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Introduce the Family to Ancient History in Acapulco, Mexico

by Eugenia Lazaris

Jun 3, 2024

© Rafal Kubiak | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Mexico

Acapulco holds a treasured place in the world of tourism. It has long been a favorite place for family travelers from around the world who flock to its beaches year after year. It is an ideal destination for families looking to experience everything from the sea and shopping to food and culture, but you may not know this beautiful city is also home to age-old archaeological zones and historic forms of entertainment that hold a connection to the past.


The area was first settled by an Indigenous people known as the Yopes and Mexico’s earliest organized civilization, the Olmecs. Since that time, it has also been home to Teotihuacan, Maya and Aztec societies that have each left their mark on Acapulco as we know it today. From a delicious cuisine to vibrant music that personifies a zest for life the locals possess, the city offers something for everyone. But to learn about its significant past, head to some of its historic sites to learn more about the peoples who once called it home.


The geography of Acapulco is marked by numerous hills and mountains, with the city sprawling out across the landscape as it crawls upward from the coast. Palma Sola, Acapulco’s primary archaeological site, is located at the foothills, where the urban terrain gives way to the lush El Veladero National Park.


The site is living proof the city has been inhabited for centuries with primitive petroglyphs and cave drawings, dating back more than 2,000 years before the pre-classic period. These prehistoric stone carvings, which depict images of people, animals and mythological creatures, portray themes of lineage, agriculture and nature. You won’t need to go venturing into any caves to see this ancient artwork — they are on display throughout the park to enjoy while you take in sweeping views of the city and Pacific Ocean in the distance.


The site, free to visit and open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday–Sunday, not only gives you a glimpse into the past, but also lets you enjoy that natural landscape interwoven with daily life in Acapulco.


(Insider tip: Bring plenty of water with you. Hiking through Palma Sola is not difficult, so it is perfect for families, but the climate in Acapulco is always hot and humid, so it’s easy to get dehydrated.)


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