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Old 04-11-2005, 01:43 PM   #1
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Acapulco Information

Let me introduce myself, I am the Operations Manager for the Acapulco Port Authority.

I was recently contacted by a DB and it is certainly my pleasure to provide useful assistance, for guests visiting my home town of Acapulco. I am not in this to gain one cent; I'm very commited to my current job, this assistance is 100% free and with no strings attached...I mentioned on the another thread we came to Acapulco over 21 years ago on a family vacation and haven't left since.

I will place a few interesting notes and will answer any questions that you may post.

Warmest Regards to all from sunny Acapulco.

roberto
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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Acapulco Cruise Terminal

The port of Acapulco has been a preferred vacation spot for visitors from all over the world, with a natural bay of unequal beauty, golden beaches that stretch from North to South, and the warmth of it’s people that distinguishes Mexico.

Francisco Santiago Cruz, a famous Mexican writer, once wrote about Acapulco;

“ Being one of the most beautiful bays in the world, it has been highly praised by travelers that have arrived from distant shores”

The Port of Acapulco welcomes many cruise ships throughout the year, there's so much to see and activities to do in the bay area -- history, architecture, arts, tours, dining, entertainment, attractions and the world famous cliff divers are just a small sampling of what's available. Acapulco is truly a feast for the senses.

API Acapulco SA de CV, a private entity created in 1996, is working to consolidate the city as a port of call and in medium terms as a port home for voyages that navigate the Pacific Ocean. Prior to this date the Cruise Ship Terminal was government run, and opened to concession by a public bid to the company that offered the best plan to improve and develop the Port. Being the TMM Group the winning entry by providing the best offer and a Master Plan for future development.

Since the takeover of API Acapulco SA de CV, many changes have been made to the Cruise Ship Terminal, by structurally modifying the terminal in order to provide additional space for passengers, wheel chair accessible ramps, an additional area for Customs and Immigration was built, a steel fence was installed that delimits the Terminal Building; allowing only two access points for all users. A private security company was hired to insure safety to installations and users, which works 24 hours a day.

Security is a main concern and API Acapulco issued ID badges that have been made for all users; shop owners, travel agents, stevedores, cleaning crew and other personnel that has direct or indirect contact with vessel.

API Acapulco Cruise Ship Terminal offers passengers pleasant and comfortable installations. The port provides vessels with services such as; garbage disposal, fresh water supply, provisions, sludge removal, among others services.

API Acapulco Cruise Ship Terminal has a commitment of providing the best service in the interest of the passengers, crew and cruise lines that have placed their confidence in the professionalism and efficiency that characterizes our company. In August 2000, we received the ISO9002 certification from Buro Veritas; an International Standard of Quality body of certification. With yearly audits, to insure compliance with the goals and procedures that ISO requires, as well as the measurement of results.

And as of July 2004 we are ISPS Code Compliant.

Weekly meetings are held with Port Authorities, Port Agents, Travel Agencies. These meetings are for planning and coordinating every detail of a cruise ship's call -- from the scheduling of labor and equipment requirements to the receipt, storage and delivery of stores and provisions, luggage, berth assignments of vessels or other requirements that the ship may have.

The cruise ship terminal has over 900 square meters of passenger area, an air-conditioned building, 20 gift and souvenir shops, taxi and guided tours service, telephone service, restrooms, Arts and Crafts, money exchange, refreshment stand and 24 hour security.

Marine services are readily available 24 hours a day and can be arranged described as follows for ships;

• Fresh water
• Vessel telephone hook up
• Garbage removal
• Sludge removal
• Bunkering by tanker truck
• 2 ware houses with over 6,000 square meters storage space
• 24 removable counters
• Provisions
• 7 forklifts
• Stevedores
• 3 tents for shade
• 24 hours security
• Pilotage
• Linesmen
• Porters

We do, however, have more than just a great city to keep passengers happy...whether the cruise line is using the Port of Acapulco as an origination point or a port-of-call, passengers enjoy a number of outstanding extras:

• The terminal is within two blocks of the downtown area.
• The world famous cliff divers are just 10 minutes away by car.
• Acapulco is home to world-class golf courses, which have hosted many national and international events.
• The Passenger Terminal is located in the Historic District, offering safe and easy touring near the ship, the Fort of San Diego Museum is just across the street.
• The market area and its dozens of shops and restaurants are located only two blocks away, and provide early arrivals an excellent way to pass the time
• An information desk is located inside the Passenger Terminal, offering interesting facts of the port of Acapulco
• Airline service and connections are competitive and the airport is only 35 minutes from the terminal
• Fine dining and an exuberant nightlife make your stay one of the most memorable occasions in Acapulco.

