Acapulco, the grandfather of Mexican beach resorts, is located on the western coast, about 400 kilometers (240 miles) southwest of Mexico City. It is world-famous for its cliff-divers who risk life and limb once during the day and several times in the evenings by catapulting themselves from a ledge 130 feet (43 meters) above the water. The dive must be timed with the incoming tide or they could hit bottom and be killed. These performances have been taking place since the 1930’s and have delighted millions of people.
The city of Acapulco is made up of two distinct sections. The Centro is the old part of town. It contains the Moorish, almost Byzantine Cathedral, with its onion domes reminiscent of Russian churches and the Fuerte de San Diego, built in the early 17th century, which is now a museum. The Old Town also contains Le Quebrada where the cliff-divers perform. Stroll the Malecon or seaside promenade with the locals in the evening.
The newer part of the city is known as “The Strip” and includes the area along La Costera Miguel Aleman, the roadway parallel with the beaches to the east of Old Town. It is lined with hotels and resorts.
The most well known, of the numerous beaches, is the Playa Condesa.
For those in Acapulco for several days who want to escape the beach and the sun for a day, an excursion to the Colonial city of Taxco de Alarcon might just be the thing to do. Taxco is the country’s major “Silver City”. As a matter of fact, the city is known the world over for its silver and silver craft. For shoppers interested in silver jewelry, this is the ultimate — hundreds of shops selling all sorts of varieties of silver jewelry at rock-bottom prices.
The town center merits exploration as well. The main attraction is the Iglesia de San Sebastian y Santa Prisca, a masterpiece of lavish Churrigueresque architecture which is located on the Zocalo, the Plaza Borda. It pale-pink exterior is richly decorated while its interior is gilded throughout and also contains several paintings by Miguel Cabrera, one of Mexico’s most important artists.