Written by Joan5643 on 25 Feb, 2009
My Last Mexican Riviera Cruise Sometimes I think that the nicest thing Princess does for its passengers is the cold towels it provides when we return from a warm weather port. And it was warm in Acapulco today. It was warm, not hot, only mid…Read More
My Last Mexican Riviera Cruise Sometimes I think that the nicest thing Princess does for its passengers is the cold towels it provides when we return from a warm weather port. And it was warm in Acapulco today. It was warm, not hot, only mid 80’s but the humidity is rough on those of us unaccustomed to it.Fortunately, Rudy arrived in a large air-conditioned van to pick us up and was waiting on the pier when we cleared security. Born and raised in Acapulco, it shows he is being this for many years so his English is very good and easy to understand. We started the day with a tour of Fort San Diego, which is right across the street from the pier. Originally built in 1516 to protect Acapulco from pirates and any other invaders from the sea, it has a moat which used to contain water and alligators to deter trespass.After a drive through the Golden Zone of Hotels, restaurants and beaches, we went to the Chapel of Peace, to get a close-up view of the cross that looks out over Acapulco Bay. The Chapel is beautiful, with windows of onyx, and gardens of tropical plants. While we waited in the cool courtyard for Rudy to park the van, Fred got a chance to make the acquaintance of the first of three cats we encountered in Acapulco. The Chapel is not accessible by tour buses, which makes it a very peaceful, refreshing place to linger.I was amazed at Rudy’s ability to navigate that van through the narrow backstreets of the city on the way to the Old Town, where we made a stop to pick up a battery for Fred’s watch and a little shopping before heading to the other side of Acapulco for some dramatic views of the harbor. The surprise of the day, for me, was glancing out of the van window and seeing this incredible mosaic on the garden wall of a house along the way. Rudy stopped the van and took a few pictures for me from her window while she explained that a couple of years before Diego Rivera died, he moved into the Acapulco house of his friend, Dolores Olmedo, to recover from an illness. When well, he created the mosaic mural. It was a total surprise and one I will long remember. I didn’t know that any of his work was even in Acapulco, much less displayed on a wall on a side street. After our scenic stop we headed to the Miradores Hotel for the cliff divers, and arrived shortly before the 1:00pm show. When I was a child John Cameron Swayze used to do a commercial for Timex watch showing one of the divers making a dive with a Timex watch strapped to his wrist. The theme was, "Timex watch, takes a licking and keeps on ticking." I couldn’t stop thinking of that commercial. The tour was very enjoyable if you would like meeting him just Google or Yahoo his name Rudy Fregoso Acapulco and you will find him. Our final stop was the Flamingo hotel where the movie stars all stayed. Rudy even got us out to the round house that was renamed the Casa Tarzan in Johnny Weissmuller’s honor.In case you might be wondering, we were well pleased with Rudy’s tour and would highly recommend his services to anyone traveling down to Acapulco on either a Panama Canal or Mexican Riviera cruise. Close
Written by skeptic on 23 Dec, 2008
Starting with the construction of the Hotel El Mirador in the 1930s, the fishing and seaport city of Acapulco has been a growing tourist attraction for Norte Americanos and other tourists from Mexico and around the world. From the 1950s through the 1970s it…Read More
Starting with the construction of the Hotel El Mirador in the 1930s, the fishing and seaport city of Acapulco has been a growing tourist attraction for Norte Americanos and other tourists from Mexico and around the world. From the 1950s through the 1970s it was the vacation resort in Mexico. Since then, the blossoming of tourism in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan has eclipsed some of Acapulco’s shine. Which was something that brought me there in late 2008.Newer hotels line the Bay in the Golden Zone, and the shore further down the coast beyond the mountains is becoming a vast city of glitzy resorts. My own choice was Alba Suites in the "traditional" section, out on the peninsula. English is a second language here, where most of the guests are from Mexico or nearby countries. The streets are mainly residential, and time share vendors hardly ever venture to come. It’s Mexico.There’s a lot to offer in Acapulco. Nightclubs abound, and there are fishing cruises, parasailing and diving. We skipped all that. After a non-stop year our plan was to kick