Virtually all guided walking tours of Acapulco include a stroll through the Zócalo (more properly called Plaza Juan Álvarez). Like central plazas throughout Mexico, Acapulco's Zócalo is presided over by a Catholic church, in this case Our Lady of Solitude Cathedral (Nuestra Señora de la Soledad). Its unusually domed interior with gold tiles and mosaics, bookended by two of the least traditional bell towers you'll find in Mexico, was originally part of a movie set, later redeveloped into a parish church and declared a cathedral (temporarily) in 1959. It is the perfect centerpiece to Acapulco's resort-chic collection of Mediterranean, modernist, and other original buildings.
Things to Know Before You Go
Visitors are welcome to attend Mass at Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.
At night, expect to encounter clowns and street performers asking for tips.
There are plenty of sidewalk cafés where you can grab inexpensive eats.
How to Get There
Just behind the strip of high-rise hotels that front the main beach is the city of Acapulco itself, which is centered around the Zócalo. It is walking distance from anywhere in the city proper and can easily be reached by Caleta or Base bus plying the Costera; taxis may be more convenient.
When to Get There
On holidays (religious or civic), the Zócalo is the place to be, and you'll often find live music and dancing, fireworks, and other festivities geared toward locals happening here. Thanks to its mature trees, the plaza is cool and shady during the day. At night, especially Sunday nights, it comes alive with crowds of locals and tourists alike.
The Architectural Style of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Built in 1930, this impressive structure is an amalgamation of architectural styles, predominantly Moorish and Byzantine, due to several reconstructions, the last of which occurred in the 1950s. The interior is decorated with vibrant blue tiles and gilded mosaics, while the exterior is dominated by two large towers topped with spheres that give the church an almost otherworldly quality.
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