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Acapulco Welcomes Visitors Back After Hurricane Otis

by Eugenia Lazaris

Apr 26, 2024

© Eugenia Lazaris

Destinations / North America

On Oct. 25, 2023, the coast of Mexico experienced a catastrophe of epic proportions. Otis, a category 5 hurricane, struck land in the early hours of the morning, bringing with it heavy rain and winds reaching 165 mph, devastating the vacation paradise of Acapulco. Six months later, the city welcomes tourists and family travelers to enjoy the sun, the sea, great food and welcoming hospitality of its people.

 

A city heavily dependent on tourism found itself facing landslides and flooding, food and supply shortages, and water and power outages. There was very little in the city left untouched by the tragic effects of the hurricane but, in the days following the storm, the citizens of Acapulco came together in an incredible show of community to rebuild and recover.

 

Acapulco

© Eugenia Lazaris

Local and national governments, along with aid organizations from around the world, have been hard at work to rebuild Acapulco and return it to its rightful place as a dream destination. Initial efforts were concentrated on infrastructure, restoring essentials. The city’s gastronomy industry and hotel industry were the next point of focus, as feeding and housing people, both locals and aid workers, were top priorities.

 

This approach allowed the city to start receiving tourists again as early as Dec. 15, far earlier than expected. That month, Acapulco hosted the tennis tournament known as Abierto Mexicano Telcel, an event which generated much-needed income that allowed the city to continue its restoration. By New Year’s Eve, the city was hosting its annual end of year celebration, one of the biggest in the world.

 

Today, the infrastructure is firmly in place and ready for the upcoming tourist season; more than 10,000 hotel rooms and 25,000 vacation rental rooms are available. Each week at least one restaurant is reopening, letting visitors experience the fabulous cuisine Acapulco is known for, like shark empanadas and chili-crusted grilled sea bass at Las Gaviotas 2, a seaside restaurant destroyed by the hurricane but since rebuilt and open for business.

 

Las Gaviotas

© Eugenia Lazaris

The city’s cosmetics are still being worked on, and it will be a while before Acapulco returns to its former glory, but popular attractions around the city are open, like the La Quebrada Cliff Divers Show at Hotel Mirador, Papagayo Park and the 17th-century Fort of San Diego.

 

Acapulco has come a long way in just six short months, demonstrating the resilience of its spirit. Although tourism has long been a valuable industry, now it is the lifeblood, bringing much-needed income that will help the city continue to rebuild and provide income for locals whose lives were nearly destroyed. Travelers often shy away from destinations that have recently experienced a disaster, but that is the time when they are needed most, so if you are considering a trip to Mexico for your next vacation, consider Acapulco so you can experience a city teeming with heart and ensure your tourist dollars are doing the most good.

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