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Acapulco de Juárez
Acapulco panoramic collage. Top, from left to right: Acapulco Bay from Chapel of Peace, Petroglyphs in Palma Sola, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Cathedral, Mural by Diego Rivera in Dolores Olmedo House, San Diego Fort, La Quebrada, La Condesa Beach, Acapulco Dorado and Acapulco Diamante.
Acapulco panoramic collage. Top, from left to right: Acapulco Bay from Chapel of Peace, Petroglyphs in Palma Sola, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Cathedral, Mural by Diego Rivera in Dolores Olmedo House, San Diego Fort, La Quebrada, La Condesa Beach, Acapulco Dorado and Acapulco Diamante.
Coat of arms of Acapulco
Coat of arms
Country Mexico
State Guerrero
 • PresidentLuis Walton (2012–2015)
 • Municipality1,880.60 km2 (726.10 sq mi)
 • Metro
85 km2 (33 sq mi)
of seat
30 m (100 ft)
 • Municipality687,608
 • Density370/km2 (950/sq mi)
 • Metro
Demonym(s)Acapulqueño (a)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Postal code
Area code(s)744
WebsiteOfficial website (in Spanish)

Acapulco (officially known as Acapulco de Juárez) is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 300 kilometres (190 mi) southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico's history.[1] It is a port of call for shipping and cruising lines running between Panama and San Francisco, California, United States.[2] 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 resorted city.[3]

The city is best known as one of Mexico's oldest and most well-known beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1950s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires.[4] Acapulco is still famous for its nightlife and still attracts many vacationers, although most are now from Mexico itself.[5][6] The resort area is divided into two: The north end of the bay is the "traditional" area, where the famous in the mid-20th century vacationed; and the south end is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels.[7]

The name "Acapulco" comes from Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means "where were destroyed or washed away the reeds".[8] The "de Juárez" was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, the former president of Mexico. The seal for the city shows broken reeds or cane.[1]


A 1628 relief atlas of Acapulco bay

By the eighth century in the Acapulco 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. In 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. Later, Teotihuacan influence made its way here via Cuernavaca and Chilpancingo. Then Mayan influence arrived from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and through what is now Oaxaca. This history is known through the archeological artifacts that have been found here, especially at Playa Hornos, Pie de la Cuesta and Tambuco.[1] In the 11th century, new waves of migration of Nahuas and Coixas came through here. These people were the antecedents of the Aztecs. Acapulco formally became part of the Aztec Empire in 1486 during the reign of Ahuizotl. It was part of a tributary province called Tepecuacuilco, but control here was relatively unorganized.[1]

There are two stories about how Acapulco bay was discovered by Europeans. The first states that two years after the 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 13 December 1526 by a small ship named the El Tepache Santiago captained by Santiago Guevara.[1] 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 corn.[1]

Painting of a sandy beach, sun setting behind it, seen from the water. People sit by a hut with two longboats. A woman carries a basket on her head up the beach toward a tile-roof house. Lush forest is silhouetted against the late sunset.
View of Acapulco, 1879, oil painting by Carl Saltzmann

Cortés established 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).[1]

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 here from Mexico City to have a permanent base of European residents.[1] 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 on communications between New Spain, Europe and Asia. In 1573, the port was granted the monopoly of the Manila trade.[2]

The galleon trade would make 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."[4][7] To protect the port and the cargo of arriving ships, the San Diego Fort was built. Despite the fort's existence, a Dutch fleet invaded Acapulco in 1615, destroying much of the town and fort before being driven off. The fort was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and was rebuilt in 1783.[4][7] 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,[4] after he defeated royalist commander Francisco Parés at the Battle of Tres Palos.[1] The independence of Mexico in 1821 ended the run of the Manila Galleon.[7] Acapulco's importance as a port recovered during the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, with ships going to and coming from Panama stopping here.[4]

In 1911, revolutionary forces took over the main plaza of Acapulco.[1] In 1920, the 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.[4] But some of Acapulco's best known hotels were built by others. In 1933 Carlos Barnard started the first section of Hotel El Mirador,[9] 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.[7]

In the mid-1940s, the first commercial wharf and warehouses were built.[2] 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 Mexico City.[4]

