Golden Times
Business Traveler|June 2017

Acapulco is world famous for idyllic fun-in-the-sun, but a little exploring reveals there’s more to Mexico’s Pearl of the Pacific

Benet Wilson

When then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline went to the Mexican beach resort city of Acapulco for their honeymoon in 1953, Americans got to know the Pearl of the Pacific, and they liked what they saw. In the 1950s and 60s, Acapulco and its endless beaches became a playground for everyone from jet setters to Hollywood’s elite.

Located in the State of Guerrero on the Pacific Coast 240 miles south of Mexico City, Acapulco had a resurgence in the 1970s, thanks to it being a port stop on ABC-TV’s hit television series The Love Boat for 10 years. The city is split into two resort zones: the Zona Dorado, located north of Acapulco Bay and the Diamond Zone, which is located in the south.

There’s ample air service into Acapulco International Airport (ACA), with flights out of Houston on United Express and AeroMexico. There are also flights available on low-cost carriers Aeromar and Interjet via Mexico City, as well as flights on Volaris via Mexico City and Tijuana.

Tourists can also take the new “Highway of the Sun,” a scenic 3.5 hour drive, or a five-hour scenic tour that allows drivers to visit the colonial cities of Taxco and Cuernavaca on the way. Modern buses are also available. And like the Love Boat of old, Acapulco is a port served by the Norwegian, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Silversea cruise lines.

What to Do

Acapulco, the 16th largest metro area in Mexico, boasts more than 12 miles of beaches, from Barra Vieja to Pie de al Cuesta. Visitors can enjoy water experiences including fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. The city is home to two Blue Flag beaches: Revolcadero II and Icacos II. The certification, provided by the Foundation for Environmental Education, ensures that beaches, marina and boat tourism operators are meeting criteria for water quality, safety and environmental education.

But if beaches and water sports aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other things on the entertainment menu.

Xtasea, a new overwater zip line, has just opened. Riders go up to 75 mph across Puerto Marquez Bay. The company calls it the longest overwater zip line in the world, at more than a mile long and 328 feet high.

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