Acapulco's Second Act


Mexico's original beach town has reclaimed its old-school allure.

Long before Cancún or Los Cabos or the Riviera Maya were even specks on the tourist map, Acapulco reigned as Mexico’s coastal queen. Acapulqueños have recently worked hard to restore Old Acapulco and the Costera, and posh resorts and malls have risen in the newest neighborhood, Acapulco Diamante. The result is a thoroughly modern vacation destination rich in culture and history. Now is the time to visit—or revisit—the place where Mexico’s tourism fame was born.

OLD ACAPULCO

In the early Hollywood days, Playa Caleta and Playa Caletilla, on the western shores of Acapulco Bay, saw the most action. Today, the ’50s have returned with the restoration of the beachfront Hotel Boca Chica. The designers faithfully retained the mid-century architecture and the tiny Coco Wash disco, which has become the hippest hangout in town. Chef Keisuke Harada creates platters of sushi and Kobe burgers for happy hordes at the hotel’s restaurants; on weekends, locals pull their yachts up to the dock and linger for hours over mescal martinis.

With Boca Chica grabbing attention, travelers are also being lured to the palapa-shaded fish shacks on Playa Caletilla. Here families gather beneath blue umbrellas, and water taxis take swimmers to the clear waters off Isla Roqueta, just 10 minutes away. At the nearby Plaza Alvarez (also called the zócalo), elderly gents study their newspapers at sidewalk cafés as kids scamper around the filigreed bandstand. Across the street, fishermen lay out their nets beside docks where party boats collect passengers for sunset sailings.

In the winding streets high above Old Acapulco, sightseers gather at La Quebrada to witness the famed clavadistas, or cliff divers. During the show, a lone diver poses atop a jagged, precipitous cliff. Below, waves crash against rocks before settling into a small swirling pool. In the blink of an eye, the diver swoops toward the sea. Onlookers applaud as he emerges from the water, and another duplicates his feat.

THE COSTERA

Most visitors to the Costera devote the sunlight hours to lounging poolside, browsing in arcades and malls and playing in the bay. Pint-sized fun-seekers enjoy the rides at Papagayo Park and the waterslides at CICI waterpark.

As evening sets in, families head to the Hard Rock Cafe for burgers and ribs. Partygoers seek out tables at Paradise or Beto’s, among the best of the clubs on the sand, or retire to high-end restaurants and discos in the hills. Horse-drawn calesas (carriages) clomp along the Costera, delivering dancers to Baby ’O, one of the best-known discos. And fireworks and laser beams shoot over the bay from the hilltop clubs until dawn.

ACAPULCO DIAMANTE

Perhaps the best evidence of Acapulco’s resurgence lies in the burgeoning Diamante neighborhood. Stretching from the Costera up the steep, winding Scenic Highway, Diamante has legendary discos, championship golf courses, lavish resorts, a concert hall and a shiny new mall.

Several large timeshare resorts are also found on the beaches of Acapulco Diamante, close to attractions like the La Isla shopping center at Punta Diamante, which has lured some of the Costera’s well-known establishments (including the family-friendly yet rowdy Carlos’n Charlie’s). Kids can head to the mall’s Aqua Planet, with bumper boats and mini-golf, as well as displays that teach about water conservation. And at Mundo Imperial, an enormous development with a convention center and hotel, the stars of today appear at the Forum, a state-of-the-art concert hall. With the three sides of Acapulco all in a state of transformation, Mexico’s coastal queen is once again the biggest star on the map.

 

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Once In A Lifetime


My boyfriend of three years and I decided to take a spontaneous vacation in July. We were in our early 20's and living together for a little less than a year. We found a fantastic deal and booked a trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our excitement was palpable.

As a young couple in love, off we went to Cancun International Airport on our first trip to Mexico, to an all-inclusive resort and to a beach not on the US eastern coast. We were thrilled to just be away together in such a lovely place.

After settling into a room, squeezing in a little pool time, and enjoying a delicious dinner at the buffet, we decided to take a walk on the beach. Hand-in-hand we went as we took a seat on two loungers under a tiki hut. The stars twinkled above us on this dark night, the ocean lapped the sand, and we enjoyed the silence that surrounded us in this peaceful moment.

I said to my boyfriend, "What a perfect place, what a perfect dinner, what a perfect night." At that moment he replied "It's the perfect time for me to ask you to marry me." I stared in awe as he got down on one knee and opened up a box showing my sparkling engagement ring. I smiled and cried tears of joy as I replied "Yes!” We shared an emotional and happy moment under the romantic sky.

As it turns out, he had done an impressive job asking my parents for their permission, receiving the delivery of the ring, and getting through the airports' security and customs departments. I was excited, beaming, and still in shock when we went to the lobby. We celebrated with champagne as we watched the live Mexican band play along with couples and children dancing about...

We immediately got moved to an oceanfront room and spent the rest of our vacation in bliss as we relaxed, got massaged, sunbathed, dined, drank, danced, and laughed together. During our remaining days, we frequently visited Jack and José who shared in our happiness as a newly engaged couple and new timeshare owners. This was a very special vacation for us and I will never forget the once in a lifetime memories that were created at Ocean Maya Royale.

