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July 10, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

Acapulco Offers Eco-Luxury

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Coyuca LagoonThe Cacahuamilpa CavesPerfectly situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Madres Mountains, Acapulco offers an abundance of ecological wonders. Whether touring the destination’s lagoons, jungles, islands or estuaries or traversing the shores of the Acapulco Bay, the destination’s 360 days of sunshine and distinctive ecosystems afford visitors an ideal backdrop for eco-adventure.

Coyuca Lagoon is a natural fresh water sanctuary where exotic wildlife coexists among the jungle-shrouded canals. Exclusive boat tours to the Coyuca Lagoon are an ideal way to experience the nature of Acapulco. Begin your tour admiring the coconut and palm groves as well as the delicate water hyacinths floating along the shores. Have lunch at Isla de los Pajaros, a bird sanctuary that is home to black and white herons, pelicans, marabus, storks and more. Finish your tour with recreational activities including, waterskiing and fishing or relax and indulge in a natural mud bath. Coyuca Lagoon tours can be arranged through your hotel concierge.

Located on the Papagayo River, Bravo Town is an ecological adventure park brimming with exhilarating adventures. The park offers unique activities including rafting tours down the Papagayo river rapids, kayaking, rock climbing, bungee jumping and hiking tours. Papagayo River recently welcomed back the Shotover Jet after a 6-year stint at the Puerto Marques tropical lagoon. The Shotover Jet is an adrenaline packed ride down the river, offering guests an exciting view of Acapulco’s natural beauty, wildlife and fauna.

Another incredible way to experience Mexican wildlife is the fresh water Tres Palos Lagoon, located between Puerto Marques and the Acapulco International Airport. The lagoon is home to numerous species of birds, which use the surrounding mangroves to nest. Boat tours and horseback rides are offered for visitors looking to discover untouched, natural beauty of this region. The lagoon also houses several species of fish and Barra Vieja, the popular beach that separates the lagoon from the Pacific Ocean, is lined with seafood restaurants serving the freshest of dishes.

On the other end of town, approximately 30 minutes from the shores of downtown Acapulco is La Roqueta Island. This impressive ecological reserve is a federally protected area featuring an amazing array of tropical fauna and flora and is a perfect location for snorkeling, diving or enjoying a fun day at the beach. Additionally, glass bottom boat tours that venture around the island allow visitors to view the multitude of brightly colored fish that populate the water as well as the Virgin of Guadalupe statue that is submerged in the ocean.

The Botanical Garden located in the southern Sierra de la Madre Mountains, on approximately 6 acres of tropical jungle housing two creeks, native plants and a collection of palms and cycads, desert plants, hardwoods as well as flowering and fruit trees, shrubs, heliconias and gingers, bromeliads, aeroids, ferns and vines among others. The fauna is varied and composed of different types of species such as birds including parrot, fisher eagle, penelope pheasants, reptiles such as iguanas, lizards and snakes and a few mammals such as possums and raccoons.

For travelers looking to lend a helping hand, the beaches of Acapulco become home to thousands of sea turtles each year as they arrive from great distances to nest and lay their eggs. Starting in July, guests can participate in various programs offered to protect the endangered Golfina Sea Turtles from the various dangers they may encounter as their eggs are hatched and thousands of baby turtles begin their journey to the sea. Hotels such as the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, Fairmont Pierre Marques and the Mayan Palace Acapulco have developed “turtle camps” where guests are educated about the importance of the sea turtles and in some cases, can “adopt” a baby turtle and gently release it into the ocean.

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Side trips to further explore the state of Guerrero are very popular in Acapulco. Just 50 minutes from Acapulco is Tehuacalco, a recently discovered archeological zone that includes the remains of a ball court, residential space and holy temple. With the support of the government of the state of Guerrero and the Secretary of Tourism, Tehuacalco officially opened in December 2008 for visitors to explore.

The Cacahuamilpa Caves in Taxco, three hours from Acapulco, is a striking natural wonder encompassing a one-mile pathway that winds through twenty century-old caves. The caves, illuminated by a state-of-the-art lighting system, features one of Mother Nature’s greatest works, profoundly chiseled stalactites and stalagmites.

Experience extreme thrills with water sports while taking in the magnificent setting of Acapulco Bay, where sports enthusiasts can scuba dive to reefs and shipwrecks; go deep-sea fishing for marlin or sail fish; waterski or parasail.

A magical combination of incredible beauty and hypnotic charm, Acapulco is Mexico’s largest and most dazzling seaside resort attracting over 5 million visitors annually. Acapulco is exotic yet easily accessible via direct or convenient connections via all major airline carriers from gateway cities across the United States and Canada. For more information about Acapulco, visit www.visiteacapulco.com.

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