back for a week, do some photography, catch up on some reading, sleep and togetherness.We did take the day trip to Taxco. Having been there 20 years ago, we wanted to revisit and see what had changed. See the related article. Also see the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre.The advantage and the disadvantage to being out on the peninsula is the isolation. It’s a bus or taxi ride to the Golden Zone or even to the city center. Casa de cambio (exchange house)? What’s that? Everybody out on the peninsula already has his own pesos. And that is the end of the disadvantages.Five pesos (about 40 cents) gets you a bus ride into town. Waiting for a bus? You don’t even need an egg timer. The privately owned and operated (and government subsidized) buses sometimes seem to come down the street nose to tail. No need to buy a ticket. Just hand over some pesos and get change on the spot. More comfort? Take one of the VW taxis for a few pesos more. Stick out your hand and flag one down.Walking distance (about a half mile for us) from the hotel is exiting Caleta Beach with its booming restaurants and marvelous sand. Be prepared, however. Alba Suites is on a cliff overlooking the bay, and the bus does not go up this hill. Burn of a few calories from your Caleta Beach meal.The view from Alba Suites is absolutely stunning. The view from our balcony took in all of the bay, including the adjacent yacht club and nearly the entire city on the opposite shore.Grandfatherly AdviceThe Web site Acapulco.com is an excellent source. Prior to our trip we booked the Taxco trip and airport transportation through companies listed there. See also Fred Meulemeester’s site at http://www.fredsphoto.on.ca/acapulco2.htm. Fred heads down to Acapulco on a regular basis and likes to share his experiences and tips.If you want to get away from that mid-west blizzard, this is the place. The tour salesman in Acapulco told us December is too cold. We begged to differ. T-shirts were soaked with sweat after a few minutes of afternoon walking. Good news: Evenings in Acapulco are invigorating. Our balcony at Alba Suites was ideal for breakfast, a late night snack and even lunch. Get some pesos. American money is good, but cash register drawers want local money. If you stay out on the peninsula you will need some pesos for the bus to get into town to get some pesos. We solved this problem on arrival by hiking down to the hill to the main street and buying groceries from a local store. They took dollars at a reasonable exchange rate and gave pesos. The many casas de cambio in the Golden Zone give varying rates, but the best we found was Consultoria Internacional. It’s right on Costera Miguel Aleman toward the down-coast end of hotel row. There are Oxxo stores (Mexico’s answer to Seven-Eleven) everywhere, and they take dollars. However, Oxxo’s business is selling stuff and not changing money. Be reasonable and buy a bunch of stuff.The hotel will change money. You do not want to do this. When the official rate was 13.5 pesos to the dollar, Alba Suites was giving 9.5. Consultoria Internacional was giving 13.0. Oxxo was giving 12.8. Rates (except at the hotel) updated daily as the dollar settled in for a long winter’s nap.Take the bus. Nobody lives forever. The route is marked in tempera on the front window. You want the Caleta, Hornos, Zocalo route. You do not want the route that includes "Rio." This takes you on a detour through narrow city streets. Fares vary. I once gave the driver ten pesos (for two people), and he gave me a peso change. I saw another bus charging 5.5. One bus was air-conditioned. Most are not, except for the special tourist buses.Regular shared-ride airport shuttles do not go out to Alba Suites. It’s an extra charge, and it’s not a shuttle. We booked two round trip fares in advance for a total of $90 plus Texas sales tax.We booked our hotel, airport transportation and the Taxco day trip on the Internet and paid in U.S. dollars. Close
Written by Chimwemwe on 20 May, 2005
When I was living in Guatemala, I had a friend from California over, and we decided to go for a road trip from Guatemala City to Acapulco. First of all, we didn't dare to take my old Blazer S10 to Acapulco (wisely so), so we…Read More
When I was living in Guatemala, I had a friend from California over, and we decided to go for a road trip from Guatemala City to Acapulco. First of all, we didn't dare to take my old Blazer S10 to Acapulco (wisely so), so we rented a car at one of the airport rentals in Guate City. They told us it was not possible to take a rental car out side Guatemala, but it CAN be done. Just have your credit in order for your credit card, and you're there, with an honest face (and intention), diplomacy, and a good piece of patience.