In all, we are sure that your stay in Acapulco will be a memorable one, so don't think about it "Re-Discover Acapulco"
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #3
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Historical Places

There are many historical places, to mention a few; the house of Diego Rivera; a famous Mexican painter, his home is filled with murals made from shells, tiles, stones a definite must see.
The fort of San Diego that was built in the years between 1615-1617 to defend against pirate raids. Mute witness of colonial times, recently refurbished and converted into a historical museum. They have an evening lights and sound show,it is done on Fridays, but you can ask the shore excursions staff for this light show, the local tour operator rents it excusively for the ship tours. The Musuem is open from Tuesday to Sunday for a $3.00 admission fee (Sundays is free)

http://acapulco.com/en/tours/fuerte/index.html

The hotel Flamingos one of the first hotels has a rich history of the evolution of Acapulco and famous people that have stayed there.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:48 PM   #4
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Walking in Town

The cruise terminal is located in the downtown area, the main square or Zocalo is located 2 blocks to the west when exiting the cruise terminal. The Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is located here, also many of the older business shops. To the East there is 1 mile of beach from the 100% Natural Restaurant to the first hotel on the Costera Avenue, Excalibur, a few local seafood restaurants.
I always recommend to use your common sense while in Port,you will find the same situations in any place in the world. Don't where flashy jewelry, carry a no more than you will be planning on spending,1 credit card and an ID. Also ask the ship to provide a contact number in case of an emergency, usually they will provide the number of the ship's agent.
Crossing the streets may be a challenge, use the stops lights and get assistance from the police that are there, most local motorists will not stop to let you pass.
Don't go into back roads with a "tourist guide" unless he has an authorized ID from the SCT, it is made on PVC green back ground and aztec sun, make sure it's valid. Many of these so called "tourist guides" have home made ID's and have no oficial recognition from any authority.
The fort of San Diego is in front of the cruise terminal and it's a great place to walk.
If you get lost, hop in a cab, and ask for "La Terminal de Cruceros"
I do not recommend to walk to the cliff divers or flea market, although they are within walking distance, but it's kinda tricky to get there and a wrong turn might ruin your vacation.
Hope the info helps, on my next post I will elaborate more on the different types of "tour guides" you can find inside and outside of the cruise terminal, and why I recommend that you use the "Authorized Ground Transport" service.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:48 PM   #5
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Street Guides

There are many street guides or as we know them "Pirate Guides", they operate outside of the cruise terminal, next to the police station. Allthough there a few legite guides, most of them (legite) are usually hired by the local tour operator for ship arranged tours.
The problem is that there are no control over these guides, most of them have home made credentials and very few comply with the Rules & Guidelines for Tour Operators. When passengers forget or lose items in their cars, it's very difficult to locate the driver; since there are no listings.

It's responsability of the municpal governemt to control these people, but they have been tolerated for years.
The are 4 groups that work outside with different colored uniforms:
1.- Blue shirt, white pants.
2.- Blue hawaine shirt, white pants
3.- White shirt, navy blue pants
4.- Luck of the closet

Sometimes you get a great guide,but most of the time you're annoyed by someone that won't leave you alone.

Use your common sense, don't walk into back streets or use short cuts to get to the Flea Market.

Here´s some recommendations if you wish to use them:
*Before getting into a taxi, agree the rate.
*Make sure the AC works, Acapulco is hot & humid.
*If you feel uncomfortable, ask for help, there are police officers on a 2 km perimeter from the cruise terminal that will provide inmediate assistance or the Port Security officers at the gate.
*Ask to see a valid drivers license and Insurance for the vehicle.
*Keep track of your belongings.
*Ask for a business card before gettting into a car; if something goes wrong, it will help the authorities to find the driver.
*There is an information desk inside the cruise terminal ran by the board of tourism, ask for a complimentary map.
*Ask the ship for the ships agent telephone number, if your in a jam or lost, you can call him for inmediate assistance.
*The cruise terminal is well known as "Terminal de Cruceros" very easy to remember, we are located in front of the Fort of San Diego (in spanish "Fuerte de San Diego")
*Write this down for future reference and ask for something similar in any other port.

There are "Authorized Transport Services" in the Cruise Terminal and rates are posted at their desk.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:49 PM   #6
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Cliff Divers

For the cliff divers the shows are at 01:00pm then until 07:30, 08:30, 9:30 and 10:30 pm, you have 3 options:

1.-For $3.00 you can walk about 60 steps to the mirador area (up close) but it’s usually crowded and no guarantees of being up front to enjoy the show, wit one drink included.

