1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Acapulco
ACAPULCO, a city and port of the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 190 m. S.S.W. of the city of Mexico, Pop. (1900) 4932. It is located on a deep, semicircular bay, almost land-locked, easy of access, and with so secure an anchorage that vessels can safely lie alongside the rocks that fringe the shore. It is the best harbour on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and it is a port of Call for steamship lines running between Panama and San Francisco. The town is built on a narrow strip of low land, scarcely half a mile wide, between the shore line and the lofty mountains that encircle the bay. There is great natural beauty in the surroundings, but the mountains render the town difficult of access from the interior, and give it an exceptionally hot and unhealthy climate. The effort to admit the cooling sea breezes by cutting through the mountains a passage called the Abra de San Nicolas had some beneficial effect. Acapulco was long the most important Mexican port on the Pacific, and the only depot for the Spanish fleets plying between Mexico and Spain's East Indian colonies from 1778 until the independence of Mexico, when this trade was lost. The town has been chosen as the terminus for two railway lines seeking a Pacific port—the Interoceanic and the Mexican Central. The town suffered considerably from earthquakes in July and August 1909. There are exports of hides, cedar and fruit, and the adjacent district of Tabares produces cotton, tobacco, cacao, sugar cane, Indian corn, beans and coffee.