The Bay of Acapulco from the top of Palma Sola

The economy grew and foreign investment increased with it. During the 1950s, Acapulco became the fashionable place for millionaire Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher and Brigitte Bardot.[4] Former Swing Musician Teddy Stauffer, so called "Mister Acapulco", was a hotel manager ("Villa Vera", "Casablanca"), who attracted a lot of celebrities to Acapulco.[10]

Three 21-story blue-and-white-clad triplet condominiums loom over a white 9-story, next to an older brown-tone 20-story
High rise apartments and condominiums were constructed en masse throughout the 1980s-1990s
High view of the beachfront condos and hotels on the left, the long curved beach, Pacific ocean on the right
Beach at Acapulco
File:Acapulco, Mexico.jpg
Skyline of the beachfront district

From a population of only 4,000 or 5,000 in the 1940s,[7] by the early 1960s, Acapulco had a population of about 50,000.[11] In 1958, The Diocese of Acapulco was created by Pope Pius XII. It would become an archdiocese in 1983.[12]

During the 1960s and 1970s, new hotel resorts were built, and accommodation and transport were made cheaper. Entertainment was dances such as the ballad. 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.[4] However, as more hotels were built in the south part of the bay, the old hotels of the 1950s lost their grandeur.[13]

In the 1970s, there was a significant expansion of the port.[2] The Miss Universe 1978 pageant took place in that city later that decade. In 1983, singer-songwriter 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 comedienne 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.[4] 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 Pacific.[2]

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 (241 km/h) winds. The main road, Avenida Costera, became a fast-moving three-foot-deep river of sludge.[14]

In the 2000s, the drug war in Mexico has had a negative effect on tourism in 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.[13][15] 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.[15] However, hotel occupancy for 2009 was down five percent from the year before.[16] The death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 resulted in infighting among different groups within the Beltran Leyva cartel.[17]

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.[18] In the second incident, the headless bodies of 15 young men were found dumped near the Plaza Senderos shopping center.[19] 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 pieces.[17] 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.[20]

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.[21] 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: 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 threat 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, as well as marine animals such as turtles.[1]

Climate data for Acapulco (1951–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.5
Average high °C (°F) 30.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
Average low °C (°F) 23.3
Record low °C (°F) 18.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 1.1 0.4 0.3 0.2 2.6 12.5 12.3 13.3 14.3 7.9 1.8 0.9 67.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 272.8 251.4 288.3 273.0 251.1 207.0 223.2 229.4 195.0 244.9 258.0 254.2 2,948.3
Source #1: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional[22]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only).[23]
Average sea temperature
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
77 °F

25 °C

77 °F

25 °C

77 °F

25 °C

79 °F

26 °C

81 °F

27 °C

82 °F

28 °C

82 °F

28 °C

84 °F

29 °C

82 °F

28 °C

82 °F

28 °C

81 °F

27 °C

79 °F

26 °C

The temperature of the sea is quite stable, with lows of 77 °F between January - March, and a high of 84 °F in August.[24]


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,[3] which together have a territory of 1,880.60 km2.[1] This municipality borders the municipalities of Chilpancingo, Juan R Escudero (Tierra Colorada), San Marcos, Coyuca de Benítez with the Pacific Ocean to the south.

The metropolitan area is made up of the municipalities of Acapulco de Juárez and Coyuca de Benitez. The area has a population (as of 2005) of 786,830.[25]


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.[1]


La Quebrada
Marqués port
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.[26] But 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.[27][28][29] The "original" Acapulco, where hotels owned by personalities such as Johnny Weismuller and John Wayne are located, is on the northern end of the bay. This is where the boardwalk and main square are and today the area is filled with modern, Mexican-style hotels, with discothèques and restaurants within walking distance.[7] This side of the bay is also known as "Tradicional" or "Nautica."

