Most cities/towns in Mexico of any appreciable size will have a central square, most frequently referred to as a “Zócalo”.
Acapulco’s Zócalo, located across the street from the Malecón and Bahia Santa Lucia, is named Plaza Juan Álvarez – after illustrious state hero General (and later President of Mexico) Juan Álvarez.
The plaza is bordered by the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral – Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, restaurants, government buildings, sidewalk cafés, ice cream shops, small stores, small hotels, newsstands, banks and other businesses.
It’s a tree-shaded plaza that sees lazy days and busy evenings. Saturday night’s and Sunday’s are the times of the week when you’ll see most city residents mingling, lingering, relaxing, listening to live music, watching clowns perform, and playing with children.
For a very authentic Mexican feel a visit to the Zócalo is a must. It’s a great place to people watch which is a must for all visitors on any trip to Acapulco!! No visit to a Mexican city is complete without a visit to its Zócalo – and no visit to Acapulco will be complete without a visit to Plaza Juan Álvarez.
The Zócalo is dominated by the cathedral known as “Nuestra Señora de la Soledad”, (Our Lady of Solitude). This town’s modern but unusual church, a bizarre structure built in 1930.
The church was originally a movie set. Once the film company left, the building was adapted as a house of worship. Today, it is one of Acapulco’s most recognizable landmarks.
The cathedral has a mosque-like dome and Byzantine towers; its interior is fairly plain, with yellow-gold tile work and white and blue walls.
This church is a perfect example of Acapulco’s rich history with Spanish, Moorish and native influences. Its distinctive sky blue domes dominate the downtown plaza. Step inside this cool and quiet church and admire the collection of religious statues. Saturdays are a good day to peek in on local weddings and baptisms as these events are a window into Mexican life.