Acapulco Mexico: Land of Conquests and Treasures!

A popular vacation spot for travelers, Acapulco has a long history of visitors. Acapulco’s earliest inhabitants have left remains of pottery behind that date to 2500 B.C., while later people crafted miniature statures of curvaceous females thought to symbolize fertility and motherhood. While not confirmed, many anthropologists hypothesize of a possible trade route between Acapulco and Asia long before the Conquistadors.

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A land of desirable riches, Acapulco was also inhabited by many inland Mexican tribes who left their artifacts buried until they were unearthed by 20th Century expeditionary teams. Most of these ancient people were interested in trade and included Aztec, Mixtec, Tarscan and Zapotec tribal representatives.

Until Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico, Acapulco was ruled by village chieftains. The explorer, Cortez, was one of the first non-natives to reach Acapulco; determined to find a trade route between Spain and Asia. In April 1528, by Spanish decree, Acapulco was forced to forfeit all lands to Spain. Once Spanish settlers had more time to explore, they sailed from Acapulco to Peru, discovered the Gulf of California and finally made their way to Asia.  Making nautical discoveries, Father Andres de Urdaneta was able to discover the Northern Pacific Tradewinds, a series of air currents that 1565, helped expedite his voyage from Asia to Acapulco. After this important discovery, an annual voyage lasting over 200 years set sail from Acapulco to the Far East. Trade prospered and soon the region was filled with Chinese silks, jades, pottery items and ivories.  

Where treasures are found, loot-hungry pirates wait to claim their riches. Acapulco was no exception. Beginning in 1579 with Francis Drake and again in 1587 with Thomas Cavendish, trade vessels were captured by treasure seekers. Wanting to make trading permanent, both legal and by pirating, the Dutch invaded Acapulco in 1615.

Today, remnants of Acapulco’s treasure days can be seen at Fuerte de San Diego. Visitors can learn about trade routes, see Spanish defense mechanisms, and inspect authentic and reproduced pieces of captured Asian treasures. Acapulco Mexico: Land of Conquests and Treasures!

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