What you didn’t know about Acapulco

by Kim on June 14, 2013

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the Mexican destination of Acapulco mentioned, my mind immediately skips to images of gorgeous beaches. But, I’ve realised that this doesn’t really do the place justice; while it might be most famous for its gorgeous coastline, there’s actually a lot more to Acapulco than this.

So, with that in mind, I’ve put together a quick list of some of the things you can do and see here that don’t involve either lying on the beach or splashing about in the sea (though, of course, there’s no harm in devoting a little time to either while you’re here!). Meanwhile, you can check out some handy information on hotels and such by clicking here.

Le Quebrada

Acapulco might be somewhere you associate with relaxation, but not everyone spends their time unwinding on the sand. In fact, there is a group of people who regularly head to a place called La Quebrada to perform several death-defying cliff dives a day – for the entertainment of local and visiting onlookers.

This strange tradition began all the way back in 1934, and I think it’s one of the most thrilling things you can see while you’re here. The setting itself is dramatic enough – a rugged cliff 136 ft above the Pacific, with an inlet just 11 ft deep to greet the divers upon entry.

Dives are held five times a day, with three of these being in the evening. If I were you, I’d head to one of the evening leaps, because the dusky sky and the torches carried by the divers make the whole thing even more dramatic than usual.

As a quick tip, you can get a great view of the jumps from La Perla Nightclub. But, you will need to be prepared to pay a cover charge.

San Diego Fort

Next up is San Diego Fort, which is perched on a hill overlooking the harbour. What I love about this place is that it’s got such a long, interesting history peppered with pirates, earthquakes and much more; plus, there’s a lot to see while you’re here.

So, where should I start? Well, this fort has been a hugely important marine fortress in the Pacific Ocean, and it was originally built back in 1616. However, owing to an earthquake, the building you see today was actually constructed in the 18th century.

Look carefully and you should be able to see neo-colonial and Byzantine touches on the towers and dome, while inside are impressive mosaics. It’s also worth heading into the onsite museum, which displays rare relics and is open Tuesdays to Sundays.

One of the fort’s key purposes was to act as a safe place for the Manila Fleet to load and unload their cargo, safeguarded from the Dutch and English pirates that plagued the seas.

Glorious sunsets

Acapulco is also a great place to see some impressive sunsets. To watch the best, take a trip to Barra Vieja, which is around 10 km outside of the city, where you’ll find a beach called Pie de la Cuesta.

On this quiet stretch of sand, you can see one of the characteristic flame-coloured sunsets of tropical climates – it really is something special.

By the way, if you do head here consider arriving a little early and spending some time at the nearby Coyuca Lagoon, where you can go on wildlife tours, try your hand at water skiing, have a mud bath or do all sorts of other fun things!