2.- For $12.50 (afternoon) $16.50(evening) you can have 2 domestic drinks at La Perla Restaurant, you will be in the main terrace table seated and have a great view of the dive.

3.- For $35.00 you can have dinner at La Perla restaurant you will be seated in the lower section of the terrace, a closer view, reservations are required. (let me know if I can assist)

A cab will charge you $8.00 (1 to 4 persons) to $12.00 (5 to 8 persons) each way depending on the number of persons in you group if your interested in seeing the evening show and not be part of an hourly rate arrangement.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:51 PM   #7
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Taxco

A trip to Taxco is a great trip to a turn of the century town, you could take the bus (estrella de oro) and once there a local tour guide could show you around.

Bus Company: Estrella de Oro
Cost: $145.00 pesos per person
Departures: 7:10 am, 11:50 am, 2:10 pm, 4:10 pm, 6:10 pm

It stops in Iguala and then goes to Taxco, it's approximately 4 hours to get there. To return they hve departures almost all day 10 minutes after the hour.

At the bus station you can find a bilingual guide, very important to set the rate, although I would take a cab to the chapel of Santa Prisca and then walk around, silver is very cheap here.
There are very enteresting grotos 30 minutes away, Las Grutas de Cacahuamilpa.
I went there 2 yearss ago with a friend and stayed overnight in Taxco, we were very bored, no clubing, no night life, no bungy, no tequilas or jello shooters. We went to a bar on top of a building, had drinks and played the juke box until they kicked us out for "disturbing the peace", ha, they couldn't handle two Acapulqueño's looking for fun in 1859.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:53 PM   #8
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Snorkeling & Sightseeing

Usually from May to August is the red tide season (murk waters). But, definitely it would have to be at the boca chica hotel, there are corals with tropical fish io that area and there's a restaurant for drinks. Check out their web page:

http://www.acapulco-hotelbocachica.com

The must see places would have to be, hmmm, ok here goes:

1.- Cliff divers
2.- Chapel of las Brisas
3.- Hotel Casablanca
4.- Fort of San Diego
5.- House of Diego Rivera
6.- Sunset at Pie de la Cuesta
7.- Mirador of Puerto Marques (look out point)
8.- Cathedral of el Zocalo
9.- Drinks at Sr. Frogs
10.- Shotover Jet boat ride
11.- Glass bottom boat ride at Caleta
12.- Swim with the dolphins
13.- Ocean Riders speed boat ride
I am probably leaving out a place or two, but these would be the most representative of Acapulco. There is no particular order, I enjoyed the most the dolphins.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
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Shotover

Costs for shotover are approximately $350 pesos for adults and $150 pesos for children, althuogh the local tour opertar books many places on ride for ship operated tours, you can check out their web page and try to book directly. The office is a at the Acapulco Emporium hotel.

http://www.shotoverjet-acapulco.com/
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:58 PM   #10
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Rules at the Cruise Terminal

As many are aware, security issues in al ports in the world have been upgraded or drastically changed in order to comply with the new ISPS Code. We are no exception, we are ISPS Compliant, here are the rules.

All passengers & crew must have their ship issued boarding card or crew ID at all times with them.

There will be a passenger pedestrian entrance/exit gate by the flag pole, this will be considered as the first check point. At he entrance to the crusie terminal you will erquested t show you boarding card again, this is considered check point two. Oversized bags will be checked and we have a no visitors policy, sorry no friends for drinks at the bar.

If you lose your boarding card, security will escort you to the gangway,previous inspection with metal detectors, then the ships security staff must ok your access, if you are rejected by them a military escort will accompany you to the gate.

There will be a security zone on the pier, limited by line divider posts. This area is exclusive for passengers & crew, army, our security and my staff.

Only ship arranged fishing tours are allowed to go to the floating pier and come back the same way. Independant fishing boats are not allowed, even of you are with the ship and risk being arrested by the Army.

Waverunners and small rental boats are not allowed within 300 meters of the ships, a Navy interceptor boat will deter you from approaching the vessel, and if you come to close you will be detained at gun point.

Threat levels will be posted at the cruise terminal;

Level 1 is normal operating level.
Level 2 is increased security measures, extensive patrols & added soldiers to areas
Level 3 is the maximum level of threat, no passengers or crew are allowed to come ashore. Port is controlled by the Mexican Army, vessel may be asked to leave or evacuated.

Any suspicious packages or persons will be detained and inspected at our offices.

