Acapulco Cliff Divers and Their Daring Feats
Divers at the top of the cliff La Quebrada in Acapulco, Mexico
Anyone visiting the Pacific side City of Acapulco for any length of time will surely wish to see the extraordinary feats of the much practiced and accomplished cliff divers. They are a local iconic attraction that are sure to have you holding your breathe as they wait for just the right timing to vault themselves off of craggy cliffs and soar down head first into the rushing waters below.
This is an Acapulco attraction that my husband, mother, dad and I got to enjoy in October of 1976 when my parents surprised us by treating us to a fantastic 5 day trip to Acapulco.
For fun, I used to enjoy reading travel articles (still do, for that matter) and I had read about the resort of Las Brisas in Acapulco.
At the time, my husband and I were living in the small town of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and my parents lived in McAllen, Texas. They drove north in their motor home with their dogs to visit us on several occasions and we flew down for visits with frequent letters and phone calls in between during the 4 years we lived in Wisconsin.
Obviously I had told them of my delightful discovery regarding Las Brisas never thinking any more about it until we got the invitation to join them for that combined vacation trip.
It was wonderful and while some of the old photos have faded over the years, my husband's and my memories are still very much alive and relished.
I could probably do an entire post about Las Brisas. Suffice it to say that according to an old Travel and Leisure magazine that I had read, it is one of the most romantic places in the world.
Built on the side of the mountain, the many casitas (rooms) have room service like we have never experienced. Anytime one leaves, towels are refreshed with new ones and the bowl of succulent fruit always seems topped off with fresh. Fresh flowers are floated in the individual swimming pools and everything is pristine just like entering the room for the first time no matter how many times one swims in the pool or musses up the beds.
In the mornings one can expect a delivery of a complimentary breakfast discretely put in a receptacle outside of one's casita in case one wishes to sleep in. Of course the views, chirping birds and fresh air will probably have one arising early ready to greet each exciting new day.
The positioning of each casita with private pool (only a few are shared) must have been quite an engineering project when this masterpiece of a resort was first built into the side of a hill.
My parents, husband and I did many things while enjoying our Acapulco vacation. But one attraction that was a "must see" for us took up part of our late afternoon and early evening.
An enterprising individual, the owner of the Hotel Mirador saw a way to create a long lasting attraction that would have people clamoring to come to their location for years to come either for lodging or dinner.
How was that accomplished?
Taking advantage of the rocky shoreline with the pounding surf, a separation in between the craggy cliffs was created by blasting out a narrow gulch which had the hotel situated above it with a perfect sight line view.
The famous cliff divers started performing their death defying feats before crowds in this part of Acapulco dating back to 1934...and the rest, as they say, is history.
We drove our pink and white Las Brisas jeeps to the downtown area and decided to enjoy an early dinner at the Hotel Mirador one evening to watch the La Quebrada Cliff Divers perform from our wonderful seated vantage point.
While I no longer recall what we ate that night, I will always remember the cliff diving performance!
According to Wikipedia..."The 2002 Guinness Book of World Records lists this as "the highest regularly performed headfirst dives" in the world."
From someone who only jumped into water feet first from a high dive on several occasions...and with some gathering up of my nerve ahead of time...I would never have considered vaulting myself off of a cliff of this height hoping my timing was right that there would be sufficient water below to cushion my landing!
These young athletic daredevil professional divers are obviously well practiced and must get their timing just right or they risk injury or even death.
They wait for just the right conditions taking into consideration the wind and also the waves of the ocean which alternately fill the gorge with water up to about 16 feet, then receding to as little as 6 feet.
If a diver would launch off of the cliff prematurely that airborne flight of about 125 feet (35 meters) to the bottom could be his last dive forever!
Not only does there have to be sufficient water filling the gorge below but the divers must jump far enough out and away from the jagged rocks for safety concerns.
It is no wonder that as the divers go walking across the cliffs they most often say a prayer at the small shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe before they make their dive. There is a lot that could go wrong!
There is a viewing platform where one can descend some 60 steps and get a good view of the La Quebrada cliff divers performing several times each day. Of course, one can also see it as we did by combining the performance with a meal and be seated comfortably above.
At night the cliffs are illuminated and the divers have flaming torches which adds to the drama.
Would I recommend viewing the La Quebrada Cliff Diving performance? Yes! It is an iconic Acapulco attraction that you are never likely to forget.
Have you seen the La Quebrada Cliff Diving performance?
© 2012 Peggy Woods