Acapulco, Mexico

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Map of Mexico

Received from an American relative :

Arriving in Mexico, from a wintry Illinois, and finding it was 84 degrees (F), everyone was stripping as they waited in the customs lines. There were time-share salesmen everywhere waiting to pounce on us but we were quickly taken to our hotel.

Never having been to Mexico before I was surprised at everything being so open with no doors and windows in the Hotel (Ritz) restaurant and bar areas. In the local bars and restaurants that weren't just intended for tourist they were open like this, with fans overhead. It was very comfortable.

Acapulco Beach

The first day we took the city tour with the main attractions being the church on the hill with the big white cross that you can see from the whole bay area. The view is great from the top and there is a story about two sons getting killed and the parents building this church, etc. as a memorial for their sons and giving it to the city. The plants and flowers were wonderful in that area.

The other tour things were the hotel strip which is about 7 miles long and then the older part of the city where there are very cheap hotels where a lot of the Mexicans stay. We were amazed at how few bugs, flies or mozzies. There are virtually none. We wondered if bugs and flies are only around during and after the rainy season perhaps?

Another view of the beach

There is an old hotel called the Flamingo where the old movie stars stayed there in the 30's and 40's. The Mexicans all call it Johnny Weismuiller's home. We thought the hotel area was very festive and all painted up bright pink. The price at this hotel was about $50 per room per day (about 25). It is not on the beach but we liked it and would try to stay there if we went back. It was very near to the Cliff Divers spot and we did get there just in time to see the 1:00 show. The city tour was about $30 each and it was 4 hours. We also went to the old Town Square and saw the nice church. We went to a flea market . We found a local taco stand and here we had the nicest meal we had outside of the hotel all week. We each had 5 small corn tacos with onion and cilantro and a little lime squeezed on them, with this meat they cut off of a big hunk on a spit like they have in Greek Restaurants. We were the only Gringos in the place. We walked around there and back to the City Square and then started to walk back to the hotel.

Buses in Acapulco

We never tried to get a taxi while in Acapulco, thanks to some horror stories that we heard before the trip. Apparently, one needs to bargain the cost of the ride before getting in the taxi, if you don't want the driver to take you for a wild ride. Anyway, as most taxis on the streets were old model VW beetles or small sized Japanese-made sedans we also felt that the four of us would not  comfortably fit in those taxis.

On the city tour, the guide told us that there is all but one major street for the tourists in Acapulco, and that most of the buses stay on this street. The street goes by all the major hotels by the bay and goes to the old town area. After we parted with the city tour and had our lunch in the old town, we decided to walk back to the hotel, which is visible from the old town. It must have been over 100 degrees under the sun; we were feeling miserable, and must have looked the same. About one-tenth of the way, a bus stopped and encouraged us, in Spanish, to get on. It only cost us about 40 cents per person per ride. From then on, we looked for buses every chance we got.

In addition to the driver, a bus usually has a "helper", whose main job is to look for potential customers. There are so many buses that we never had to wait for more than 5 minutes. We heard that we shouldn't get on the green ones, forgot why. Most of the times, we took the blue ones, which seem to stay on the main tourist street. The drivers were very friendly so we never got lost.

There are also buses with air-conditioning. We took them a couple of times and found them to be more crowded than the cheaper, open-air, ones. It costs about 80 cents per person per ride on the A/C buses.

The bay area is about 7 miles long; we could not get from one place to another on foot but became very efficient at getting on the buses, though we were not always sure where to get off. After a few bus rides, we all got the feeling that some drivers were maniacs, making mad acceleration and stops just for the fun of it. Our ride started with 4 other buses - there are lots of buses on the street; and the drivers raced each other in order to be the chosen one at the next stop. BTW, the buses would stop anywhere if you need a ride or want to get off. Lastly, our fellow bus riders never made us nervous about our personal safety. The Mexicans are very friendly people. The buses are not dirty but rhere may be some broken windows and graffiti . Everyone decorates the driver area. We were always treated to very loud popular music.

Acapulco is famous for its daring divers

Acapulco is famed for its daring cliff divers

Sunday I was happy to go in the pool in the hotel and cool off. Then they started the water aerobics and I joined in and it was really fun. I was the only one from the US. The aerobics leader and his helper were both from Canada and they had a friend in the water with them from Canada - all the rest of the girls and young women were from Mexico City. Mexicans all have a vacation at this time of the year because they have a big celebration on the 12th day after Christmas - the kids are off school until after that. So, if you want to avoid crowds of children go after that. If you like to go sea swimming watch out for the red flags warning of an undertow.

On Wednesday we took a tour to Taxco - the silver capital of Mexico. Taxco is a beautiful town. It is laid out on hills and the views of all the white houses is outstanding - changing from place to place but always very picturesque. We took lots of pictures. The day in Taxco was much too short and if we have another chance we will go there and stay overnight so we can really explore. The guide said it is a museum city so they have to keep the buildings in the style they are now and the city can't change to modern buildings, etc. The first the ride to Taxco is a bumpy toll road but the second was winding around and around mountains. The ride was interesting and Taxco was beautiful.

 The chuch at Taxco

The tour took us right to the store they were promoting but the driver said you will get 925 quality silver + in all the stores but he wouldn't guarantee anything that you might buy on the streets. There seemed to be hundreds of stores selling silver in Taxco. The silver mines are all around Taxco and the silver designs don't change much from store to store, unless they have their own designers and if they do the silver is more expensive.

Taxco silver

The weather was always great. You never need a sweater and or a coat it seems. The only place we noticed it was the least bit cool was the early morning breakfast on the way to Taxco - and that was because it was up in the hills and it was about 8:00AM.

Food. Back at the hotel we had fish fried to order at the Buffet a couple of nights and a girl making omelets to order in the morning. I had lots of fresh fruit - the papaya and the pineapple were particularly good. The Desserts were very good also. Since we were at an all-inclusive Hotel the drinks were all free… Pina-Colladas, margaritas, wine and lager beer.

We found two of the restaurants recommended in a guide book. One of them Miguel's in the Old Town that served Seafood and the other was Ika Tako that was right across from the Hyatt.

Christmas shopping is no fun - vacations are nicer.
The weather was perfect.  
Mexicans are very nice helpful people.  
We like Mexican food.
The trees and flowers were great.
The Hotel was very nice

Airports are a pain !

Thanks go to Alma

Alma picture


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