Acapulco has been an international crossroads for most of its history. Claimed by the Spanish crown in 1528, the port was a prominent player in trade with the Orient. Despite earthquakes and attacks by pirates, the city maintained its dominance until the early 1800s, when the Mexican War for Independence stopped trade with Asia. Then, in the 1930s, the Mexican government paved the highway between Mexico City and Acapulco, and the “pearl of the Pacific” was reborn as a playground for the world’s rich and famous. Images of Frank Sinatra sipping margaritas while watching the divers at La Quebrada, and the Elvis Presley movie “Fun in Acapulco” helped the city develop a reputation for glamour. Today, wealthy families still flock here to enjoy calm surf and yellow-sand beaches by day, and to dine and dance in fine restaurants overlooking glittering Acapulco Bay by night.
In the 1950s, this vibrant port city, which has one of the world's most beautiful bays, attracted Hollywood celebrities. This is where John and Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon, as did Liz Taylor and Michael Todd, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Three Rambo movies starring Sylvester Stallone were filmed here, as was Blow with Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz. Singers such as Julio Iglesias and a host of others maintain residences here, carrying on the Hollywood tradition that started long ago. Howard Hughes stayed at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess while J. Paul Getty used The Fairmont Pierre Marques as his private summer residence.
The natural harbor of Bahía de Acapulco (Acapulco Bay) is the city's centerpiece. By day this stretch of the Pacific, 433 km (268 mi) south of Mexico City, is a deep tempting blue; at night the water flashes and sparkles with city lights. Thanks to warm waters, almost constant sunshine, and balmy year-round temperatures, most people plan their day around the beach.
To the west, Pie de la Cuesta is known for its fabulous sunsets - a good reason to venture here late in the afternoon. Although Pie de la Cuesta's main road has been paved, the tiny area has seen little development. You can get a feel for Acapulco during a short stay if you take in some downtown sights along with your beach activities. With more time, you can enjoy excursions to isolated beaches as well as to Taxco - a colonial town a delightful three-hour drive north of Acapulco - where the Baroque towers of Santa Prisca church overlook cobblestone streets lined with silversmiths.
Tourism Website Destination Guide
AirAcapulco’s busy airport – Aeropuerto Internacional Juan N. Alvarez - has many international flights, most connecting through Mexico City or Guadalajara; both short hops from Acapulco. The airport is 20 minutes east of the city and approximately a seven-minute drive from Fairmont Heritage Place, The Fairmont Acapulco Princess and The Fairmont Pierre Marques. Airlines serving Acapulco and their direct flights (all with connections to other cities) include Aeromexico, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, and Mexicana.
BeachesBarra ViejaAbout 27 km (17 mi) east of Acapulco, between Laguna de Tres Palos and the Pacific, this long stretch of beach is somewhat more inviting than Pie de la Cuesta because the drive out is much more pleasant. Most people make the trip for the solitude and to feast on pescado à la talla (fish marinated in spices and grilled over hot coals).
Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla On the peninsula in Old Acapulco, these two beaches once rivaled La Quebrada as the main tourist area in Acapulco's heyday. Now they attract families. Motorboats to Isla la Roqueta leave from here.
Playa CondesaFacing the middle of Acapulco Bay, this stretch of sand has more than its share of tourists. The beachside restaurants are convenient for bites between parasailing flights.
Playa Hornos and Playa HornitosRunning from the Plaza las Glorias Paraíso to Las Hamacas hotel, these beaches are packed shoulder to shoulder on weekends with locals and Mexican tourists.
Playa IcacosStretching from the naval base to El Presidente hotel, this beach is less populated than others on the Costera, and the morning waves are especially calm.
Pie de la CuestaYou will need a car or cab to reach this relatively unpopulated spot, about a 25-minute drive west of Acapulco. A string of rustic restaurants borders the wide beach, and straw palapas provide shade. What attracts people to Pie de la Cuesta, besides the long expanse of beach and spectacular sunsets, is beautiful Coyuca Lagoon, a favorite spot for waterskiing, freshwater fishing, and boat rides. The boats will ferry you to La Laguna restaurant, where, some people claim, the pescado à la talla is even better than at Barra Vieja.
Playa Puerto MarquésTucked below the airport highway, this strand is popular with Mexican tourists, so it tends to get crowded on weekends.
Playa RevolcaderoA wide, sprawling beach next to the Mayan Palace, The Fairmont Pierre Marqués, and The Fairmont Acapulco Princess, its waters are shallow and its waves are fairly rough.
