Mexico // Acapulco and the Pacific beaches //


Most people – even if they’ve not the remotest idea where it is – have heard of ACAPULCO. It’s been the grande dame of the Mexican tourist industry since the 1950s, and today Mexico City-by-the-sea is a crazy, tropical party town where the rich and poor of the capital come to play; the swankiest clubs and restaurants nestle in the hills, while the masses pack the beaches, fiesta-style. But what makes Acapulco really special is its stunning bay: a sweeping scythe-stroke of yellow sand backed by the white towers of the high-rise hotels and, behind them, the jungly green foothills of the sierra. Even though the city itself has a population of over one and a half million and hundreds of thousands of visitors come through each year, it rarely seems overcrowded. There’s certainly always space to lie along the beach, partly because of its sheer size, and partly because of the number of rival attractions – everything from hotel pools to parasailing to romantic cruises. If you only do one thing in Acapulco, though, make sure you see its most celebrated spectacle, the leap of the daredevil high divers.

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