Acapulco de Juárez (Spanish: [akaˈpulko de ˈxwaɾes]), commonly called Acapulco, is a city, municipality and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semicircular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico's history. It is a port of call for shipping and cruise lines running between Panama and San Francisco, California, United States. The city of Acapulco is the largest in the state, far larger than the state capital Chilpancingo. Acapulco is also Mexico's largest beach and balneario resort city.
The city is one of Mexico's oldest beach resorts, which came into prominence in the 1940s through to the 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco is still famous and still attracts many tourists, although most are now from Mexico itself. The resort area is divided into three parts: The north end of the bay and beyond is the "traditional" area, which encompasses the area from Parque Papagayo through the Zócalo and onto the beaches of Caleta and Caletilla, the main part of the bay known as "Zona Dorada" ('golden zone' in Spanish), where the famous in the mid-20th century vacationed, and the south end, "Diamante" ('diamond' in Spanish), which is dominated by newer luxury high-rise hotels and condominiums.
The name "Acapulco" comes from Nahuatl language Aca-pōl-co, and means "where the reeds were destroyed or washed away". The "de Juárez" was added to the official name in 1885 to honor Benito Juárez, former President of Mexico (1806–1872). The seal for the city shows broken reeds or cane. The island and municipality of Capul, in the Philippines, derives its name from Acapulco; Capul was the western end of the trans-Pacific sailing route from Acapulco to what was then a Spanish colony.
The city, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Guerrero, is classified as one of the state's seven regions, dividing the rest of the Guerrero coast into the Costa Grande and the Costa Chica. Forty percent of the municipality is mountainous terrain. Another forty percent is semi-flat, and the other twenty percent is flat. Altitude varies from sea level to 1,699 metres (5,574 feet). The highest peaks are Potrero, San Nicolas and Alto Camarón. There is one major river, the Papagayo, which runs through the municipality, along with a number of arroyos. There are also two small lagoons, Tres Palos and Coyuca. along with a number of thermal springs.
Acapulco features a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw): hot with distinct wet and dry seasons, with more even temperatures between seasons than resorts farther north in Mexico, but this varies depending on altitude. The warmest areas are next to the sea where the city is. Tropical storms and hurricanes are threats from May through November. The forested area tends to lose leaves during the winter dry season, with evergreen pines in the highest elevations. Fauna consists mostly of deer, small mammals, a wide variety of both land and sea birds, and marine animals such as turtles.
The Centro Internacional de Convivencia Infantil or CICI is a sea-life and aquatic park located on Costera Miguel Aleman. It offers wave pools, water slides and water toboggans. There are also dolphin shows daily and a swim with dolphins program. The center mostly caters to children. Another place that is popular with children is the Parque Papagayo: a large family park which has life-sized replicas of a Spanish galleon and the space shuttle Columbia, three artificial lakes, an aviary, a skating rink, rides, go-karts and more.
The Dolores Olmedo House is located in the traditional downtown of Acapulco and is noted for the murals by Diego Rivera that adorn it. Olmedo and Rivera had been friend since Olmedo was a child and Rivera spent the last two years of his life here. During that time, he painted nearly nonstop and created the outside walls with tile mosaics, featuring Aztec deities such as Quetzalcoatl. The interior of the home is covered in murals. The home is not a museum, so only the outside murals are able to be seen by the public.
There is a small museum called Casa de la Máscara (House of Masks) which is dedicated to masks, most of them from Mexico, but there are examples from many parts of the world. The collection contains about one thousand examples and is divided into seven rooms called Masks of the World, Mexico across History, The Huichols and the Jaguar, Alebrijes and Dances of Guerrero, Devils and Death, Identity and Fantasy, and Afro-Indian masks. The Botanical Garden of Acapulco is a tropical garden located on lands owned by the Universidad Loyola del Pacífico. Most of the plants here are native to the region, and many, such as the Peltogyne mexicana or purple stick tree, are in danger of extinction.
Guerrero (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡeˈr̄eɾo]), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guerrero (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano de Guerrero), is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 81 municipalities and its capital city is Chilpancingo and its largest city is Acapulco.
It is located in Southwestern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Michoacán to the north and west, México and Morelos to the north, Puebla to the northeast and Oaxaca to the east.
The state was named after Vicente Guerrero, one of the most prominent leaders in the Mexican War of Independence and the second President of Mexico. It is the only Mexican state named after a president. The modern entity did not exist until 1849, when it was carved out of territories from the states of Mexico, Puebla and Michoacán.
In addition to the capital city, the state's largest cities include Acapulco, Petatlan, Ciudad Altamirano, Taxco, Iguala, Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, and Santo Domingo. Today, it is home to a number of indigenous communities, including the Nahuas, Mixtecs and Amuzgos. It is also home to communities of Afro-Mexicans in the Costa Chica region.
The state of Guerrero has a territory of 63,794 km2 (24,631 sq mi). The state borders the states of Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Geographically, the state is divided into three regions: La Montaña (mountains), Tierra Caliente (hot lands) of the northeast and La Costa (coast). La Montaña is mostly forested and is concentrated in the north and east of the state. Tierra Caliente and is situated in the lowlands along the Balsas River. This area also extends into Michoacán state and is called similarly. La Costa is divided into two subregions called Costa Chica and Costa Grande. The Costa Chica extends from Acapulco to the border with Oaxaca. Costa Grande extends west of Acapulco to the Balsas River. Much of the state’s current agriculture and livestock raising concentrated in La Costa as it is relatively flat.
Most of the state is covered in mountains of varying heights, with deep canyons with flat areas limited to small mesas and the coastline. Most of the mountains belong to the Sierra Madre del Sur. The exception is the mountains of the Taxco area which belong to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and include the small mountain ranges of the Sierra de Sultepec, Sierra de Zacualpan and the Sierra de Zultepec. These are connected to the same volcanic system as the Nevado de Toluca.