Driving backroads in Mexico was far worse than driving any road in Guatemala, and both police and military checking posts were frequent between Chiapas and Acapulco. However, the trip is worth every mile of driving, even though it can be hard on the Mexican side to discover the level of service and cleanliness you will find along the road in Guatemala (hotels and gas stations).
Arriving in Acapulco, however, luxury is what it's all about when you get down to the bay. Yet the fish on the beach is expensive, the water is dirty, the shopping experience is what you can expect from any Wal-Mart, and the general price level is high. That was why I preferred the good old ones, and frankly, Hooters in Acapulco was worth every dime both for the service and for the price (and, of course, for the charming girls!) as opposed to the "local" fish restaurant on the beach.
Hotel rooms are generally spacious but marked by time. These are clearly not new developments, but then again, that may be the charm of it. Another hitch about Acapulco is how early everything closes. Even gas stations close around 11pm. It's the curse of having one national chain (PEMEX). I have learned to appreciate the value of Shell, Esso, Texaco, McDonalds (for a safe, early breakfast), Hooters, and TGI Friday's for safe meals and generous opening hours. And cleanliness.
My conclusion is that driving to Acapulco is absolutely worth it (especially if you can watch the cliff divers in action), as long as you have somewhere to drive back to.
Written by ginaabrams on 10 Mar, 2005
I loved this resort overall.
Pros: It is a gorgeous resort that is magnificently maintained. There is a wonderful pool that stretches the length of the resort, so you can walk and walk in it. The Aqua Park is great fun for the…Read More
I loved this resort overall.
Pros: It is a gorgeous resort that is magnificently maintained. There is a wonderful pool that stretches the length of the resort, so you can walk and walk in it. The Aqua Park is great fun for the kids, and the Lazy River is fun for adults, but it’s annoying that they charge for it if you are not a Grand Mayan owner. There is a nice variety of restaurants. ATV's on the beach were fun and offered by locals not as part of the resort. There was perfect weather every day.
Cons: Beware of empty threats. Immediately after checking in, when we had just received our room keys, we were told about the timeshare presentation. When we said that we were not interested in going, we were threatened with having our room downgraded from the Grand Mayan to the Mayan Palace. This started the vacation off on a bad note, but since we had our keys already, we just went to our rooms at the Grand Mayan and never heard another word about it. The charge for the Aqua Park is $12/adult and $9/child. It adds up if you have a few kids and need to go along to supervise them.
Written by HiramAbif on 24 Apr, 2005
And then we went to La Quebrada. When I saw the height of the rock, I was still refusing (in my mind) to consider that someone would dive from the top of the cliff to the sea head down. And then I saw these guys…Read More
And then we went to La Quebrada. When I saw the height of the rock, I was still refusing (in my mind) to consider that someone would dive from the top of the cliff to the sea head down. And then I saw these guys climbing with bare hands and feet up the cliff (photo 1). When they reached it, they made the sign of the cross and jumped (photo 2).
It takes some seconds to reach the sea surface from that height. The impact is followed by a huge splash of water and what appears to be an endless amount of time before seeing the diver resurfacing alive.
While you try to register whether this was a suicide attempt or a real live performance, the second diver is in the air, almost floating, to challenge your eyes, your feelings, your logic, and your senses even further.
Eventually, I decided I should capture the sight on camera and I BEG everyone who sees these pictures to believe they are real, without tricks or digital manipulation. My position (and that of the camera) is on a cliff on the opposite side of the dive cliff, which has a height of approximately HALF the dive height. Never in my life have I seen anything more physically challenging and humanly "impossible" than the dives of La Quebrada.
An average person would almost certainly suffer fatal spinal damage, and even the fittest Special Forces lads would find it impossible to perform such a task.
Looking on my photos, one has to consider that the camera lens of my old digital Kodak is not "all inclusive" and only part of the sight is photographed in each picture. The last picture is the author relaxing on a fifth-floor swimming pool bar of my 26-story hotel.