The south end of the bay holds the newer constructions, including high-rise hotels. This area includes Punta Diamante, Puerto Marqués, and stretches from the airport to the Papagayo River which separates it from the older section of town. In this area, no one walks, as almost all transportation is by car, limousine or golf cart.[5][7] The older section of town now caters to mostly middle class, almost exclusively Mexican clientele, while the glitzier newer section caters to international visitors and the Mexican upper classes, many of whom never venture into the older, traditional part of town.[7][26] This area also has the higher hotel occupancy rates.[5][26]

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.[6] From November to April, luxury liners stop here daily and include ships such as the MS Queen Victoria, the MS Rotterdam, Crystal Harmony as well as all the Princess line ships.[7] Despite Acapulco's international fame, most of its visitors are from central Mexico, especially the affluent from Mexico City.[5][6] Acapulco is one of the embarkation ports for the Mexican cruise line Ocean Star Cruises.[30]

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.[31] The area has over 25,000 condominiums, most of which function as second homes for their Mexican owners.[5] Acapulco is still popular with Mexican celebrities and the wealthy, such as Luis Miguel, Plácido Domingo and Dolores Olmedo, who maintain homes here.[7]

Marqués port

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.[6] 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.[32] Around the city are many small shantytowns that cling to the mountainsides, populated by migrants who have come here looking for work. Prostitution is also common here as well.[26] In the last decade, drug-related violence has caused problems for the local tourism trade.[6]

Another problem is garbage that has accumulated in the bay. Although 60.65 tons have recently been extracted from the bays of Acapulco and 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.[33]


Papagayo Park

Acapulco's main attraction is its nightlife, as it has been for many decades.[6][34] Nightclubs change names and owners frequently. 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.[citation needed]

Another enigmatic attraction at Acapulco are the La Quebrada Cliff Divers.[35] 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.[36] Today the divers are professionals,[36] diving from heights of forty meters into an inlet that is only seven meters wide and four meters deep, after praying first at a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe.[35] On 12 December, the feast day of this Virgin, freestyle cliff divers jump into the sea to honor her. Dives ranges 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.[36] 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.[35]

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.[37]

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, visit a small zoo 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.[38] 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.[7][38]

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.[38] Acapulco's most historic building is the San Diego Fort, located east of the main square and originally built in 1616 to protect the city from pirate attacks.[35] 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.[39][40] Today the fort serves as the Museo Histórico de Acapulco (Acapulco Historical Museum), which shows the port's history from the pre-Hispanic period until independence. There are temporary exhibits as well.[35]

Tlacopanocha, or Tlaco de Panocha, is one of the city's main beaches

The Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantial or CICI is a sea-life and aquatic park located on Costera 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.[35][37] 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.[37]

The 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 mosaics, featuring 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.[40]

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 the World, Mexico across History, The Huichols and the Jaguar, Alebrijes and Dances of Guerrero, Devils and Death, Identity and Fantasy, and Afro-Indian masks.[37] 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.[37]

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.[41] 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.[1]

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.[38]

Acapulco also has a bullring, called the Plaza de Toros, near Caletilla Beach. The season runs during the winter and is called the Fiesta Brava.[38]

360° panoramic view of the bay of Acapulco, the seaport and the Fort of San Diego.

Spring break

Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to resort areas and balnearios throughout Mexico over spring break each year.[42] 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.[43]

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.[44] 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,[45] and partially because of scares of drug-related violence.[46]

In February 2009, the US State Department issued a travel alert directed at college students planning spring-break trips to Acapulco.[47] The warning—a result of violent activity springing from Mexico's drug cartel debacle—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 Acapulco just 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.[48] 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.[49] However, no incidents of violence against spring breakers were reported.


Typical street scene in downtown area

From the U.S., many airlines now fly to Juan N. Álvarez International Airport year-round. 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 erotic themes, and even to "Hello Kitty" themes.

International relations


País Tipo Ref.
 Germany Honorary consul [50][51]
 Austria Honorary consul [52][53]
 Canada Consular Agency [54][55]
 Spain Honorary consul [55][56]
 United States Consular Agency [55][57]
 Philippines Honorary consul [55][58]
 Finland Honorary consul [55][59]
 France Honorary consul [55][60]
 Guatemala Honorary consul [61][62]
 Italy Honorary consul [63][64]
 Norway Honorary consul [55][65]
 Netherlands Honorary consul [61][62]
 Poland Honorary consul [55][66]
 United Kingdom Honorary consul [55][67]
 Russia Honorary consul [55][68]
 Sweden Honorary consul [69][70]
 Mexico National Institute of Migration [71][72]

