SUNDAY FEB 2 DAY 8
Well this port was interesting ….I was apprehensive about visiting Acapulco. Tom did some reading prior to our arrival and found out that, as I mentioned in my last post, Acapulco has the second highest murder rate in the world and the US has a travel ban on visiting.
But somehow we are on our way here.
…coming into port, the view was beautiful. It looked a bit like Oahu and the picturesque view of Wakeiki beach
Homes of all sizes, shapes and condition are built into the hillside.
And the sharp cliffs are spectacular up close.
San Diego Fort greets us as we come into port with its distinctive Pentagonal shape. Today it is a museum. And here I found out Acapulco has an abundance of history beyond Jackie O and Hollywood…..tells you how much I know and what I read. Acapulco was a critical port of trade 250 years ago. Mexico was known as the “new Spain” and because of Acapulco’s unique location on the coastline and its dominance in the southern seas this fort, and this city, played a critical role in Mexican history.
So I was curious…..I wanted to find out more. I was torn about getting off the ship….but decided we signed up for a tour so safety in numbers….and if we didn”t make it back …well it would make quite a headline.
So I took off my jewelry, ventured out, and Tom stayed on the boat.🙂
As our group walked through the terminal we were greeted by locals in costume`.
…and into the city we went. Once again we were greeted by the army…this time they were out in buses. We first headed to the old part of Acapulco . Like many cities Acapulco is a combo of old and new. Red terra-cotta tiles cover the old roofs and metal cover the new. Other then a few areas in the newer sections the city looks tired.
The old area is a walk down memory lane especially for anyone over 60 who remembers the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s when Acapulco was known as the playground for Hollywood and the “Rich and famous.”
Tarzan, a big film back then, was produced in Acapulco and Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) who spent a lot of time there, was part owner of the ‘then famous’ Pink Flamigo Hotel.
We got a tour of The Pink flamingo and it is definitely “yesterdays’ news….the name sounds like a predecessor to something in Las Vegas …but you would be better off staying in Vegas or going to Los Angelos
Today the Flamigo is patroned by locals of Acapulco with outside tourists pretty much nonexistent. The rooms here go for $35 a night….but it is not the bargain that it sounds like when you see the rooms.
Tarzans old room, that sounds ridiculous, now the presidential suite, that sounds even more ridiculous, had a hammock in it for sleeping. So that sort of sums up the Pink Flamingo….onto our next stop.
The Cliff Divers Since the 40’s Acapulco is known for its cliff divers. This has become the most popular attraction in Mexico. The divers here are considered local hero’s.
Diving is showcased mornings and nights by Hotel LaPerla. At night they dive into a fire ring in the water.
The cliffs are incredibly steep and the divers climb to the top in there Speedo’s and bare feet.
The highest dive is 110’ into an incredibly narrow channel that is only 18’ deep.
It is hard to really portray without seeing it….but they do a “Hail Mary before each dive….. I would to if I were them.
They dive from various heights with the last two diving from the top… a 110’ drop.
They propel themselves away from the rocks ….are its all over.
…. diving speed is 50 miles per hour.
When they hit the water…the sound is loud. It is amazing to watch.
Time to climb out…take a rest and do it all over again.
Now over to the “new” part of town with our military escort.
And again lots of Volkswagen beetles as we make our way to the new area….
….the “new” section was built in the 60’s …the hay day of Acapulco, when a beautiful cliff side home overlooking the Pacific went for $500k, big bucks at that time………60 years later, they continue in a hudge economic decline with the value still at 500k….a pretty good buy today if you want a cliff side home overlooking the pacific. But back “in the day” this magnificent church was built by a Hilton family member welcoming any denominations to practice there faith…..though 87% of Mexicans are Catholic.
The windows are made of onyx, casting a beautiful warm glow as the sun comes through. The stone throughout the entire property is granite.
A cross that can be seen throughout the entire downtown is 120” high and 600’ into the ground.
The property has spectacular views of the Pacific from the high points of these cliffs It is breathtaking and you can see why the rich and famous were drawn to Acapulco. So now back to the ship…
Summing it up ….Acapulco was a very interesting dichotomy …..like so many manufacturing towns in the US it lost its’ way and seems to be caught in a time warp….It is still naturally beautiful and very interesting…I would recommend it for a once day stop despite the travel ban.
Next stop Antiqua.