La Quebrada Cliff Divers in Acapulco, Mexico

One of the highlights of visiting Acapulco is going to see the famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers. La Quebrada is the name of the cliffs where the divers climb to perform the death-defying dives into the narrow water below. The divers are all professionals of various ages that perform daily for the crowds that come to cheer them on. We chose to watch them from the La Perla restaurant in the El Mirador Resort that made them famous, but there is an observation deck where you can see them even closer without the expense of a meal.

Divers Waving to the Crowds
Observation Deck Across from the Cliff
Diver Doing a Flip
La Quebrada Cliff Lit Up for the Performance

The divers perform one show during the day at 1pm and then they do four performances in the evening at 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30. While the afternoon performance might be best from a photographic perspective, seeing them in the evening is quite impressive. We chose to go to the 7:30 show as we were able to watch a beautiful sunset around 6:30 as we enjoyed our meal and waited for the divers to start their performance. Just sitting and enjoying the beautiful views of the La Quebrada cliffs and the water crashing into the “Gulch” is a worthwhile experience.

About to Dive
Starting to Climb the Cliff
Setting Sun
Diver Entering the Water

Prior to the start of the performance, some of the younger divers came out to dive from the smaller cliffs below the observation deck. In addition to practicing the diving skills and warming up, it was also their responsibility to clear away any seaweed that had been brought in by the tide. It was surprising to see how young some of the divers actually were, but they made sure to dive from the lower cliffs. Once the main divers arrived, also working they way down through the crowds on the observation deck, they also dove into the water and swam around in order to loosen up for the performance.

Divers Gathering Before the Performance
Lobby of the Resort with Famous Tarzan Actor Photograph
Young Diver
Water in the “Gulch”

Once it was time for the performance to begin, the first of the divers began the climb up the steep cliff wall using only his hands and his bare feet to scale to the top of the cliff. Then other divers started to climb the cliff with several of them going to a perch just below the summit. Each diver then patiently eyed the water below before leaping from the cliff and soaring through the air and into the water below. It is quite a fascinating show and certainly worth seeing when visiting Acapulco.

Beautiful Colors as Sunset Ended
Warming Up

What is the Most “Touristy” Thing That You’ve Done?

When traveling, we always try to have the most authentic experiences as possible. There are times, however, when a tour that we take includes something that is there just for tourists. They are often photo opportunities that locals believe that the people visiting want to take home with them, but often they aren’t realistic to the actual culture. More often than not, when we end up doing one of those types of things, we literally cringe when we see what we’re about to do. It doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy them, it is just that we realize that it is a staged activity done just for tourists.

Led by a Rope in Egypt
Pirate Ship Show
Blurry Dungeon in Prague

We have actually ridden camels twice, once in Morocco and then again in Egypt. It wasn’t as if we were riding a camel to get from one place to another, it was just us on a camel while someone walked us around. It wasn’t as if we saw people riding camels, although we know that they do in the desert, so it is just something that people have come to expect to do when they visit those countries. Another thing that we did when in Morocco was to see a snake charmer. Interesting as it was, it was still just a planned stop along the tour for us to take photos and tip the snake charmer in order for him to make a living.

Swimming with Dolphins 2
Swimming with Dolphins
Snake Charmer
Torture Chamber

When we were in Prague, at the end of the tour, we went to what was supposed to be a medieval restaurant, complete with cobwebs on the ceiling and waiters dressed in garments from the period. Having a meal at a wooden table in a dungeon, while fun, is probably not the way it would have been hundreds of years ago. When we visited Warwick Castle in England, one of the towers was set up as a torture chamber. It was basically a haunted house experience with people jumping out at you. Again, fun, but not anything representative of turn of the century Europe.

