Acapulco has been an international crossroads for most of its history. Claimed by the Spanish crown in 1528, the port was a prominent player in trade with the Orient. Despite earthquakes and attacks by pirates, the city maintained its dominance until the early 1800s, when the Mexican War for Independence stopped trade with Asia. When the Mexican government paved the highway between Mexico City and Acapulco in the 1930s, the "pearl of the Pacific" was reborn as a playground for the world's rich and famous. Images of Frank Sinatra sipping margaritas while watching the divers at La Quebrada and the Elvis Presley movie "Fun in Acapulco" helped the city develop a reputation for glamour. Today, visitors of all budgets flock here to enjoy calm surf and yellow-sand beaches by day, and dine and dance in fine restaurants overlooking glittering Acapulco Bay by night.
Acapulco, Mexico Factoid
Acapulco's name comes from the Aztec words for "place of dense reeds."