These are the most important ones, the rest are behind the scenes arrangements, you will enjoy your stay and not even nottice our security arrangements.
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:00 PM   #11
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Restaurant Options

Lovers of good food will enjoy their stay in Acapulco because this destination offers visitors an enormous range of excellent restaurants to satisfy the palate of the most demanding dinner.

Whatever your tastes are for dining, Acapulco’s gastronomy will delight you. From the typical dishes of the region, pozole, delicious tostadas, picadas, tamales made with banana leaves and relleno, a dish prepared with pork, you will not be disappointed.Downtown, on the beaches, and all along the Costera, you will find typical restaurants that prepare superb seafood dishes with the authentic flavor of the port, like the traditional ceviche and our famous grilled fish, both from Acapulco.

American

Tony Romas
Tony Roma's offers a great variety of world famous products, particularly ribs. The most popular are the soft Baby Back Ribs, Carolina Honey's, Red Hots, Blue Ridge, Smokies and Beef Ribs for those with a hearty appetite. For those with a smaller appetite. we offer a barbecue dish with chicken breasts, shrimp brochette, fish fillet and fine cuts of meat.

Hooters
Hooters Acapulco is the best place to enjoy your favorite sport, accompanied by a great atmosphere, including our famous Hooters Girls. Enjoy delicious chicken wings, Buffalo style, seafood, salads, sandwiches, and other specialties. We have air conditoning, television and screens with every type of sports transmission, both national and international from the United States.

Planet Hollywood
Planet Hollywood, restaurant-boutique, offers all over the world a unique dining room and high energy entertainment, sometimes involving very famous Hollywood stars, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, who are partners in Planet Hollywood International. This place offers a fresh and healthy menu, California style, including fowl, meats, fish, salads and dessert. They have facilities for special meetings.

Fun

Carlos and Charlies
Located in the heart of the Golden Zone. The principal concept of fun is reflected in the decoration of the restaurant, in the names of the variety of the food, and, of course, in the attention and service to the client. It is a family-style restaurant. Original receipes of BBQ ribs, oysters 4 X 4 X 4, home made bread. Open from 1:00PM to 12:00AM and the party goes on until 2:00AM. Fridays and Saturdays until 5:00AM.

Sr. Frogs
A cordial and personalized attention with an informal family atmosphere, offering a delicious variety of exotic food and drinks in charge of the "mandiles", waiters and animators in charge of serving and entertaining the clients. As of 7:00PM. DJ's and MC's, contests and lots of partying. Restaurant-Bar. 1:00PM -1:00AM. Bar: 1:00PM to 3:00AM. Fridays and Saturdays until 4:00AM.

International Fancy

Baikal
Baikal represents the vanguard in restaurants at an international level. Its entrance is of Asian influence and serves as the reception area and the prelude to the atmosphere that combines modern architecture with the exotic and natural. It has valet parking, ramps for wheel chair access, private salon, air conditioning, scenic dance floor, multimedia screens, cava with the appropiate temperature and an enormous bar. In the creation of its dishes, you observe all the norms of quality, besides an artistic presentation, detailed and modern.

Kookakurra
Kookaburra is quiet and located in a perfect spot, with a marvelous view of the bay, soft music and lights. Kookaburra was created with the firm conviction to offer its clients unequalled quality in food and service. Delicious international food with years of perfection in order to call it gastronomically designed, where each dish is almost a work of art, all the details are magnificiently combined: ingredients, flavor and presentation.

Casanova
Casanova enjoys an excellent reputation for its delicious Northern Italian kitchen. The menu offers extensive and varied dishes that include veal, fresh fish and authentic homemade pastas. It also offers authentic lamb chops imported from New Zealand, fresh salmon from Norway and delicious imported veal chops. Open from 7:00PM to 12:00AM.

SeaFood

Paradise (my pick as well)
Paradise is a dream of paradise that combines an exotic atmosphere with delicious dishes and attractions , such as diving, the bungy jump and beach club .With a terrace at street level and with a view of the center of the bay. Its specialties are seafood, among which are crab legs, lobster, and other specialties such as chicken and beef. The preferred drinks are natural and exotic juices.

La Cabaña de Caleta
Located on Caleta Beach serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open every day from 9:00AM to 9:00PM, private terrace for groups with a capacity of 70 people.

My Picks

El Olvido
A combination of the two most delicious foods in the world, French and Mexican. Music coordinated by a disk jockey. A selection of homemade bread. All the coffee is prepared with the finest mixtures of gourmet coffee. There is a selection of coffee with liquors and a selection of 10 different aromatic teas. Open daily from 6:00PM to 1:30AM. Bar is open from 6:00PM to 3:30AM.

