Acapulco is known for its beautiful beaches, high-rise hotels and vibrant nightlife, but Acapulco holds some surprises for visitors who choose to explore beyond the surface of what this destination has to offer. Read on to learn about five activities you may not have realized you could do in Acapulco.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
All manner of water sports can be practiced in and around Acapulco, but one that you might not expect is stand-up paddle boarding (or SUP as it's often called). You might think that the water of the Acapulco Bay would be too rough for practicing this sport, but that's not the case. You need to go early in the morning, and the undertow is strong right by the beach, so it's important to get on the board and out into the water quickly. Once you're out farther in the bay, the water is very calm and you'll be able to enjoy beautiful views of the bay from your position on the board.
This is a fun and easy activity. You don't have to be in great shape, the only thing you need is some balance to stand up and paddle. Don't forget to put on some sunscreen before you get out there - even early in the morning the sun is strong, and reflecting off the water, you could get a sunburn faster than you might expect.
Súbete Al Mar rents stand up paddle boards and will offer basic instructions. You'll find them beside CICI water park from 7 am to 11 am every day of the week except Mondays. Check out their Facebook page: Súbete Al Mar.
Sea Turtle Release
The Olive Ridley and Leatherback species of sea turtles arrive on the beaches of Guerrero state to lay their eggs between the months of June and November. If you visit during this time of year, you could participate in a sea turtle release in Acapulco.
There are a few conservation groups in Acapulco who are involved in saving endangered sea turtles. These groups find the places along the beach where the mother sea turtles have laid their eggs; they retrieve the eggs, and take them to the camp to incubate in an area where they will be safe from poachers and predators. When the baby turtles hatch, they organize turtle releases, thus ensuring that the hatchlings make it to the water, giving them a better chance of survival, and allowing people to participate in this magical moment and learn about what they can do to help preserve this endangered species.
The Campamento Tortuguero Manejo Ambiental Playa Larga organizes sea turtle releases, as does The Fairmont Acapulco Princess hotel, and a few other hotels in the area.
Learn About History
Unlike many of Mexico's popular beach destinations, Acapulco is a city with a long and rich history. The Acapulco area was inhabited as far back as 3000 B.C, but it was during the colonial period that it became very important as a port city receiving shipments from the Philippines. From the mid-16th to the early 19th century, the Spanish trading galleons made the annual voyage from Acapulco to Asia. Spices, silks and other valuable goods were unloaded in Acapulco, carried overland to Veracruz, and onto waiting ships for the transatlantic voyage to Spain.
The Fort of San Diego was built in 1616 to protect the city from pirates who were interested in intercepting the galleons and making off with their highly valued cargo. The fort was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776, and then re-built in 1778. It now houses the Historic Museum of Acapulco which offers insight into Acapulco's rich history in its 12 exhibition rooms.
Get updated information about hours and admission fees on the San Diego Fort Facebook page.
Connect With Nature
Lush flora and abundant fauna may not be among the things you associate with Acapulco, but there's a good reason this was chosen as the locale for the shooting of Tarzan and the Mermaids, one of the original Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller.
The Acapulco Bay is flanked by two lagoons: the Coyuca Lagoon to the north, and the Tres Palos Lagoon to the south. Both of these lagoons can be visited and boat rides are offered to explore their lush vegetation and abundant animal life. Several species of tropical birds make their homes in these freshwater lagoons. These are ideal spots for birding: you'll spot egrets, herons, pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Tres Palos Lagoon: This freshwater lagoon is nine miles long and three and a half miles wide. It is located about 20 miles southeast of downtown Acapulco, between Puerto Marques and the international Airport, across from Barra Vieja beach.
Coyuca Lagoon: Located just north of the city, across from Pie de la Cuesta beach, Coyuca Lagoon is about ten and a half miles long and five miles wide.
Enjoy Classical Music
Among the wide range of activities to choose from in Acapulco, you could attend a concert by the city's Filharmonic Orchestra.
Acapulco's Orquesta Filarmonica was founded in 1989 by Maestro Eduardo Alvarez and is composed of 85 professional musicians. The orchestra offers free concerts; arrive forty-five minutes early for a chat with the conductor. Most of the orchestra's concerts are offered in the Juan Ruiz de Alarcón Theater in Acapulco's International Convention Center which seats 1000, but they occasionally perform in other venues. See the orchestra website for information about the concert schedule: Orquesta Filarmonica de Acapulco. Also find information on Facebook.
Learn about more things to do in Acapulco.