenue that comes alive with mariachi bands and tourists strolling all around.
The mural of Diego Rivera - If you are into art then you should not miss this one as it is one of the most important cultural artifacts of Acapulco. The mural was created in 1956 and is located on the facade of the house of Mrs Dolores Olmedo who helped Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo by letting them stay at her home when they were in need of a place to escape the City because of Diego’s health. As a present to Dolores, Diego created the mural. This was one of the last pieces of art created by Diego Rivera before his death. It depicts various Mexican gods and has deep reference to the Mexican culture.
Stay at Hotel Elcano - Looking for a place to stay in Acapulco? Well I’ve got you covered. Look no further than Hotel Elcano. The hotel is situated on the Miguel Aleman Avenue with city views on one side and ocean views on the other. There is a private beach, rooms are spacious and beautifully designed. Its affordable and the staff does all that they can to make your holiday the one to remember. The breakfast spread is very very huge and everything on the menu is delicious. Their penthouses on the top floor deserve a special mention. These giant apartment like living spaces spread across two floors, with the living room downstairs and the beds on the floor above. There are large balconies overlooking the ocean on both the floors with a jacuzzi on the other side.
Visit Hotel Los Flamingo - We’re all here for the views right? This gorgeous pink hotel overlooking the pacific ocean is situated atop a hill and got views for days and was a Hollywood gang hideaway for years. You must visit if not staying there and have a chilled beer at their restaurant and take a tour of the property.
Tres Palos Lagoon - Boat Ride - Take out an hour of your time and visit the Tres Palos Logoon which is located east of the city and a beautiful half hour drive from the main city. When there, you must take a boat ride and ride deep into the lagoon. You can spot some amazing birds and fishes and take their pictures. It was a wonderful experience close to the wildlife and I could not keep my hands to myself and kept dipping and splashing water on everyone on the boat. Oh what an experience.
Eat fish at Esmirna del Mar beach restaurant - After taking the boat ride in the lagoon, it was time for us to take care of our famished stomachs. And just a 5 minute drive down the road was the famous Esmirna del Mar restaurant. With a large seating space furnished by relaxing chairs right by the beach, the experience of relaxation couldn't have been better. This was only interrupted, and tastefully so, by the best Red Snapper preparation that my companions had ever eaten. A 2kg serving of flavors that could only be begotten through the combination of fresh fish and Mexican spices.
Have a meal at Rocca Bistro - Rocca Bistro is a new fine dine restaurant in Acapulco and serves international cuisine. I called for a pasta being a vegetarian and I was pleasantly surprised. Had not had such a delicious pasta in months. My friends ordered Salmon and Beef steak and they finished to the last bite because they couldn’t waste any of it. Guys, its a must must visit restaurant, for the Argentinian beef appetizer empanadas if not anything else.
The nightlife - There are so many fun night clubs, bars and pubs in town and most of them are open till late at night running into early mornings over the weekends. The party scene is absolutely lit and if you’re there over a weekend then make sure to visit not just one but go club hopping and cover at least three to four of the awesome clubs.
Eat at Verde Pistache & Verde Vegan - This place was definitely the icing on the cake for me. Being a vegetarian and struggling to find good vegetarian food most of the times, Verde Vegan was such a pleasant change. A huge menu with everything vegan. I was there with friends who are hard core non vegetarians and they too loved the food. Burgers, tacos, shakes and desserts. Everything very different and extremely delicious. So if you’re like me then this is the place for you to find amazing tasting vegan food.
I would like to call out and show my gratitude to the tourism board of Guerrero and Acapulco for arranging for such an epic trip for me and making me aware of Acapulco , which for me was just a beach town before this vacation.
So when you're in Acapulco, make sure to have a great time and cover all these places I shared with you. And while exploring, if you come across any other great places, please feel free to write to me and let me know :)