In the fifties, legendary Frank Sinatra invited one and all to "Come fly with me...down to Acapulco Bay," and Elvis transported moviegoers for "Fun in Acapulco." Veterans of the hedonistic golden era of Acapulco wistfully reminisce that legendary actor John Wayne and friends purchased the intimate Hotel Los Flamingos as a private hideaway in the hills for Hollywood's biggest stars. Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Orson Wells and Rita Hayworth relaxed in unpretentious accommodations sipping Coco Locos while enjoying the lush, colorful flora and panoramic view of the sun slowly losing itself in the sea as waves were crashing onto the rocks below. Glamour was rampant.
Adolfo Santiago Gonzalez, present owner and former towel boy for John Wayne, recounts that shards of tequila bottles are still found on the hillside where Wayne tossed empties while partying with his favorite lady of the moment. Nearby is Duke's private retreat called the Round House which still bears evidence of Wayne. Johnny Weissmuller, the most famous movie Tarzan, lived his last years there. We couldn't help feeling ghosts were still partying to a Latin beat.
The glamour days of Acapulco waned when fickle celebrities led by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, turned to Puerto Vallarta, CanCun, and newer venues, but now the famous are returning. Celebrities Mariah Carey, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Placido Domino, Jane Seymour, Sylvester Stallone, and Luis Miguel have recently been sparkling in Acapulco at places such as the Casanova Restaurant.
The Los Angeles Times in a September, 1999 issue described Acapulco as mounting a make-over of this stunning playground preparing for it's millennium celebration. Spectacular new hotels, one more opulent than the next, dot the landscape: the Camino Real, Pierre Marque, Vidafel Mayan Palane, Hyatt Regency, and the Radisson Resort to name just a few. The ever prestigious Acapulco Princess and Las Brisas with its pink jeeps and private villas and pools, where Kennedys and Clintons lounged, still lure well heeled vacationers.
Small boats and yachts are decorated with twinkling lights, and champagne flows creating a permanent party atmosphere. Acapulco's weather and beaches are world famous, but there is much more to entertain vacationers.
The jungle tours of Pie de la Cuesta, jet boatrides on the Papagayo River, Coyuca Lagoon, a sanctuary for many species of birds, glass bottom boats, horseback riding on the beach, jai alai, bullfights, snorkleing, water skiing, parachuting, Cici water park, bullfights, primo golf courses, and yacht cruises all seduce vacationers. Papagayo Park, a children's amusement park with a skating rink, jungle garden, mechanical toys and an artificial lake for boat rides make Acapulco an excellent vacation site for families. Archaeological sites and cultural attractions, such as the Fort of San Diego educate.
Viewing of the world-famous cliff divers at La Quebrada, a must for visitors to Acapulco, is especially beautiful at night when the divers leap holding flaming torches. Johnny Weissmuller, the most famous Tarzan of all, once executed the dive. Famous visitors have included Henry Kissinger, Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Brooke Shields, Ava Gardner and Roy Rogers.
Dining in Acapulco is an international gourmet adventure. Many hotels, such as the Acapulco Princess and Radisson Resort, offer diners delicious meals while enjoying romantic terrace dining, Latin ballads, sea views and gentle breezes. Honeymooners couldn't find a more perfect spot.
For any visit to Latin America we recommend getting a prescription of CIPRO 500 from your doctor. Travel specialists recommend taking one with over-the counter Immodium A-D, at the first onset of the dreaded "Montezuma's Revenge." It's an amazing cure and keeps vacations from being ruined.
The many cruise lines that now use Acapulco as a port permit passengers to extend their trip to a land vacation, including a side trip to Taxco's renowned silver mines.
Contact your travel agent or the cruise lines for more information. Visitors never tire of the beauty and ambiance of the gorgeous Acapulco Bay that Mr. Sinatra helped make famous.
Photos by Jack White
Jack and Toni White of Rancho Mirage, California have, for many years, been freelance travel writers specializing in cruise travel. Their articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States and Canada, including the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, and Vancouver Sun. Prestigious Palm Springs Life magazine published their article on filming the movie "Out to Sea" on the Holland America Line Westerdam. They also write regularly for Mature Living and Plus, formerly Senior Life.
Jack graduated from USC as an architect. His background in architecture allows him to review, write, and produce photographs from a unique perspective. Toni attended UCLA after graduating from Hollywood High School where she had been the Feature Editor of the Hollywood High School News, where one of the writers was comedienne Carole Burnett. Toni lived abroad for many years in South America and in the UK and has a familiarity with different cultures that influences her writing. The Whites love to travel and especially want to share their passion for cruising with you.
Toni & Jack White may be reached at: JACNTONI@aol.com.
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