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Saturday, May 3, 2014

I love Acapulco...

I spend seven months in Cuernavaca Mexico every winter, and one of my all time favorite escapes (if you can escape from an already beautiful place) is to drive about two and a half hours south to Acapulco.  Acapulco used to be the place all Canadians and Americans flew to in order to escape the cold winters.  Now it is basically a Mexican tourist beach destination.

Two years ago, on my first visit, the city was under martial law.  Of course I didn't realize this when we booked our hotel rooms, but I quickly found out.  Supposedly the Narcos (drug dealers) had hit hard times and some of their workers decided to try extortion as a substitute occupation (just until the drug dealing market improved).  A few of them entered a local elementary school to talk to the principal.

After threatening him and the students with harm if he didn't pay, the President of Mexico decided that it was time to send in the army.  When I arrived, the city was full of Federalies, The Army, and of course the Navy was already there in the harbor.  Driving down the malacon was like traveling in a war zone.  We even drove by a tank rolling down the other side of the avenue.

My landlord in Cuernavaca, Raul, had previously booked our trip on his favorite internet site (sorry it is his secret and I can't reveal the name of the site), and when we finally arrived at the hotel, I couldn't believe our luck.  The deal on the hotel included a room for up to 4 persons for two nights, and had a tiny swimming pool and each morning an international breakfast was provided free.  To top this off, the hotel was about 100 meters from the public beach.  The cost for the hotel, 600 pesos total.  The only other costs, other than meals, was fuel and about 800 pesos in tolls.

The hotel was called the 'Hotelita', and was fantastic.  Wal-mart was just up the street near the malacon, so after checking in, we went there and purchased a small cooler, ice and some cervezas.  Then to the beach.  We rented two chairs and a table for the afternoon for about 50 pesos, and Mario looked after our every need while we enjoyed the beach and sun.  This beach is one of the few that is safe to swim at and the water is quite clean.

Later that night we took a cab to the centro area of the malacon, where all of the night clubs and restaurants were located, and walked for about 4 blocks experiencing the sights.  Because it was a weekday, it wasn't as crowded as on weekends, and we had an easy walk.  Let me add that I did not see one single Caucasian during my entire trip.  When we got back to our hotel, we had a nice evening swim, and the pool area looked really great at night.

Of course we drove to see Nuevo Acapulco and the surrounding area to the south of the city, and did a tour of the huge cathedral at the top of the mountain.  The view from the cathedral was spectacular.  We also visited a new outdoor mall in Nuevo Acapulco that had just opened.  Sorry I can't remember the name.  All in all, it was a very interesting visit, and I have been back 3 times since.  I've been to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, but I must admit Acapulco has it's own charm, which I like.