After 9/11 Mexico has become an ideal destination point, not only for North American tourists but the entire international community. Every year, a little more than five million passengers visit Mexico on cruise ships. Acapulco is one of the favorite destinations for these ships, which are the ever increasingly popular form of holiday travel, about six a week visit Acapulco. These have every imaginable form of entertainment on board and have plenty of room to accommodate up to 2,500 passengers or more. Security is tight when you board these ships. They play no games and take the important issue of security seriously. Sometime ago I embarked on the Inspiration, setting sail for the Caribbean from Tampa Bay. Acapulco is the oldest of all the resorts in Mexico.  

Fort of San Diego Museum  

While most tourists come to Acapulco to enjoy the beauty of its beaches, Security Corner invites you to take some time off and visit the fortress of San Diego, located right across the dock, on the other side of La Costera on the Hornitos and Morelos Street's. This is the most important historical monument of the port of Acapulco. It has recently been renovated with air conditioning, and is both clean, and modern. All rooms have English-language signs explaining the history of Acapulco and the San Diego Fort.  

Acapulco - The Early Days  

Founded in 3000 BC by Nahua Indians, Acapulco became a busy port in the 1500's under the Spanish dominion. In the 1920's La Quebrada divers began practicing their ritual by going after coins that had been thrown into the sea, at the foot of the cliffs, which are about 135 feet (35 meters) high. In the 1930's famous hotels were built, such as El Mirador. This hotel, located next to La Quebrada, reportedly began as a taco & beer stand, later sprouting seven bungalows, extending with time to what it is today. Other famous and old hotels include the Continental Hilton (currently Emporio), Caleta, Majestic, and the Club de Pesca. Our sources indicate that Acapulco in its early stages looked like a fishermen's village, completely packed by (mostly) US tourists, who after World War 2 converted it into a favorite resort. Mexican President Miguel Aleman promoted the virtues of Acapulco internationally. The first Mexico City-Acapulco highway was built in 1924. The second faster road was inaugurated in 1944. The current toll booth highway was finished in 1993.  

The Rich and Famous Hang out in Acapulco  

A visit to Los Famingos Hotel, Av. Lopez Mateos, Las Playas (tel. no. 744/482-0690) is also recommended. Not only to sample their wonderful margaritas and eat their famous pozole every Thursday afternoon, but more importantly, to admire the sunset from this wonderful location. Flavio Lopez; a hotel employee here, formerly with the Guerrero State Tourism Secretariat; is a reliable source of information on Acapulco. His narratives are simply fascinating and well-documented. Ask him to explain to you why Acapulco is Adam & Eve's Lost Paradise. Also, why the so-called Hollywood Gang owned this old hotel. We are talking about John Wayne, Johnnie Weissmuller (right! .. the first Tarzan in the movies), Cary Grant, Fred Mc Murray, Red Shelton, Rex Allen, Errol Flynn and Richard Widmark. Acapulco has been a honeymooners' paradise for years. Chosen by John & Jackie Kennedy, who rented the Casa Pullen, only a short distance from the Flamingos, as their love-nest. Acapulco was also selected by Bill and Hillary Clinton as their honeymoon destination. Indeed, there is magic in the air. You can feel it. The Shah of Iran lived here in Las Brisas area, until his passing away. Mexican singer Luis Miguel and many other Rich and Famous also live here. Many nice surprises are awaiting for you if you come to Acapulco for the first time. The modern international airport of Acapulco has several daily flights direct, from the US and other international destinations, some of them via Mexico City. 

Acapulco Today 

Acapulco has a total of 425 hotels to choose from with some 25,000 rooms to accommodate its visitors. Yes! This destination is accessible to all budgets. What makes it particularly attractive is its year-long warm weather: Acapulco's average temperature is in the range of 78 degrees Farenheit (28 centigrades). You have the all-inclusive luxurious places (such as Tres Vidas) at a daily rate of about $ 1,000 US or the 5 star hotels (Mayan Palace, Las Brisas, Princess, Quinta Real, etc.) that range in price from $ 300 to $ 400 US during the high season. In downtown Acapulco backpackers can find clean, comfortable rooms for about $ 7-10 US a night, some include breakfast as well.

The Layout 

  The metropolitan area, built along the main road, better known as Costera Miguel Aleman, next to the huge, gorgeous Acapulco bay, is divided into 3 parts. The Traditional zone that includes the old part of town, goes from Caleta to downtown and its Zocalo or main square. The Golden zone, which consists of the area between Playa Hornos and Icacos (name of a delicious local fruit) beach where the Mexican Navy Base is located. And the Diamond area, which unites the posh Las Brisas Hotel and the airport via a scenic highway drive.   

Recommendations for Runners 

  Acapulco offers a splendid area for walkers, shoppers, restaurant & bar-hoppers too, which extends all along the Costera driveway. If you are a runner, there is a path for you: the sidewalk next to the Pacific Ocean. I recommend trying the route that begins at the dock area -across from downtown's Zocalo area- all the way to Icacos, a distance of approximately 5 miles. Keep in mind that buses do emit fumes, you will be going across some smelly -yet attractive- points such as the local fish market, but the scenery is absolutely wonderful. Going in the Hornos park is also one option but the distance covered is limited. The road that begins at the Princess hotel's taxi stand in the street, in direction to the airport, is both safe and pleasant. Running on the beach does not offer a continued, long path, vendors will try their best to offer their products.   

