World Cruise – When I was young I remember a TV program that showed the cliff divers of Acapulco, so when we were going over the tour options for the port I wanted to see them. The divers performed all day for the guests of Holland America.The view from the hotel terrace across from the jagged cliffs of La Quebrada allows an unimpeded view of the divers. These brave young people plunge 134 feet into a narrow strip of roiling sea between the cliffs. There are three levels up the cliff face that they launch off – the less experienced from the lowest level and the ‘pros’ from the top. Sometimes they dive two at a time from two different levels.
The most dangerous-looking part, in my mind, was the ascent up the rocks of the cliff wall so they could perform the next dive. The area around Acapulco has been inhabited for over 5,000years and the Spanish discovered the area in 1521. It was ‘officially’ claimed for Spain and became a direct dependency of the Spanish Crown in 1532. Acapulco Bay is almost landlocked and is a safe haven for ships in any weather. It has been a major trading and shipping center for over 260 years and so was a popular raiding center for pirates.
On top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Acapulco Bay is the Ecumenical Chapel of Peace. Our next stop was Fort San Diego, which was originally built in 1617, destroyed by an earthquake in 1776, and rebuilt in 1783. The fort was attacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1579 but he failed to captured the Spanish galleons. Our final stop was at an hotel once owned by famous actors Errol Flynn (of Zorro fame), Joe Weismuller (Tarzan) and “The Duke” John Wayne. They used to come down here often and invite their Hollywood friends to party and soak up some sun.