In Mexico’s jet-set days of the 1950s and 1960s, Acapulco was a star destination, with its nearly year-round sunshine, perfectly sculpted bay, and famous cliff divers. The city’s glamor has faded since then, as it has been bypassed by newer resort areas, and fewer cruises include it on their itineraries these days. Yet it’s still a water-sports playground, with a string of beautiful beaches ringing the bay, all with well-developed facilities. Cruise ships dock west of the Golden Zone hotel strip, a 5-minute walk from Old Acapulco’s main plaza, the zocalo.
Iconic sight At the towering cliff of La Quebrada, just above downtown, crowds gather daily at 1pm to watch professional high divers plunge from a ledge on the cliff, diving 130 feet into the
Roaring surf of an inlet that’s just 20 feet wide and 12 feet deep. Touristy as it sounds, it’s actually low-key and laidback.
Local color Cafes and shops border Acapulco’s town square, the zocalo, which is shaded by huge mango and rubber trees and cooled by fountains. At its far north end stands the Nuestra Senora de la Soledad cathedral with its rounded blue tower domes.
Off the beaten track From Caleta and Caletilla beaches, south of downtown, brightly painted boats ferry passengers to Roqueta Island, a good place to snorkel, sunbathe, hike to a lighthouse, visit a small zoo, or have lunch.