Sister cities

Country City State / District / Region / County Year Ref.
 Philippines Ph seal ncr manila.png Manila Flag of Manila.png Metro Manila 1969 [73]
 Japan Symbol of Sendai, Miyagi.svg Sendai Flag of Miyagi Prefecture Miyagi 1973 [74]
 Japan Onjuku Chiba chapter Onjuku Flag of Chiba Prefecture Chiba 1978 [74]
 Israel Netanya COA Netanya Netanya flag Central District 1980 [73]
 China Qingdao Shandong 1985 [75]
 Canada Blason ville ca Quebec (Quebec).svg Quebec  Quebec 1986 [73]
 Italy CoA Città di Napoli.svg Napoli Regione-Campania-Stemma.svg Campania 1986 [73]
 United States Seal of California.svg Beverly Hills  California 1988 [73]
 France Blason ville fr Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes).svg Cannes Flag of Provence-Alpes-Cote dAzur Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 1998 [73]
 Peru Escudo de Armas de Arequipa.svg Arequipa Bandera de Arequipa.svg Arequipa Region 1998
 Australia Coa Queensland.png Gold Coast  Queensland 2000
 India Banner of Krakow.svg Panaji Banner of Krakow.svg Goa 2002 [73]
 Saudi Arabia Riyadh City Logo.svg Riad Riyadh City Logo.svg Riyadh Province 2003
 United States Seal of California.svg Santa Ana  California 2005
 Spain Escudo del Pais Vasco.svg Ordizia Escudo de Guipuzcoa.svg Guipuzcoa 2008 [73]
 Peru Escudo del Callao.svg Callao Bandera del Callao.svg Provincia del Callao 2008 [76]
 Mexico Escudo de Puerto Vallarta.svg Puerto Vallarta  Jalisco 2009
 Russia Coat of Arms of Sochi (Krasnodar krai).png Sochi Flag of Krasnodar Krai.png Krasnodar Krai 2009 [73]
 United States Seal of Texas.svg McAllen  Texas 2009 [77]
 Mexico Escudo Oficial Cuernavaca.gif Cuernavaca  Morelos 2010 [78]
 Ukraine Yalta-arms.png Yalta Crimea Emblem.png Crimea 2010 [73]
 Mexico Escudo del Estado de Guanajuato.png Guanajuato  Guanajuato 2010 [79]
 Germany Vlag van Muenchen.jpg Munich  Bavaria 2010 [80]
 Vietnam Flag of St. Paul, Minnesota.svg Ha-Long Flag of St. Paul, Minnesota.svg Quảng Ninh 2011 [81]
 Azerbaijan Baku seal.PNG Baku Baku seal.PNG Distrito de Baku 2011 [82][83]
 Cyprus 20px Larnaca 20px Distrito de Lárnaca 2011 [84]
 Israel Coat of arms of Eilat.png Eilat Coat of arms of Eilat.png Southern District 2012 [85]
 Mexico Escudo de armas de Boca del Río.svg Boca del Rio  Veracruz 2012 [86][87]
 Guatemala Coat of arms of Escuintla.png Puerto Quetzal ..Escuintla Flag(GUATEMALA).png Escuintla 2012 [88]
 Iran Emblem of Iran.svg Bandar Torkaman Emblem of Iran.svg Golestan 2012 [89]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Estado de Guerrero Acapulco de Juárez" (in Spanish). Mexico: INAFED. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e "History of API Acapulco". Acapulco, Guerrero accessdate=January 10, 2010: Administracion Portuaria Integral. Missing pipe in: |location= (help)
  3. ^ a b "INEGI Census 2005" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-01-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History for Acapulco". Niles' Guides. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e Juarez, Alfonso (30 December 2009). "Confían en salvar temporada turística". Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 12. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Introduction to Acapulco". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oliver, Mike. "The sunniest Acapulco". MexConnect. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  8. ^ Robelo, Cecelio A. (1912). Diccionario de Aztequismos. Mexico: Imp. del Museo N. de Arquelogía, Historia y Etnología. pp. 43–44.
  9. ^ Portal de Acapulco - Acapulco y su Arquitectura
  10. ^ Teddy Stauffer: Der Swingkönig im Paradies - |
  11. ^ World Book Encyclopedia, 1967 Edition, Vol. 1, p. 19
  12. ^ "Historia de la Arquidiócesis" (in Spanish). Acapulco, Guerrero: Archdiocese of Acapulco. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ a b Lacey, Marc (2009-06-08). "Acapulco, Long Dotted With Tourists, Is Now Home to Drug War". New York Timnes. New York, NY. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  14. ^ Davison, Phil (10 October 1997). "109 dead as Hurricane Pauline batters Mexico". The Independent. London. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  15. ^ a b Ellingwood, Ken (2009-06-08). "Acapulco shootout leaves 18 dead". Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  16. ^ Juárez, Alfonso (6 January 2010). "Desciende ocupación". Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 12. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  17. ^ a b "5 decapitated bodies found in popular Acapulco spots; 9 bodies found in other Mexican state". Washington Post. August 20. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  18. ^ Mexico: Guerrero narco-violence breaks grisly record | World War 4 Report