Written by Chibichan on 11 Apr, 2005
We recently (April 2005) spent a week at the Grand Mayan Palace in Acapulco, Mexico. Had I known some of the things I learned while I was there, I would venture to guess that my stay would have been more enjoyable.
I’ve made…Read More
We recently (April 2005) spent a week at the Grand Mayan Palace in Acapulco, Mexico. Had I known some of the things I learned while I was there, I would venture to guess that my stay would have been more enjoyable.
I’ve made a list which corresponds to each paragraph below. This will allow you to avoid wading through my montage of events and get the information that you want. I do suggest to all the potential readers that they at least peruse No. 9.
2. Money Exchange
4. Making Tour Reservations
5. Deep Sea Fishing
7. Food/Dining In or Out/Restaurants
9. Airport Travel (Acapulco and Mexico City)
10. Review of the Resort
(1) The Grand Mayan Palace is not located near downtown, so if you are into the party scene, you may want to reconsider and take a look at another property. I would suggest the Crown Palace (RCI Property) located in downtown Acapulco. The Mayan is a short ($10) cab ride from the airport. Ignore the ladies screaming; this is the only place you can get a ride and just walk outside of the terminal.
(2) When we where there, they were charging 7%. So you may want to change your dollars in the States or at your local airport. If you must obtain funds to get you downtown, use the ATM located on the premises of the hotel. The ATM will use the current exchange rate that your bank has posted. There is an American Express Money Exchange downtown and it was always offering the best rate.
(3) If you decided to do the taxi tours, ask at the hotel for a taxi that is affiliated with The Grand Mayan Palace. They are insured through the hotel. This means that if you leave or lose something in the cab, you will get it back. Also, I noticed that those affiliated with the hotel had larger taxis, the air conditioners worked and they tend to have a better grasp of English. Try Jose Ruben Genchi, Taxi No. 720. There was also a fellow named Felix ("Spaghetti") for whom you can ask by his nickname, out front, when hailing a cab. The difference between the taxi tour and the regular tours is that for a predetermined fee (in our case, $30 per person), we were able to tour all the places in one day at our pace rather than pay for each tour and be required to follow their time frame. Our tour consisted of the usual.
(4) Try not to make reservations at the hotel for the various tours in Acapulco. Being a resident of the Grand Mayan has its advantages. Go downtown ($8.50 to Wal-Mart) and walk down the street. You will see podiums with individuals trying to get people to tour The Grand Mayan. Look around and compare the prices on the various activates before you spend money on the tours at the hotel. You will see a major mark-up at the hotel, compared to what they will charge you if you book a tour with the individual(s) downtown.
(5) The hotel has a couple of fishing tours and they are quite expensive. I would suggest you contact Laura Basque at 4857990 for a day of deep-sea fishing; he was charging $200 for a whole day. If you can’t get him on the phone, take a taxi to the Amigo Miguel Restaurant (see 7a below) and ask for him there.
(6) If you are on a budget but still want to be downtown every day or night, take the taxi to Wal-Mart and hop the local bus. You can ride the entire strip for $.50. There are two blues, one with air-conditioning and one without, and a yellow one. Since I didn’t ride the yellow bus, I can’t tell you anything about it other than it goes to the old side of Acapulco. Pay the driver your fee (he makes change) and hop off as you wish. Although they have bus stops, I noticed that if you just stand up and holler "aquí" (here), they just pull over and let you hop off.
(7) We don’t particular care for buffets and since the hotel was mainly buffets we regularly took the cab downtown and ate. There are a zillion restaurants and bars, but our recommendations are as follows:
a. El Amigo Miguel: Located at the opposite end from our hotel of downtown Acapulco ($15). Not only was the food fantastic, but it was also cheap. If you love seafood, try the Miguel Fillet. It looks nothing like a fillet, but it is fantastic, chock-full of seafood wrapped in bacon with a chipotle sauce. Ask for the waiter who goes by B&B. He doesn’t speak much English, but he's by far one of the nicest in there. This place is more for the locals, hence the fantastic food for the price. Their Margaritas SUCKED.
b. Paradise: Yes, it is a tourist location, but their food was also very good. Unfortunately, being a tourist location, they are little more expensive, but not nearly what you would pay in the States.
