With its renowned beaches, vibrant nightlife and the famous Quebrada cliff divers the name of Acapulco definitely rings a bell for everyone. Its association with famous Hollywood celebrities as Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra or David Niven has also helped for the name Acapulco to became easy to remember.
Since its golden age Acapulco has been developed a lot, and today has a population of more than one and a half million people, but it definitely hasn’t lost its charm. The natural setting with the blue water of its bay and the Sierra Madre mountains in the background create a scenery which simply cannot go out of style.
Despite of the many fine hotels and restaurants, it’s not easy to find someone who speaks English in Acapulco outside on the streets. Naturally this doesn’t mean any problem at the reception desk of the hotels or at restaurants, where the even the menu often has English translation as well.
The cruise ships usually dock right in the middle of Acapulco, just in front of the Fort of San Diego, which is just a few blocks to the east from the center of Old Acapulco, and just a short walk west from the bay beachfront. As soon as the ship arrives to the pier there is a lot to see: the Fort of San Diego, built in the 17th century, the old town and beaches are right in front of you. Though there are naturally other places still worth visiting which cannot be seen from the pier: the Diamond district with luxury hotels and gorgeous beaches or the site of the famous cliff divers.
Old Acapulco, basically the downtown of Acapulco, is a nice, easy-going and calm neighborhood with playing children and old men sitting at small cafés reading newspaper. There is the main plaza with the main church of Acapulco, Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, known for its blue and gold domes, built in Moorish style.
In contrast with this calm part of Acapulco, there is Costera, a five-mile-long line of beaches and hotels and shops on the bayside, full of energy. The homes of Hollywood celebrities like Sylvester Stallone or Robert Redford are here in Costera, on the hillside looking to the bay.
Another main attraction is watching the cliff divers jumping from the cliff of La Quebrada (135 feet high) into the surf. This is a tradition started by local fishermen in the 1930’s and today the tradition is continued by their family members. Hotel El Mirador’s verandah is undoubtedly the best place for watching this spectacle. Because the city is so spread-out, for first-time cruisers, or those who are in Acapulco for the first time it is advisable to look around in the mentioned three districts, have a nice afternoon on one of Acapulco’s famous beaches and watch the cliff divers of La Quebrada. You can eat a dinner at Hotel El Mirador during this spectacle or dive into the nightlife of Acapulco immediately afterwards, check out smaller bars or renowned casinos and night clubs, after all, that’s why Acapulco is famous for.