Lush and green with hundreds of miles of glittering coastline, Guerrero is a mix of modernity and antiquity, Spanish influence and indigenous flavor. Visitors today can still see the influence of Spanish rule in the crumbling architecture as they wind their way through sleepy mountain villages on cobblestone roads before heading to the coast for a luxurious resort stay.
Hundreds of miles of sparkling Pacific coastline with ivory colored beaches have made Guerrero a long sought after area; both for strategic control and as a playground. Conquered by the Aztec Empire in 1414, and again in 1521 by the Spanish, the area has seen its share of battles. Once established by the Spanish as a key trade route for the Far East, Guerrero's coastal gem city, Acapulco, exemplifies the local people's resiliency, and has risen to become one of the top beach destinations in the world. Visitors to Acapulco can enjoy its waters with playful dolphins, migrating whales and deep-sea fishing without a hint of the region's turbulent past.
A mosaic landscape of mountains, fertile valleys, small villages and a bountiful coastline, Guerrero's cuisine reflects the abundance of the area and the indigenous culture, with a strong emphasis on seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Its unique flavor is evident in local dishes such as Chile de Ciruela, a spicy pork dish featuring green chiles and fresh plums and Caldo de Cabeza de Pescado, a dish of fish stew loaded with vegetables, chiles, and cilantro. Local produce also inspired the exotic tasting local drink known as Tuba, made from fermented palm juice and flavored with chili, lemon and pineapple.
Before it became a haven of resorts and tourist attractions, and even long before the Spanish Conquest, Guerrero's inhabitants were busy leaving their mark on the land. A visit to the Tehuacalco Archaeological Zone brings visitors face to face with the ancient peoples of the area, where rock petroglyphs and stone pyramids stand as mute reminders of the vibrant population that once inhabited the area. A tour of Fort San Diego gives a glimpse of life post Spanish Conquest, when Acapulco was a target of pirate attacks, and life wasn't any easier for the people of the area.
Cultural artistry is deeply rooted in the area, where brightly colored pottery is made in the same tradition as it was centuries ago. Silver goods and embroidered textiles share an equal claim to artistic traditions, and women from indigenous groups still weave bright and intricately detailed cloth goods. Visitors with good timing can enjoy one of the many traditional fiestas held throughout the towns and villages, where music, lively dance and brightly decorated towns light up the night.
While Acapulco is the city best known to foreign travelers, other cities such as Taxco, Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo can hold their own against the mega-resort city. Once a tax-paying province of the Aztec Empire, the Taxco of today still retains its silver mining past and has morphed into a picturesque post-colonial town, while Ixtapa has transformed itself from former coconut plantation, to a modern and luxurious resort town. Zihuatanejo has escaped the commonly found high-rise tourist resorts, and retains all of its small fishing village ambiance. Prime tourists spots, the cities of Acapulco, Taxco and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo are collectively known as the 'Triangle of the Sun'.
From the Costa Chica region stretching from Acapulco to Oaxaca and the Costa Grande region spanning the coast up to Michoacan, to the mountainous beauty of Sierra Madre del Sur, the rich tapestry of landscapes have contributed heavily to the indigenous and colonial shaping of this Mexican state.
Mountainous, coastal, historical and modern - Guerrero's mix of flavors are what have brought visitors for hundreds of years to its tropical location, while its secluded beaches, romantic cliff-side restaurants, and spectacular sunsets keep them coming back.