Riding Camels on the Beach in Morocco
Tail Down the Back
Guard at the Haunted Tower

When we were in Cabo, we swam with dolphins in a large aquarium. It would be quite fascinating to swim in the wild with dolphins, but that would be a completely different experience than swimming with a dolphin that has been trained to do tricks. We took a cruise on a pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta where they put on a show and entertained the guests throughout the tour. Clearly these activities are a little different, but still very touristy. Obviously it is hard to completely avoid all of these types of activities, so when they happen it is best to just role with it and have fun. The camel rides were probably the most touristy of all of the activities that we’ve done. What is the most touristy thing that you’ve done when traveling?

Beer and Wine in the Dungeon
Putting Hats on in Egypt During Lunch

Sometimes You Need a Vacation and Not a Travel Experience

We have always believed that we have two types of trips, travel and vacations. When we travel, it is all about seeing historic locations, exploring the architecture, tasting the local cuisine, and immersing ourselves into the culture. Vacations are about relaxation, refreshing our minds and bodies, and just getting away from the daily routines. We tend to travel more than we take vacations, but it is nice to just get away from time to time. Although there are many different places to visit in order to have a relaxing vacation, going to the beach is certainly one of our favorites. These are some of the favorite beach vacations that we’ve taken over the past few years.

Boats in Bay at Cabo

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – This is one of our favorite locations to visit and we’ve been there several times. It is located on the Baha Peninsula that extends south of California, making it very easy to get to from the United States. There are wonderful restaurants along the beach and in the marina, plenty of activities, and a variety of resort styles. We tend to go during the “bumper” season, meaning not quite off-season and not the busiest months. Because we have been there many times, we like the familiarity of it and revisiting places that we have enjoyed in the past.

Royal Service Area

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – We definitely indulged ourselves with our visit to the Dominican Republic as we chose to upgrade to the royal concierge service. This gave us a room right on the beach in an adult-only section of the resort. Because the resort was all-inclusive and had so many different restaurants, we didn’t actually leave the grounds of the resort during our time there, which we would do differently next time.

Ship on the Ocean from Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Located on the western coast of the mainland of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is definitely a tourist friendly location. We happen to go during the time when there was a flu scare that actually didn’t have any impact to the region, but it caused a lot of tourists to stay away. We also enjoyed going to a cultural show during our time in Puerto Vallarta in addition to doing the typical tourist activities.

Beach by the Resort in Spain

Estepona, Spain – Located in the Spanish Riviera on the coast of the Mediterranean, Estepona is slightly smaller than Marbella that is just a few miles away. We actually spent two weeks in Spain, so this was a combination of travel with a little bit of vacation mixed in. It was certainly a wonderful way to end our days of exploring southern Spain by returning to a relaxing resort.

Just Another Day at the Beach in Carlsbad

Carlsbad, California – We took a quick trip to Carlsbad, which is located north of San Diego. Not only did we spend time in the quaint beach town, but we also took a wine tour to Temecula where we sampled a wonderful variety of wine. We were able to enjoy the laid back lifestyle of California, even if only for a week. Once again we were treated to some beautiful sunsets as we ate at various restaurants across from the beach.

Sunset in Florida

Orlando, Florida – We went to Orlando for our twentieth wedding anniversary and spent time in Walt Disney World. We also went to Cocoa Beach in order to dip our toes in the water. We really enjoyed our time in Epcot Center as you are able to experience different cultures, food, and drinks in one place. There are many wonderful beaches in Florida, but obviously they can be quite crowded and we certainly wouldn’t go during the spring break season.

Cabanas, Umbrellas, and Palapas on the Beach in Acapulco

Acapulco, Mexico – Although there has been a lot of reports of crime in the area in recent years, the beaches of Acapulco are certainly quite beautiful.  With the famous cliff divers, wonderful restaurants, and typical water activities, there is plenty to see and do in this resort town. This was the last trip that we took prior to the start of the pandemic.

If you are looking for a location where you can sit on the beach with a tropical drink in your hand, none of these locations will disappoint. Many of them are currently open to travelers although it is the start of the rainy season in most tropical locations, so we’ll probably wait for later in the year before considering a trip to one of these incredible destinations.