Thoughts on Acapulco

Boats in Acapulco

Boats in Acapulco

I’ve been in an internet black hole the last several days in Mexico.

Here are a few observations from my brief stay in Acapulco, Mexico:

  • I booked a place via Hostelworld.com. It turns out it was quite a bit out of town. The taxi ride from the airport was 610 pesos, and that was the price from the official desk in the airport. Once I got there, it turned out to just be a room attached to a house, and the family had no idea I was coming. Just as a kicker, they didn’t provide anything other than breakfast, and the only dining option was an all inclusive resort which was a 20 min walk away.
  • On the plus side, I had an enormous beach to myself. I could see for several miles up and down the beach and only rarely would I see anyone else. The waves were enormous breaking right on to the sand. At night it sounded like thunder crashing every 10 seconds.
  • There are tons of old 60’s Volkswagen Beetles all over Acapulco. Many of them are in very good shape. Many of the taxis in town are white and blue beetles.
  • Most of the tourists seem to be Mexican, or at least they are from other Spanish speaking countries. Usually when you go to any tourist destination in Europe or Asia, you will see signs in English, or at least subtitled in English. I saw very little of that here. On two occasions I went to the front desk of a hotel to ask a question, and the receptionist didn’t speak English, which again is something you usually don’t see in most hotels catering to an international clientele. It seemed much less touristy than Cozumel.
  • I had to get by on my limited Spanish more here than anywhere else I’ve been, which is not a bad thing. I had a noticeable, but not significant, increase in my vocabulary from just walking around and observing. I managed to order my meals and get a taxi, without too much difficulty. I think if I had a Spanish speaker sit down with me for an hour or two, I could probably figure out some basic sentence structure (“I want…”, “Do you have…”, “Can I get…”)
  • The physical layout of Acapulco harbor is stunning. I haven’t been to Rio yet, but from the photos I’ve seen this reminds me of a smaller version. Given how protected the harbor is, I’m surprised that Acapulco isn’t a much larger city.
  • I didn’t get to see any cliff diving. Had I actually stayed in town, I probably would have.
  • Despite the fact I was only here for three days, this was actually my longest stay in Mexico. For whatever reason, I have never spent much time in Mexico. It is something I need to rectify in the future. Mexico, along with Italy, Spain, and China, is one of the mother load countries for World Heritage Sites.

I’m in no rush to return to Acapulco. It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy my time here, it is just that there is a long list of places in Mexico I’d rather visit rather than coming back here.

I’ll be spending the next few days on the Queen Elizabeth as a guest of Cunard Cruise Lines traveling from Acapulco to LA on the ships maiden voyage around the world. More on that soon!

  • 4 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Hi Gary. Upon reading your post especially your vivid description of the harbor of Acapulco, I cannot help but imagine the Manila-Acapulco galleons, the Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year from 1565 to 1815 at 4 months per trip across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico carrying spices, porcelain, ivory, lacquerware, processed silk cloth gathered from both the Spice Islands and Asia-Pacific, to be sold in European markets. How I wish I can visit the place in my lifetime and have a chance to retrace the glorious past between my country and Mexico.

  2. Andi Perullo says:

    You should definitely visit Mexico City, it’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

  3. Andi Perullo says:

    You should definitely visit Mexico City, it’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

  4. Tom Clarke says:

    The original Beetle was manufactured till 2003. I think due to safety and emissions it stopped being sold in the US.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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