c. La Gamba: The best part of La Gamba are their pina coladas, the coconut and rum drinks, and the margaritas. They use fresh coconut juice - walk down the stairs to the beach, and you will see them breaking the coconut for your drinks. The food is good. We ate there once and used it more as a stop-in for a drink location after that.
d. The hotel: The breakfast buffet. If you plan to stay for a week and don’t want to spend a lot of money on food, then the one-week breakfast buffet package at the hotel is a good deal. Of course, you know how buffets go - it is the same every day except Sunday. They do offer an omelet/egg bar and a pancake/french toast bar. We had the buffet dinner in the restaurant located in the lobby of the Grand Mayan – it was the prime cuts buffet. Beef is not to be eaten in Mexico. My fiancé said that is all that needs to be said about that.
(8) What casinos? There are none. RCI needs to update its brochure to reflect this. There is a bingo parlor downtown, as well as a sports book. But other than that, there was no gambling.
(9) No need to get to the airport in Acapulco 2 hours early--45 minutes to an hour is ample time. It's something that you may want to keep in mind, if you fly Mexicana Airlines (through American Airlines) and are going through Mexico City. They will only issue your ticket from Acapulco to Mexico City. If by chance the AA counter is open, you may want to see if they can issue your remaining tickets. Otherwise, you will have to find the American Airlines ticket counter when you get to Mexico City. We were thankful for the 2-hour layover we had, since nobody seem to know where we needed to go. In the event you find yourself in the same boat:
To get to the AA counter, you will need to go through "customs" (just before gate 18). Then take the stairs at gate 12 down to baggage claim and walk all the way to the very end (opposite of where you landed) of the airport to the American Airlines counter. They will issue your tickets, and you will then walk all the way back to the other end of the airport to get on the plane. Basically, you are walking in a complete circle around the airport.
(10) At the time that we went to the resort, they were remolding, and there really wasn’t much to do. The one pub was closed, as was the Italian restaurant. That left you with a jazz quartet in the breezeway and a piano bar in the lobby of the hotel. Also, in addition to the kiosk at the pool, there were two places to eat (7d. above). They do not offer Internet in the rooms, but they do have an Internet café ($1.50 for 15 minutes). They do have a large swimming pool, but unfortunately, there is no swim-up bar or shade around the pool. There is a water park located on the premises, but that costs an additional fee and is swarming with kids. There are the usual for fee rentals: jet skis, boogie boards, and horseback riding on the beach. There really is nothing to do at night. No club, no disco, the pool is closed, and the beaches are dark. We made it a habit of hopping a cab downtown for dinner and partying.
Written by philandmike on 30 Dec, 2004
The resort is beautiful. There is a huge reflecting pool in the lobby that reflects every sunset every night. The rooms were great; you need to get an ocean-view room on the upper floors. Although they are far away from the pool,…Read More
The resort is beautiful. There is a huge reflecting pool in the lobby that reflects every sunset every night. The rooms were great; you need to get an ocean-view room on the upper floors. Although they are far away from the pool, they are beautiful and worth it. There was a dipping pool on every balcony, and a full sun all afternoon led to au naturel sunbathing with a dip in the private pool. There were great soaker tubs that were wonderfully appointed. There is a huge manmade lake below the rooms, and it surrounds the longest pool in the world (more than 1km long). There are great waterfalls and a nice beach.
It is quite a distance from Acapulco itself - about $20 for a cab. Wal-Mart was worth it, though. There is also a Costco and outlet stores all along the strip. The Cliff Divers and dinner at La Perla are worth $40 each. It was the best meal we had while there, and we walked it from Acapulco, all uphill, but it was culturally stimulating. The market vendors in Acapulco are very aggressive, as are the cabbies from in town (the ones from the resort are resort employees and great, not to mention cheaper).
There is maid service everyday, with chocolates on the pillows at night. There is a well-appointed kitchen with stainless-steel appliances; all you needed for the week was there. There was lots of storage. The best part was the clean bathrobes every day, as well as an in-room safe and iron and ironing board. Blow dryers were included, too. There was no need to pack shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotions, bath oils, towels, candles... it was all provided. There was an individual room temperature control and great wave sounds coming in the balcony doors that made it wonderful for sleeping. I just can't say enough, it was wonderful.