-Erin D. from Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

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It'll never top Mexico


Our first RCI vacation took us to Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula. We were excited to be able to exchange our timeshare in the Berkshires for a vacation outside of the US in order to give our two young boys some exposure to other cultures. We rented a car so that we could explore the surrounding countryside and possibly see some of the Mayan ruins while in Mexico. The resort was nice enough and offered a number of activities... The food was great; we tried a number of different options and the kids even tried some new things (a small miracle). The resort’s many pools provided some variety as we spent a chunk of time swimming and joining in on some resort-sponsored pool football...

-William H. from Coventry, Connecticut

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Cancun Vacation


We have timeshare accommodations in Cozumel which we hadn't been to in several years. We wanted to get back to Mexico this year and thought we'd give Cancun a shot. We always thought Cancun would be too wild for our taste, but we were wrong and pleasantly surprised! We stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort on the ocean and it was fantastic. There were no bugs, the beach was perfect, the activities were lots of fun, and the people were terrific! It was safe and clean and friendly and we'd go back in a second! I can't speak for the rest of the country, but the Yucatan Peninsula area is fantastic.

 

- The Driscoll's from Bath, ME

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RCI Subscribing Members for over 20 years…WOW!


Helen F. - UK and Travel Destination NewsFor Joan K. from Northamptonshire, England, an RCI subscribing membership unleashed her inner adventurer and she has enjoyed two decades of travelling the world with RCI. Joan has always been passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure – not for me lying around on a beach all day! I want to get out into the local communities to experience different cultures and the different ways of life the world over.”

After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. Joan shared some of the most exciting and memorable moments of two of her RCI exchange holidays in the European edition of Holiday, The RCI Magazine. Her story (read it here!) sees her on safari in South Africa where she witnessed a ‘kill’ first-hand, and sharing a quiet bathing spot in a hilltop lagoon with monkeys in India. Of course, she got some much needed R&R in fabulous RCI affiliated resorts along the way to recharge her batteries!

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from those of you who have been RCI subscribing members for 20 years or more. Be sure to check back to hear about all the great places our members have traveled over the years.

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Mexico Trip 2007


Our family usually vacations with our good friends. Our first trip to Mexico, was at a spot of their choice. We decided to go back in 2007, using our RCI deposited time. The wife was very hesitant about staying at a "timeshare resort" as her past experience was poor. However, we stayed at the Mayan Palace on the Riviera Maya. Well, safe to say, she was very impressed and no longer worried about the timeshare horror stories. Our friends were also on hand for our 2009 Cancun visit to the Moon Palace Golf and Spa, which was also an exchange through RCI. I do not think we will be able to go anywhere now without them. Thanks RCI, and our friends thank you too.

- Lee J. from Redding, CA
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Riviera Maya, Mexico 2008


In May 2008, my husband, daughter and son went to the Grand Mayan at Riviera Maya. We had coordinated our trip with my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter who also exchanged a room for their timeshare week. The Grand Mayan had large rooms for ourselves and our adult children to share. There was plenty to do at the resort. We explored the Riviera Maya activities, and even enjoyed some spa treatments. The highlight was celebrating our son's 21st birthday...The most difficult part of the trip was navigating the Mexican highways. I'm just glad that my brother-in-law did all the driving instead of my husband. I also came to understand what a terrible backseat driver I am. Both couples came away from that trip appreciating our own spouses. We had a great time and enjoyed the pampering of a luxury resort. Now to plan another trip...

- Jane K. from Denver, CO
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Mexico Trip 2008


During October 2008, we went on an RCI exchange vacation to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It turned out to be the best vacation exchange we ever took. It was the most beautiful timeshare resort we had ever seen and their lazy river around the resort was the longest we ever had been on. We did end up buying a timeshare at the Grand Mayan.

- Margy L. from Lady Lake, FL
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Mexico Trip 2005


I took a trip to Cancun with my wife. The all-inclusive options made us feel safer as we didn't have to venture out much from the resort. The resort had a special RCI check-in area for us and we were treated very well by the staff. RCI made booking our vacation quick and easy, which made it a lot easier to enjoy our vacation. We never had to worry about misplaced reservations or language issues between us and the resort since neither of us speak Spanish. I recommend RCI to all of my friends who own timeshares and wish to travel to other destinations. We've enjoyed our membership these past few years and hope to continue our RCI subscribing membership.

- Ryan S. from Kingsport, TN
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Algarve, Portugal 2007


In August of 2007 our family spent a week of vacation at a wonderful RCI affiliated resort property in the Algarve region of Portugal. Our view from the balcony was not only of the beautiful pool and palm trees but beyond that we could see the fabulous beach and rock formations. Hundreds of colorful umbrellas dot the sand while sun worshiping tourist stroll up and down the shoreline. We enjoyed a fun family night buffet out at the pool with entertainment by performing "Parrots" and dancing to a live band. Our regular timeshare is at the amazing Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but this visit to Portugal gave us the advantage of visiting relatives and having a great vacation at the same time. We love the options that an RCI subscribing membership gives us to fully utilize the benefits of time-share ownership. Thanks RCI.

