Acapulco, Mexico: the pearl of the Pacific
Sitting on a picture-perfect bay framed by the rugged Sierra Madre mountains, Acapulco is famous for its happening waterfront, hot nightlife and gorgeous beaches. Known as a world-class jet-setters’ playground since JFK and Jackie honeymooned here, it’s a vacation destination well worth the flight.
One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, La Quebrada’s cliff divers have thrilled audiences since 1934. Leaping from heights of up to 35 metres, the divers must calculate the exact right moment to jump into the narrow ocean cove below based on incoming waves.
Much of Acapulco is geared toward tourism, which makes Zócalo—the Old Town’s main plaza—even more refreshing. Filled with vendors and shoe shiners during the day, the square comes alive at night with street performers, mariachis and sidewalk bistros. On Sunday evenings, multiple generations of local families gather to stroll together past the fountains and multi-trunked trees.
Just up the mountainside above Old Acapulco is Palma Sola, a 2000-year-old archaeological site covered in petroglyphs by the Yopes, the area’s earliest-known inhabitants. Tourists who climb all the way to the top, are rewarded by a ceremonial cave and spectacular city views.
The Capilla de la Paz is an open-air chapel perched high above the city. It’s particularly captivating at dusk, when a coveted snapshot is the sun setting between the clasped hands of the main outdoor sculpture.
Traditional Mexican food and more
Some of the city’s best traditional Mexican food can be found at the 50-year-old Acapulco institution El Cabrito. More intrepid diners will try the house special: cabecita de cabrita, or broiled baby goat’s head.
A favourite after the clubs close down or at any time of day, Zorrito’s is an open-air street-side eatery that serves Acapulco’s famous green and white pozole, as well as steak dishes like filete tampiqueña.