Our one complaint was the timeshare presentation. We already own elsewhere, and it was high pressure; very aggressive; and REALLY, REALLY long. Certainly not worth the 15% discount that didn't cover everything.
They did a beautiful wedding on the beach while we were there, with a string quartet and then mariachis... it was great, and they sure had fun. There were fireworks every night (for St. Guadalupe Week, or something like that). The Mexican Fiesta on Tuesday nights was well worth the $45 each. There was a lot to eat, a lot to drink, and an average show with live mariachis and dancing.
Written by doctorsj on 01 Sep, 2005
This is one of those "required" activities while in Acapulco. There are dives at 1pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, and 10:30pm. To get to the cliffs, take one of the public transportation school buses to the Zocalo (4 pesos instead of 80 pesos for…Read More
This is one of those "required" activities while in Acapulco. There are dives at 1pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, and 10:30pm. To get to the cliffs, take one of the public transportation school buses to the Zocalo (4 pesos instead of 80 pesos for a taxi) and then you can walk the three blocks uphill to the cliffs. We recommend taking these buses anywhere along the main drag (Costera Miguel Aleman) as they are inexpensive, safe and allow you to rub shoulders with more of the locals. The destinations of the buses are written on the front windows and the drivers are helpful if you aren't sure which stop is best for you.
Tickets are 30 pesos per adult to walk down the stairs to the viewing area at the cliffs. You can also watch from the adjacent hotel restaurant (La Perla) although we chose to avoid this due to negative reviews from the RCI Community. The show only lasts about 15 minutes as five or six divers climb the rock face then dive down into the surf. It is an impressive sight. After the show, the divers wait at the top of the stairs for donations to have your picture taken with them. Vendors also swarm the top of the stairs offering all manner of trinkets. On the other side of the parking lot from the hotel is a small restaurant, La Quebrada II, which serves authentic Mexican fare. We had 6 tacos for 35 pesos.
Written by fordejm on 02 Mar, 2004
This was our first time in Acapulco. My husband, two children (ages 18 and 20), and myself all had a wonderful time. The Mayan Palace resorts are always wonderfully maintained and the landscaping continues to dazzle us; the resort is outside of the city,…Read More
This was our first time in Acapulco. My husband, two children (ages 18 and 20), and myself all had a wonderful time. The Mayan Palace resorts are always wonderfully maintained and the landscaping continues to dazzle us; the resort is outside of the city, which we prefer. The golf course and tennis courts are impressive. The pools are huge and interconnected so you never feel crowded. The beach is expansive with waves. My children enjoyed the waves - they said it is more exciting. They rented boogie boards on the beach and had fun. My husband and son also enjoyed the volleyball games on the beach. Many vendors on the beach, some great deals to be found. We even booked a snorkeling tour through a guy on the beach instead of through the resort and saved a little bit of money. The sand gets very hot midday. The food was tasty, although the buffets are a bit expensive. If you have a big appetite, the buffets are worth it, but if you don't eat a lot, it is cheaper to order off the menus. The drinks are also a little expensive, but they have daily specials and happy hours, which are reasonable. You can always stock up on supplies and fix your own meals and drinks, but we prefer not to when we are on vacation. Great staff, great place, great time! Close
Written by samer_k on 04 Apr, 2005
I have been to some underground caves in Lebanon and Austria, and these were just as fascinating! These caves were much better for walking, and believe me, we did a lot of walking! We did this along with our side trip to Taxco. It…Read More
I have been to some underground caves in Lebanon and Austria, and these were just as fascinating! These caves were much better for walking, and believe me, we did a lot of walking! We did this along with our side trip to Taxco. It was well worth it, but please wear tennis shoes or hiking boots--your feet will thank you later!
The admission is about $3, and there are guides once you are there who, for a small tip, will guide you to see the amazing formations, stalagmites, and other formations underneath. It is really hard to take any photos, and in fact, if I remember, it isn't even permitted, although I saw some not caring!
It is about a 2.5-hour drive from Acapulco.