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Acapulco was named by the Nahua tribe, the name means “where the reeds stood” or place of giant reeds” Archaeological finds show that when the Spaniards arrived, people had been living around the bay area for about 2,000 years. The Nahua were conquered by the Aztec empire about a hundred years before it fell to the Spanish conquistadors. By order of Hernan Cortez, Spanish sailors took the Bahia de Acapulco in 1521. Port and shipbuilding facilities were established and it was the jumping-off point for further explorations and conquests, such as that of Peru. It became the only port in the New World authorized to receive Spanish Galleons from the Philippines and China.

All this treasure was an open invitation Dutch and English pirates could not resist, and by the 17th century, their ships abounded in the Pacific and along the coastline of Mexico and Baja California. To ward off the pirates, Fuerte de San Diego was built atop a low hill overlooking the bay. Because of the sea port’s strategic importance to the Spanish crown, Fuerte de San Diego became a focus of rebellion in1812 when the discontented population rose up against their Spanish colonial rulers in the war of independence. The royalists were besieged in the fort for four months before finally surrendering to the Mexican troops. As the capital grew, its citizens began flocking to the Pacific coast for vacations. A new international airport was built, and by the 1960s Acapulco was a booming resort, its reputation as a playground for the rich and famous set, often from within Mexico, rather than from outside the country.

The city is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains on the other. Along the Costera Miguel Aleman, the cities principle thoroughfare, you’ll find most of the major hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers.

You will also find the cultural heart of the city, known to the locals as Acapulco Traditional. Among the sights is the Fort San Diego, which protected Acapulco from Dutch and English pirates in the days of Spanish Rule. Originally constructed in 1611 and rebuilt in 1776 following a massive earthquake. It is a classic five-point fortress surrounded by a moat.

Acapulco was fist inhabited by primitive Indians. Later on people of Nahuati stock, the Nahoas, came and settled the area. The name Acapulco derives from the Nahuatl words”acatl” (place of canes). “pol”(to break) and “co” that indicates place. The first “tourist” to visit Acapulco was a Chinese Monk by the name of Fa Hsien. As the legend goes, he arrived in Pre-Historic times around 417 AD, long before Columbus crossed the Atlantic to “discover” America.

Beginning in the 50s the area became a playground for the Hollywood set, and such personalities such as Elvis came, visited, and made movies, thus making it a popular worldwide destination for many years. One of the major attractions, the Cliff Divers, continue to be to this day one of the main attractions of the area.


 Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature, landscapes and studying native cultures. Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt, the Canary Islands, much of the Caribbean. He has studied  the Mayan Cultures in Central America and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!

He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.

For more information and a link to his hardcover and Ebooks, and contact information: please check his website,

Your comments appreciated

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