  19. ^ "Mexico violence: Headless bodies found in Acapulco". BBC News. January 8, 2011.
  20. ^ Mexico Seeks Culprits in Rape of 6 Spaniards
  21. ^ "Regionalización". Enciclopedia de Los Municipios y Delegaciones de México Estado de Guerrero (in Spanish). Mexico: INAFED Instituto para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal SEGOB Secretaría de Gobernación. 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2012. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  22. ^ NORMALES CLIMATOLÓGICAS 1951-2010 (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Mexico. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  23. ^ Climatological Information for Acapulco, Mexico, Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
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  25. ^ "Delimitación de las zonas metropolitanas de México 2005" (PDF) (in Spanish). Mexico City: INEGI. 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  26. ^ a b c d Devlin, Wendy (2007-02-16). "Walking the walk, talking the talk – cita with the shady 'lady' in Acapulco". MexConnect. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ "Dealing with the Police". Real Acapulco. January 25, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  28. ^ "corrupt Mexican police story". Lonely Planet. January 5, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  29. ^ "( Beware of Police Corruption)". Trip Advisor. January 30, 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  30. ^ Ocean Star Cruises - Acapulco, Retrieved 05 August 2011.
  31. ^ "Guerrero-Turismo". El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico City. Agencia el Universal. 4 January 2010. p. 12. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  32. ^ Juarez, Alfonso (30 December 2009). "Combaten ambulantaje en Acapulco". Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 12. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  33. ^ Juarez, Alfonso (28 December 2009). "Buscan en Guerrero limpiar fondo de mar". Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  34. ^ "Nightlife". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  35. ^ a b c d e f "Attractions". Frommer's Guides. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  36. ^ a b c "Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe Cliff Diving". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  37. ^ a b c d e Quintanar Hinojosa, Beatriz, ed. (2007). "Acapulco más brillante de nunca". Mexico Desconocido Rutas Turisticas Guerrero El destino del Mundo (in Spanish). Mexico City: Grupo Editorial Impresiones Aéreas. 135: 8–26. ISSN 0188-5146. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  38. ^ a b c d e "Active Pursuits & Acapulco Historical Museum". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  39. ^ "San Diego Fort & Acapulco Historical Museum". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  40. ^ a b Oliver, Mike (2001-01-01). "Dynamic women of Acapulco". MexConnect. Retrieved January 10, 2010. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  41. ^ "Acapulco French Festival". Frommer's Guides. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  42. ^ "SPRING BREAK IN MEXICO – "Know Before You Go!"". United States State Department. Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  43. ^ Leinwand, Donna (5 January 2003). "Alcohol-soaked spring break lures students abroad". USA TODAY. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  44. ^ Weissert, Will (7 March 2005). "Acapulco heat for spring-break". MSNBC. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  45. ^ "Springbreak baja por crisis, no por violencia: hoteleros". El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico City. 12 March 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2010. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)
  46. ^ Lacey, Marc (10 March 2009). "At Spring Break in Mexico, Revelry Mixes With New Caution". New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
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  48. ^ Lacey, Marc (March 11, 2009). "At Spring Break in Mexico, Revelry Mixes With New Caution". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  49. ^ "3 Mexican officers killed in Acapulco -". CNN. June 8, 2009. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  50. ^ Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores. "Consulado de Alemania en México". Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  51. ^ Rdio Mèxico Internacional. "Consulado de Alemania en Acapulco". Retrieved 14 March 2012.
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  73. ^ a b c d e f g h i j
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Further reading

External links