Public Safety 

  Acapulco's population is estimated to be of 1.5 million. The number of international visitors that come to Acapulco regularly speaks for itself. Any week, about six ships bring an average of 2,000 tourists each, if not more. In addition, during the peak season some 3,000 weekly arrive by plane, car or bus. An average of 15,000 international tourists; mostly Americans, Canadians and Germans; visit Acapulco weekly. Would you believe that the total number of crime victims reported during same period of time is less than ten? To the best of our knowledge, Acapulco has no history of kidnapping express, that is forcing victims to withdraw money from ATM machines, unlike in Mexico City. Still, I recommend not to carry flashy jewelry and to always use crime prevention tactics. With regard to Public Transportation, we suggest the use of the air conditioned buses that routinely go back and forth on the Icacos-Caleta route. The ride is inexpensive, ranging from about 50 US cents (5 pesos). There are other buses, which charge less (about $ 4 pesos) that cover same route, but you should beware of pickpockets, and it is worth knowing that the young drivers turn the music up ridiculously loud, and are prone to racing their units, sometimes with consequences. All hotel taxi stands are completely safe but more expensive. Young tourists (mostly Spring Breakers) who buy drugs locally run the risk of being imprisoned, and it is best to stay away from places that generate conflict, such as the red district area and open bars which offer incredibly cheap drinks that contain questionable substances. Other than this, Acapulco is a safe place. Enjoy it!

Acapulco Violence, Related to Drugs

I continue to recommend that you visit Acapulco, even though the media has been reporting all these incidents –below- in the course of 2005 and 2006. As indicated in the last part of above paragraph, as long as you stay away from drugs, chances are you will have a pleasant visit, wanting to return the next time. Of course –as in many other places in the world- anybody can be exposed to mishaps in the street. However, statistically speaking –from information available to Security Corner- the individual risk is minimal. When I recently visited Acapulco went to all places tourists go and never had any problems. Still, this is information found in the media –the Mexican Drug War- for your consideration:

  • Drug Traffickers Wage War Over Acapulco by Adrian Reyes, IPS
  • Acapulco’s Drugs War by Jo Tuckman, The Guardian

Consular Assistance 

  In the remote possibility that you experience problems that may require the assistance of your consular agent, you will be in good hands: Lic. Alexander Richards is a young lawyer appointed by the US Embassy in Mexico City as your Consular Agent: Hotel Continental Emporio, Costera M. Alemán 121 - Office 14, Acapulco, Gro. 39670. Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Office: [52] (744) 469-0556, (744) 481-0100. Phone/Fax: [52] (744) 484-0300 E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. A person that has proven of extreme value to Canadians requiring help is Diane McLean Vandal, her office number is (744) 484-1305. The Canadian Consular Agent's office is located across from the Diana circle on the Costera too.   

City Police and Medical Emergency 

  Acapulco's Chief of Police telephone number is 4850490. A 24-hour emergency service is available by dialing 066 anywhere in Acapulco's metropolitan area.  
In the event of a Medical Emergency, locally, the recommended facility is Magallanes Hospital, located at Av. Wilfrido Massieu 2, tel. no. 4856544 and 4856096. Their Medical Director is Dr. Humberto Gutèrrez Meneses, they have an ambulance service too.

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 ABOUT Security Corner: Legal Notice is found in Featured Articles page. This monthly column is the result of intensive research by Mr. Mario González-Román to serve as support to the International Community. We do not pursue commercial or political interests. If a product or service is mentioned is because we believe it is in your own benefit. In some cases, per our request, official information was received from the Mexican Government. Contributions include those coming from non-profit private organizations and individuals volunteering to the usefulness of the objective of each article. In others, information was acquired by navigating in the Internet, by personal interviews or other channels. In each case, credit is given to information sources. While this information is for public use, it would be appreciated that when you reproduce or share its contents, that you include the name of its author and a link to Security Corner. All suggestions are welcome. If we made a mistake, we’ll be happy to correct it. English is not my native language. Readers have been extremely useful in the past: Welcome to edit articles. THIS IS TRULY A JOINT COLLABORATIVE EFFORT. Thanks to your input, messages we are be able to determine what topics interest our audience the most. Mr. González-Román is a retired FSN employee from the Embassy of the United States of America, where he worked per prior consent by Mexican Congress as evidenced in Federal Official Diary no. 16, dated September 23, 1981. Please become familiar with his Biography.

Important Notice: Should you report a crime, neither Solutions Abroad nor myself are able to take any legal, otherwise official liability or become personally involved in any case. We only intend to serve as a possible bridge of communication between foreign visitors requiring assistance and the officers charged with responsibility to provide it. We reserve the right to publish only selected materials that meet our criteria of objectivity for the benefit of the community. Should you require professional and private advice, feel free to write to me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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