Skip to Content

La Escénica: Acapulco’s Most Perilous Road

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 27 December, 2010

(Acapulco, NA 27 December) Of all routes in Acapulco, the “Escénica” (Scenic Highway) is considered the most dangerous, with its curves and narrow shoulders. In 2009 there were 250 reported accidents on the Escénica, which claimed 20 lives. In 2010 to date, that number has risen to 350 accidents, with 30 deaths. That is almost one accident per day. Fatal accidents rose 50% in the last year. According to analysts in the Traffic Police Department, the two main causes of serious accidents are excessive speed and drunk driving. The yellow and white “colectivos” (shared taxis), which connect the Costera with Coloso or Colosio, are particularly notorious for high-speed driving along the route, and they usually carry two passengers in the front right seat. Seat belts are unheard of.

Though the posted speed limit is a moderate 60 kpm, traffic flow varies between 80 and 100 kpm, except for the trucks and buses, which have trouble keeping up speed on the steep ascents. As a result, many accidents are rear-end collisions.

Visitors driving vehicles in Acapulco should be particularly wary of the Escénica, as its curves are often hidden and uneven, creating risks for anyone unfamiliar with the winding road, especially at night, as there is no illumination. Uneven pavement is also a frequent hazard. According to the police, visitors are the ones most likely to frequent the many night clubs and restaurants along the route, venturing into the dark of night under the influence of alcohol. The best advice for tourists travelling between the bay side of Acapulco and Punta Diamante is to take a taxi, and sit in the back seat.

The Highway Department has announced plans to build a tunnel connecting the Naval Base on the bay side to the Diamond Zone, thus reducing risk and travel time for all; however, the tunnel will not be built and operating for several more years.

Real Acapulco Newsletter