THE CLIFF DIVERS AT LA QUEBRADA

 

The impressive cliffs of La Quebrada offer a natural mirador platform from which one can enjoy spectacular sunsets and,  on occasion (mainly in the winter season),  whales and dolphins may be spotted. Known as Acapulco’s icon throughout the world,  these cliffs are most famous for the performances which intrepid local divers offer daily  -  from a height of 35 meters (over 100 feet!).

This risky activity began in the 1920s when fishermen would dive from the cliffs to free their nets caught on sharp rocky peaks below,  and among them they began a fraternal diving challenge gaining more height with practice.  They also gained popularity as locals and visitors gathered to admire their feats;  and it was in 1934 when the performance became an actual show and the cliff-diving became a tradition which was passed on from one generation to the next.

Presently the divers offer daily shows at 1:30pm and in the evening at 7:30pm,  8:30pm,  9:30pm,  and 10:30pm (this last show of the day being known as the torch-dive).

La Quebrada itself is located in the old part of the city,  approximately half-a-mile north and west of the zócalo,  overlooking the Pacific.  Although it may be considered  'walkable'  from the zócalo (and some do),  it's an uphill climb  -  and most prefer to hail a VW-cab,  at a cost of 20 or 30 pesos,  for the short ride.

Nextdoor to and perched on the cliffs is the old  Hotel El Mirador  which offers a more-expensive  'seating-&-viewing package'  from the dining-balcony of its  La Perla  restaurant,  but the majority of people simply pay 35 pesos (which includes a cold beverage) at the outdoor ticket-booth near the top of the stairs  -  and then watch the show from one of the several nearby viewing platforms.   There are also a number of souvenir shops  -  and several vendors milling about  -  offering teeshirts and a variety of trinkets,  which lends a carnival-like feel to the place.

Each performance typically lasts no more than 20-25 minutes,  and it's advisable (for  'the best seats') that one should plan to arrive about half-an-hour before showtime.  At the conclusion of each dive-show,  the brave young men position themselves among the crowd  -  and always at the top of the stairs;  and with a bucket in hand,  they quietly yet proudly solicit tips from the many people they've entertained.  Ten pesos is thought to be appropriate,  though handing them several U.S. singles  -  or even a five-dollar bill  -  will elicit some huge smiles.  They'll even pose for personal photos,  with or without their guests.

For a bird's-eye aerial view of La Quebrada,  click the following link;  THEN expand the image (zoom out) to get a better sense of its location within the city:  Aerial Map.