History & CultureAcapulco was originally inhabited by the Nahua Indians (the predecessors of the Aztecs). Recent discoveries have surfaced in the form of Petroglyphs, which may indicate even previous settlements around 3000 B.C. There are even theories about early encounters and commerce with the Chinese culture as early as 412. Although testimonies of this exist in several Chinese records, physical evidence is scarce. Chinese Acapulco was named “Ye Pa Ti”, or the “Place with the Beautiful Waters”. The name Acapulco, although very elusive as to its origins in the native tongue of the Nahoas, means “The place where the reeds were destroyed”.
Centuries later, Acapulco was conquered by the Spaniard Hernan Cortes when the Aztec Empire fell in 1521. Conquered, but not colonized, Acapulco was turned into a big shipyard where Cortes built ships in order to conquer more territories, such as Pizarro’s incursion to Peru. Spanish settlements and colonization began in 1550 and it was only then that the Nahoa Indians were enslaved and displaced from their homeland of more than a thousand years. Since 1571, Acapulco retained its importance as the most important commerce and trading port for Europe with the Philippines and other Asian and South American ports for the next 400 years.
During that time, Acapulco became a haven for pirates including Sir Francis Drake. The Fort of San Diego, now a modern museum, was built to defend the city from their attacks. During the Mexican War of Independence (1910), the Fort of San Diego was one of the most difficult positions to liberate from the Spaniards. It even became an obsession to Morelos, one of the most important Independence Generals. Acapulco began its transformation to that of a vacation destination in the 1920’s when the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII, visited the bay on a fishing expedition.
SightseeingAcapulco beckons visitors to enjoy the white sands of its beaches and bask in the glorious sun. Away from the beach, the rugged terrain of the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains is the ideal setting for adventurous pursuits. In the city of Acapulco, Mexican tradition and modern-day convenience intersect at the many galleries and shopping opportunities. After dark, the legendary nightlife explodes into the early hours of the morning, unleashing Acapulco’s exuberant personality. There are a number of things to do and see in the surrounding area.
Acapulco Bay Features beautiful beaches, unique shops and boutiques, countless restaurants and bars and an exciting nightlife, all located only 20 minutes away from the Residence Club.
Bull Fights Available during the high season only. Please inquire at the Pavilion for more details.
The Bay Cruise A sightseeing tour around scenic Acapulco Bay and Puerto Marques Bay. The tour includes live music and an English-speaking guide.
The City Tour An escorted tour with an English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned coach. The tour includes a cliff diving show at La Quebrada.
Ecological Tours include trips to the Exotic Species Zoo on Roqueta Island. Here guests can marvel at several ecological areas.
Roqueta Island and the Zoo Great spots for sunbathing, snorkeling, or experiencing a panoramic view of Acapulco Bay. Boats depart all day from Phlaya Caleta and from a small dock beside the “Magico Mundo” aquarium.
The Cliff Divers at La Quebrada A popular attraction. Marvel at the famous Acapulco cliff divers as they dive from the top of 100 ft. high cliffs. Daytime and evening shows are available with English guided tours.
Laguna Coyuca A great place for ecological tours, horseback riding and spectacular sunsets. Located 10 miles northwest of Acapulco.
Nuestra Senora de la Soledad ChurchNear the town square has a wonderfully unique exterior.
Papagayo Park’s Roller coasters and carnival make for an exciting day for the entire family. Located 30 minutes away.
San Diego FortSituated on the hill overlooking the harbor, is almost 400 years old and was built by the Spaniards to protect Acapulco Bay from invasion.
Taxco Tour A tour of Taxco, a city between Acapulco and Mexico City. Taxco is famous for its silverware and Colonial architecture.
The Yacht Club Located 40 minutes away in Acapulco Bay.
ZocaloAnother popular sight is the lively and bustling town center, which is a staple of Mexican tradition.
ClimateMexico is made up of several different regions, each with its own type of seasonal weather, climate, altitude and terrain. Generally, rainfall and temperature rise from June through October, leaving November through May as the more temperate and dry season. Acapulco has 350 days of sunshine per year on average, and the average daily temperature is 80 °F (27 °C) year round.
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Fairmont Heritage Place offers all the pleasures and rewards of owning a spectacular vacation property, Four primary reasons make Fairmont Heritage Place best in class.