Madeiras
An elegant and exclusive atmosphere, international food, specialties in meat, fowl, fish and seafood. Open from Sunday to Thursday from 7:00PM to 10:30PM; weekends and holidays from 7:00PM to 11:15PM. Men must wear long pants, no shorts or bermudas. Valet parking. Reservation necessary.

Mezzanote
Mezzanote is the refugee of lovers of the exclusive. Where you can enjoy an exquisite and classic Italian meal in a casual atmosphere, ideal for your business lunches, events and presentation of products. Open: Monday to Wednesday from 1:30 to 1:00AM.Thursdays to Saturdays from 1:30PM to 3:00AM and Sundays from 1:30 to 6:00AM.

Mexican

El Fogon Suizo
Classical place for good mexican food, very inexpensive. Mexican food is our specialty. From the traditional tacos, soft and juicy beef specially prepared, or fajitas.

Los Braseros
In front of the cruise terminal for a local experience

Pancho Villa & Compañia
Inside the Hyatt, for a tyrpical mexican meal indoors.
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:29 PM   #12
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WOW! Thanks so much for the great information

I'm hoping you can answer a few questions about wheelchair accessibility in Acapulco. I'll be traveling with my husband who is in a wheelchair and is not up to the extended time required for most of the ship's excursions.

Since the Downtown area sounds like it would be our best bet, what is the general condition of sidewalks in that area? Are there curb cutouts for accessibility? Any suggestions for not to be missed sites in that area or any area within walking/rolling distance?

Are there wheelchair lifts on any of the buses?

Any information/thoughts you may have are greatly appreciated !

Thanks again for all the terrific info.


Carol
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACA_Port Authority
For the cliff divers the shows are at 01:00pm then until 07:30, 08:30, 9:30 and 10:30 pm, you have 3 options:

1.-For $3.00 you can walk about 60 steps to the mirador area (up close) but it’s usually crowded and no guarantees of being up front to enjoy the show, wit one drink included.

2.- For $12.50 (afternoon) $16.50(evening) you can have 2 domestic drinks at La Perla Restaurant, you will be in the main terrace table seated and have a great view of the dive.
If I take a taxi it the Cliff Divers and select option 2 ($12.50) what time would you recommend we leave the port area? Will we have problems getting into La Perla at this time?

Can I taxi from the Cliff Divers over to Cicis? How long and how much would you expect?

Thanks.
This is great information!
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyccajun
WOW! Thanks so much for the great information

I'm hoping you can answer a few questions about wheelchair accessibility in Acapulco. I'll be traveling with my husband who is in a wheelchair and is not up to the extended time required for most of the ship's excursions.

Since the Downtown area sounds like it would be our best bet, what is the general condition of sidewalks in that area? Are there curb cutouts for accessibility? Any suggestions for not to be missed sites in that area or any area within walking/rolling distance?

Are there wheelchair lifts on any of the buses?

Any information/thoughts you may have are greatly appreciated !

Thanks again for all the terrific info.


Carol
I am sorry to say that the area (street side) where the cruise terminal is located, doesn't have many wheel chair access ramps; to get to downtown. In some areas your husband will have to be on the road to cross the street, so when exiting the terminal try to keep on the south side of the Costera (main strip) and in front of the Bancomer there is a ramp to go to the Zocalo (main square). I mentioned that there are street guides that could escort you to this area and provide useful help for moving around, they work on tips.

Buses are not wheel chari accesible, only tour operated buses will store his chair during the tour.

The must see places would be the Fort of San Diego, you can take the bridge (wheel chair friendly) located very near from the cruise terminal. In El Zocalo, the cathedral is very impressive and the fishing warf would be the closest places to visit.
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Old 04-11-2005, 03:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraLee
If I take a taxi it the Cliff Divers and select option 2 ($12.50) what time would you recommend we leave the port area? Will we have problems getting into La Perla at this time?

Can I taxi from the Cliff Divers over to Cicis? How long and how much would you expect?

Thanks.
This is great information!
You should leave the port at 12:30 noon, take a cab for about $10 USD you should arrive there in no more than 10 minutes (unless it's a big vacation day) you form in line to pay the entrance fee, then you are seated, a waiter takes your drink order or enjoy the buffet line, and then the show; it doesn't start exactly at 1pm, it takes them a while to climb the rocks (awesome itself)

After the show you will find many drivers outside, it should take about 20 minutes to get there from the divers.
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