- Julie J. from Corcoran, CA
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All-Inclusive Resorts Have More Than Just Food and Beverages!


Gonzalo S. - RCI Timeshare Exchange and Vacation ExperiencesMost people think all-inclusive resorts are just swimming pools, tennis courts and food…but the “all-inclusiveness” doesn’t stop there! My job is to work closely with our affiliated timeshare resorts in Mexico and I have been onsite to personally check out what they have to offer, especially the all-inclusive ones.

We all know the main reason all-inclusive resorts are so popular is because of food and drinks, and the amount of them! But did you know that most resorts offer a lot of different dining options? There are many with 24-hour buffet style restaurants with a kids' buffet area, smaller restaurants that cater to sit-down dinners, and fine a-la-carte dining restaurants. So no matter what your taste buds like, you will find something to enjoy!

An abundance of activities is another plus to an all-inclusive resort. They usually have every water sport under the sun, and some may even be free of charge. Some resorts also include golf, tours and even spa discounts on selected treatments. No need to worry about the cost, you can let yourself have fun!

For children, the opportunities are even greater. All-inclusive resorts that cater to families have many options to keep your child entertained and happy. They may have a separate pool just for playing and splashing, water slides, and large gaming centers. Many all-inclusive resorts also offer classes like arts and crafts, acting, and even puppetry. Some all-inclusive resorts even have nannies available!

We worked with Dan the RCI Guy to create a video on RCI TV which tells you all about all-inclusive resorts. You should take a look; it’s very informative and a lot of fun!

What do you think about all-inclusive resorts? Share your experience by commenting below!
 

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Dan “The RCI Guy”: Reporting from Mexico


Dan "The RCI Guy" -  Vacation Travels with RCI TV's Dan "The RCI Guy"Some of my most favorite memories are of the times I spent in Mexico.

As “the RCI Guy” on RCI TV, I get to travel all around the world hosting RCI’s online travel show “New Ways to Play” and showcasing RCI affiliated timeshare resorts. Every time our schedule brings us back to Mexico, I am reminded of my earliest vacations here…which date back to the 1970’s.

My first trip to Mexico was about 35 years ago. After that, I knew I wanted to come back. In fact, in the early 1980s, I was traveling in the coastal city of Mazatlan and bought my first timeshare and became an RCI subscribing member.

What drew me to purchasing my timeshare here in Mexico was that I knew that whether I wanted to golf, take a long walk on the beach, lie in the sun, go scuba diving or deep sea fishing, I could do all of that here and so much more.

One of my most favorite things to do is to go off the beaten path and see how different a town or village is within just a few blocks from the touristy areas and timeshare resorts. Some of the most memorable times for my family and I have been when we simply took a side detour to see more of what this country has to offer. In my opinion – and limited Spanish – Mexico es perfecto!

If you want to check out some of my favorite things to see and do in Mexico, check out the Destination Review Channel on RCI TV. Comment below and let me know what you think!

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Try an RCI Timeshare Exchange for a Romantic Getaway


Jen V. - RCI Timeshare Exchanges and RCI.comI can't think of any better way to spend a vacation than with the person you love (or want to get to know better!).

Whether you’re sitting together in front of a fireplace in a Breckenridge ski resort, or lounging on a beach on your Myrtle Beach vacation, sharing a relaxing experience is a great way to not only get some down time, but to strengthen your relationship with your significant other.

I went on vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with my boyfriend last year — our first vacation together, in fact — and had a great time. Cabo is one of those places that you can take your family, or just one person, and there's something for everyone. The place we stayed in had different pools for families and adults. Some restaurants were family friendly, and some were fancier, so they didn't have kids. At those places, we had dinner at our own little table on the beach, watched people play live music, and listened to the waves. And some nights, we just sat on our balcony, drinking wine and looking out at the ocean.

A couple years ago, I stayed in Snowbird, Utah for a resort vacation, but that was with my brother, which is hardly romantic. But I could see how it could have been for a couple in love. This was one of those cozy ski lodges where you can cuddle up by the fireplace with a glass of wine and some snacks. But again, there were several families, so there is something for everyone there too.

Of course, I know everyone has different tastes and wants a different vacation experience. RCI tries to provide this for you. Try out our improved search engine (I’m very excited about this – I’m on the Online Team). You can search for amenities and experiences, not just dates or locations, and see what places are available.

Say you want to find a spa or a ski vacation. Go to our search engine, set the filter to show only spa or ski vacation types, and see what locations and dates are open. You can be a little more specific and add additional filters for date ranges and geography. So if you only want skiing locations in February in the western US, if they're available, they'll show up in the search results. Then you can easily see additional information, photos and videos, and member reviews to figure out which site is just right for you and your special someone.

Now it’s your turn – what was your most memorable romantic getaway that you booked with RCI? Comment below and let us know.

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